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Any New Jet Owners Out There?

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  • #16

    MSC can be found at:

    I have an Enco 9 x 20 lathe and unfortunately I swear at it and not by it. One problem is my lack of knowledge on the subject, but I have had to mae a number of adjustments and modifications to get it to run at all. I still have unresolved problems. I would suspect that the Jet version is going to have most of those issues ironed out, so I would think that you will be better off than I.

    However, I would go ahead and purchase a few extra belts when you buy it. I had 2 snap already with light usage. I also had the plastic gear go south, too.

    The other problem for me is the tail stock. I have a lot of flex in the quill that I can't get rid of. I can see it when moderate pressure is applied. Last night I ran a 3/8" end mill into aluminum and I got a hole that was 0.075" larger than the end mill! I followed that with a 1/2" end mill and got a hole that was 0.503"! At least the alignment is right.

    I find the 4-way tool post difficult to work with. I think that this is simply due to its small size. I don't know if you could get an Aloris clone for it, but it would make life much easier.

    I also have a mill-drill. It is made by Rong Fu. This is the exact opposite of my lathe. I love it. I have heard that the Rong Fu is much better than the standard mill-drills and I am very happy I spent the extra dollars to buy it.

    I know it isn't a Bridgeport, but I have no complaints at all except that I do get a choppy cut in the horizontal direction which I haven't tracked down yet. However, that doesn't bother me. The mill-drill is a joy to use. I highly recommend the Rong-Fu.

    the only thing the mill-drill needs is a DRO.



    • #17
      I love the back and forth on this BBS! I have ordered some tooling from MSC and am happy with it and them. As far at the machine choices go, I agonized over what to get, first looking at a 3-in-1 (which I didn't get, thanks to comments on this BBS)then moving on to get a Jet lathe and a Grizzly mill-drill. I am happy with both, especially for what I paid for them. It may just be alack of sophistication on my part, but I have a hard time appreciating some of the subtle differences between the various brands and theirs points of origin. But then, I also have a hard time telling the difference between an 800 megahertz and 1.6 gigahertz computer.


      • #18
        Generally try to avoid "me too", but just have to agree with you on this one Michaelj. I think most of us on this topic have just gotten our feet wet in the machine shop world and it is interesting to get info on others opinions and learn from others experiences. I think there's something to be said for the imports as well as the oldies in terms of advantages and disadvantages. I too, am glad I steered clear of the 3-in-1s, but there are people who seem quite pleased with them also. I'll be waiting to see what Marv and GWP finally decide! Also might want to pick your brain in a few months concerning the Grizz mill/drill. I want one but gotta save a few bucks before getting into that arena. Take care.



        • #19
          Okay - here is my choice. I have selected a new Emco Super 11 CD.

          I am still reeling over sticker price, so I am going pack to the calculator and working on ways to make it pay for itself in a reasonable amount of time.

          If I can make a good business case, I'll put in an order in a heartbeat, but if I can't, I'll probably need to reconsider what I buy. Perhaps I might explore used American iron or a Taiwan lathe again.



          • #20
            Opps. My 'b' fell over. That should be 'back', not 'pack'.

            Gravity is a drag!


            • #21
              Whatup All.

              After the trip to Klamath Falls and a long time to think on the way home, I think the Grizzly 13 1/2 x 40 Gear head will be my final choice.

              If I was ready to buy Enco has a sale on now that is mighty enticing. You can save enough to go to a larger lathe or have DRO added. I need a 1 1/2" spindle hole and minimum of 36" centers to do the gun work I am planing, otherwise I would be looking at the smaller lathes.

              As always there is never any right or wrong, good or bad only how you look at the varying shades of gray. If the asian lathes didn't do a service they would go extinct. Those old South Bends were war production machines and were never expected to go as far as they've gone. We don't know if the asian lathes will last that long until someone 60 years from now is doing the same thing we're doing right now. No one knew 60 years ago what is going on right now. Who knew a cottage industry grabbing up the oldies, stripping out their bones and selling the pieces would spring up and be live and well in the 21 century.

