Lovin' your "Darth Ursus", DT. I also admire your helping the neighborhood kids out --doesn't surprise me. :)
Speaking of Grizzlies, I'm curious to try the G4015Z combo this spring when I get a little more room. It's a little smaller than your model, IIRC. How do you like the Grizzly? Runout?
For really small parts, I was contemplating getting a mini-mill (Sherline 10") and maybe Sherline's 3.5x8 lathe, and mounting those beside my larger mill/lathe combo I currently have (ShopFox). I can outfit the larger setup for hilts, and the smaller setup for details like chambers, pommels, claws, prototyping, etc.
Add me to the list of people with AceRocket Machine Envy.
The Grizzly Lathes are surprisingly accurate right out of the box. Sure they need a LOT of cleanup when they arrive, and are some heavy beasts, but mine only had .0012" of taper out of the box that was quickly remedied.
All of the gibs needed MAJOR adjustment when it arrived, on both the lathe and mill. Took me six hours just to clean al the red goo.
I have a base for the Mill (Basically just a G8689 mini mill) that I bought from littlemachineshop.com I had it set up, but moved the mill back on to the lathe while I was moving things around in the work area. I will ebentually separate the Lathe and mill again when I have more time. That's a big drawback with this setup, and the Seig version (Same thing), in the fact that the mill head REALLY gets in your way sometimes. I also picked up a steady rest for the lathe (recommended to me by Arm on Fire)
Really with a little adjustment and complete cleaning, the grizzly lathes are capable of turning a basic saber, right out of the box if you have the correct tooling. The only real pain about them is that you have to manually change the gearing for threading and feed rates. I really wish i could have gotten a geared and clutched precision gunsmit'hs lathe, but Working one a budget, that wasn't possible. :-[
I did get a belt drive kit for the mill head to replace some of the plastic gears in the mill. It muns much more smoothly, and is about 30% quieter. I have a friend of mine making an all metal gear drive.
The only thing I don't like about the G0516 is the fact that the spindle bore is very narrow, and will not allow 1" blade stock to pass through the spindle head and through the chuck you you can true blades easily. But that's why I use the steady rest, and buy 40" blade tubes. (The extra left over gets made into LED housing units) ;)