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lathe comparison

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  • lathe comparison

    hello again been without computer for a long time,good to be back.well i am ready to buy a new lathe and had it narrowed down to the grizzly g4003g,but was wondering (nervous)about the imports gear head,reliability-noise etc. so i looked at the 9249? 12x37 belt drive 12 speeds vs.9 for the4003 1 7/16 vs.1 5/8 spindle plus the belt drive is 50 rpm-1200 vs.70-1400 but otherwise they seem the same.if anyone has any experiance with either one or any advice i would be happy to hear it, thanks for any help you can provide,oh this is for a home shop and an upgrade from my old 6x18 atlas not for comercial use

  • #2
    Do a search for g4003 and g9249 in this forum. Though I originally was looking at the g9249, I became convinced that the g4003 is better due to a finer fine power feed. In my mind, the threaded spindle and belt drive on the g9249 aren't a big deal....but may be to others.

    See this thread:

    This all being said, I purchased an old American made lathe recently and I am looking for another one on e-bay. Feature-wise, the old machines give you more bang-for-the-buck so to speak.


    There are only 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary and those who don't.


    • #3
      You need to take a look over at find the benchrest forums and go to the gunsmiths corner, long thread on the 4003G.


      • #4
        I keep hearing references to noise with gear head lathes. I have one (a Chinese 13x40) and I get more noise from the motor than from the gears. A bunch of gears in an oil bath just don't make a lot of noise in my experience. I like a quick lever change to change speeds. I also find that I bump the high-low lever to neutral quite often, making it easy to rotate the chuck while tightening it at all points. Otherwise, it can be hard to work against all the gear reduction to move the chuck around.

        Now the "dry" gears in the head of my mini-mill....that's another story.

        Paul Carpenter
        Mapleton, IL


        • #5
          Grizzly G4003

          I have owned the G4003 for 5 years now. The only problem I had was the motor went bad after about a year. Grizzly replaced it free. No other problems of any kind. The gearhead noise does not bother me, it doesn't make that much noise. The belt drive will always be quieter but for me the much faster changing of speeds will always have me favoring the gear head.

          Your mileage would, of course, vary!

          I used to own the Atlas 6X18, the Grizzly is much more lathe.
          Paul in NE Ohio


          • #6
            This question comes up quite often, and as you have already seen from this few responses so far that the -- by far -- consensus is .... Hogwash!! I have the Birmingham 12x36 and I cant imagine a large machine like it could possibly run quieter.

            Youre not familiar with the yahoo group dedicated to this group of lathes? Go to.....


            Do a search on this and youll find several threads around it-------
            If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something........


            • #7
              thanks for the quick replies.i checked out the 2 suggested forums..good info,i didnt know about the site. lot of good stuff there,i am not gunsmith but would like to learn. so now i think i will look a little longer for a used lathe but i am getting a little anxious to get of the draws about the imports is the tooling you get with them.chucks-steady rests etc.where as alot of the lathes on e-bay and at the used dealer i have visited a few times usually strip them down and sell them seperate,or they dont have them to begin with.well thanks again and if you have any more info i will be grateful.and as a side note i never even thought to look at the feed rate but really glad to know that now rather than later!! thanks again


              • #8
                I do believe shoprat is talking about Grizzly's new 4003G lathe thats only been available since mid April not the G4003 model.
                Care to clarify this shoprat?


                • #9
                  The differences are largely cosmetic between the G4003 and the G4003G. There is no indication that the internals are different. The 4003G appears to be the same gear head lathe with a few added features.

                  Paul Carpenter
                  Mapleton, IL


                  • #10
                    I have a geared head lathe and it's noise free.Alistair
                    Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease


                    • #11
                      yes to j ramseys question.i believe that the second g is for gunsmith which i know is just a marketing ploy but it is a nice looking machine anyways.i have run a couple of older leblonds at work 60's vintage i think i was told one is a regal 15x52 aprox. the other is 17" i think and thats the first gear head i have run and i really liked them.if i could find one like the smaller regal with tooling enough to at least get started that would be the way to go.i know the geared head versions will be a little noisier than a belt but i was concerned about the quality of the gears made for the imports as compared to a 40 plus yr.old american classic with its extra beefy mass.but even the 15"regal at work has the tail stock shimmed .030 and they dont turn between centers with it so they dont even have a dead center(don't ask me why they are so cheap,drives me crazy!)i do apreciate the help thanks


                      • #12
                        I would keep an eye out for a used bigger machine. I have had a SB 10L, SB13, a horrible freight 12x36, and now a colchester 15x50, and the colchester is by far the nicest machine to use. No more change gears to swap, parting is effortless, and it is just nicer to use. The reason that I am bringing this up is that I paid about what a 4003G would cost delivered, and I live in tool draught texas.


                        • #13
                          Camlock Chuck.

                          Shoprat, keep in mind whether you would like a Camlock chuck mount.

                          In my case the belt change model below my Gear change model had a Threaded chuck mount (Spindle Nose).

                          I personally like the Camlock. But that will be a matter of taste.

                          I don't know the Grizzly models as mine is a different brand.




                          • #14
                            well i may get flamed but here goes. i have a SB9A, sixty one years old. have been slowly fixing it up. it does pretty good for my needs so far. if i had the money i would have gotten an import. i was looking at the jet 14X40. slower low speed of 40 rpm and lead screw was 8 tpi i think for better feel of half nut enguagement. with the use of carbide insert cutters the slow speed of 70 rpm on alot of the imports would probably be just fine. for home shop use you most likly would not be able to wear one out. get a taper attatchment. alot of the older machines don't cut metric threads with out special gearing. most of the imports cut metric and standard in the common threads and will have a decent size pass through hole in the spindle as well as a flame hard bed. i am no expert and just my 2ct worth.