Originally Posted by blackbrush
The Grizzly line is like Barry Manilow...you either love'm or strongly dislike him. I have seen several gunsmiths who do work on competitive quality ingredients and turn out some sexy stuff.
Being down in Texas, I have never had a chance to see one.
It is my understanding Grizzly will soon be marketing the Heavy 10 from South Bend. That is all I know at this time as I am not aware of any other info being released as of yet.
Your timing is quite fortunate.
Grizzly "owns" South Bend. The South Bend lathes are in Grizzly's 2010 catalog. I own a near perfect condition 9" South Bend Model A, 4-1/2' ways, with about every attachment made for it except the turret tail stock and production cross slide. It is a really cool little lathe, been in the family since my dad bought it new around 1950, first lathe I ever used, and I still have it. I spent about 12 hours working with it in the last couple of weeks in fact. Made 3 sets of alignment studs and pillars similar to these (for a 1953 M70) to use in the three bedding projects recently completed:
Machined this adaptor to attach a Hawkeye borescope to my Nikon 990 on my Taiwanese Import lathe:
I can chamber through the headstock on my import lathe:
But if I had to sell one of my lathes, I'd sell the South bend and keep the 12"x36" Taiwanese Import I bought 20 some years ago. It does metric and imperial threads, has 33% bigger swing, a bigger spindle hole, 4 times the horse power, a D1-4 spindle that won't unscrew the chuck when reversed, 3 phase motor that will plug reverse (extremely handy when doing metric threads that won't pickup on the thread dial), and higher spindle speeds. In addition to which it came with a face plate, 3J, 4J, thread dial, and metric thread gears,
The big Grizzly has a 2 speed motor and will do about every type of metric and imperial thread known to man with no gear changes.
I wouldn't trade my Taiwanese import for a South Bend Heavy 10. Having owned and worked with both a near perfect condition old South Bend (the paint is old but the hand scraping still shows on the ways near the headstock) and one of "those" imports, the import is the better, more capable, lathe for the money by such a big margin it's hard to describe it.
South Bend may actually make a lathe the size of the imports like the Grizzly (which I think is a better lathe than my import that I like so much) but it will cost between 4X and 5X as much. Their new heavy 10 will sell for north of $20,000.00 with almost no tooling.
For home and professional gunsmith work which isn't high production, the import lathes with good headstock bearings, like the Grizzly, work very well. The cutting loads are low when chambering and threading. The lathe needs to be rigid with respect to those loads and the 12"x36" imports are plenty rigid.
I realize there are some folks that just got "hooked" on the idea that somehow a 4,500# big old lathe with 450 rpm max spindle speed is some how better than the new smaller lathes, but looking at it objectively, I don't agree. For what the original poster stated he wants to do, which isn't work on Farm Machinery, any of the Grizzly Gunsmith series of lathe will do the job and leave him grinning from ear to ear.
So will any of the quality import lathes of the same size. Harbor Freight doesn't sell an acceptable lathe, nor to they supply the kind of support one will need over the long haul in terms of accessories, etc. A lathe is a long term investment.
If money was no object, I might own a new South Bend. That isn't the case, money is an object, so I don't own a new South Bend.
Anywho, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.