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Is Grizzly dropping the Southbend line?

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  • Is Grizzly dropping the Southbend line?

    Or just trying to move dead inventory?

    http://www.grizzly.com/search?q=(out...ategory:Lathes)

    Seems they have a few lathes at half or near half off.
    I just need one more tool,just one!

  • #2
    This link shows two pages of "Southbend" lathes:

    http://www.grizzly.com/search?q=((ca...South+Bend%22)

    at reduced prices as you indicated.
    Last edited by tlfamm; 10-09-2016, 09:43 PM.

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    • #3
      The south bend used to have 3 surface grinders, but they only have one currently (I think). I also believe their mill selection is dimming. It's too bad, their SB like was pretty nice as far as specs are concerned.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by tlfamm View Post
        This link shows two pages of "Southbend" lathes: ...
        I had not realized that Grizzly's South Bend line-up included lathes as large as shown on the link.

        As business ventures go, this effort at reviving the South Bend brand has to be capital-intensive for someone. It would be nice to hear from operators/owners of the big machines about how well those models hit the mark for features, performance and durability. Considering the investment at stake, it is reasonable that the standard would be held high, esp on the early production models.

        .
        Last edited by EddyCurr; 10-09-2016, 11:47 PM.

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        • #5
          These aren't consumer electronic items. The inventory was "dead" when they ordered it. They may have committed themselves to a certain number of units over time, but even still it doesn't make sense to destroy the brand value by taking 50% off. It looks like they either need
          the money really badly, or they are killing off the brand.

          Similar to what Eddy is asking above, is the SB line any better than the standard Grizzly? I assume they haven't designed new machines, so they are getting them from the usual suppliers with a different paint job. Baileigh has an industrial range which are made in Taiwan, so in theory you should be getting a better machine for the extra money.

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          • #6
            Looking at the SB lathes side by side with the Grizzly models in the Bellingham showroom the SB models were considerably nicer in a lot of the external details. Not three and four times the price nicer but then I'm not in the market for that size of lathe either. So I have no idea if these are competitive.

            I suspect that the commercial shops are mostly going with multi axis CNC centers or CNC lathes and that the days of big manual machines like this being bought by commercial shops is drawing to a close.

            ... or they bought too many and they are not moving well or they are killing off this experiment.

            The only "South Bend" item I've bought from this recent switch of the brand name to Asia is the smaller of the two drill press vises they offer. This one in fact;

            http://www.grizzly.com/products/4-Pr...campaign=zPage

            I've got to say that it is everything that a good drill press or light duty milling vise SHOULD be. The movable jaw is free moving but has very little angular or tilt play. Barely detectable at all in fact. Compared to the other laughable products sold as "vise like objects" by Grizzly and others this one at least lives up to the intended use.

            If the rest of the SB branded good and machines are up to this same standard I'd have to say that the SB lineup shows that Asia CAN make darn good stuff when they want or need to.

            The SB lathes are still way out of my price range though. Even the sale prices are way over the top of what I could justify for hobby use.
            Chilliwack BC, Canada

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            • #7
              They very well may be killing it off. When you discount like that, you KNOW you can never sell the product at full pop again, so presumably those products with the deep discounts are gone.

              What they did to begin with was basically to slap the SB name onto the same old stuff. Specially made stuff, but really not that different. It did not seem as if the SB items were significantly different, at least not in a good way, from standard Grizzly.

              Looking at a 16" machine.... GO749 ($10250) vs SB1055F ($23950)

              The spec sheets on the site are identical in format, pointing up the idea that the SB is a repainted Grizzly unit.

              OK, the SB has a DRO, is 60" instead of 40", and is made in Taiwan. But neither is UL or other NRTL, and only the Griz is made in an ISO facility! The SB is lighter, with a smaller, narrower bed, has a smaller spindle hole, cuts fewer threads without changing gears. The SB takes half the workpiece weight, etc.

