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Forum topic by David M posted 02-28-2021 06:22 PM 562 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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David M

11 posts in 556 days


02-28-2021 06:22 PM

Has anyone examined the quality or worked with any of these new line of South Bend™ machines sold by Grizzly? I am a huge fan of their 100+ years metalworking machines but I want to make sure Shiraz and Co aren’t banking on history alone.


8 replies so far

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StarBright

38 posts in 338 days


#1 posted 02-28-2021 07:59 PM

They’re really tugging at everyone’s heart strings bringing back the South Bend name. The machines look to be solid pieces of equipment but I wouldn’t drop that kind of coin on them until we see other people’s experiences with them. Right now the Delta Unisaw remains the industry standard. The 3 or 5 horsepower Marathon motor is hard to beat and about the same in price (maybe a little less if you wait for a Lowe’s or Acme tool sale). If the price were right, I’d buy the South Bend Table saw before spending $3,000 on a Powermatic who we all know raised the prices on their equipment after the Jet acquisition to cover their profit margins.

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

4330 posts in 2546 days


#2 posted 03-01-2021 03:48 AM

The South Bend brand is unique.

Small distributor and retailers have marketed and sold South Bend lathes for decades, but not many folks continued selling as Grizzly bought name and move mfg overseas. It has become an orphan brand lately.

South Bend tools in past tend to have higher retail price than similar Grizzly tool, usually with some extra feature not ever found on Grizzly tool. As example, the new SB wood working tools all have interesting digital scales and adjustments.
IMHO – Grizzly South Bend Asian made WW tools are nothing more than a brand exercise to capture retail, commercial, edcuational, and government market share; all utilizing the former made in America brand name?

Most folks are aware of Shop Fox tools?
Shop Fox brand is create by the currently 24 employees of privately held Wood Stock International, and is another Grizzly brand targeted for retail sales. Was a way for Grizzly biz enterprise to offer local wood working store enough profit to enable sale of Grizzly imported tools to compete with other OEM. Never see a Shop Fox tool on sale via Grizzly unless it is closeout, and same sale is available at Shop Fox retail outlets. Shop Fox tools are recd from overseas and stored in same warehouse(s) as Grizzly. They share same parts distribution centers too. The only difference is you walk into some wood working retailers and buy Shop Fox; where you have to mail/phone/online order a Grizzly. My expect is South Bend is going to be same marketing mumbo jumbo as ShopFox.
Only time will tell if the brand is success with intended market segment.

Cheers!

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

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StarBright

38 posts in 338 days


#3 posted 03-01-2021 04:59 AM

South Bend tools in past tend to have higher retail price than similar Grizzly tool, usually with some extra feature not ever found on Grizzly tool. As example, the new SB wood working tools all have interesting digital scales and adjustments.

If that’s the case I would run as far as I could from those tools. Digital scales and adjustments on power tools are anything but accurate. Remember when Craftsman marketed the Electronic Radial Saw? Those didn’t hold up either. There’s nothing on a table saw that a indicator, caliper, or even quality combination square can’t dial in.

They share same parts distribution centers too. The only difference is you walk into some wood working retailers and buy Shop Fox; where you have to mail/phone/online order a Grizzly. My expect is South Bend is going to be same marketing mumbo jumbo as ShopFox.

Sad to say, but you’re probably right. While there is something of a renaissance in American made hand tool manufacturing, it’s sad that the same can’t be said for power tools. At least stationary power tools.Sawzalls are still made in the United States but that’s about it. If you open up a DeWalt power tool, chances are most of the bearings are American made. At least Buffalo Forge is still making drill presses here in Western New York. And it looks like people are getting sick of the Chinese garbage.

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CaptainKlutz

4330 posts in 2546 days


#4 posted 03-01-2021 09:09 AM


Digital scales and adjustments on power tools are anything but accurate. – StarBright
Don’t want to start a fight, but have to vehemently disagree.

South bend metal milling machines and lathes have used high quality DRO (Digital Read Out) for decades. Some have micron level accuracy and repeatability. If you had used one, you would know this.

If Grizzly is willing to design/sell the same ‘Cadillac’ quality DRO used on metal working tools for the new wood machines; they will improve the ease of setting repeatable dimensions. :)
Many users will find them a welcome addition to 1/16” accuracy of most wood working tools, even if the destroy the accuracy with sand paper an hour later. :-(0)

The challenge as you pointed out with Crapsmen example, is when you don’t provide a high quality electronics system, the tool becomes useless. Unreliable electronics should always be avoided.

IMHO – There are two negatives with DRO on machine tools:

1) They tend to have shorter design lifespan than mechanical metal parts. The more complicated and custom the DRO system, the shorter the life expectancy.

