Thinking of getting the jet 10 inch by 14 inch variable speed mini lathe since what I'm making is rarely going to be bigger than a bottle stopper does anyone have any negative experience with this lathe?
Somehow, whenever posts like this come up, I've never added my .02 cents. But this time, I finally felt that it was time that I shared my own experiences. I must warn you, this is going to be a long post. So pull up a chair.
About 4 years ago, I decided I wanted to turn some pens,bottle stoppers, make my own lures and be able to make some small chess pieces for my father. And so began my quest.
One website I frequent, a lure making website listed 3 mini lathes that seem to be the favorites. They were:
1. Jet 1014
2. Penn State Turn Crafter Pro
3. Rikon mini
A few more considerations. I didn't have a lot of space. My shop was a 8x8 wood shed. Price was also an issue. Where before the price of the Jet was about $250 it was now suddenly worth $450!!!!! And there was no one around with a Penn State TurnCrafter Pro. My clear choices were the Jet and Rikon. I was able to compare them side by side at the local WoodCraft. I chose the Jet 1014 VS.
So to answer your question. The Jet 1014 is more than adequate for your needs.
BUT!!!!!!!!! PLEASE READ ON................................................ ............
A few caveats. I mentioned the Jet mini is adequate but just. Please allow me to explain further. Everything I know about wood turning I learned from watching videos and reading books. I am mostly self taught. There are no wood turning clubs near me. And WoodCraft wants to charge me $230 for a class in woodturning. No thanks. I'd rather spend the money on actual tools and materials. I'm a cheap bastard.
You mention, "what I'm making is rarely going to be bigger that a bottle stopper." I keep coming back to that. You know why. Because that is exactly how I felt when I started. Eventually, after turning my 3rd pen and 2nd bottle stopper. I decided I wanted to make a pepper mill. This is when I ran into the Jet mini's limitations. If you don't own a drill press, that means you would have to use the lathe to drill the blank for the pepper mill. You're going to need a drill chuck, jaw chuck and a forstner bit. You mount the drill chuck on the tail stock and mount the forstner bit in the chuck. Next you put the jaw chuck on the head stock. This is where the problem becomes apparent. You can't do it. There is no space for the pepper mill blank. @#$%$$ you say. I'm going to need a bed extension. So you search online. And for the super low price of $180. Well......need to have it. After a week it arrives, So you move stuff around your table to make room for the bed extension. Simple enough, 2 screws. Everything lines up. Easy peazy. Then you start drilling. Then you really start to feel that limitation of that half horse power in the Jet 1014.
Jet states that the 1014 has a 1/2 horse power motor. It seems underpowered at times.
Fast forward 2 years. I asked myself the same question. But now I know better. This is my answer. DELTA 46 460. Even with the extension bed, the price can't be beat. AND the DELTA packs a full horse power and a VS.
On Amazon right now. The price of the Jet Mini 1014 VS is $529. The Delta 46 460 is $599. Again, remember the Delta has a 1 HP. The Jet has 1/2 HP. The Delta has a 12 inch swing and 16 inch between centers. At this prices, I feel that the DELTA offers more bang for your hard earned dollars. And is the better value. YMMV. Good luck with your choice.