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Forum topic by moke posted 01-07-2017 07:59 PM 812 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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moke

1034 posts in 2613 days


01-07-2017 07:59 PM

I know our forte here is not metal, but we have so many guys that have a ton of experience in precision metal working too, so I thought I might ask our brain trust their opinion on this.

I have been looking at metal lathes recently, and will not use it a lot, but my father was a machinist and I would like to make some things…like…attachments for my wood lathe, other fixtures and tools, replacement parts and some metal/plastic pens.

I have been doing some research, savings my money and have recently come accross this;
http://www.grizzly.com/products/8-x-16-Lathe-with-Milling-Head/G0769?utm_campaign=zPage&utm_source=grizzly.com

Model G0769 mill/lathe combo
I know from wood working that combo machines are often not the best idea…does that apply to a small lathe/Mill?
Keep in mind I will not use the mill much…..

Comments?
Thanks
Mike

-- Mike


17 replies so far

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MrUnix

6001 posts in 2036 days


#1 posted 01-07-2017 08:58 PM

No direct experience with it, but if you don’t plan on doing a lot of milling, I don’t see why you would need the milling attachment and it’s added cost to the basic lathe. Keep in mind, with the proper setup, you can do most milling operations on a metal lathe without one. As a side note, I find it amusing that at a price of over $1800, their web page says it’s a great way to get started – ”without having to dedicate a large amount of shop space or spend thousands of dollars to get started”. In my mind, $1800 is close enough to be considered ”thousands of dollars” :)

Depending on how big the stuff you want to turn is, you might want to check out the LittleMachineShop for some inspiration and reviews on mini-metal lathes. Check out their comparison page as well. And don’t rule out the really mini lathes either, like the Unimat or Sherline – which can be used for metal turning as well as wood, plastic and other materials. I have a South Bend 9×36 lathe as well as a little Unimat DB200, and 99% of the time, I turn to the Unimat for most of the small parts I need to make.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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helluvawreck

29174 posts in 2704 days


#2 posted 01-07-2017 09:53 PM

When we had our molding plant I handled all of the maintenance and engineering for our molders and other equipment. We had 5 Weinig molders, a finger joining plant, and a whole lot of auxiliary equipment. Over the years I built up a pretty nice machine shop. All of the machine shop equipment was used. You can get a decent lathe on www.irsauctions.com. You need to be a little patient but you can find a decent lathe that will do a whole lot more than the one you showed on the link. You can also find some good mills.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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unbob

800 posts in 1740 days


#3 posted 01-07-2017 11:51 PM

You would be much better of looking for a Southbend, Logan, Sheldon, or even the Atlas lathe would be better then the import in the link. The combo lathes with the milling heads are really hard to actually use, separate machines are much better.
Also, the linked to machine has a morse taper for the milling spindle, look for R8 taper spindle for better tool selection.

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Planeman41

21 posts in 360 days


#4 posted 01-08-2017 06:04 PM

That Grizzly lathe looks a lot like my Austrian made 7” Maximat I bought new in 1969. (http://www.lathes.co.uk/emco/page4.html) It was probably copied from the Maximat by Seig, a Chinese maker of lathes and mills. I can tell you this about a combo machine like that, having used one for nearly 50 years. It is a nice size which will do most of anything you want. The specs say a “12” swing” which most likely means a maximum 12” diameter that clears the carriage table. The milling head looks substantial, however the carriage table is fairly small for milling which is a problem bolting down any milling work of size. This can be helped by making a larger auxiliary work table, probably with lots of holes rather than T-slots, and bolting this to the small carriage table when needed.

Its true for that amount of money you can purchase a larger used lathe like a 12” or maybe a 14” without the mill if you chose. The problem with metal lathes is you can expect to spend roughly the same amount of money you spent on the lathe to get it fully equipped. This will be over time most likely. Also be aware that the larger the lathe, the more the accessories will cost and the heavier they will be to handle when setting up. Don’t discount “heavy”. Some people even set up small hoists to deal with changing chucks and accessories on the larger lathes. Also, give some thought to threading. Most likely this lathe lacks a quick-change gear box so every time you cut threads you have to hand change the gears. Not a major headache, but fiddly and time consuming. I rarely thread, so I live with hand changed gears.

On the whole, It looks like a good lathe and will probably be all you need for occasional use.

Planeman

-- Always remember that that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

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MrRon

4492 posts in 3080 days


#5 posted 01-08-2017 08:07 PM

I too do both wood and metal working. I am fortunate to be retired and have a large property with plenty of room for a large shop. I have all the machines and tools needed, collected over the past 40+ years. Personally I would not have a combination lathe/mill, but for someone with a lack of space, it might work. Milling is a very essential machining task that ties with turning for a complete metal working experience. Milling can be done with a milling attachment on a lathe. I would recommend either a used American made lathe or 2nd best, one made in Taiwan. China makes some junk machinery, but has the capability to make quality stuff too, but it will be up there in price. A lathe from Grizzly can be good, but one from Harbor Freight, less so. Metal working can get expensive quickly. There are accessories, cutting bits, measuring tools, etc that can add hundreds before you even get started.
If you want to get a lathe, first try to determine high large a project you will be doing. There is a big difference in price between a 6” lathe and a 12” one. Remember; the stated swing of a lathe is measured at the headstock. If you turn between centers, the swing is reduced by almost half to allow for clearance over the saddle.

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bbasiaga

1009 posts in 1832 days


#6 posted 01-08-2017 09:07 PM

Check out www.littlemachineshop.com

They specialize in hobbyist size metal working. You can at least get an idea of what is out there, and they have some good package deals. I bought a lathemaster (now out of business), =8×14 which is the same as one currently offered by HF online. Its a good machine from lathemaster, though not sure about HF quality control on a machine like this.

