Advice on buying a mini to mid size lathe - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 07-17-2018, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
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Advice on buying a mini to mid size lathe

Hi,

I am new to wood turning and am trying to buy a small entry level lathe. My price range is $500-$1000. I am trying to limit the size because I don't have a large space in my garage for it. I want to have a portable one to put on a table when I using it. Any suggestions is much appreciated! I know this is not enough information to get good helpful advice so please ask me anything you need to know.

Thanks!

P.S.: I have absolutely no experience in this and would like to start to do this as a hobby of course.
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post #2 of 9 Old 07-17-2018, 08:54 PM
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Unless you plan to do a lot of woodturning I think I would get a Harbor Freight lathe. It's around $330.00. The only thing I've heard bad about it is it's made to reverse the head and the mechanism doesn't hold up to that. If you leave the head alone it should be alright. https://www.harborfreight.com/12-inc...ead-34706.html
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Last edited by Steve Neul; 07-17-2018 at 09:44 PM. Reason: Change link
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post #3 of 9 Old 07-17-2018, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
Unless you plan to do a lot of woodturning I think I would get a Harbor Freight lathe. It's around $330.00. The only thing I've heard bad about it is it's made to reverse the head and the mechanism doesn't hold up to that. If you leave the head alone it should be alright. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-Vin...-/121980843658
Check your link again Steve, I think it's not right.

Don in Murfreesboro, TN.
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post #4 of 9 Old 07-17-2018, 09:45 PM
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Check your link again Steve, I think it's not right.
I don't know how it did that. I had that link open a couple days ago. Thanks for pointing it out.
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post #5 of 9 Old 07-17-2018, 11:52 PM
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post #6 of 9 Old 07-18-2018, 07:57 AM
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I don't know how it did that. I had that link open a couple days ago. Thanks for pointing it out.
Too much dust.

Don in Murfreesboro, TN.
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post #7 of 9 Old 07-18-2018, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Guys! I will take a look.

One more question: Where do you guys buy or get the wood? Is there an online site I can order from or it is usually a local store I have to look for?
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post #8 of 9 Old 07-19-2018, 05:36 AM
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Thanks, Guys! I will take a look.

One more question: Where do you guys buy or get the wood? Is there an online site I can order from or it is usually a local store I have to look for?
It would help to know where you live.

I can't speak for others, but my best wood comes from local lumber yards and woodworking stores. The very best wood is purchased by the board foot.

I also get wood from friends. In addition, I have construction-grade lumber leftovers from previous projects. I have some old plywood, which was originally used to support mattresses in beds. Sometimes I salvage wood from old furniture that I see on the curb for trash, which would otherwise go to the landfill.

I keep some wood around for ready use. I keep 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 inch baltic birch plywood around for general needs. I like to keep a board or two of maple and walnut around. I have a few poplar boards, and a few boards of "SPF" (spruce, pine, fir) - cheap softwood.
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post #9 of 9 Old 07-19-2018, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
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Many thanks! Very helpful!

I live in the Boston area. I was looking at Amazon or woodworking sites for blanks (just learned that word :)) but found out that would be an expensive way of buying them. I have to look for something local as you suggested. Still need to buy because I have no other wood related activity to give me left overs.

Just curious, what do you make with plywood? Not too thin for turning?
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