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Thread: Choosing lathe - Grizzly question

  1. #1

    Choosing lathe - Grizzly question


    I am new here, an experienced woodworker, but beginner turner. I have been using a tiny variable speed lathe from Harbor Freight for several years, doing just a few things here and there, but now working on a budget for a large lathe. I will be looking at a budget of around 2000-2500 for the machine itself. I have spent the past few weeks watching *many* wood turning videos, to learn about technique, but also to check out various lathes. I've also spent time reading forums and reviews. I realize this kind of question has been asked many times, but I have a specific one at the end

    For a while, the Nova Galaxi DVR was at the top of my list. That's really the one I was most interested in, especially since I'd like that drill press too, having been disappointed by my Powermatic, but that one bad review that is floating around out there (and the response to my direct question to the manufacturer on that subject) has completely cooled me in terms of quality of support. I looked at the Laguna Revo 18/36, but it's too far up there in terms of cost, and seems to have dubious support as well.

    So I keep coming back to Jet and my current thinking is that when the time comes, I will be going for either the 1640EVS or the 1840EVS (I am equipped with 220V and already running machines on that). They seem like excellent lathes, with good standard accessories, and good support from Jet. I have been burned before by receiving lemons or machines that don't perform as expected so I don't want to be on my own for something of that price. I'm pretty unlucky with that on average so I won't leave it up to chance.

    The specific questions: Grizzly just popped up recently for me as an alternative. I looked at the G0766 for a larger, future proof, powerful lathe at a similar cost to the Jet 1640 (too bad I didn't decide this a couple years ago). What bugs me is this: I have watched videos from 3, maybe 4 turners with that lathe (including Stephen Ogle), turning several projects, and what jumps out at me every single time is that they are unbalanced, out of round, have too much run out, whatever it might be called, it seems that no matter how long they true up their bowls or their spindles, I can still see and hear the wobble, tchak-tchak-tchak. Even during sanding. And I'm not seeing the same thing with other lathes, Jet, Laguna, PM etc. etc.

    I see a bunch of satisfied owners on this forum, so I want to I seeing/hearing things? Any points of view?


  2. #2
    I have had my G0766 for a little over a year now. I am very happy with my decision to go with that over a smaller more expensive lathe. I have no noticeable wobble in my lathe. Even when turning heavy out of balance blanks my lathe does not bounce around just a little shaking until i get it close to round. In my opinion if you are ok with making your own repairs there is no reason to not consider a grizzly. Some of the extra cost for the more expensive brands is for the convenience of them supplying a repair man to make the occasional warranty repair.

  3. I was probably one of the first 3 people who got the G0766 when it first came out. I have been very happy with my lathe. It is likely the best bang for the buck for a large lathe out there. Its features rival the PM3520b, which is called the gold standard, I suppose because of the paint color. I've turned on many 3520b's that belong to friends and clubs I've done demos for. My G0766 will run with the PM3520b all day long!

    I've also turned on a number of Jet 1642 evs units. Same deal. Performance of the G0766 is as good as any lathe from Tiawan or China, in my opinion. 3 hp motor, premium Delta Electronics "M" series inverter which is more advanced than the Delta S-1 inverter on the Powermatic lathes and Laguna lathes. 22" swing, and they have pretty much ironed out any bugs the G0766 had with a small handful of units when they first came out.

    I had a previous model G0698 18/47 lathe, which I sold to one of our turning clubs, and after 13 years, being used regularly, it has been a reliable workhorse without any issues. I also have a Grizzly G0800 in my shop. It is a beast for sure, and high performance. I have turned on the Robust American Beauty, and the Serious SL2542 experience is not just with one or two lathes.......I have broad experience, and sell my turnings at galleries. I put my machines through their paces with heavy wood, and the G0766 will certainly hold its own with many much higher priced machines.

    Any lathe will have vibrations or walk with heavy unbalanced wood mounted, so its best to try to cut out your blank to be as balanced as you can. Weight can be added for additional ballast with some boards on the leg castings, and some sand bags. One of our clubs uses two 5 gal buckets with sand on the 3520b for ballast on a wooden shelf in the leg castings.

