Jet vs. Grizzly

Frank Fusco

Member
Messages
12,541
Location
Mountain Home, Arkansas
Chris, good comparison. I was a die-hard Dodge truck fan until last year when my differential went out then a few months later the transmission. I've lost a bunch of confidence in Dodges as a result. Not unlike a cheating girlfriend. I have a friend who has a Nova DVR. He bought used but had seen very little service, however out of warranty. In the first few months of ownership, the head had to be shipped back to Nova for motor repairs. Shipping charges were very high, blood pressure higher. They didn't get it working until fourth time. Made me a bit Nova-wary. That's probably a very rare occurrence considering the Nova reputation, but with my good experiences with Grizzly service, currently, that's where my confidence lies.
 

Vaughn McMillan

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
34,595
Location
ABQ NM
As for power, as far as I know, Griz only offers the 2 hp, 220V model. ...
I was basing my comments on the 1 1/2 hp they mentioned on their website. If it's another misprint like the steel bed, then the 2 HP even sweetens the deal.

My lathe is like a girlfriend I wouldn't mind dumping, but she gets by OK, so it's better to keep her around than to be single again. I still remember how bad that can be. The whole singles lathe/bar scene is really bad these days. :rolleyes: Anyway, when a better lathe comes along, I'll not be too heartbroken leaving this old one behind. :D
 

Frank Fusco

Member
Messages
12,541
Location
Mountain Home, Arkansas
ded hoss actually revived

Got home from my rendezvous ( report with photos later) and checked some of my considerable backlog of e-mails. Below is this surprising note from Grizzly. BTW, even though I'm dissapointed with the results of their report, I do respect their honesty. This Grizz model is still in the running.
"Dear Mr. Fusco,

I am writing in regard to your recent email communication.

First, I apologize for the misinformation you were provided regarding this lathe. As you mentioned, the bed of the lathe is advertised online as well as in our catalog as being precision milled steel, while the specification sheet for this machine listed the bed as being made of precision ground cast iron.

You were previously informed that the catalog and online advertisements were incorrect, and that the bed was made of precision ground cast iron. This was incorrect information, and we regret having provided it to you.

In fact, your question prompted us to investigate this matter further, and we have not only determined that the bed of the lathe is indeed precision milled steel, but that our specification sheet is incorrect. (The catalog and online advertisements are accurate, contrary to the information you were previously provided.)

As a token of our appreciation for bringing this error to our attention, we have mailed you a Gift Certificate in the amount of $50.00.

We truly appreciate your patronage, and look forward to continuing our relationship with you. Thank you again for bringing this error to our attention, and for giving us the opportunity to correct it.

Please note, I left a message for you at your home phone number, but was advised you were out of town until next week; please disregard the message as it was regarding this issue.

If we may be of any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us. You are a highly valued customer, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

Jane Brion
Supervisor, Customer Service
Grizzly Industrial, Inc."
 

Bart Leetch

Member
Messages
3,206
Location
Clinton, Washington on Whidbey Island
So if the bed is stiff enough to do the job what difference if it is precision milled steel. The bed of my 1930's Delta double duty lathe is steel & it seems to work fine.

I realize that we are used to seeing cast iron beds but what would keep a steel bed from working ok if the material is thick enough & doesn't flex?:):wave:
 
Last edited:

Vaughn McMillan

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
34,595
Location
ABQ NM
Good to see Grizz followed up with a real person's response, not a machine's. (I'm not surprised though, considering their reputation for customer service.)

So this gets us back to the basic question, directed to any of you who know more about this stuff than me: Is cast iron supposed to be better than steel? If so, why?
 

tod evans

Member
Messages
4,982
Location
ozarks
: Is cast iron supposed to be better than steel? If so, why?

it really depends on the construction.....a properly designed steel bed can undoubtedly be as stiff or stiffer than cast iron....but sheer mass is what dampens vibrations or harmonics....so if the company designing the lathe(or any equipment) uses a comparable amount of mass designed properly i`d think that steel would prove superior.....and quite a bit more expensive.
 

Stuart Ablett

Member
Messages
15,917
Location
Tokyo Japan
I've been doing some reading on this subject, as it interest me. I'm posting my opinions and thoughts here, if I'm way off base, I'm sure some kind soul will come along and set me right :D

For something like the bed of a lathe, cast iron is about the best cost performance material you can find.

