Choosing a Lathe - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 04-01-2019, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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Choosing a Lathe

Ok, I have been woodworking for 40+ years and have spent countless hours on the lathe. My current lathe is a Jet midi lathe which is great for small stuff. I bought a Grizzly lathe years ago with hopes of it being decent for entry level of turning some larger bowls as it had a headstock you could turn sideways so you could handle large bowls. I ended up selling it because the headstock and tailstock didn't line up vertically very well and there was a lot of play laterally in both. I'm looking for a good quality lathe and was hoping the experts here could help me find something. I was hoping not to have to spend $2k but I'm starting to think that is the going price for anything that isn't a ShopFox or Grizzly. I want something with the rotating head and a reversible motor. I don't need tons of bells and whistles, just a good quality piece of equipment. I have 220 service so I can handle either 110V or 220V lathes. Any recommendations or advice is greatly appreciated.

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post #2 of 14 Old 04-01-2019, 02:52 PM
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I've cut over 120 Longworth chucks and from those who ordered I would say at least 15-20 have told me they have the Laguna Revo 1216 lathe. That's not an endorsement but I know from having a Laguna 14SUV bandsaw that Laguna makes good tools. Jet also makes some good tools if you've not looked at those.

So I guess take that for what it's worth...

David

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post #3 of 14 Old 04-02-2019, 06:20 AM Thread Starter
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David,

I did a lot of research on the Laguna and that looks like a really nice lathe. I’m honestly torn between that and a Nova. I know that the Laguna is back ordered until June or July but that’s ok, I’m not in a rush. Thanks for the help.

Ken

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Originally Posted by difalkner View Post
I've cut over 120 Longworth chucks and from those who ordered I would say at least 15-20 have told me they have the Laguna Revo 1216 lathe. That's not an endorsement but I know from having a Laguna 14SUV bandsaw that Laguna makes good tools. Jet also makes some good tools if you've not looked at those.

So I guess take that for what it's worth...

David

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post #4 of 14 Old 04-02-2019, 10:46 AM
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Turning the head sideways is just a problem. With my harbor freight cheap 12 x 33 I have to then readjust the head spindle to line up with the tail stock.. As I see it, a turner can buy a huge lathe with a large swing, or get a lathe with out board turning capacity. I turned a 13 inch walnut bowl on the outboard of my old Delta high school shop lathe. Which was plenty for me. But even my lowest speed at 300 rpms, was too fast. At first the wobble had the lathe wanting to walk the floor.

So no matter what, get a lathe with extremely slow speed. I have visited a shop that turns large wooden flywheel forms to be cast in steel. Once the diameter gets over, about 20, the operator is trying to set the rpms down about 20 or 30. I am told a member of my turning club has a home built custom lathe that can handle 8 ft diameter and runs painfully slow for turning the outer reaches. people tell me his largest face plate weighs 300 pounds. So depending on how big your intended items may be, you may also want a davit to lift the stuff into position. (a 16 inch diameter bowl blank can be more than two hands can handle)
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post #5 of 14 Old 04-03-2019, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
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Alright, I’m leaning towards the Nova 1624 II. It seems like a solid, upgradable lathe with the basics that I want such as reversible 1.5 HP motor, 29” outboard capacity and well made. Also, bed can be extended and there is a DVR motor upgrade if I ever want that. Does anybody have any experience with this lathe, good or bad. Thanks a lot.

Ken

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post #6 of 14 Old 04-03-2019, 05:31 PM
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You mentioned Laguna. I've only had one Laguna machine and wasn't impressed. Fit and finish left a lot to be desired. If my machine is representative, I'd look at another brand.
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post #7 of 14 Old 04-09-2019, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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The decision has been made! I decided on the Nova 1624 II lathe and just happened to find a gently used one near me. I traded my Jet 1014 and bed extension +$350 for it and it is sitting in my shop now. My desire was to purchase the DVR motor upgrade for it and it is arriving today. Typically the DVR upgrade sells for $700 but I found an open box one on eBay for $429! So when all is said and done I will have exactly what I wanted for a fraction of the normal price. Thanks to all who provided their feedback! I'll be sure to post pics of my bowls that I plan on turning in the future.

Ken
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post #8 of 14 Old 04-09-2019, 12:22 PM
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WOW! I love it when a plan comes together like that for someone, but you worked at it! enjoy!
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post #9 of 14 Old 04-09-2019, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westernspindle View Post
You mentioned Laguna. I've only had one Laguna machine and wasn't impressed. Fit and finish left a lot to be desired. If my machine is representative, I'd look at another brand.
The fit and finish on our Laguna 14SUV bandsaw is excellent, as has been the customer service. The other Laguna equipment I've seen also was very good in the fit and finish department. Either you got a bad one or the half dozen I have seen were just exceptional machinery for the lot.

David

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post #10 of 14 Old 04-09-2019, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, I’m sure I will enjoy using it a lot. Only problem is I have two paying woodworking jobs I need to finish before I start anything too serious on the lathe.

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WOW! I love it when a plan comes together like that for someone, but you worked at it! enjoy!

Ken

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post #11 of 14 Old 04-09-2019, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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So my DVR motor upgrade arrived today and it was in flawless condition! I installed it on my 1624 II and it works great! I couldn't be happier!
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post #12 of 14 Old 04-10-2019, 09:41 AM
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Hi Ken,
Havent seen you on here for awhile. Good luck with the new lathe setup. When I moved up from my Jet midi, I bought a Jet 1642. Rocklers had a sale at the time, about 8-9 years ago, $1195. Now they're about double that. I have a Vic mark chuck that I use most of the time. Very nice lathe, it has a sliding headstock for outboard turning, but I've never used that feature. Working on a pair of sliding barn doors right now for my house, walnut frames with ambrosia maple inserts.
Mike Hawkins
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post #13 of 14 Old 04-10-2019, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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Sounds like a great setup. Please post pics of the doors when you are done. I’m sure they will be beautiful.

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Hi Ken,
Havent seen you on here for awhile. Good luck with the new lathe setup. When I moved up from my Jet midi, I bought a Jet 1642. Rocklers had a sale at the time, about 8-9 years ago, $1195. Now they're about double that. I have a Vic mark chuck that I use most of the time. Very nice lathe, it has a sliding headstock for outboard turning, but I've never used that feature. Working on a pair of sliding barn doors right now for my house, walnut frames with ambrosia maple inserts.
Mike Hawkins
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Ken

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post #14 of 14 Old 04-13-2019, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by difalkner View Post
The fit and finish on our Laguna 14SUV bandsaw is excellent, as has been the customer service. The other Laguna equipment I've seen also was very good in the fit and finish department. Either you got a bad one or the half dozen I have seen were just exceptional machinery for the lot.

David
David, I didn't have as good of luck as you. I just bought a Laguna 12/16 lathe and the tool rest will not go all the way down in the banjo. I called CS and they told me to sand the post down. Did you ever try and sand a 1-inch metal post down? I am not very happy with Laguna's CS.

Don in Murfreesboro, TN.
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