    Given the choice of a Jet 18" lathe and a 22" Grizzly, I'd take the Grizzly any day.......all three of my Grizzly lathes have been winners, had lots of wood put on them, and performance has been I've had the added perk of getting the most lathe for the best value of lathes made overseas. I know what great lathe performance is, and I'm really happy with both my G0766 and my G0800.

    Good luck with your choice!
    Remember, in a moments time, everything can change!

    Vision - not just seeing what is, but seeing what can be!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Kapolei Hawaii
    If I read your post correct, and you think you're unlucky not getting a lemon, you may have answered your own question about paying for customer service. Me, I have a Jet 1642 2hp, well over 5 years, I can't exactly remember. My Tachometer died (early), and it took a phone call and they sent me a new one. Easy to change. Other than that I've had no problems. I'd expect the same for new models. Good luck in your search. I know its a hard choice. I had the same concerns.

  5. #5
    Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate it. I've read your posts before, and while it definitely looks good to me on paper, I'm having trouble dispelling the worry over what I've seen on video unfortunately. Not so worried about the weight of the lathe or having it walk around. It's unlikely I would actually turn a lot of big unbalanced blanks, as I'm more interested in segmented turning, but what I see on those videos seems to me like additional runout at the head compared to others I've seen on bowls or spindles that are already trued up. I have no way to try one out in person. I'll continue to watch as more videos become available.

  6. #6
    Basically I don't want to get a lathe that is out of whack and be left with a boat anchor because of poor customer service or have to return a 500 pound machine. I also don't want something that doesn't run quite true and always be annoyed when I run it, and told that it's "within spec", which is the worry I get when I actually see those G0766 run (not in person, granted).

  7. I have no idea where you got an idea that the runout with a G0766 is worse than any PM lathe or Jet lathe. My G0766 spindle runs true, and there are other causes of runout......likely a chuck insert that was not seated correctly. I have had Nova chuck inserts that had to be replaced because of runout, and there are to my belief a set of tolerances that some chuck manufacturers deem as "acceptable" and it is not necessarily the spindle on the lathe. I will say that there are a couple of videos online where a woman beats the dickens out of her G0766, and if that is the video you are relying upon, then I would highly encourage you to not take her word for the issues she claims......she calls herself an "expert by now" but in my opinion has no qualifications at all when it comes to lathes........she got a Laguna after she got the G0766, and out of the box started tearing it down. I think her setup of the lathe was not correct in either situation, and she doesn't know what she is doing .........take things like that with a grain of salt, and an aspirin!

    You will not find the Grizzly lathes to have any more problems than other makes, and perhaps less! I've seen Jets and Powermatics that had to have inverters and motors replaced, lots of switch problems, and on I could go, but they are fine lathes, and so is the Grizzly! Some things are normal wear and tear, and some people use the "herc and jerk, and bam and slam" techniques with their equipment..........use proper techniques, set up your machine correctly, and you likely will find any make will serve you well!
    Remember, in a moments time, everything can change!

    Vision - not just seeing what is, but seeing what can be!

  8. #8
    I haven't seen the video you mention but now I think I want to!

  9. David, please know that I'm not trying to sell you on a Grizzly lathe. I have no affiliation with Grizzly other that having a good experience with them and my Grizzly lathes and bandsaw. I know this however, there are plenty of folks who for one reason or another seem to not give Grizzly a fair shake. Many years ago, the Grizzly lathes were not near what they are now days, and the upper end machines are state of the art. ......made by some of the same manufacturers that make the Jets and Powermatics and Lagunas. Being fairly new to turning, you would not know that, but the manufacturers make for different vendors like PM, Laguna and Grizzly Industrial.

    Many of the same parts can be found on all makes.........just so you know. Good luck with your research!

    By the way.........where are you located. There might just be a G0766 owner within a reasonable distance from you who would allow you to personally see the lathe, take it for a spin, and see for yourself what a fine machine it is!
    Last edited by Roger Chandler; 07-25-2019 at 8:27 PM.
    Remember, in a moments time, everything can change!

