Harbor Freight Lathes Any Good? - Page 3 - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #41 of 58 Old 03-02-2011, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Kirkus View Post
I haven't decided to buy the HF lathe yet. but if I do, I'll give it a quick review here.
Don't forget to grab a Harbor Freight 20%-off-any-single-item coupon before making your purchase. (They are often found in the back of Wood Magazine and can arrive by email. If you need one, PM me.)

This particular lathe was out of stock at HF when I went shopping or I would have one today. Instead I got the larger model #34706 (which bears an uncanny resemblance to a Jet model).

If you do a search for "HF gems" you'll find both models get decent reviews -- more importantly, they get decent reviews from people whose name I recognise from this forum (and others), not anonymous shills.

Please visit my website, Fruit of the Lathe
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post #42 of 58 Old 03-03-2011, 06:52 AM
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this is a great supplier for many items lathe related


http://www.pennstateind.com/store/pe...nder-kits.html

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post #43 of 58 Old 03-03-2011, 09:46 AM
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If you google lathe manufacturers, might surprise you number of lathes now made in mainland China. Sometimes lathe color only difference. Is quality measured in units per container?

Motors specs will tell you whether made for American or European market.

Yes, some US companies (Jet, Powermatic, Nova) require higher quality fit and finish. No lathe is immune from Murphy's law!

Last edited by wildwood; 03-03-2011 at 09:48 AM.
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post #44 of 58 Old 03-03-2011, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Kirkus View Post
At the risk of reviving a thread that many might have hoped was dead (that's an unintended rhyme )...

I ordered a Grizzly mini lathe G9247 because I used to have one and really liked it. Unfortunately it's on back order for a month and I'm not good at exercising patience, so I've been poking around today and I discovered that the next step up for small Grizzly lathes is the H8259 10"x18", which sells for $215 plus $44 freight ($259 total).

Because there's an Harbor Freight store about 30 minutes from me, I decided to see what they had. I've never made a "big" purchase from HF because of their reputation. But I figured it doesn't hurt to look.

Their 10"x18" Central Machinery 65345 is currently on sale for $195 (reg. $220). And since I'd be bringing it home in my car, I would also save the $44 freight charge, and I'd have the thing the same day I paid for it. So I'm saving $64 (the price of a small pen turning starter set).

I get to comparing the 2 lathes and the specs are close to identical. Plus, if you compare the photos they look like the same tool with different stickers on them. I mean with the specs and photos so close, I'm really curious what could make the Grizzly worth an extra $64?



GRIZZLY H8259:

CENTRAL MACHINERY 65345:



I haven't decided to buy the HF lathe yet. but if I do, I'll give it a quick review here.
Kirkus, it's hard to tell from the images, but they look identical. What could account for the price difference may be the metal alloy of the bed. It might just be name brand or the NRE cost of designing it, which Central Machinery might not have (if they copied the design, for example.) It may be the motor quality, or something else. With a machine that size, however, I think you'll find yourself completely satisfied with the HF version.

EDIT: edited to correct stupid spell check that changed alloy to allow...

Last edited by frankp; 03-04-2011 at 10:45 AM.
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post #45 of 58 Old 03-03-2011, 10:26 AM
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After looking on CL for literally months for a wood lathe, my coworker finally convinced me yesterday to look into a small starter HF one. Went to the store, it was $220 and not the $195 internet price so I decided to buy it at home. Then I found the 20% off coupon ($156!) and paid about $180 after tax and shipping. Unfortunately, it's on backorder so who knows when I'll get it. Gotta turn my green curly maple firewood into something nice!
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post #46 of 58 Old 07-23-2011, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Stanjay100 View Post
Hi Tony,
I have been using a Harborfreight Tools mini-lathe and I enjoy it. I have used to to sand and refinish turned table legs and to carve spindles. I just bought a chuck from Harborfreight and am looking forward to making some small items, e.g., peppermills. I'm looking for a supplier of peppermill hardware with reasonable prices. No luck so far.

Here's a bunch of peppermills
http://www.woodcraft.com/Search2/Sea...ppermill%20kit
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post #47 of 58 Old 07-24-2011, 01:09 PM
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Many years ago, man won a platter turning contest with very inexpensive single tube lathe. He was proud to beat men turning on bigger and better quality lathes. At a turning conference sat next to a gent that had a bigger and faster lathe than our instructor. Instructor had a short bed Woodfast, gent had long bed WoodFast. I owned a crappy Grizzly lathe at that time.

Google lathe manufacturers will find a web page with all the wood lathes made in China. You can pick out vendors selling lathes here and in Europe. Not sure if my Jet 16x 42 lathe made in Taiwan or mainland China.

Look at all the turned museum pieces turned with carbon or wrought iron steel. How many woodturning tools actually made in Sheffield England today? Same question about made in America turning tools? Is cutting steel to length and putting a bevel on it complete manufacturing process?

