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Larry Schweitzer

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About Larry Schweitzer

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  • My Location
    Lincoln, NE, USA
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  • Favorite Quote
    'Tis better to sit in the corner and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all dou.bt.
  1. Opinions please

    Cliff, I agree that here are considerable limitations. I wouldn't buy one either, like me they are a master of none. The concept reminds me of Shopsmiths. As long as people understand the limits and what it will do, fine. I don't think many people, that are experienced, buy them. I only know one person with a combo, not Grizzly, and they have found the mill part not very useful. They also were enthused about the large diameter of work it could swing but then found that was limited to very light cuts and work. All that said they still think it is a useful, if limited machine. If it was me, which it isn't, I'd buy a separate lathe and mill. Cheap used machines seem to be seriously worn, Atlas, Logan or 50 year old industrial machines. That's why I bought a new Chinese lathe. I wanted to use it not rebuild it. Not many armature machinists can true the ways on a sway back lathe. I'm happy with my Chinese lathe. It is a better machine than I am a machinist. I'm not a Grizzly fan either but a lot of people seem to be happy with them considering the price. So many of the Chinese machines look like they were all made by the same factory with different paint and names. I looked at them before buying a PM1440HD. It was a bit more expensive but the reputation of the seller was the clincher. My lathe hasn't seen a lot of use. I'm just a hobbyist. The seller replaced the original motor with one made in Poland before shipping it. (Chinese motors don't have a very good reputation) They also installed the DRO and taper attachment. I also got the collet chuck and a set of 5C collets by 32's. The collet chuck is excellent and has the "run true" type of adjustment. Some of the controls were very stiff when I got it and the gear train was rather noisy. Both have improved as the machine wore in. It now runs fairly quiet and the controls shift reasonably well. I opted for 3 phase since I will be using it in my production wood shop. I would choose 3 phase even if I had to run a converter. The set of accessories that came standard was pretty extensive. I've only had to deal with the seller once. The lathe has a #3MT tail stock and was shipped with #4 live center and drill chuck. They took the #4s back and replaced them with better #3s. I would have preferred a larger head stock bore but it wasn't available on this class of lathe, this lathe only has a 1.5" bore. A larger tail stock MT would probably be better but I haven't had any problems with the #3MT so far. The machine has a cast iron base and weighs 2700#s. Not a problem here since I have a 5000# fork lift and loading docks. I set the machine up using my high precision level. I recently checked and it is still dead on so the casting must have been relatively free of tension. I have taken things apart and cleaned and got the fits as well as I could. the only thing that is really sub par is the attachment of the taper attachment to the cross feed. Some day I will make some new parts to take the slack out. My two Grizzly tools have been: Drill press model G7948. The quill spring failed twice, poor design and the light socket melted and shorted to the casting and the wire attachments failed. It took two months to get a replacement spring from Grizzly! The fit of the quill assembly was quite sloppy and caused chatter. After 5 years I sold it. My other tool is an edge sander, model G9985, 3 hp, 682 lb. Made in Taiwan. It has been OK. The almost identical sander was sold under the Powermatic name for $1000 more. IWF2018 is coming up in August, worth the trip.
  2. Next Project?

    Very nice!
  3. Opinions please

    That Grizzly combo you referenced seems to have good specs. The MT sizes are good for that size machine. There are some advantages to a combo machine over having two separate machines. You can devise an indexing system for the lathe so you can index work to use the milling spindle to flute & keyway but you won't be able to cut gears w/o some changes. Take my comments with a gain of salt since I'm just a hobby machinist, no professional training other than YouTube university. I don't know what a 4-bolt intrinsic spindle is? The tail stock has a 2 1/2" travel which you may find limiting for drilling. the slowest lathe speed of 175 will seem pretty fast for threading toward the head stock but there is an easier way. Just thread away from the head rather than toward. It will require that you turn the tool upside down and run the spindle in reverse, but works well. There will be many additional things you will eventually want as you learn to make things. A short starting list: Live center for tail stock, 4 jaw chuck, HSS tooling in assorted sizes, boring bars, center drills, a milling vice, sets of parallels, a boring head & tooling (forget the typical brazed Chinese boring bars for the head!) My lathe came with a quick change tool post that I find really convenient. I don't have any inserted lathe tools other than boring bars and an internal threading bar, I don't think you will need any either since they are really designed for taking deeper cuts at higher seeds than what you can do. I did buy an inserted 2" shell mill for my milling machine and it works surprisingly well, especially considering how cheap it was. I had been using a fly cutter, worked, but slow. The milling feature of the combo machines have really limited Y axis travel. So you will be restricted to very short y axis travels but you will have the full travel of the carriage in the x axis. Since the combo machines don't have a quick change gear box, you will probably end up finding a speed/ feed that works for most things and only do the change gears when forced into it. My lathe has a pretty decent gear box but I have to use the change gears to go metric, PIA! There are lots of challenges learning to do things machining. There are some very good machinist that post on line. But also some people that post and don't have a clue. I've got a list, somewhere, of the sites that I've found the most helpful, contact me if you'd like my list. lks@neb.rr.com Machining is addictive, always another challenge.
  4. Next Project?

    Looks good.
  5. Next Project?

    Keeping them happy works better than the whip, greased or not. This is a production shop, set up to turn things out with the minimum labor content. it could be better but we already have a pretty high over head. Which reminds me IWF is coming up this summer in Atlanta. Any of you going? Everything related to woodwork, from hand tools to million $ machines. Fun to see what is available.
  6. Next Project?