    Vision - not just seeing what is, but seeing what can be!

  10. #10
    Thanks. I haven't really paid attention to a "bad" review of the lathe. I have only watched experienced turners make things, because I'm learning with every video I watch, and found that on those videos the lathe doesn't seem to be running as smooth as what I've seen on other vids, which is why I'm asking, because I want the lathe to actually be a good deal even at its current price, as it gives me a good alternative at a good price, especially with a 10% code. Perhaps those turners have a less than perfect chuck, or they didn't level it properly, or perhaps what I'm seeing is normal. I'm well used to clones. I'm getting towards 50 and have been around I do have a Grizzly machine, a jointer, and it's been working as well as anything else, while I have never really been happy with my expensive Powermatic drill press. My Harbor Freight metal bandsaw has been working well too! My bandsaw is a Rikon, and my table saw a Ridgid, so I'm all over and not a "brand" person. I am also very mechanically oriented. I can pull an engine out of a car and rebuild it, and build electronic circuits as well (I'm a web developer).

    I'm in Tucson, AZ. Not the easiest place for wood unfortunately. Not much around here and everything on Craig's list is old rusted, overpriced junk.

  11. Maybe a turner in Arizona will see your post and invite you to kick the tires for yourself........hopefully anyway!
    Remember, in a moments time, everything can change!

    Vision - not just seeing what is, but seeing what can be!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    San Diego, Ca
    David, I think that you may have jumped to a wrong conclusion regarding Steve Ogle's video. When a person is turning a piece of wood that is not oriented like a spindle with end-grain running lengthwise, there will be parts of the wood that are soft and hard, side grain followed by end grain. That is what you heard. There was also a recent series of three videos by a younger woman who thought that she had a bad spindle in a Powermatic, a Jet (?) and a Grizzly. Yes, she thought that she had three consecutive bad spindles in high end lathes. It was pretty clear that she didn't (in my opinion) know what she was doing and how to measure the runout of the spindle. In one of the videos, her poor technique of putting in the new bearings likely damaged the bearing. So, don't put a lot of confidence in some of these videos. Remember the old adage: "a little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing".

    When you think of it, even if a spindle or chuck has a bunch of run out, like a jaw way out of position, after you have turned a cylinder, the surface of the chunk of wood will be running "on axis".

    I have measured the runout on my spindle (I own a G0766) using a dial indicator and it is basically immeasurable (meaning essentially zero).

    I recall that there is a Woodcraft store in Tucson, perhaps they'll let you try out some of their lathes. Bring your dial indicator and magnetic base to measure the runout.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Cambridge Vermont
    I've had my G0766 for over a year now and it's done everything I've wanted. The only problem I had was one one of the pulleys there's 3 magnets for the tachometer. They look to be cemented in place. One was loose. I noticed it because there's a nut that holds the pulley in place that was loose. The nut has a keeper so it wouldn't come loose so I'm guessing the pulley wasn't completely in place when the keeper was bent over to lock the nut in place. While adjusting the nut I noticed the magnet and pushed on it. As I did it slid deeper into the pulley and too deep for the tach pickup to read it so the display was reading 1/3 low. Grizzly promptly sent me a new one.

    One thing about Grizzle (and a few other brands) is that if you have a problem they will work with you but it helps if you're handy and don't mind doing the repair. Grizzly customer support was fine to deal with. I like Laguna but their customer service seamed to be questionable.

    As for out of balanced work I've always just set the speed just under the point where it starts to vibrate the lathe. As the work starts to take shape it wont be as out of balanced. One thing you have to remember is that you will most likely be turning greed wood. Even if you rough a bowl so it's symmetrical it could still be out of balance because of the moisture in the bowl. In fact, while turning green wood, the centrifugal force from the spinning of the lathe will drive the water from the work. I've had water on my lathe bed, the wall behind it, the ceiling above it and me.

  14. #14
    Thanks Brice. Yes, there's a Woodcraft. I've checked out the lathes on their site and it doesn't seem like they have anything on display! Maybe I'll drop by if I'm in the area.

  15. #15
    Alex, thanks for the feedback.

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