              Even the back gear is actually slower with the Grizzly than with the SB, almost by a 2:1 ratio. And with a 16" machine swinging 20+ inches over the gap, slow speed is a necessary feature.


              http://cdn2.grizzly.com/specsheets/g0749_ds.pdf

              http://cdn1.grizzly.com/specsheets/sb1055f_ds.pdf

              When you look at the units, you get less for more with SB, and the difference is that you have a unit made in Taiwan instead of china. There is no obvious nor claimed difference in how the unit is made, the implication is that for more than twice the money (prior to dscount), you must be getting a better unit because it's made in Taiwan.

              I doubt anyone was able to really justify the difference.

              Likely, Grizzly would have been just as well off , maybe BETTER off, if they had left SB alone, and had come out with something like "the Grizzly super duty line".... Having them made wherever, but made to an obvious higher standard, prominently featuring tight specifications and guaranteeing them. Units with added useful features, tight specs, and superior fit/finish.

              They could have done that with higher credibility than what they did in fact do. I do not think ANYONE considered the SB line to be in any way really different. And, SB was never a very good machine anyway.

              Then, to top it all off, the whole thing was manual machines, 30 years after CNC was established as necessary and the way to go in future.

              Well, maybe they repatriated some $$ by spending it on the SB name, and so giving back some portion of what they have sucked out of the US into the chinese economy.
              Last edited by J Tiers; 10-10-2016, 01:19 AM.
              4357 2773 5647 3671 3645 0087 1276

              CNC machines only go through the motions

              "There's no pleasing these serpents"......Lewis Carroll

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              • #8
                More info.

                Shiraz Balolia is the pres. He walks the walk and represents the US very well.

                http://bulletin.accurateshooter.com/...&submit=Search

                http://www.bullets.com/shiraz-biography

                The Southbend name is just a "Value Add" to Taiwan machine tools.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by H380 View Post
                  Shiraz Balolia is the pres. He walks the walk and represents the US very well.
                  .....
                  The Southbend name is just a "Value Add" to Taiwan machine tools.
                  I've met the man, he's OK.

                  But he is still pumping money to china... that's how that stuff works.

                  I do not really see the "value" added. There should be something extra involved for the added money (2x or more). It is NOT well defended by marketing.

                  Now, I agree that the stock chinese production is not much if any worse than old SouthBend (same with Atlas, etc). But by taking it on, da Bear had something to prove, and they have not.
                  4357 2773 5647 3671 3645 0087 1276

                  CNC machines only go through the motions

                  "There's no pleasing these serpents"......Lewis Carroll

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
                    But he is still pumping money to china... that's how that stuff works.
                    -Everything we do "pumps money to China".

                    Whatever you used to even type that out, whether it's a smartphone or desktop computer, was either made almost entirely in China, or is composed almost entirely of Chinese-made parts.

                    If you have a car less then 10-15 years old, much of the steel and many of the base components (wire, molded connectors, etc.) came from China.

                    If you have anything in the house made from plastic (pill bottles, soda bottles, drinking cups, combs, ballpoint pens, etc.) chances are much of the plastic itself came from China, in the form of "pills" processed and ready for injection molders (that is, if it wasn't already molded in China itself.

                    I'm as USA! as the next guy, and yeah, I try to buy 'Merican when I can (I only have one import machine tool- okay, two, but one's a Spanish import.

                    But it still strikes me as hypocritical to sneer at Chinese-made machine tools (which are, after all, a very, very small percentage of what the US buys from China every year) while we live in houses stuffed with Chinese-made products, and sit around and whine about it on Chinese-made computers.

                    Grizzly made an attempt to bring better-quality machines to the US, but found that we're just not buying. Most home-shoppers want the little 9x20s, maybe ranging up to the cheap 13x40s. Much bigger than that, and there's no market. That starts being professional job-shop stuff, and they just don't buy Grizzly, regardless of the Southbend name.

                    And that's assuming the job-shop even wants a new manual machine in the first place. Most are buying CNC, and do more and more on it- including one-off jobs.

