Central Machinery Lathe

DLJeffs

Member
Full Member
Messages
446
Reaction score
630
Location
central Oregon
First name
Doug
I use a Central Machinery 9X20 metal lathe, model #45861 I got from Harbor Freight quite some time ago to turn those reel seat inserts and cork grips on fly rods. It works great for cylindrical parts and is very accurate, but not so good for anything with curves and slants, like most of you do. The slave pulley rotates on a fixed shaft with bronze bushings between the pulley and shaft. Those bushings wore completely away (maybe I should have oiled it more often). Naturally, Central Machinery no longer makes or supports that lathe, nor does Harbor Freight. After a little searching I found some indication that the Grizzly model G4000 lathe has nearly the same exact design. So after some head scratching over the exploded parts diagrams (they don't match exactly either) I ordered the bushings. Lo and behold, they fit after a little cleaning up with 400 grit. So do the 3/16" belts. So if anyone else has an old Central Machinery 9X20 lathe needing repair parts, check out the Grizzly G4000.
 
Last edited:

phinds

Moderator
Staff member
Global Moderator
Founding Member
Full Member
Forum Moderator
Messages
5,918
Reaction score
5,629
Location
Cortland, NY
First name
Paul
Naturally, Central Machinery no longer makes or supports that lathe, nor does Harbor Freight.
Not an unusual occurrence w/ Harbor Freight. Support for older models of stuff dies out more quickly than brand names.
 

phinds

Moderator
Staff member
Global Moderator
Founding Member
Full Member
Forum Moderator
Messages
5,918
Reaction score
5,629
Location
Cortland, NY
First name
Paul
Yeah, many people call it "Horrible Freight"
Well, I wouldn't go that far. They sell low end tools at low end prices. Caveat Emptor and all that ...
 

cabomhn

Member
Full Member
Messages
1,353
Reaction score
1,488
Location
Charlotte, NC
First name
Matt
Living a mile from a harbor freight I’ve amassed a decent amount of odds and ends tools. A lot of stuff is just single use junk, but I will say some of their products are very good. Their newer Icon brand tools are great, I have their hercules brand miter saw, etc. The higher-end harbor freight is generally pretty good quality from my experience.
 

DLJeffs

Member
Full Member
Messages
446
Reaction score
630
Location
central Oregon
First name
Doug
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6
I think you get what you pay for and you take some risk, win some, lose some, be willing to accept it if it doesn't work out. I've actually gotten a lot of good use out of this lathe. If I remember right I bought it on sale back around 2000 for under $400. As metal lathes go it's probably very low end and under powered. But it works great for what I use it for. I have a Central Machinery belt/disc combo sander too that works great. The fine adjustments to ensure the table is exactly at 90 degrees etc. are marginal, but it'll sand the bejeebers off stuff. I think the thing that kind of irritated me the most was they weren't willing to suggest checking the comparable Grizzly lathe. The HF customer service lady just said sorry, that lathe isn't in our catalog any more. I realize they are competitors but I wasn't trying to buy a brand new lathe. And the Grizzly customer service guy wasn't much better. He wouldn't even provide the ID and OD of their bushing, he said something about not providing specific dimensions or using parts on another manufacturer's machine. Fortunately, the pair of bushings was something like $8 so if they didn't fit I wasn't out a lot of money and I took the chance. I bought a bunch of wheeled casters from Harbor Freight really great price to put under some planters on the deck and they've worked great.
 
Last edited:

ironman123

Member
Full Member
Messages
5,584
Reaction score
3,416
Location
Texas
First name
Ray
I have the HF 9x20, HF 7x10, HF Micro Mill, HF 10x18 wood lathe, HF 12x34 wood lathe, HF 1HP Dust Collector, HF 2HP Dust Collector, HF 1 and 2 stage Vacuum Pumps, HF Floor Drill Press and a few other odds and ends. All in all for the first 3 mentioned being from 2003, I would say they are very good machines. I use the 9x20 daily, the Micro Mill 2-3 times a week.
 

DLJeffs

Member
Full Member
Messages
446
Reaction score
630
Location
central Oregon
First name
Doug
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8
Hey Ray,
I'm pleased to hear you've had good success with your HF machines. It sounds like you have the same lathe I do. Have you had to get replacement parts for it, and if so, where are you getting them? Mine is back to running fine now but just looking to the future. One other question: what do you use to lube the rotating parts, the ones with the oil ports? I have that little trigger operated oil can that came with the machine but wonder how effective that is at getting oil onto those bushings?
 
Last edited:

ironman123

Member
Full Member
Messages
5,584
Reaction score
3,416
Location
Texas
First name
Ray
For the HF 9x20 lathe...most Grizzly 4000 lathe parts work. I use 3 in 1 oil for those.
 
Top