    I have 15 employees to feed, cloth, shelter and the most important item on the list Buy beer for!!! During warm weather I put a case + in the frig and the guys sit around after work, swap some lies and have a limit of two. Friday mornings it's sweet rolls or donuts, 3rd Wed. of the month it is Lunch with the employee meeting.
  7. Next Project?

    Steven N, It's nice that you can make things with hand tools When I use my hand tools for making things, it is for my own pleasure. When the shop needs to make $, it is power tools all the way. I have 15 employees to feed, cloth, shelter and buy beer for!
  8. Next Project?

    I sorta feel sorry for you guys having to buy lumber at retail. Almost all of ours comes from the distribution yards. The disadvantages are: you get random widths as it came from the mill, Generally you can ask for units bundled as 8,10,12,14, or 16' long. There will always be some a foot shorter in each unit. Some that are questionable as to whether they are on grade. Sometimes they will ship FAS one face instead of FAS, usually it isn't much of an issue. We can get S2S for a fee, and usually do, so that their planer has to take off the dirt and we can better see what we are using. Most of the yards are running stratoplaners so the lumber gets somewhat of a facing cut. We get it hit or miss to 15/16 and straight line it ourselves. We get much better yield doing our own straight lining and get to sort for best ripping pattern as we straight line. Our saw produces glue line quality cuts so it can go directly to the clamp rack. The disadvantage of our SL saw is it is kind of slow, 4,5 or 6 quarter at full speed, which is only 99'/minute. We have to slow the feed for 8/4 because our blade only has 15hp on it. We have an 18" PM planer, still works as well as it did when new, which isn't terribly good. Luckily we rarely use the planer. We have a 16" jointer when we need to face very accurately. BTW facing a 16" board is a bit scary. We S4S and mold thru the Weinig molder. It can be setup to both joint a face and straighten an edges within a limited range. The molder produces nice quality and the edges are a true 90 to the face and back, So, S4S in one pass.. If any of you guys are producing commercially a SL saw and molder are huge labor savers.
  9. Next Project?

    One of the first signs of diabetes is having to pee really often. Trust me you don't want to become diabetic! Been there, am that. Family history of it? Over weight? You can check your blood glucose with a cheap meter from Wal-Mart, $15, Test strips $9 for 50. If it has been more than 4 hours since you ate your reading should be in the range of 70 to 120 "normal." If you check an hour after you ate it shouldn't be over 185. I've got half dozen meters mostly Wal-Mart a couple of expensive ones from big name drug companies that give very similar readings to the cheap Wal-Mart ones. Take care of that body, they don't sell replacements.
  10. Working with used wood

    There are a few big chestnut trees still growing at Arbor Lodge, Nebraska City. At least they were the last time I was there. Very isolated place for them.
  11. Anyone Heard of Pratco?

    Long ago a lot of the cheap tools were made/cast in Taiwan. Now most are cast in China. Powermatic has long been Chinese made. Long ago I bought a new PM 26 shaper. Tag said assembled from parts made in Taiwan. Looked identical to the old US made ones. Neither was what I would consider a quality tool. I sold the PM26 and replaced it with a used Gomad, (Polish made) far better. Taiwan made tools have increased in quality over the years. I'm old enough to remember when Made in Japan meant junk. Now some of the finest tools, you can not afford, are made in Japan.
  12. Working with used wood

    REDWOOD! Absolutely sure. I know the difference w/o ever looking at them, NOSE. And I don't lack experience, We typically process 500 to 1000 bd. ft./day. Many different kinds. Most of any one batch we've run was 35,000 bd. Ft. of quartered sepele. And yes, I'm sure it was sepele. Just had someone bring in some wood that he called Ambrosia. I told him it was soft maple and he didn't like it. He was sure he had an expensive exotic. OK, call it what you want. Used to be when we got beetle infected wood in it was used for the hidden parts. His wasn't even nicely colored. Some dull grey streaks. Tree had been dead for a very long time. What's the old saying - - A fool & his $ ....
  13. Working with used wood

    Today's project was making 1200' of used redwood bevel siding into 1200' of new bevel siding. They wan to end up with at least 700 feet after the decorator gets done picking for color. Started as 6" wide ended @3.5" wide. This siding was new about 10 years ago. I don't know where they got it but it must have been very expensive. Vertical grain, clear heart. It is going to be used to cover a shed on an estate. So far we have only found one nail, amazingly enough before we hit it. Since our molder doesn't have tilting feed works we are doing all the work on saws and shapers. The straight line rip saw took two passes to get the center part out so no nail holes would end up showing. Then we made a tilted table for the planer to take all the parts to the same thickness, didn't work well. So we put them through the Gomad tilt shaper to take 1/4" off the face. 1/4" X 3 1/2" turned to shavings in one pass. The pieces that were odd thicknesses went through the widebelt on a carrier to take them down to the same. Then all went through the SAC shaper to put a 1/2" radius on the bottom edge. We decided to put them through the 12/14" table saw with a dado blade to make the notch along the bottom edge. 5 passes through power fed machines. Took two of us most of the day. We now have a nice pile of redwood garden stakes taken from the thick edge. This is one of those things I really hate to see done. But at least part of it got saved. This is for the same people that had us make 35,000' of sapele T&G, clear, quartered and then painted it grey. Crime!
  14. Flourescent Glue Squeeze Out Video

    Fluorescent dyed glue has been around for many years. Don't think I would use Titebond 2 for an exterior planter box.
  15. Next Project?

    John, I'm in the same boat. I test at least 6 times a day and still have ended up on the floor usually in the middle of the night. I no longer sense when I'm low, just collapse.

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