Lathe for Hobby Gunsmithing
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Valley City, ND, USA
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    I am looking at the Grizzly 12"X37" Belt Drive Gap Bed Lathe G9249.
    Here is the deal. My parent have decided to give me a Grizzly mill/lathe Model G4791 for my birthday (I know I am very, very lucky) and I don't want to turn them down. But I do want to get a lathe that is capable of doing some barrel work. It sounds like the lack of slow speed on the G4791 is going to be a problem so I am looking at a Lathe only Grizzly G9249.
    I don't need to be able to build a rifle that would win the Super Shoot but I don't want build myself junk either.

    My other problems in getting this is I am going to have a hard time saying "I don't want a Grizzly I want an XYZ" You know kind of like looking a gift horse in the mouth. Also I know nothing about lathes so it would be next to impossible for me to look at a used lathe and determione if it was any good.

    So I guess what I am asking is of the Lathes Grizzly makes is one exceptable for hobby/home gunsmith work and if so which one. Here are the one I am looking at:
    G9249
    G4002
    G4003

    Thanks in advance.
    Jeff in ND

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Albany, OR 97321
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    Jeff, I don't own any of the three lathes you listed, so I'm going by catalog only, but here're my observations:
    A belt drive that costs as much as similarly sized, same manufacturer, gear-head is probably a better machine. That said, the two gear heads have camlock spindles, which are nicer to work with. All three have 1-7/16" spindle bores, which should be fine unless you're looking at super-heavy barrels or large caliber (.75+) muzzle loaders.
    I'd probably pick the 9249 out of the three.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Valley City, ND, USA
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    Thanks for the info both here and in personal e-mail.

    I think I am going to go with the Grizzly 12"X37" Belt Drive Gap Bed Lathe G9249 and start learning and having some fun.

    Good Hunting
    Jeff in ND

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Flagstaff, Arizona USA
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    Hello,
    Nothing wrong with belt drive. That's what the Hardinge toolroom lathes are. I work on gear head and belt drives daily. I think the belt drives cause less vibration. You don't have gears beating againist each other. Another point to consider. For rifle barrel work you need to consider the quality of the lathe spindle bearings and tailstock. A small weak tailstock will not hold a reamer in proper alignment. My I suggest checking out the Birmingham, Sharp or Clausing lathes. Just my thoughts.
    Larry

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    alvaton,ky
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    jeff.....u will be using a piloted reamer w/ some type of floating drive ,sophisticated, or as primitive as leaving t/stock loose & feeding w/ ur right hand , but a morse 3 t/stock makes a big diff.hanging on to a good size drillbit (or chuck holding one)
    best wishes
    docn8as

  6. #6
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    Jan 2003
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    La Porte, TX
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    I have a similar machine. Most likely you will need some one to rework the tail stock because it will not center. Also, to keep bed flex to a minimum, you will need to build your own stand out of heavy steel. Build in a coolant system in the new stand. You will need it. Then level it.

    Thanks
    Chris

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Valley City, ND, USA
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    Ended up going with the 13X40 Gear head from Enco based on a few local guys that have this model and the fact it was on sale ($2495 with free shipping).
    Should be here in a couple weeks.
    I am sure I will have a bunch of questions once I actually start trying to set it up and use it.
    Thanks
    Jeff in ND


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