Like to get some feedback on this piece of equipment. Likes, dislikes, limits, etc. I know it would be better to have individual pieces of equipment. Due to space and money is this a good alternative?
Grizzly G9729 Combo mill/drill/lathe.
i owned one...
I liked mine, and it's a great "shop" machine.. just not the best gunsmithing machine
Sold it to a gent working on cars, and I believe he'll have a lifetime of good service from that.
good threading selection
no 4 jaw (this might have changed since i got mine)
main gears are nylon AND a bitch to get to.
mill travel is too short for table. You have to have a fairly tall vise to be able to use the mill
LIGHT (75# including vise) mill table load
Did I mention the gears? Threading with this can/will strip the nylon gears.
2 big complaints
1: impossible to lock mill head square without mods
2: mill quill travel too short compared to rest of machine.
If you get one, build up a fortal spacer to put your vice on, get a 4" aftermarket vise. Buy some import parallels and use them to drill and tap the column so you can bolt the quill square to the table.
Save your $$$$$$$ and buy a good lathe , You will need a lathe more than a mill. Most of your mill work can be done by hand.
I bought a new one in 2005. I love this machine. I have a friend who was a machinist for over 35 years and has taught me a lot about using both the lathe and mill.
We have built several turkey/ham shoot barrels as well as several turkey chokes and have never had any problems.
I am set up in my garage and still have room for a couple of welders, torches, a Harley, and lots of other tools. It really saves space and works great. It is a pleasure to use.
By the way, a positive attitude and a "can do" approach can overcome some inadequacies in machines and life itself.
I bought mine 5-6 years ago and I absolutely hate it.
I am not a machinist so the inadequacies in the machine were too much for me to handle. I have a hard enough time just trying to figure out the proper way to get something done, much less have to try to work around the limitations of the machine.
I agree with Honeyboy that the inadequacies can be overcome. I just didn't like doing that.
Hope this helps.
I had a combo by a sister company of theirs. At the right price the lathe was a serious keeper, I like a big swing, which it had, and it was beefier in many ways than similar sized and priced lathes, though not necesarilly in ways the gunsmith would appreciate. The mill was in the way and too light to be useful.
The majority of these tools seem to follow that pattern. Whatever good one can say about them as individual tools the mill seems to be a missmatch for the lathe it's attached to. The lathe tends to be bigger because it is the base, and it's CS is the mill's table. So you get a decent lathe, but the mill is a joke.
I don't know what a survey would reveal, but my set of interests is such that while I can get by without a mill to some extent, whatever size lathe I have, when I add the mill it tends to need to be a bigger tool, not smaller. I could get by with a 9" lathe and a Bridgeport more easily than a really large lathe and a table top mill.
I have one and have done a lot of stuff with it mostly gunsmith projects. It works good for barrel work. you need a 4" swivel base vise to get close to the quill. The mill is fine for small work. It a hell of alot better than what I had before which was no lathe or mill. I haven't had any gear trouble mine must have steel gears cause I have stalled the motor or slipped the belt a few times. Jon
I still love my G9729.
If I were going to do production work, I wouldn't have bought this machine. However, for a home-use, hobby machine, I don't think it can be beat. I find it so easy and convenient to use. You need a lot of patience to use any lathe or mill. Some jobs are tricky no matter how good your equipment is. But, that's part of the enjoyment--learnig to figure things out as you go.
Another thing to consider is the people you purchase your equipment from and the services they offer. Grizzly folks have always been super friendly and helpful to me. To me, that means a great deal. They remind of the folks at Brownell's. Every time I have ever dealt with either of these two companies, I felt like I was talking a good friend. They are very cordial and pleasant to deal with. As I said before, that means a great deal to me.
By the way, my G9729 does not have nylon gears. They are steel and seem very durable.