It is easily produced, and machined, it has a high strength to weight ratio, and once a design is made, this casting can be repeated many many times, so your investment pays off, that being said, changing or tweaking the casting is not a big deal, as the form that the mold is made from can easily be altered. For example, lets say a certain part of the casting, over years of use, starts to fail, a section or an area that was just a bit too thin, well, this can easily be updated on the original form, material added to make the casting a bit stronger etc.

Basically a good cast iron bed is a lot easier and cheaper to make than a good steel bed for a lathe.

The steel beds on a lathe like a Oneway or Robust take a lot of VERY precise steps in the assembly and the welding of the lathe bed, then some machining. On the welded steel bed, every weld has to be just about perfect and the weldors who do this kind of work cannot be trained up in a few weeks, they have to be VERY good weldors indeed. If a mistake is made, the whole deal is trash, start over.

With a cast iron lathe bed, the majority of the noodling work goes into the design of the form that is used to make the mold, if that is all done correctly, then you are just making copies of that form. Once the cast iron piece is out of the mold and seasoned, it gets machined, again, not a real high tech operation there either, as the majority of the work will be removing the casting marks and then machining only a couple of surfaces.
If a piece of cast iron is not poured correctly, has a cold pour, or such, you just smash the piece up and add it to the next post of iron you are melting up, recycle! :D

Cast iron is also good as a lathe bed, as it has a fair bit of elasticity, in the lower areas on the strength scale, (once you get the tensile strength of cast iron up higher, the elasticity falls).

If you build a well designed lathe bed, with plenty of mass in the right places out of cast iron, you will have a cheap solid lathe bed.

I'd say this must be true, as so many of the machines on the market for the last 100 years have been made from cast iron. The steel bed lathes are still "Johnny come latelys", nothing wrong with that, as for a well designed well built steel lathe is very hard to beat, for rigidity and other aspects of the design that I'm sure I do not grasp, but they do cost a lot more, and are more difficult to produce, needing a much higher level of skill in the craftsman doing the work.

Yes, and interesting subject.:D
 

tod evans

Member
Messages
4,982
Location
ozarks
The steel bed lathes are still "Johnny come latelys", nothing wrong with that, as for a well designed well built steel lathe is very hard to beat, for rigidity and other aspects of the design that I'm sure I do not grasp, but they do cost a lot more, and are more difficult to produce, needing a much higher level of skill in the craftsman doing the work.

Yes, and interesting subject.:D

the advent of cnc plasma cutters and robotic welders has made steel slightly more competitive in the last decade or so.....when combined with using offshore foundrys and the questionable quality controll at the foundrys steel is looking better-n-better if only for the reason that steel is a known entity...
 

Stuart Ablett

Member
Messages
15,917
Location
Tokyo Japan
the advent of cnc plasma cutters and robotic welders has made steel slightly more competitive in the last decade or so.....when combined with using offshore foundrys and the questionable quality controll at the foundrys steel is looking better-n-better if only for the reason that steel is a known entity...


Yep, that is a very good point Tod, but for the sub $1000 dollar lathes, we are not going to see steel welded and machined lathes anytime soon.

Don't forget, the Chinese are getting better and better at this stuff, I'll not be surprised to see them with the plasma cutters, CNC and robo weldors in less than 10 years time, putting out fairly good copies of the Oneway and Robust lathes.

:wave:
 

Frank Fusco

Member
Messages
12,541
Location
Mountain Home, Arkansas
Thanks guys. FW is proving it's value in bringing knowledge and opinions to everyone here. I'll follow, with great interest, any more input on this subject. I believe it is something that can be important to all of us.
 

Bill Lantry

Member
Messages
2,663
Location
Inside the Beltway
OK, so now I'm confused. It sounds like cast iron is the more cost effective from a manufacturer's standpoint, and because of this we've gotten used to cast iron, and like it. But is it really better in the shop?