Anyone living since 70’s knows electronics become smaller, cheaper, and faster every year. The $10,000 DRO from 1980 can be reproduced for < $1000 today. Did you know the average lifespan of CNC tool is about 5 years in production environment, even though attached machine can last 25+ years? Problem becomes replacement of computer parts and supporting old operating system updates becomes more expensive; than buying a new tool. Even when using industrial hardened NC controls (instead of PC), these need to be refreshed/replaced every 10 years, as semiconductors wear out faster than metal.

2) High quality DRO as expensive.
Figuratively speaking, cost difference between a 0.01” and 0.001” position sensor is 10x. The 0.0001” version is 10x more than 0.001”. DRO designers also have constant challenge selecting quality components that will last 10+ years. Even worse, try finding a electronics or sensor company today that will guarantee to still be in business and sells same device in 10 years for spare parts? DRO design/build/use decisions can suck you under like quick sand with one wrong choice.

All is not bleak in world of DRO. :-)
DRO mfg have finally become more intelligent and are using modular design components, and standardized cable connectors. This allows new/cheaper devices to replace old sensors, and machine continues to function like it did when new. Even the DRO display boxes can be swapped out for new model with color screen if you can afford it. Many milling machines today are designed so any multi-axis DRO can be 100% bolt on, with no custom parts. So you can even use different DRO; if you have different needs on the tool, want to standardize controls on shop floor, or not use DRO at all.
Yes, Digital control of machinery is F.U.M.!

BTW – Many of the new South Bend wood working tools
https://southbendtools.com/collections/woodworking
are not even in stock according to website. Am sure that Grizzly will offer some tools for review to Magazine editors as soon as stock arrives. Till then, all we can do is wait.

Best Luck to OP getting feedback before 2022. :-)

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View xeddog's profile

xeddog

336 posts in 4059 days


#5 posted 03-01-2021 06:04 PM

I just took a quick look at the SB table saw. Price doesn’t seem all that bad at $2725 with 52” rails. One thing that did seem a little odd in this day and age is that there is no mention of a riving knife.

Wayne

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MrUnix

8503 posts in 3250 days


#6 posted 03-01-2021 07:00 PM

I just took a quick look at the SB table saw. Price doesn t seem all that bad at $2725 with 52” rails. One thing that did seem a little odd in this day and age is that there is no mention of a riving knife.
- xeddog

They do – in the ’Both Saws Feature:’ section it has ”Quick-release blade guard and spreader

Spreader, splitter, riving knife – call it what you want. They have been mandatory on any saw sold new in the US for more than a decade now, so having one is by no means special.

As for the question at hand – I have a 1937 South Bend engine lathe (SB9 model 415) that is. IMO, the very definition of quality machining with unbelievable tolerances on even trivial parts. While I’ve not seen one of those table saws in person, I have seen a ‘new’ SB jointer a friend had a while back, and while it was nicely built, it was no where near the level of quality and precision as my old lathe.

Given the specs, I’d rather get a new Unisaw, which exceeds the SB saws specs in almost every category and costs the same or even less.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View tvrgeek's profile

tvrgeek

1749 posts in 2700 days


#7 posted 03-01-2021 07:19 PM

The South Bend 10 inch 3 HP table saws seem to be Grizzly, but with added triple DRO. Had it been in stock, mighty tempting, but happy with my Harvey.

As far as accuracy, I was looking into the details of the Wixey fence scale. The issue is the error is accumulative. I did not do the calculations to see what the error is over 3 feet. Unlike some that come on saws, Wixey has an easy zero so if you have different fence faces, easy to reset.

It looks like Grizzly is selling some of the older lathe designs. I am sure made off shore.

Tiny corrections:
Semiconductors do not wear out. They degrade. Many reasons from gama rays to empirical impurities and aluminum migration. Electrolytic caps dry out. Any contact based resolver will wear out.
I doubt the SouthBend saw is using the old SB machine DRO, bur rather the same generic as used by Wixey and the many many digital calipers out there. Baleigh has a DRO for one function. I forget, some one else had a different one. SB has all three, so tip of the hat to them.

I doubt it would happen, but gee it would be nice if the SB tools were Grizzly all made with the one better step in machining, bearings, motors etc.

View xeddog's profile

xeddog

336 posts in 4059 days


#8 posted 03-02-2021 05:17 PM



They do – in the Both Saws Feature: section it has ”Quick-release blade guard and spreader

Spreader, splitter, riving knife – call it what you want. They have been mandatory on any saw sold new in the US for more than a decade now, so having one is by no means special.

As for the question at hand – I have a 1937 South Bend engine lathe (SB9 model 415) that is. IMO, the very definition of quality machining with unbelievable tolerances on even trivial parts.
- MrUnix

I thought I rememered riving knives being mandated, but I have had table saws with “spreaders” that definitely were not riving knives.

Also, I am the second owner of a SB CL644A from 1952. My dad was the original owner.

Wayne

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