In a weak moment a few months ago, I sold my SB 9A I had restored a few years back. I regretted it almost immediately. I have owned a few
small chinese lathes in the last ten years which were ok. Not great but
ok. The SB 9A was great for Steel, brass, etc. But mostly I work with aircraft grade aluminum. I could not always get the finish cut I wanted.
The problem I think was the SB 9A's top speed is 1400 rpm. I need something above that for a finish cut in aluminum. Also when I ran the 9A
at top speed for any length of time, the headstock would heat up quite a bit which worried me.
After looking at all the latest offerings in a small lathe, I decided on the new South Bend 8K. I know this lathe has been panned in some of the
forums but overall I like the features and quality it offered. True, it does
not have a gear box or a auto crossfeed. I don"t do much threading and I
rarely used the auto crossfeed on my 9A so this was not a big issue with me. I'm looking for a machine that fits my shop requirements, gives me accurate cuts and good finishes.
The lathe showed up today from Grizzly. I ordered it last friday and it arrived today. The shipping company called me yesterday and said the driver would call me 30 minutes before delivery. He did exactly that and also dropped it in the middle of my garage with a pallet jack. Very good
service from Grizzly. First impression....very nice fit and finish. The crossfeed and carriage move silky smooth and are very tight. When I get
it mounted on the bench and clean it up, I'll post more pics and a review.
This lathe is a little pricey, however Grizzly dropped the price a grand so
that eased the wallet pain somewhat. I hope this chinese built South Bend
lives up to the promise. I'll let you know.