Yes, it's cool that we can drill it way easier than we could drill steel. And maybe if it's cheaper, there will be more of it. But it's my impression that it's also more brittle (I've seen broken cast iron in my shop, but I've never seen a broken piece of steel... ;)

If cast iron were really better in the shop, wouldn't the high end lathes like robust and oneway be made of that? But if high end lathes are made with steel beds, why exactly would we be complaining that the lathe in question has a steel bed? I must be missing something... ;)

Thanks,

Bill
 

Vaughn McMillan

Administrator
Staff member
Messages
34,595
Location
ABQ NM
OK, so now I'm confused...why exactly would we be complaining that the lathe in question has a steel bed? ...
As far as I can tell, since it says "Grizzly" on the nameplate, there must be something wrong with a steel bed. :huh: So far that's the only justification for complaint I've seen. :dunno: :rolleyes:
 

Stuart Ablett

Member
Messages
15,917
Location
Tokyo Japan
OK, I'll add to the discussion, I'm no expert, but from my reading, and past experience, plus some noodling, this is what I come up with.....

Basically Cast iron is a good, if not great material to use for the cost issue and for most of the strength and durability issues, I mean look at all the 100 year old bandsaw out there that are still in use, but.... we have moved on.

Nowadays, we can make a much better bandsaw out of steel, but it is more expensive to make, the advantages are significant, a "Good" steel bandsaw, a big one like Tod, Marty or Sam have are structurally very well designed, and well built, they are built using modern technology, computer modeling and such, so if they really need only 1/4" thick steel in some part that is all they have, no need to WAY over engineer the parts. I know that the saws I'm talking about are NOT lightweight, but if you compare a well built modern steel 24" bandsaw with a 50 year old, or older 24" bandsaw, I think you will find that the old cast iron saw is really, REALLY heavy. There comes a point of diminishing returns of all of this weight, sure heavy is good in a lot of cases, but is 2000 pounds really a lot better than say 800 pounds? Well, with today's shipping charges and the need to move tools around sometimes, I'd say the 2000 lbs 24" bandsaw has a few knocks against it. (I'm guessing at the weights, so don't sue me).

The types of forces that the new modern BIG lathes, like the Oneway and the Robust are designed to deal with, a cast iron lathe would have to be really REALLY big, and that would make it really heavy too. Making something small, or medium sized or even fairly large from Cast Iron is fairly straight forward, but when you get into the really big, or extra large sized castings, well it can be done, but it is hard to do on a production line, cheaply. There are limits to the amount of cast iron that can be poured in one go, get too much, and part of the casting will start to cool, and solidify before the pour is finished, this sets up all kinds of stress and other problems into the casting.

Casting Iron has it's limits, the diminishing returns that I was talking about, at that point, the all steel welded frame lathes come into a more cost effective area. Like something well made that is light weight but strong, say a torsion box. If you have ever seen one in real life, it is amazing the strength that a well built and designed torsion box can have, this way you can put as much weight as you need in the places that you want it, instead of where the weight is because of the strength needed is a casting.

Well, I got to hit the hay, I hope I've not muddied the waters too much.......... :doh: :wave:
 

Dick Strauss

Member
Messages
56
Location
Toledo, OH
Guys,
Let me add my $.02....well maybe $.03 with inflation. Frank I apologize in advance for highjacking the thread but I'm just trying to add another viewpoint. These are general statements from my past experiences so there are definitely exceptions.

Robust
Let's addresss the Robust lathe...the bed is stainless steel ($$$$$) so that it doesn't rust when turning wet wood. Stainless steel has a lower resonant frequency (RF) than hardened steel, thus it would be better at dampening a 500hz turning vibration. It also has very good wear resistance due to the Cr in the alloy. The chrome helps to lubricate the surfaces for smoother banjo movement.

Cast vs Std Steel
Costs, mass, and manufacturing differences aside... cast iron and steel have very different resonant frequencies. This will make a big difference in which frequencies get transferred from one end of the bed to the other. Obviously there are many varieties of cast iron (with different grain structures) depending on how they are poured, cooled, machined, etc. In general, if you tap a piece of cast iron, you'll notice it resonates at a much lower frequency than a hardened/alloyed steel plate of the same dimension. The more it is hardened the higher the frequency. The more bracing or thicker material used, the lower the frequency.

A soft steel like cold rolled would have a lower RF but the wear properties wouldn't be good. You'd start to see wear marks on the bed from sliding of the banjo. However, a soft steel does a better job at dampening turning vibrations when it is used in deep boring bars (where wear isn't an issue). If you used hardened steel for the boring bars, you'd notice an immediate difference in the feel and sound.