                    Doc.
                    Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)

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                    • #11
                      it looks to me like there are some great deals there.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Doc Nickel View Post
                        -Everything we do "pumps money to China".
                        .....
                        But it still strikes me as hypocritical to sneer at Chinese-made machine tools (which are, after all, a very, very small percentage of what the US buys from China every year) while we live in houses stuffed with Chinese-made products, and sit around and whine about it on Chinese-made computers.

                        .....
                        And that's assuming the job-shop even wants a new manual machine in the first place. Most are buying CNC, and do more and more on it- including one-off jobs.

                        Doc.
                        Doesn't mean we have to LIKE it, or even "tolerate" it. I avoid when possible, hold my nose when required. (Much like voting this year...). So I try hard to avoid the "money pump", but as you say, one cannot always do so. That's no reason to give up entirely and "roll over" for it. (or bend over and spread'em)

                        It's a good thing I have not "sneered" at chinese made machines, since you don't like that. I accept even the 9 x 20, which I do not like on its own merits, or lack of them, as "usable". I won't spend money on one unless absolutely forced to. Anything above maybe a 10" or 12" is a decent machine in most cases, if you can hold your nose as to the "money pump" aspect.

                        You are dead right that the SB was ill-timed. A manual machine in a CNC age.... But it COULD have worked, if "insulated" from Grizzly, and made an obvious step up. That was very much NOT done, and so.we will never know if it WOULD have worked. SB is likely gone for good, unless some miraculous happening in terms of perception occurs. I suspect Papa Bear took a bath on the whole deal, but I could be wrong.
                        4357 2773 5647 3671 3645 0087 1276

                        CNC machines only go through the motions

                        "There's no pleasing these serpents"......Lewis Carroll

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          From what I've read on several forums based on owners experiences, Taiwanese machine tools have a much better fit and finish with fewer gotchas and snafus than Chinese machine tools. The extra money you're paying is for the less tangible stuff (durability, accuracy after X amount of use, turned finish etc) rather than box-ticking features. Whether that is worth the extra cost (or reduced equipment and features) is a very personal thing. I would struggle to justify the extra, but that's because I have a limited budget. If I had the extra, I'd have to think about what else I could get with that extra money and think about whether I wanted/ needed that extra thing or better fit/ finish on the one thing. It's all subjective as very few of us actually need any of the tools that we have.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
                            I've met the man, he's OK.

                            But he is still pumping money to china... that's how that stuff works.

                            I do not really see the "value" added. There should be something extra involved for the added money (2x or more). It is NOT well defended by marketing.

                            Now, I agree that the stock chinese production is not much if any worse than old SouthBend (same with Atlas, etc). But by taking it on, da Bear had something to prove, and they have not.
                            There is 0% of real value added to the consumer. It is marketing speak to add more money to the profit margin. Take the top of the line Taiwan lathe or mill and charge an extra 25% for the South Bend sticker. Using the South Bend name is just a "Value Add" to the profit margin.

                            You as a nonbusiness can not afford to buy machines built in the US in 2016. Clausing "assembles" drill presses in the US now. They start at $4500. A Standard Modern 1600 lathe "assembled" in the US is $27K+.

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                            • #15
                              I deal a lot with Grizzly, and I talked with the corporate guys from their Washington branch in person. They said they aren't dropping the South Bend line. They were just dropping the prices to get rid of some of their extra inventory.

                              I visit their Springfield location weekly. I've noticed that all the Grizzly Taiwan lathes have been removed from the floor, and they have switched them out with Chinese lathes. I can't confirm this yet, but I believe they are going to save the South Bend label for their better quality Taiwanese made machines.

                              To add to H380's comment. I know for a fact that the new Hardinge and Bridgeport machines are not made in the US. They are really only assembled in the US. But quality machines can be made anywhere. All a factory has to do is have standards. They do it with Apple products. Besides, I've seen machines made in the US that weren't that great.

                              Btw- Everyone at Grizzly knows that we carry the South Bend manuals.
                              -Matt

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