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Thread: Buying first metal lathe

  1. #13
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    Default Re: Buying first metal lathe

    I'd go with the Grizzly one, as long as the spec's are what you need. For that price you could if you wanted install a VFD and 1 Hp 3 Phase motor in the future if you wanted variable speed drive and not shifting gears. I would also get the cabinet unless you have a really, really heavy duty work bench.

    Retired Master Electrician, HVAC/R Commercial. FLA Saturn 2 4x4 CNC Router Mach4 Kimber 1911 45ACP


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    Default Re: Buying first metal lathe

    Thanks for you input (109jb). I really do appreciate it. The grizzly I was looking at from the beginning was https://www.grizzly.com/products/Gri...ith-DRO/G0768Z. I'm probably making too much out of having a DRO... but in my mind it seems like a really handy thing to have. Again... I have ZERO experience on any metal lathe, so if i'm make way to much of the DRO.. please tell me. I'll go back and look at the two you suggested.

    I think this is the third or fouth review down on the G0768:

    "First lathe. Have had it for about a month. Took it apart and cleaned it up as recommended, oiled the ways and greased the gears. Installed a QCTP from LMS. Been practicing on brass rod. Already making useful items as gifts. Great machine, so far no issues. Grizzly answered a question I had regarding the DRO vs. dial with a phone call to me which was much appreciated."

    I hadn't noticed the QCTP required them to modify the compound slide... so I am very appreciative that someone pointed that out. This is also an area that I think that a QCTP is almost a must have. The standard tool post seem like they would get very annoying quickly. Again.. just stuff in my mind.. have no experience to base this on anything.

    Would you throw the G0768Z out due to the shortish bed? I do like that it comes with both a 3 & 4 jaw chuck and other accessories that are not included with the LMS Machines.



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    Default Re: Buying first metal lathe

    As far as DRO's, they are very very nice to have on a manual machine of any kind but not 100% necessary. You would be amazed at what you can do on a lathe using a magic marker and a scale to provide witness marks to guide you, but DRO's are really nice. That said, if you want to go with a lathe with the pre-installed DRO, then have a look at the G0602Z or the G0752Z. These are the same machines as I linked but with DRO already installed. I'm unsure if the scales are glass scales or magnetic (Glass being better) My guess is that they are magnetic. There are options for adding DRO's relatively inexpensively and easily. Nowadays you can get a glass scale lathe DRO setup for about $250. You have to install it, and that can be challenging because the glass scales are somewhat large because of their protective case. They are also sensitive to installation errors. I cracked a scale years ago installing it on a bridgeport mill and that was when they were $$$$$. Had to go to the boss and tell him what happened. Fortunately he and I had a good relationship and he didn't take it too badly. Magnetic DRO's are really inexpensive and about $30-$40 per axis. These work just like the digital calipers you can buy cheap but the DRO's have remote displays. they are easier to install and less sensitive to mistakes. I actually had on that i used for some calibration checks on my mill and I simply used spring clamps for the testing I was doing and it worked fine. Wound up getting broken when we moved but when a 6"diameter 3 foot long aluminum round falls on it I guess you have to expect that. The magnetic DRO would probably be easy to install on the carriage, but space can be limited on the cross slide on these small lathes. The DRO that you need the most is the one on the carriage because there isn't any graduated dial to read there. For cross slide and compound you can count turns and use the graduations. In rality when turning on the diameters, you are measuring and saying "0.120" to go" so you can just count turns that far.

    As far as the bed length goes, you will find that like other specs, you may not need it often but if you do, well there is nothing you can do. That said, probably 95% of my turning isn't even between centers and doesn't reach anywhere near to maxing out the bed length, but where you may need some bed length is if you have to drill a hole with a longish drill. I haven't actually measured it but a 1/2" drill in a chuck eats up probably 6 inches of the bed length. Then say you have a shaft that won't fit into the spindle bore that you need to drill and tap the end of. It doesn't take a very long shaft to run out of length.

    As far as the G0768Z 8x16 lathe, the lathe itself looks fine, but this machine has the 600w variable speed DC motor just like the 7x lathes. I really don't like this small of a DC motor on a lathe for the reasons previously mentioned. Now I will say i am also going to be putting a DC motor on my lathe but it is a 2000 watt 2.8 hp motor. My feeling is that because of the performance issues with the DC motors that you need to overkill it and put a bigger motor on to have acceptable performance at all speeds. To give some perspective on why I'm replacing the 3/4 hp induction motor currently on it, it is purely for constant surface speed machining and CNC spindle control. I am planning to convert the lathe to CNC this year and with the induction motor I would only be able to control on and off but not speed. If I were keeping it a manual machine, I would stay with the one-speed induction motor and just change belts ratios like stock. This system works fine and I don't wind up with torque problems because the belt speed reduction raises the torque at lower speeds. The best variable speed option is hands down a VFD running a 3-phase motor. The G0752 has the benefit of being a step up VFD so that you can run off of 120V circuit.
    .



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    Default Re: Buying first metal lathe

    In the specs for the G0602Z, under threading it states Metric threads can only be RH. It also has a RH for imperial threads. Does that mean this machine is not capable of cutting left hand threads?

    And for the specs of the G0752Z it doesnt list RH only for either thread type. Does that mean that machine can do both Left hand and Right hand threads?

    How important is a QCTP? Typically how many inserts would you want?

    Oh ya.. and seeing these machines are well over 400lbs... how many ppl do you need to even lift the beast? I've seen others use an engine hoist (I dont have) to get it on the stand. Is that something that a rental center would have?