Ideally you want the resonant frequency either so low or so high that it won't interfere with your work. An example of using the material's natural RF to your advantage can be found in speaker design. High end speakers use materials for tweeters that have natural RFs that are outside the hearing range of most humans (40khz). This means that if you overload the driver and it starts to ring or resonate, you can't hear it. If you can't hear it, the problem isn't there, right?
 
Last edited:

tod evans

Member
Messages
4,982
Location
ozarks
dick,
wouldn`t the harmonics of a given material change when the thickness of the metal is changed? not just the gauge of steel or the thickness of a casting but by adding webs....either poured or welded. i know that an old anvil i have made out of a piece of railroad track had the absolutely most terrible "ring" when struck and set on a stump.......then i mounted it to concrete....now it sounds "dead" kinda like a good poured anvil.
what about a combination of steel and cast? they`d have to be bolted or glued together......or a composite with steel or cast ways?
for the immediate future i think we`ll be seeing more of the materials tool manufacturers are familiar with but maybe in different incantations...this leaves the new lathe buyer in a quandry.....spend money on the tried-n-true or take a chance on new or different technology...
oneway and robust aren`t the only manufacturers to use steel in their bed construction, several european companys use steel in various forms for their lathe beds with success too, so the technology isn`t new.
i`ll be interested to see the new griz lathe....for the simple reason that i`m curious if they`ve actually designed it from the ground up or cloned another manufacturers product?
 

Garry Foster

Member
Messages
2,023
Location
Southeast Pa
Its not so much the resonant frequency is dependent on material as it is the size. The material is more involved in the dampening properties.

However that all being said the prime motivation behind cast iron was its low cost. Many of it superior attributes were shall we say embellished to make it look better and shall we call it advertising hype.

And if you have a tool that is resonant often just adding a simple stiffiiner or a bit of mass will move the resonant frequency to a point where it isn't an issue or is damped out. Sometimes hanging a speaker magnet on an anvil will stop it from ringing.

Garry
 

Frank Fusco

Member
Messages
12,541
Location
Mountain Home, Arkansas
This has turned out to be a good thread, more than I expected when I started it. And, I'm fifty bucks richer too. ;)
Enneyhow, a couple thoughts.... I do have opinions on the subject. Stu touched on some great points about machinery made 'back then'. Overlooked in his dissertation is the fact that our ancestors had a tendency to way over engineer stuff. e.g. 3" shafts when 1 1/2" would work, even things that were not subject to stress were often very large and had heavy castings. And, cast was what they had. Labor was cheap.
That said, I'll fall back a bit on my experience with old timey guns. Particularly the 'Golden Age' longrifles (about 1750 to 1850). The barrels in these rifles were blacksmith forged from soft cast iron. It is a matter of well-documented history that these barrels had to be 'freshed' periodically because they simply wore out. Today, guys like me are still relearning the art of shooting well with these old (style) guns. Those old rifles were extremely accurate. A big reason, recently discovered, was that the soft iron barrels did a fine job of absorbing the harmonic vibration of a shot. Solid, stiff steel barrels have a tough time being just as accurate. There is a lot to be said for the vibration absorbing qualities of cast iron.
But, we have seen great strides in the advancement of developing new steels. Today, we look at a lot of different factors. I'm probably a good example of the majority of the market out there. I need the best possible on a limited budget. I have to consider: is there/will there be a noticeable difference in the working qualities of this lathe with a steel bed vs. a cast iron bed? From comments here and my, just plain guessing, I think not.
As for my next lathe (when the tractor gets sold), I'm kinda like the politician who has not, but really has, decided what he is going to do. I'll do more shopping and searching but, at this point, do believe I'll end up with the Grizzly G0632. That is based, partly, on my highly favorable experience with my, vibration free, $325.00 (current price $499.00) Grizzly G1067Z.
Thanks Y'all, this is a great forum. :thumb:
 

tod evans

Member
Messages
4,982
Location
ozarks
hey frank.....i know you said that you`re changing lathes so you can spin bowls and hollowforms...be sure to factor in the tools-n-chucks necessarry.
the lathe is actually the cheap part:eek:
 
Top