              I've been riding motorcycles for just at 50 years. I got no use whatsoever for Harleys. I've had two, I didn't learn on the first. I've raced some way back in the mid 50's. I used to carry pieces and parts, tools, extra gas etc., on my "continental" machinge for all my buddies Harleys when we went riding, just so we all could get back. Does that mean Harley are "Bad". Not by a long shot, and many of my friends are still "Hoggers". But now we don't do much bad mouthing because the bottom line is not WHAT you ride, it's THAT you ride. The same can be said for this thing of wanting a lathe. It's not WHAT lathe you buy, it's THAT you buy a lathe.

              GreenWillyPeter at your service.

              Advice is like backsides, every body has one and they both smell about the same when you get down to it.


              • #22
                Amen to that, GWP. The important thing is you and Marv have both made choices and now you'll be making chips. And that's the bottom line! Good luck. I'll be waiting to hear the pros and cons in a few weeks, months or whatever. Take care. Off the hobby and back to work for a week.



                • #23
                  GreenWillyPeter. Did you buy the Grizzly?


                  • #24
                    Okay. Time for my update. AS some of you may know, I bought a used South Bend Model A.

                    The Model A is a little smaller swing than what I first targeted, but it holds a 6" chuck easily and it came with 11 collets as well. For the work I am doing now it is a perfect size.

                    The lathe is very well tooled and has a nice quick change tool post that is real improvement over the old 4-way tool post on my Enco.

                    The lathe is 47 years old and has some wear on the ways, but there is nothing wrong with this lathe that can't be fixed in due time.

                    So far I have $1500 invested in the machine (including transportation costs). That is about 1/2 of my original budget dollars of $3,000 and that didn't include tooling.

                    When and if I decide to return the lathe to South Bend to have the ways reground, that will cost another $1500. However, that will bring my out of pocket expenses to $3,000 total and the lathe will be functionally brand new as far as performance goes. I can live with that cost.

                    There is always a danger with buying a used lathe. I think I got a good piece of iron at a fair price, maybe not a steal, but a price I can easily afford and I have lots of wiggle room if I ever have to invest more into it.

                    For anyone interested, you read all about the Model A or any of its earlier cousins the model C and B (don't ask me why the C and B came before the A) at the South Bend web site.


                    It is called the 9" Workshop. All the technical details are listed and I was told by South Bend that they still make every single part except the castings.



                    • #25
                      Marv, Sounds like you found a bargin with your 9" South Bend. I bought a SB Heavy 10 (1945 model) back in Sept/October 2001, Spent two months and about $800 in rebuilding. I did consider having the lathe bed re-furbished at South Bend, but was very blessed to find a very good condition used bed for mine.

                      Keep your eyes open for somebody on eBay or on Yahoo Southbend group to have one for sale. I found lots of spare parts for the rebuild on eBay. BTW I rarely visit the Yahoo sites anymore because of the pop up ads. B.G.
                      Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician


                      • #26

                        How was the shooting?



                        • #27
                          Hard to resist this subject, as I've been through the same internal dialogue. I bought an ENCO 9 x 20 lathe in 1992 from a local firm here in Baltimore - - Norman Tools. I paid $1,200 (and that's 1992 money). Today I could by essentially the same lathe from Grizzly, with stand for around $900. My lathe is marked "Made in Taiwan" and the salesman at Norman told me that ENCO was moving to a Chinese source at about the time that I bought my lathe. Sales pitch?
                          I was curious about the similarity of my lathe to the one shown in the Jet catalogue as well as with the EMCO Compac 8. I sent for a manual from EMCO and it was virtually the same as the one that came with my lathe. The only difference was my lathe came with ALL of the accessories, and the Compac 8 didn't. Oh yes the Compac 8 was over $3,000 at that time. The Jet was a bit pricey too.
                          Recently I bought the Harbor Freight surface grinder for $900 (no base), with the magnetic vise at $100. Grizzly's grinder was $1,400 (base included) and the vise was $200. I wasn't happy with the manual (duh) and ordered one from Grizzly. Turned out to be the IDENTICAL manual (small changes on the cover)-- letter for letter. I guess my surface grinder came from the same factory. Oh yes, for the extra money my grinder would be painted green.


                          • #28
                            I work for a Jet dealer.

                            Just uncrated and serviced the best mill I have ever seen from these people. Still not happy with their lathes. I think they are really tring to get it right. Can't understand why they can build a top of the line mill and such an oil leaking lathe
                            don't care who i make glad or sad.