Grizzly - G0733 18X47 Wood Lathe Day Five review (Rating: 5)

I had said in my Blog about the trip to Grizzly that I would post a review after using the new lathe for a bit.

Well I have wasted no time. I have already been on it about 15 hours in five days.

But a little history first. I have owned and used 7 lathes over the past 25 years. They have all been Step pulley or Reeves drive machines, until I modified the one I was using before I got the new lathe, It I had modified with a treadmill motor and controller, but tread mill motors are NOISY.
The G0733 is Quiet, I can actually hear my shop stereo over the lathe without cranking it to a ridiculous volume. I could easily forget the darn thing is on if I'm not careful.
The variable speed is awesome, the DC motor on the modified lathe lagged so you had to wait for it to get up to speed, and when turned off it took a long time to spin down because of the flywheel on the motor. Not so with the 3 phase 220 volt motor. Click it on and turn the dial and in just seconds it is spinning at the requested rate. Leave the speed dial in that position and click the switch to the center it stops just as quick if not quicker. Turn it back on and your right back to that speed. (A note here, If you turn off the main power switch it resets the motor controller so you have to "zero" the other two switches before turning it back on.)
At lower speeds there isn't quite as much torque as with belt and reeves drives but the fact that it will slow down to speeds far below those machines more than makes up for it. Under 100 rpm in low or 300 rpm in high it can be stopped with your bare hands, but at 18 inches you don't need to go below 100 rpm for cutting anyway. Slower than that can however be handy for finishing.
Tool Rest:
OK, here I have a small complaint. The rest is tightened by a pinch bolt, sucky but gets the job done, however the pinch bolt had the treads rolled up on the end so they made contact with the tool post first causing the tool rest to pivot as you put the final twist on it to tighten it. I took it over to the bench grinder and flattened the end and beveled back the edges of the bolt which solved the problem.
Tail Stock:
Nice and heavy with little to no play side to side. When I set up the machine you could give the wheel a good flick and the quill would move about 3/4 of an inch just as smoothly as you could ask for. Alas this feature did not last, after boring a hole with a forsner bit (2-1/4 inch) into end grain walnut, it no longer moves so smoothly. I disassembled the tail stock this evening but can find no explanation for this. Once out of the housing the screw that moves the quill threads smoothly into the quill again, so I think it is where the parts ride on the cast iron of the tail stock housing.
Any of you that have watched my turning videos probably have noticed I use indexing a lot. None of the other lathes I have had have had it built in (except for the 1941 Powr-Kraft but I just finished rebuilding it 2 weeks before I got this one). So I was really looking forward to finally having that feature built in (instead of using the chuck indexing). All I can say is it is usable but unimpressive. It has 3 threaded holes and one smooth hole for the lock pin, so on 3 you must screw the pin in and out and the 4th hole the pin did not fit until I filed the black off of the pin shank. Even then it is a bear to put in and pull out, guess I was kind of hoping to have one that worked a bit more quickly. On the other hand when you lock it into place it does not move, for what I do that's a good thing, but for laying out patterns the quick change would have been nice.

All in all The machine has impressed me, I have no great disappointment with it. The issues above are so minor in nature compared to things I had to put up with on other machines that I can hardly complain. I do not believe I will be regretting the purchase.

I talk about it in a video here.