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    Default Modern (current) South Bend/Grizzly

    Hello guys! I know most of y'all are lenient towards old iron (can't blame you), however I can see on the internet that South Bend is still selling lathes and mills on the Grizzly webpage, and they are not too overly expensive. I know that you get what you pay for, but has anybody here any experience with these machines (SB or Grizzly)? I really don't see many reviews that don't come from hobbyists.

    Can you actually make reliable money on these machines for manual machining work? What may be the lifespan of these units working on a busy commercial shop?

    Thanks for your input!

    Luis

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    Some on here have, ...and while I could be wrong, I can't remember anyone with much good to say about them - much less sing their praises.

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    We hope the good design of the SB will rub off on the grizz not the other way round, but it is tough to make a machine for a budget price. And the important features are the ones you can’t see.
    You would have to have a test report from a seasoned guy who had used an old iron or a top-grade machine.
    Small machines are pricy..but larger great machines are bargain priced..yes, you have to suffer high power electric bills and some are slow for small work and aluminum..

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    My understanding is South Bend has nothing to do with any machines made today. They went bankrupt in 2009 and Grizzly bought the legal rights to use their name. So these are just run of the mill made in china tools. In theory Grizzly inspects them a little better at the factory and requires better tolerances but who knows how that works.
    Bill D.

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    How many of you have run a South Bend from Grizzly? I think most are like Bill D., repeating what has been posted on the "innernet". My old lathes are old American iron and are great, but if I needed a "new" lathe I would look at a Taiwanese lathe. Some of my friends have various Grizzly lathes and I've played with them. I do like them. The good 'ol American iron is getting hard to find in good shape. Of course most of my work is gunsmith related and a clunker lathe with a true running spindle is good enough for a winning chamber job.

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    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.“

    Benjamin Franklin


    Grizzly 0824 14 x 40 2" bore lathe...3 months old....issues since new

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    Well that rounds the whole "you get what you pay for" concept. When you need the most uptime in your manual machines, what direction do you go? Old machines in good shape are becoming harder to find, and to invest the time to rebuild one to modern day specs may be so time consuming that you must be damn sure you'll keep it busy enough to return your investment. Aside from a big Kingston, a 1660-class lathe and a toolroom (Hardinge clone) are good ones to have. Guess the same would go for a milling machine and a few grinders.

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    It sucks when you not only have to think as a machinist, but also as a manager and an accountant (sigh)

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    I have a SB1049F 13X30 that is about 5 years old that is a nicely made Taiwanese machine. Fit and finish is excellent and it has been trouble free. I have not seen any of the South Bend labeled machines that do not say made in Taiwan on them nor do they look like Chinese machines. I have had an early ENCO, a Chinese 12/36
    and a Rockwell 12/40 and the South Bend is much better quality including the Rockwell. I have used a Victor 14/40 that could of been built in the same factory by comparison. The scraping on the compound ways is well done and the headstock gears look to be ground well and after several years the gear teeth look to be polished on the contact surfaces. This lathe weighs right at 2000LBS and runs very smooth and is quiet enough in all the gear ranges to be able to talk to someone standing next to it without raising my voice. The wiring is well done and the contractors and switches are from AB and the headstock bearings are NSK. It certainly is not a 10EE but a very nice lathe. Giizzly's customer service has been excellent for what little I have needed and the Springfield warehouse is a couple of hours away. The only downside I have with the SB is it is only an 8 speed so I will add a VFD and 3phase motor in the fall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Turbowerke View Post
    Well that rounds the whole "you get what you pay for" concept. When you need the most uptime in your manual machines, what direction do you go? Old machines in good shape are becoming harder to find, and to invest the time to rebuild one to modern day specs may be so time consuming Aside from a big Kingston, a 1660-class lathe and a toolroom (Hardinge clone) are good ones to have. Guess the same would go for a milling machine and a few grinders.

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    Unless you're on some type of very specialised work,(not to mention really know what you are doing) in this day and age it is highly unlikely you will see much of a ROI on a manual engine lathe through what it produces.

    The only way you will see any sort of ROI will be on resale value, ….and only then will you know whether the machine was a good buy.

    Just my 2 cents - based on over 50 years running manual machines in small shops.

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    Do any of you guys bother to read the machinery discussion guidelines at the top....???

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    Quote Originally Posted by Limy Sami View Post
    Unless you're on some type of very specialised work,(not to mention really know what you are doing) in this day and age it is highly unlikely you will see much of a ROI on a manual engine lathe through what it produces.

    The only way you will see any sort of ROI will be on resale value, ….and only then will you know whether the machine was a good buy.