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    Default Re: Buying first metal lathe

    Quote Originally Posted by dbfletcher View Post
    In the specs for the G0602Z, under threading it states Metric threads can only be RH. It also has a RH for imperial threads. Does that mean this machine is not capable of cutting left hand threads?

    And for the specs of the G0752Z it doesnt list RH only for either thread type. Does that mean that machine can do both Left hand and Right hand threads?

    How important is a QCTP? Typically how many inserts would you want?

    Oh ya.. and seeing these machines are well over 400lbs... how many ppl do you need to even lift the beast? I've seen others use an engine hoist (I dont have) to get it on the stand. Is that something that a rental center would have?
    The one with the DRO G0768 only weighs 144 lbs? The bore is less than 1 inch, Would not have a mill without DRO but a lathe I would not need. I buy the other one.

    Retired Master Electrician, HVAC/R Commercial. FLA Saturn 2 4x4 CNC Router Mach4 Kimber 1911 45ACP


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    Default Re: Buying first metal lathe

    Out of the box the G0602 and G0752 cannot cut left hand threads. Having said that, I have been a hobby machinist for about 35 years, I worked as a job shop machinist for 10 of those same years, and in all that time I never had an occasion to need to cut a left hand thread on a lathe, If you really want to cut left hand threads it is pretty easy to reverse the rotation of the lead screw and I found a thread in a quick google search telling how to do it on a G0602, and since the G0752 is based on the G0602 it should work on that one too.

    The Reverse Tumbler Project

    As for the 432 pound weight of a G0602, that is a shipping weight which includes the pallet, crate, toolbox, etc. The actual weight of the machine alone is probably about 325-350 lbs. A few guys could lift it pretty easily. Rental shops do have hoists for rent. I used to rent them for car work before I just bought one.

    A QCTP is another very nice thing. They can be added easily and a wedge style (better than piston style) QCTP set is $160 from Shars. It includes enough holders to get you started and from there you can decide what other holders you need.

    https://www.shars.com/products/toolh...e-type-111-axa

    When you asked about the QCTP you then asked about inserts. Are you asking about indexable lathe tooling? If so I would suggest you get a starter set of indexable turning tools. For these smaller lathes a positive rake tooling is what I would choose.



  7. #19
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    Default Re: Buying first metal lathe

    Quote Originally Posted by 109jb View Post

    When you asked about the QCTP you then asked about inserts. Are you asking about indexable lathe tooling? If so I would suggest you get a starter set of indexable turning tools. For these smaller lathes a positive rake tooling is what I would choose.
    That was my mistake with not using correct terminology. I was referring to the QCTP tool holder mounts. I think most of the QCTP i have seen normally come with 4-5 tool holders. I sure eventually everyone ends up with dozens of tools.... but is there a good number of "almost always in use" tools that you would always want loaded in a tool holder for the QCTP.

    I have purchased some 3/8 HSS blanks and I already have a decent grinder so I planned on grinding my own.... BUT.. i also plan to get some insert tooling.

    I know some have asked "what I'm planning to make" to help determine the best machine. In all honesty, I have nothing in mind specifically. Machining in generally has always fascinated me, but for my day job, I'm and IT Consultant.. so I never really get to have to opportunity to build stuff in the physical world. There is something very satisfying about making something you can hold in your hands. As I edge closer to retirement (still a ways off), I also think having a lathe, mill, etc will keep me occupied when i do get to that stage.



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    Default Re: Buying first metal lathe

    I have a 7x HF mini lathe that I've upgraded with a lot of parts from LMS. I have the extended cross slide, 16" bed, QCTP, tailstock, etc. To do it over again, I would probably have gotten something a bit bigger. I'm just doing hobby level stuff on it and it has been fun, but I think something a little bigger would have been better.

    I would also say that the tear down/cleaning process is really educational - especially if you're not in a time crunch. I would try to do that on any machine I purchased regardless of the source.

    Any of these machines will be good, but I think the larger machine will allow you more flexibility in the long run.



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    Default Re: Buying first metal lathe

    Go on Facebook Marketplace and get something WAY bigger, way better quality, and a fraction of the cost...

    CAD, CAM, Scanning, Modelling, Machining and more. http://www.mcpii.com/3dservices.html


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    Default Re: Buying first metal lathe

    Quote Originally Posted by mcphill View Post
    Go on Facebook Marketplace and get something WAY bigger, way better quality, and a fraction of the cost...
    I'm not sure I would recommend this to someone who knows basically nothing about lathes and turning. There is a lot of good equipment out there and and lot of essentially scrap metal too. Unless you know what you are looking for you can wind up with a really bad experience.



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    Default Re: Buying first metal lathe

    Hire someone that DOES know equipment, and don't waste money on toys. There are SO MANY crazy amazing deals on FB Marketplace, it's crazy!!! I got a 4-Axis Hitachi Seiki 30-tool changer CNC for $3000... Perfectly fine machine with a damaged Z axis servo. So throw in $2k and I got a $60k machine for $5k. Nuts!

    CAD, CAM, Scanning, Modelling, Machining and more. http://www.mcpii.com/3dservices.html


  12. #24
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    Default Re: Buying first metal lathe

    Just as an FYI.. at this point I am now leaning towards the Grizzly G0752Z. I am a little shocked myself. Two days ago I would have bet money that I would go with one of the two LMS machines I posted in my very first post. I really hope I don't end up with buyer's remorse however. I'm going to keep my fingers crossed and hope the a full tear-down and rebuild wont be required. It is probably several more weeks until I order, but I do appreciate all the advice and feedback I have received here.

    Doug



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Buying first metal lathe

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