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post #1 of 14 Old 12-10-2010, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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First lathe

What is the sage advice of the members of this forum with regard to the purchase of my first lathe? I know absolutely nothing-zilch-nada about turning... but I know I want to turn bowls, primarily. No interest in pens and smaller things at all. I'd imagine I would start with bowls which are no larger than 12" diameter. What inexpensive models are well suited to this purpose?

Thoughts?

Kev
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post #2 of 14 Old 12-10-2010, 09:34 PM
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I have a jet 12 x 20 which would work fine for bowls up to 12"and pepper mils ect.Everyone here has a favorite.You can get great deals on craigslist if your patient.Do some research on the internet for your price range.Pneumatic,Jet,delta,Grizzly,are all good.

***For the record*** Ive made hundreds of guitar bodies,never put one together and cant play a note.
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post #3 of 14 Old 12-10-2010, 11:42 PM
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I would buy a used Jet 1220VS to see if you like it and upgrade if needed. A new one without a stand would run $500.00, a used one would run $300.00 - $350.00. I bought a unused Jet 1014 mini for $220.00 w/stand and now listed is a used 1014 w/stand and five pen kits for $250.00.
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post #4 of 14 Old 12-11-2010, 07:11 PM
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I would agree. The larger mini lathes like the Jet 1220, Rikon 12", Grizzly 12" and the new Delta(which is the best but the most expensive) will do a good job of teaching you bowl turning with a reasonable expense.
You want a lathe that goes down to 500rpm minimum, slower is better. These all do that. They are also cast iron and solid. You can get cheaper lathes from HF and Grizzly that are steel angle iron or steel tubes. Stay away from those, they are too flimsy for bowls.
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post #5 of 14 Old 12-12-2010, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K Rex View Post
What is the sage advice of the members of this forum with regard to the purchase of my first lathe? I know absolutely nothing-zilch-nada about turning... but I know I want to turn bowls, primarily. No interest in pens and smaller things at all. I'd imagine I would start with bowls which are no larger than 12" diameter. What inexpensive models are well suited to this purpose?

Thoughts?

Kev


Got this for the wife, tried to write a little review. By the time I got it mounted, was very pleased with the purchase.

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f6/se...r-lathe-20190/


RPMs actually go down to 135. Very solid at over a hundred pounds.
Too cold lately to really get out there and put it to the test.

But you may want to go Bigger with your first machine.

Harrison, at your service!
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post #6 of 14 Old 12-13-2010, 11:58 AM
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HF only has one lathe that would be suitable for what you describe. Not true that they are all angle iron or steel tube beds, but they sure do have those as well, and I would say definately stay away from those. There are tons of those cheap ones on CL as well.
The one at HF that is worth looking at is the 12 x 33 3/8" model. That can turn a 12" diameter bowl, or a spindle or table leg up to 33 3/8" long. This is model 34706. It has 3/4hp and is variable speed from 600 up to 2400 RPM. There is a coupon in Wood Magazine for this lathe for $199. I don't have this lathe, but I do have a HF 10 x 18" mini 5 speed and it is quite nice as well, but not suited to larger pieces like bowls since it's only 10" capacity and 1/2hp.

I would agree that the Delta 12 1/2" x 20" with the 1 hp VS drive is probably one of the best machines for bowls out there; it was rated best in review by Fine Wood Working magazine, but it costs over $750 with a 20" extension. I'd still say it's probably worth it if you find you really like to turn. By the way, the Penn State Industries 12" VS Commander was rated a best buy in the same review, at $480 with a 20" extension.

What ever lathe you start with you will need a set of HSS (high speed steel) lathe turning tools, a way to sharpen them, and probably a good chuck. This can add another $200 to $800 to your purchases.

One of the nice things about checking Craig's List is sometimes you will find a machine with the tools and chuck included, for less than the cost of the lathe alone. Just be sure and stay away from the cheap, no name things with steel beds; you want cast iron.
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post #7 of 14 Old 12-26-2010, 05:33 PM
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if you think you will enjoy woodturning, get a good quality lathe so you wont have to upgrade.
if you only want to turn bowls i wouldn't recommend getting a mini lathe. it will do small bowls but if you want to turn anything larger than 6 inches you will have problems.
remember, a large lathe can do small work but a small lathe cant do big work.

Last edited by mike s; 12-26-2010 at 05:33 PM. Reason: mis-spelt words
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post #8 of 14 Old 12-26-2010, 07:09 PM
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First lathe

I would get with a club or even a friend and give it a try to see if it may be for you,then if you think your going to really like it,then I would suggest you get the best you can afford.When I first got around to turning,I got a Ricon mini,a year later I upgraded to a Nova 1624.I still have the Ricon and love it,but what ever you get,DON'T go cheap.

God Bless all
Ken Ward
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post #9 of 14 Old 12-27-2010, 02:19 PM
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My first lathe was a Jet 1442, then sold it, bought a Jet 1642, sold it and bought a Oneway 2436, my last one. Well that didn't happen, I bought a Jet mini 1014 enjoying it more than all the others, I hardly ever turn anything over 12".
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post #10 of 14 Old 01-04-2011, 10:48 AM
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Don't go cheap you'll only be disappointed. Like others have said find a club or a friend that has a good lathe and make sure this is what you want to do. Turning is not a cheap hobby and the cost will add up very fast for turning tools, sharpening system, protective gear, wood and of course a good used or new lathe. With that said turning is one of the most pleasing, rewarding, and soothing aspects of wood working that I have ever had. Do your research on tooling and buy quality tools and you won't regret it. Good luck in your search.
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post #11 of 14 Old 01-06-2011, 06:56 AM
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Alot of choices out there but like others have said don't go too cheap because you will be dissappointed.
Donny
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post #12 of 14 Old 01-06-2011, 09:30 AM
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I 22nd the choice for quality first. Don't overlook the old school Logan or Southbend lathes. Some of the best machines and super reliable IMO. They can be found with diligent searching on CL. Always inspect close for rust and flat beds.
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post #13 of 14 Old 01-06-2011, 09:47 AM
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Give us a price range and we can try to recommend a quality lathe around that price. I highly recommend buying quality and preferably cast iron. However there are some junk cast iron lathes as well.
It is awful hard to beat the 12/20 size mini lathes for a starter lathe. If you go with a brand name like Jet, Rikon, Delta, or Grizzly on these you will get a quality machine. The new PennSTate commander is getting some good press but I've never worked on one so can't comment. I have played with some of their lathes and think the castings aren't done very well and switches and other parts seem cheap.
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post #14 of 14 Old 01-06-2011, 09:15 PM
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Here's two links you might want to look at.

Wood Lathe List

Getting Started in Woodturning

HTH!

- Neal
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