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Thread: Smithy Lathe quality
05-18-2003, 10:47 PM #1Hodges Inc Guest
I run a auto repair shop and want to add a metal lathe. Will not be used every day but I don't want a piece of junk. Wondering what kind of quality the Smithy is.
05-18-2003, 11:29 PM #2
Piece of junk.
05-19-2003, 12:08 AM #3J Tiers Guest
Without wanting to debate the import vs whatever thing, I suggest that the best bet on service, quality, etc in that arena is probably Grizzly.
Their woodworking stuff is quite usable, I know several people who use it. The metalworking stuff will be certainly no worse than, probably better in the setup and detail area than, the others, and the company is solid and has a reputation.
I have heard that at least one of the others (can't remember which, but they mostly sell the combo machines) just ignores complaints, and deletes bad comments from its on-line discussion group routinely. Don't think I would want to get involved with such an outfit, but your mileage may vary.
05-19-2003, 05:42 AM #4D. Thomas GuestI have heard that at least one of the others (can't remember which, but they mostly sell the combo machines) just ignores complaints, and deletes bad comments from its on-line discussion group routinely. Don't think I would want to get involved with such an outfit, but your mileage may vary.
05-19-2003, 10:34 AM #5
invest in top quality, not junk!
05-19-2003, 01:48 PM #6J Tiers Guest
D, that sounds right.
Still think if you are gonna go import new, the "green bear" has more resources and interest in quality and support from what I have seen and heard.
05-19-2003, 02:39 PM #7
Are you talking about the Smithy BZ-239 lathe or are you asking about a Smithy 3in1 machine. They make both kinds. The BZ-239 lathe is a 12 x 39 gearhead lathe that costs $2695. I have always thought that Smithy charged a premium for their stuff, but, then, some people think it is worth the price. If I were shopping for a lathe, I think I would look at the Grizzly (you could get the 13 x 40 for that), Enco, WT or even the HF versions for less money. I think they would all work about as well as the Smithy.
05-19-2003, 11:34 PM #8
I'd advise you to look at privately owned used lathes. A good chance that there would be some tooling with it. There's a good one out there,it only took me 15yrs.to find mine.
05-20-2003, 06:55 AM #9
I own a Smithy Granite. It works but loose fits all over. For the price I wouldn't buy again. For your use a good brand used machine would be a better bet I think.I've never owned a Grizzly but the quality seems equal and the price half of a Smithy so maybe a better choice if your going import. Don't misunderstand thr quality of the Smithy isn't awful it does what I need but the setups have to take in to consideration its week points if you want accuracy. A lot of slop in parts. some you can adjust out other you have to compensate for.Good Luck!
05-21-2003, 07:50 PM #10Hodges conoco Guest
Thanks to all. cant find used ones in this area but cant afford to buy American made new ---dont really know what to do but thanks
05-22-2003, 04:03 AM #11
What area....? you might be supprised what people can point out. Don't try to solve all your problms youself at once.... like the manly art of asking directions.
What area are you in? How far are you willing to travel? and how much/how can you load?
It is worth asking and using that to compare....
05-22-2003, 10:52 PM #12D. Thomas Guest
Yep, the usual secret location...maybe he's with the CIA....or in prison...
05-22-2003, 11:11 PM #13Hodges Inc Guest
sorry no secret location here. Live in the center of Nebraska, north of North Platte. Would appreciate any help.
05-23-2003, 12:25 AM #14
I own a Shoptask Eldorado Quadralift and for the money I think it's very useable.
Far better than the Grizzly which is a horribly limited machine as a mill. HAving said that, I now also have a Sheldon WM56-P and a Sharp HMV which means that the Shoptask gets no use. But for a guy wanting something small which runs on 120 single phase, the Shoptask is a good deal. Haven't seen a Smithy, but they too are clearly very limited as a mill - very small milling footprint and flexible round column mill head. FWIW
05-23-2003, 08:56 AM #15
Inspected a used Smithy lathe a couple of months ago. The chap who had it was a real craftsman. He had carried out necessary repairs/modifications and was doing really nice work on it. He had the skill to put the lathe into the condition it SHOULD have been in, out of the factory. After his mods, the lathe was probably a decent machine.