My Grizzly 9 x 20 lathe
Yes I broke down and purchased a lathe. No I haven't given up on the Gingery. I just had some projects that needed done and as usual no time to do it all. I gave this a lot of thought and decided that the larger 9 x 20 lathe would be a better choice than the popular 7 x 12 lathes. You can get the 920 from Grizzly, Harborfreight, Ence and Jet as well as many other sources. They are all basically the same machine. The difference is price, package content and customer service. I originally ordered a lathe from Harborfreight. Typical of them it was out of stock for over 6 weeks and it took 2 weeks to tell me that. So Grizzly got my business.
Actually been here for several weeks now. Some info for those considering this machine. Comes pretty complete with lathe, pan, splash guard, 3 jaw, 4 jaw (basic but works), faceplate, steady & follow rests, dead centers, live center, change gears and tools (junk). Grizzly has the specs. I ordered 3/8 tooling and some HSS bits from Harborfreight. Was disappointed to find no drill chuck so got one from Grizzly with a boring bar and some dies. Its a pretty complete package except for the drill chuck.
Some early impressions. Its pretty much as people claim. A nice affordable machine that needs some tweaking. It has done everything I have asked so far, but my skills are limited with metal lathes. I was disappointed to find no drill chuck but the included accessories should prove very functional for most hobby use. This one was pretty clean out of the box and needed only minor adjustments to get running. I did have to redo them after some run in but I suspect that's normal. .I also had to true up the chuck back plate and faceplate. They were about .005 out. Spindle run out is almost not detectable and the MT3 bore seems dead on. I still need to do a taper turning test to check the tail stock. I
March 16 2007 - Some more thoughts
So far I have been very impressed with the machine. I have made a lot of parts all of which have come out well. Or to the best of my ability any way :)
I did have to replace the half nuts this past week. The originals are some form of zinc die casting. The new ones from Grizzly are brass/bronze die castings. I hope they will hold up a little longer.
I have done some more clean up of the machine. While replacing the half nuts I also replaced the gib screws and have done some clean up on the carriage casting. It was rougher than I had remembered from my initial inspection. With my increased experience I felt more comfortable scraping the mating surface. Will see how well I did. It does seem to move better than before.
Yes I have completed some more of the projects below I am hoping to get them documented shortly.
Steve Bedairs WEB site has plenty of good info and detail on many of these mods.
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