Feedback on Grizzly Lathe

   / Feedback on Grizzly Lathe #11  
I have a mixture of Grizzly tools and upper end tools - all woodworking, no metal working stationary tools. I would rate Grizzly tools sufficient to do above average work. Their bearings are good, tolerances are good, finish is questionable, but the parts that are necessary for it to do the job seems to be good. They are not the high end, high dollar tools that produce .001" accuracy but for wood working anything more than .03" is a waste of effort because of wood movement due to moisture. Having said that, I've also had an occasion to use Harbor Freight tools in a demo to the public. I contend that a skilled operator can make any machine look good. I also contend that a low end tool with run-out issues, sloppy bearings, etc is not a good choice for a beginner. I've found Grizzly a reasonable trade-off between cost and a finely tuned machine.
 
   / Feedback on Grizzly Lathe #12  
I have several of their larger woodworking tools and am overall quite happy. 20" planer with spiral head, 17" resaw bandsaw, 15" open end wide belt sander, a 6x48"(?) edge sander and a 12" jointer with spiral head. Plus my large dust collector is from them. A couple things were bought used, most new. The little details are where they lack. The gearbox on the planer seeps oil as the gasket or surfaces are not good enough. I have had a hard time maintaining perfect bed alignment on the jointer also, but it still works well. Both the spiral heads give great finish with minimal tearout. But metalworking is something that requires tighter tolerances. The machinists out there in the world will tell you that their stuff is junk. I don't know. But the problem is the number of options available. Well you can get a Monarch 10EE lathe for $120,000... or??? There isn't a lot in the range of home shop guys except buying used equipment and possibly having to restore it. I have a cheap Chinese mill/drill I picked up used and frankly I think it is junk. Better than nothing, but I kind of wished I had got a decent mill instead (not Grizzly). So I guess I can't directly answer your question, but hopefully this helps some...
 
   / Feedback on Grizzly Lathe #13  
I have the Grizzly G4003G lathe and have used it quite a bit. I've made two suppressors (I have 3 stamps) on the lathe, it is within advertised specs - runout, etc. My lathe is a very fun shop tool.
 
   / Feedback on Grizzly Lathe #14  
We have a lathe from littlemachineshop.com at work, they take the SEIG (HFT, grizzly, etc) and make some tweaks and such with longer beds and speed controls and so forth. I think work got the 9x17 or something like that, it's a pretty nice machine with digital speed control and quick change. I have a speedway series back from the Homier tool sales days that I got on craigslist for cheap years ago, same as the HFT special but with a few inches longer bed, it works good but took tweaking to get there...

I'd check out littlemachineshop.com, they come with more stuff than Grizzly and support parts and stuff.
 
   / Feedback on Grizzly Lathe #15  
Not sure if it was mentioned already or not but check out Precision Matthews as well. They seem to have a good reputation all over the internet.
 
   / Feedback on Grizzly Lathe #16  
I've owned a Grizzly vertical mill and power metal band saw for 20 years. Any issue I had was addressed by them and they still have parts.

I use them quite often.

Would highly recommend any Grizzly product.

I was told years ago that machinery made in Taiwan was better quality than that made in mainland China. Not sure if that still stands, or if it ever did.
 
   / Feedback on Grizzly Lathe #17  
We have a lathe from littlemachineshop.com at work, they take the SEIG (HFT, grizzly, etc) and make some tweaks and such with longer beds and speed controls and so forth. I think work got the 9x17 or something like that, it's a pretty nice machine with digital speed control and quick change. I have a speedway series back from the Homier tool sales days that I got on craigslist for cheap years ago, same as the HFT special but with a few inches longer bed, it works good but took tweaking to get there...

I'd check out littlemachineshop.com, they come with more stuff than Grizzly and support parts and stuff.
I have a vertical mill from Little Machine Shop, they offer tweaked equipment (I think made to their general specifications) and provide very good support. Highly recommend them.
 
   / Feedback on Grizzly Lathe #18  
I myself am new to operating lathes and I am so glad I watched YouTube videos before deciding what to buy. I initially was set to buy a Harbor freight 7x12 but in the end went with a Precision Matthews 12x28. Your son will definitely want a quick change tool post and a Digital Read Out (DRO). The lathe u mentioned looks like a decent package from Grizzly. The greatest disadvantage with small lathes is the distance between the spinning chuck and the tail stock. When u put a chuck and drill bit in the tail stock space starts getting taken up pretty quick. Tell ur son to watch Frank Hoose on YouTube. Mr. Hoose reviews the capabilities of small lathes and ur son will be able to get a better feel for what he might need.

I got a Precision Matthews knee mill, overall I'm fairly happy with it. People seem to like PM lathes from what I read.

Grizzly, like Enco, has 2 levels of machinery. The lower tier, that's no better/worse than Harbor freight stuff. The fit and finish may not be great, and you may have to do a little work filing this and that, or shimming this and that to get it to function well. As I recall for Grizzly, those tend to be the green paint machines they sell.

If the need is for a precision machine though, they sell those too. For Grizzly, those are the white machine. They cost more. Years ago, those were the ones built in Taiwan as opposed to mainland China, but I dunno how it's now with them.
 
   / Feedback on Grizzly Lathe #19  
I have read that the companies that make these build a bunch of parts and then check them over to see how close to spec they are. Put them together with like spec parts and arrange them in their warehouse according to that, and price accordingly. Dead on for the first section, acceptable, mostly okay, on down to "resembles the product" at the end. So what you get depends on what your stores' buyer was willing to settle for. I was under the impression that Grizzly was about the middle, their shop fox stuff a step or two above that along with brands like Jet and powermatic and maybe delta (since these factories all seem to make both wood and metalworking machines). Harbor freight is down the aisle a ways and then the traveling discount tool show guys are dead last. They will paint it any color you want and add whatever stickers you need (though if the company wants to add their own stickers in house, that is enough for them to legally say "made in the US").

Just starting out I bought a horizontal bandsaw from one of those tool shows. Yes I have needed to work on it now and then, and if I needed precision I would definitely want something better, but for now, it does all I need which is cut metal.

My current lathe is a barely used Enco 12x36 that fell into my lap, tooled. It replaced a much worn out 1898 Hendy 12" that is missing a bunch of parts and broken from me learning to use it. Even the broken Hendy is capable of turning out the work I have needed (stuff like simple bushings).

I say get the Grizzly. You can make a lot of stuff on a machine that is barely functional and it is likely to be many steps better than that.
 
 
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