    Just my 2 cents - based on over 50 years running manual machines in small shops.
    It's highly specialized. Power plants around my area have derelict machine shops thay haven't used in a few decades. It is up to us to rebuild/restore turbomachinery parts to keep the old steam dogs running. Not a whole lot you can do with a cnc machine.

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    1. The guidelines are about the size/use of the machine - and OP is clearly trying to stay out of "hobbyist" territory.

    2. Grizzly (which also owns the soutbend brand) is a kind of aggregator/distributor of relatively variable stuff. Meaning a model abc1 might be quite subpar while a model abc2 might be quite good.

    3. Having dug through that, I bought an SB1012F 14x40 lathe. I'm not a commercial shop, but it gets used by me, a swarm of robotics students, and various of my associates (well, in the before time.) The gearbox can be clunky, and the DRO is a touch coarse, but for what I (we) have done it has been fine. It is nothing like the PRC machines I've seen. Search for that model and you'll find other folks on PM who've had OK results with it. I would think for any business where you are doing repairs, working to fit to another part, doing second ops, it should be fine. But I'm mostly a mill guy.

    4. It's quite unlikely that any of the other taiwan machines would be much different. There are no practically priced new machines made in the US so far as I could tell. If you need/want to buy new, you're going to end up with an eastern Euro or Taiwanese machine. (Weiler apparently still actually exists but seems hard to find....)

    By the way I'm sick to death of the "buy a good used machine" because that process was just nuts in my area - people who list machines they didn't own, or change their minds about selling at all (let alone price), one ad listed a phone number for some (unhappy) folks who didn't own the machine in question and were befuddled about why their number was in the ad.

    5. Having visited the Grizzly showroom in bellingham, yes, the SB branded machines are a higher standard of fit and finish than the Grizzly branded machines (and more money as you would expect), and from what I saw, they *seemed* less variable - that is, I would guess that say a larger or smaller machine in the line my SB1012F came from might be an OK risk.

    6. Be sure to get (either in the package or ordered at the same time) any machine specific accessories (taper attachment, steady rest, follow rest) - because after a model change these may be hard to buy. Things that fit to standards (e.g. the D1-6 camlock chucks) don't have this problem.

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    A little more research shows that Grizzly branded machines may have spindle bearings made by real companies you have heard of. Seems that Grizzly sources the bearings from Japan or Europe and delivers them to the factory. I read SKF and NTN have supplied some bearings in the past.
    Bill D.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChipSplitter View Post
    Do any of you guys bother to read the machinery discussion guidelines at the top....???
    The OP did not mention the size of lathe and he is working in a busy commercial shop ……………... have you bothered to read the machinery discussion guidelines?????

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    I was very surprised to hear my brother say that he started buying the Clausing brand of lathes, talking about the latest ones, for his department at the place he works at. They are Taiwan made. They cut a lot of heavy iron like H-13, 4140/45 heat treat and so forth and they hold up very well. Like he said, after 5-8 years it's time to replace them and buy new ones to take their place. Throw away machines! With all of the safety concerns that companies have today, you cannot afford to buy used old school equipment. That's why people like me wind up with that stuff! Always have to be reconditioned/rebuilt, before the switch can be turned on.

    Another brand to consider is the new line of LeBlond lathes. I believe they are made in Taiwan, too. Ken

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D View Post
    A little more research shows that Grizzly branded machines may have spindle bearings made by real companies you have heard of. Seems that Grizzly sources the bearings from Japan or Europe and delivers them to the factory. I read SKF and NTN have supplied some bearings in the past.
    Bill D.
    That is nice to hear, maybe finding a good sales rep that can answer those kind of questions and actually set you up with a heavier machine that was legit built properly will be good.

    Keeping it well oiled and being careful to not crash it or drop stuff on it will make it run longer too, although yes, in the end when it just wears out and cannot hold tolerances it'll just have to be discarded. Maybe will get a good deal selling it by the pound haha.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4GSR View Post

    Another brand to consider is the new line of LeBlond lathes. I believe they are made in Taiwan, too. Ken
    I am surprised that they still make them, I would highly doubt they'd jeopardize their heritage and reputation by selling junk now.

    It really doesn't matter where they're made as long as the materials, fit and finish are at the same quality standard as before. I can see they are not as heavy as the previous ones, but certainly manufacturing technology has come far enough to still be able to deliver a good product.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Limy Sami View Post
    The OP did not mention the size of lathe and he is working in a busy commercial shop ……………... have you bothered to read the machinery discussion guidelines?????
    Yes Sami, I have...

    I just thought it seemed dangerously close to the precipice, (read-- HSM or the Zone).


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    Quote Originally Posted by ChipSplitter View Post
    Yes Sami, I have...

    I just thought it seemed dangerously close to the precipice, (read-- HSM or the Zone).

    Close isn't over

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