I bought the smaller brother about 6 years ago, and it's still going strong. Very solid and accurate, right out of the crate. G4003G.
G4003G Gunsmith's Bench Top Lathe with Stand
First of all, I already have a really good Jet 1660 lathe from back when Jet came in green, which unfortunately at the moment is laid up for repairs (Electrical issues with old magnetic switches). So Iím not really looking for a large top of the line machine and Iím not looking to spend time repairing/restoring an older machine. What Iím looking for is some feedback on some of the value priced lathes available on the market and weather they are worth the price or not. I have been reading a lot trying to determine what to do but I would like some more direct input.
My intentions for the new lathe are primarily gunsmith work. Barrel threading, chambering and so forth. Thought it will probably be called on to make other parts as needed. Most of the material I work in is 4340 CrMo, 52-100 bearing steel and 440C stainless. I really want a machine that runs off of 220V single phase power, Iím already vary familiar with 3-phase and Iím just not interested in messing around with it in this case if I donít need to. I want a new machine with the accessories so I donít need to build or source things like steady rests and such. I would prefer to spend less than $8K to my door for the lathe, hence my interest in Grizzly (I have been told that there larger lathes are alright, any input?)Ö
At any rate Iím considering the fallowing and would like some input from anyone who owns one of the models listed, owns anything in a lathe from Grizzly in this size range or anyone who has any other ideas/sources. The Grizzly G0709 Gunsmithís 14x40 lathe and the G9730 13x40 precision tool room lathe (is the Z-series much better, any one know?). Ether way, I intend to chuck the tool post that comes with it and mount a spare Aloris CXA quick change post on it (I have one laying around and all my tooling fits it). Iím tempted to look at the G9732 14x40 precision tool room lathe, but it would really haft to be a good machine for me to spend that sort of money on it.
Thank you for your input.
These questions are, I think, easier asked and answered than they are given meaning.
I like my Ford, so you will too. Proof they're a great car. Huh? Different people want different features to value, and different levels of quality (both correctness and durability). In the case of machine tools, one aspect of correctness is accuracy. Accuracy is something that can be measured, and it needs to be measured to have any meaning.
Last time I was lathe shopping, I asked for specs re accuracy. Either they weren't available (hang up the phone), or I got to see claims in a measured way.
To date, I've only found access to about the '45 ANSI (I think) standard for lathes. The new lathes I looked at weren't too bad, but they didn't meet these old machine tool standards. I'd guess the Grizzly's fit in this category too, but for my money, I'd ask the question first.
Ya can dig deeper still, but if you asking questions, start by making the vendor give you some specs.
I recently got a G9732 and a PerfectPhase to run it. I got it because I wanted a machine that was ready to go and did not want to worry about the truthfulness/openness of the seller -- been burned one time too many, I also did not want to later find that I had bought too small a machine. I have not owned another lathe so it is hard for me to compare. I have no complaints (from a manual machine perspective). Feel free to ask any questions or PM me if you want.
It comes with an inspection/QA sheet. If you are looking for any specific figures I would be happy to share.
EDIT: I take that back... One complaint or perhaps two: It does not have a stop that automatically disengages the feed and it does not have a "constant" SFPM feature.
EDIT 2: Oh, yes. I have it running with an Aloris CXA. Works well, though the #7 holder (if you get the kit) is useless.
EDIT 3: The spindle is MT5 and the tail stock is MT3. I got royal live centers for both. The "centers" that come with the lathe are useless. Also the chucks are okay, but the 3-jaw chuck does not have adjustment screws -- still with some patience you can tune as it has enough room between the chuck itself and the backplate. Since this is an open machine, the coolant is only useful for drilling.
Last edited by Ed from NY; 02-18-2011 at 01:04 AM.
In reality I have had enough people tell me the 4003G is a good unit that Iím starting to consider it. The only issue being that I have all my quick changes in CXA and that unit is sized for a BXA holder. I suppose for what I want to do with it, it would not kill me to semi re-tool so long as I keep to the same inserts I already have. Or I could be Polish and build shoes to fit BXA and hold ĺĒ tools so I donít need new tooling. Or be really Polish and build a shortened CXA post to take my current tools and work on a 12Ē swing lathe.
Ed from NY
Thanks for the input, it is pretty helpful. I too have the #7 holder (I have a lot of holders) and the trick to that particular parting blade holder is finding the right blade to go in it. I have a parting blade that fits it with a changeable carbide insert at the tip, I tried a few before I found one that worked well with the holder but it has its uses. My current Jet is older than I am and it dose not have a feed stop or any of the modern bells/whistles either, so no big deal for me, Iím used to it.
I already have copies of spec inspection sheets for all the models Iím considering. It is a start but there is a range, I donít look at the numbers that where given for what ever lathe SN they where from, I look at max allowable. The numbers pretty much match everyone ells I have dealt with. The big problem is just because the numbers are good dose not make the lathe any good. There is also a qualitative side to lathe suitability and even thought any individual answer of ďI love my LatheĒ or ďI hate my LatheĒ is relatively meaningless, as a whole they can be quite telling. For instance, I have read dozens of reviews stating that Grizzly has good service compared to most. And a few reviews stating that Grizzly did not take care of some one. Well that is par for the course and if there is a 10 to 1 ratio of good to bad, seeing as people are more likely to complain about bad, than chances are relatively good that I will have a good experience with Grizzly customer service. Likewise if 10 people got on and said ďhay that particular lathe is junkĒ and 1 said it was good, than the chances are I would end up with junk. Thanks for the input.
Just joined. Discovered your post.
Did you get what you were looking for?
They where out of stock on every model that interested me. So I ended up fixing my big lathe in a hurry and Iím now taking my time picking a second one. I plan on going down to there showroom at some point and having a first hand look. Probably later this summer.