You only mess with gears to change threading settings. It takes about 5 seconds to slide the belt from one pulley to another--Very easy. Also, changing speeds with belts carries more torque to the work than a variable speed motor.
They are probably both made in the same factory.The other contender is here:
I really like it too, but there's scant info about it and it seems everything on it is extra cost so it's a good 300-400 more once I add a 4 jaw and steady rest and following rest and thread dial. That's getting pretty darned high for my budget. But the RPM readout and variable speed also call to me, I also have no idea how useful that really is.
2x4s sixteen on center with 2x lumber for a benchtop will be adequate. First example photo is inadequate if lathe is supported by nails or screws into 2x4 ends.Mainly I would like to be able to turn down my own ball screws for the mill conversion, as well as making couplers bushings and some other parts. After that it's whatever might be needed for small projects so I don't think I have demanding needs past the ball screws.
Next I had a question on my bench design. I was a little shocked at the footprint once I laid it out. I wanted a little room to do work on the bench too as I will not be able to add much else to my 'shop' in the basement. After the mill and lathe it's the garage for other stuff and I'd hate to have to march upstairs each time I want to use a little bench space. So my bench ended up about 7 foot long and 3 foot wide. I'm planning on 2x4 construction as laid out below but perhaps 2x6's would be better on the top? Will I have sag issues with that lathe on the bench as designed? I have limited woodworking tools so I was going to make the notched joints by sandwiching 2x4's together to make 4x4's with notches to help hold the corners secure. Pictures of the bench design are belowAny big gotchas on the Grizzly machine? Are the perk features on the WM250 worth holding out for some more cash on? Any fairly simple ways to get variable speed on the Griz? Will my bench smash under the weight?.
Remember that the weight of a lathe is mainly supported at each end. Just double up supports there.
Since you are going to CNC it, you might want to consider a custom stand:
If you find a discarded treadmill on the curb for pickup, the motor/speed control can be used for free variable speed conversion.