Making the same point made by other posters have, how much you spend for tools and equipment does not make you a craftsman or artist. Certainly true buy the best you can afford on anything you need in life. Not everything has to be expensive to be good.
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post #48 of 58 Old 07-24-2011, 06:46 PM
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I have a Jet 12x20 lathe, a HF 10x18 lathe, and the large HF 12x33 lathe and I like them all. The Jet offers a few features the HF lathes don't offer, such as indexing and built-in work light, and the overall quality of the finish might be a bit better, but I really like my HF lathes. I think the HF lathes are well worth the money.
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post #49 of 58 Old 07-28-2011, 01:34 PM
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Since I have a HF store really close by, might just have to take a peek and see if they have this in-stock there. For those of you that did pick up this one (or one similar to it), did you also get an other HF lathe accessories (i.e. live center, tools, chucks, etc.)? What all do you really need to be able to start "turning" some parts like pens, peppermills, etc.?

Also, what about the 12'' x 33-3/8'' Wood Lathe with Reversible Head (#3470) that is only $40 more? Of course it is bigger, but also has a 3/4 HP motor, 10 speeds, is reversible and is about 100# heavier. Any comments on this one?

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post #50 of 58 Old 07-29-2011, 06:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiknNutz View Post
Since I have a HF store really close by, might just have to take a peek and see if they have this in-stock there. For those of you that did pick up this one (or one similar to it), did you also get an other HF lathe accessories (i.e. live center, tools, chucks, etc.)? What all do you really need to be able to start "turning" some parts like pens, peppermills, etc.?

Also, what about the 12'' x 33-3/8'' Wood Lathe with Reversible Head (#3470) that is only $40 more? Of course it is bigger, but also has a 3/4 HP motor, 10 speeds, is reversible and is about 100# heavier. Any comments on this one?
As I said earlier, I have the larger HF lathe as well as the smaller one and like them both. I also have the HF turning tools as well as the drill-type chuck and find them to be very good for the money. But, if you do buy the large HF lathe, make sure to check it out very thoroughly when you get it. I had to return my lathe twice because of large cracks in the head that were clearly the result of the lathe being dropped and not manufacturing defects.
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post #51 of 58 Old 07-29-2011, 07:26 AM
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I have the hf 10x18 lathe and like it . The only problem is getting a spare drive belt. I have had one on order at hf for 2 months. Does anyone have a different source for a spare belt? I have tried auto parts stores
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post #52 of 58 Old 07-30-2011, 06:16 AM
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Steve, how about checking with Grizzly. If as the earlier post points out the two lathes are nearly identical, then the belt may work.
You did order 2 or 3 belts right, so you don't go through this again.
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post #53 of 58 Old 07-30-2011, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevel34
I have the hf 10x18 lathe and like it . The only problem is getting a spare drive belt. I have had one on order at hf for 2 months. Does anyone have a different source for a spare belt? I have tried auto parts stores
I would re-mount the damn motor for an easy to find belt size before I waited 2 months for HF to ship the right size.

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post #54 of 58 Old 07-30-2011, 08:38 PM
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Or, you should be able to get a belt from PSI (Penn State Industries) as they also sell an identical machine, just with a red paint job. I bought my bed extension from PSI and my lathe from HF. Fit like a glove.
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post #55 of 58 Old 07-31-2011, 06:38 AM
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I wiil try grizzly monday,they say that they have the largest parts inventory in the industry. It is good to know about that bed extension from psi. As far as remounting the motor, it isn't the motor it is the pulleys that has three small ribs in them. I went to woodcraft and the delta lathe belt looks similar but they didn't carry the belt.
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post #56 of 58 Old 07-31-2011, 07:02 AM
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Having owned a lot of chinese tools I have to step in here and say all chinese/taiwanese tools are not equal even if they look the same. The reason one is less expensive than another is the quality of the parts (and probably some mark up on the better companies)
Usually it's things like bearings and switches. Sometimes the castings aren't as good. Then there is the reputation of the company. We know Jet/Powermatic has a good rep for customer satisfaction and carrying parts etc. The HF copies, good luck. Grizzly seems to be doing much better than early on and I would not hesitate to buy from them.
Almost all the big tools I own come from China or Taiwan. I simply can't afford the nicer the US made options. However I try to buy from companies that stand behind the equipment. So far all of my machines have worked fine when purchased from the major manufacturers, Delta, Grizzly, Powermatic, and even the machines I've purchased from Woodworkerssupply. I can't say that for things I've purchased from HF. Some tools are good and others have been dogs. It hit or miss. Maybe your luck will be different.
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post #57 of 58 Old 08-01-2011, 05:39 AM
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John,

With all the talk about imported tools (all of my power tools are), your comment about nicer USA options stands out. What USA made options or tools are you talking about?

I guess bottom line is, what companies make power tools in the U.S.?
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post #58 of 58 Old 08-01-2011, 06:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Scribbler View Post
John,

With all the talk about imported tools (all of my power tools are), your comment about nicer USA options stands out. What USA made options or tools are you talking about?

I guess bottom line is, what companies make power tools in the U.S.?
Good question. I've been buying Craftsman tools from Sears for decades, because they used to represent the best quality in hand tools and power tools, in my opinion. Now, all the Craftsman tools I buy are made in China. I just bought another Craftsman band saw and, sure enough, made in China.

Last edited by sffone; 08-01-2011 at 06:27 AM. Reason: clarification
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