THe lathemster 7x series are very popular hobbyist machines, and they have a built in variable speed that doesn’t require changing belts. A nice feature I wish mine had.

Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

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MrRon

4492 posts in 3080 days


#7 posted 01-09-2017 06:03 PM

The small Chinese made lathes can be used for small hobby projects, but don’t expect high precision. I call them diy kit lathes. They need a lot of tweaking and modifying to get them to work well. Typically, they have rough finish and may need sanding/grinding/filing/polishing to make them work smoothly. Obviously if cost is a major issue, a small lathe from HF or it’s other clones may be your only choice.

View Steve Peterson's profile

Steve Peterson

360 posts in 2919 days


#8 posted 01-09-2017 07:01 PM

I do mostly woodworking, but I find myself cutting down small metal objects at least once per month. I usually tackle if with a hacksaw and hand files. The results are often fairly crude. A milling machine would be nice to have.

My latest metalworking operation was to enlarge a couple of 3/4” holes in 3/4” thick aluminum plate to 1-1/8”. I decided to clamp the plate to my drill press and use a forstner bit with plenty of cutting fluid. My drill press is a floor standing 17” Steel City model. The drill bit wobbled around noticeably from the flex between the table, column, and drill press head. That is the same thing I see on the Grizzly lathe/mill. The tall steel post holding up the milling head does not look very strong. Milling metal requires high rigidity that the G0769 lacks. The lathe looks fine for a small lathe, but I would be unhappy with the milling machine.

-- Steve

View OSB's profile

OSB

147 posts in 363 days


#9 posted 01-09-2017 07:28 PM

I got to work with a shoptask machine for some time. It is a larger combo machine and I wouldn’t want one much smaller.

Comparing that to full sized separate mill and lathe, it is very very limited. It is kind of like having a trim router and an oscillating multi-tool compared to a shaper and a table saw.

View moke's profile

moke

1034 posts in 2613 days


#10 posted 01-17-2017 03:48 PM

Thank you all for responding….I was out of town for 10 days or so…in FL…it was awesome to get away from the ice and snow. I have a friend with a 100’ David Marlow boat and we went up and down the gulf coast for a week around St Pete, Sarasota area. Hey….somebody has to do it right?

I have a couple of issues…all my shop equipment has to be on wheels, so some big hunk of metal is not going to work. I have been following Craigslist for three or four years now. Eastern Iowa is no hotbed of used tools let me tell you and when something good is listed it is priced so high it’s ridiculous. Regularly thing are posted for above what you can buy them in the store for. So I have given up on American Iron for now.

I looked long and hard at Little Machine Shop machines, but arent they gear change? Do I want that? And I have to say it bothers me they charge for the Chip tray, it just seems like gouging. And Their lathes are beefed up Siegs right? Are they any good to begin with? Forgive my ignorance.

I really wont be using it a lot , but I am really into pen making and would like to make pens from scratch and I would like to make parts for jigs in my wood shop. My Dad was a lathe operator/machinist for 35 years and I have to say I really wasn’t a very good son, so I guess it might just be a way for me to feel better about myself by using some of his tools. Thank you for all your advice…
Mike

-- Mike

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Planeman40

1035 posts in 2598 days


#11 posted 01-18-2017 05:55 PM

Pretty much all small lathes are manual gear change. This is only necessary to do if you are cutting threads, which happens to the sometimes machinist rarely. Changing gears manually is a touch finicky and a little time consuming, but not a bad job.

And yes, to my eye the Little Machine Shop lathes are Seig machines. Seig sells lathes in various progressions of sizes and features. You can see them here: http://www.siegind.com/products.html

And I would think Grizzly’s lathes are all Chinese machines, probably Seigs painted green.

And in my opinion, I think the smallest Seigs have a bed that is a bit short. By the time you insert a chuck into the tailstock and then a drill of any size, there is very little room for the work. I would opt for the longer bed.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

6001 posts in 2036 days


#12 posted 01-18-2017 06:16 PM

Don’t know how far away it is from you, but here is a nice South Bend with a ton of accessories for less than that Griz you were considering: South Bend Lathe $1600 - East Dubuque

Has the gearbox for gear change, and it’s on a stock base with a ton of fairly expensive accessories.

But as mentioned, the gearing (manual or via levers) is only to change the speed of the cross feed for threading… different gears for different threads. For what you want to do, it doesn’t sound like you will be doing much threading, so that should not be a major concern IMO.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View unbob's profile

unbob

800 posts in 1740 days


#13 posted 01-18-2017 06:54 PM

The machine Mrunix linked would be near ideal for making pen parts as well as for making fixtures and many other things for your shop. A very easy machine to learn on. You could build a roller cart for it to be on, but metal machines are best set on the floor.
Grizzly does OK on the woodworking machines, the metal lathes smaller then around 15” swing are generally pretty bad.
I think often folks get carried away with tooling. One can get by just fine with a Four Jaw chuck, centers, drill chuck and some cutters.

View Planeman40's profile (online now)

Planeman40

1035 posts in 2598 days


#14 posted 01-18-2017 10:21 PM

Yep, that South Bend is nice. Try to visualize it cleaned up and painted! And it shows some collets in the background. It’d be great if it was all tooled up.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

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moke

1034 posts in 2613 days


#15 posted 01-19-2017 05:51 PM

Thanks Guys….
That South Bend is pretty much what I have been looking for and priced right…unfortunately I hurt myself again Tuesday night…..I have been fighting with a ruptured Achilles for a couple months and I think I tore it again in a fall on the ice…so I think I get to have another operation….so I am tied up for a while!!
Thank you though to everyone, especially Me Unix for finding that…I know exactly where it is too! &($#&(!!!!
Mike

-- Mike

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