Good or bad lathe - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 7 Old 03-29-2009, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 32
View Nomes's Photo Album My Photos
Good or bad lathe

What makes one better than the other? Drives, bearings or what?
Can you upgrade a poor lathe into a better one?
Nomes is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 7 Old 03-29-2009, 11:31 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: central illinois
Posts: 912
View jdixon's Photo Album My Photos
Nomes I think you have just opened the proverbial can o worms here! There are I believe many factors that go into what is a good lathe. All of what you mentioned along with good for what? Depending on what you are wanting to turn may to some degree make one lathe better for you. All in all motor size and quality, weight and quality of material used in the lathe, bearings, whether it uses easily found accessories or does it have oddball threads. Also reputation of company and whether they stand behind their equipment with good service or not. Probably missing a thousand things here. It's sorta like buying a car. As quality goes up so does price so to some degree tradeoffs have to be made unless you are fortunate enough that price doesn't matter.

For your second point, Can you upgrade a poor lathe into a good one? I would think there may be small things that can be done but it sounds like most start with a lathe and then upgrade to a new and better lathe rather than changing individual pieces on a lathe. At least that's what I'm in the process of doing. If however your lathe was on the light side you could certainly add weight to it to make it more stable while turning.

John
jdixon is offline  
post #3 of 7 Old 03-29-2009, 11:53 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 12
View JigStik's Photo Album My Photos
A good lathe is one that you haven't outgrown yet. A delta midi is a good beginner lathe but there are many other suitable brands. Once you cut your teeth on a small on like that you can buy the extension, and turn longer stuff too.

When you outgrow that one and drop the big coin on a CL3, you'll still want to keep the small one for well, small stuff.
JigStik is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 7 Old 03-30-2009, 10:32 AM
Just makin chips fly
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: FL an NC
Posts: 642
View The woodsman's Photo Album My Photos
Good or bad lathe

A good lathe not only will depend depend on how well its made,but also what kind of service you get from the manufacter.A cheap one can be made out of cheap material,like the metal itself where you can have threads strip off easy or bearings burn out,nothing lines up,like the tail stock or headstock and the list can go on an on.As for upgrading a cheap made lathe to a high quality lathe,well that could cost you more than if you just bought the better lathe to begin with.One example would be the motor.You could get a cheap lathe with a lousy motor and to change a motor could cost 2 or 3 hundred bucks.SUGGESTION buy a good one from the git go and you won't be sorry.
The woodsman is offline  
post #5 of 7 Old 03-30-2009, 02:15 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Baxter, Tennessee
Posts: 3,257
View john lucas's Photo Album My Photos
Good lathes are cast iron (with the the exception of some of the top of the line like Oneway) and solid. Everything should work smoothly with no vibration. The tool rest and tailstock should be easy to adjust and stay in that position once locked down. The motor should be powerful enough to do the job. On a mini lathe 1/2 to 3/4 horse, on full size lathes 1hp minimum (and not made up HP like Craftsman always does). The spindle size should be common and hopefully have at least a #2 morse taper on the the bigger lathes. The extremely small lathes work OK with #1 morse taper and 3/4x16 spindle.
The Jet, Powermatic, Nova, Oneway and Delta's all fit this category. Grizzly has a few good ones and a few bad ones.
john lucas is offline  
post #6 of 7 Old 03-30-2009, 02:19 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Baxter, Tennessee
Posts: 3,257
View john lucas's Photo Album My Photos
Good lathes are cast iron (with the the exception of some of the top of the line like Oneway) and solid. Everything should work smoothly with no vibration. The tool rest and tailstock should be easy to adjust and stay in that position once locked down. The motor should be powerful enough to do the job. On a mini lathe 1/2 to 3/4 horse, on full size lathes 1hp minimum (and not made up HP like Craftsman always does). The spindle size should be common and hopefully have at least a #2 morse taper on the the bigger lathes. The extremely small lathes work OK with #1 morse taper and 3/4x16 spindle.
The Jet, Powermatic, Nova, Oneway and Delta's all fit this category. Grizzly has a few good ones and a few bad ones. Generally any lathe under $200 if it's a mini and under about $500 if it's full size is suspect. The cheaper lathes usually have cheap bearing and motors that don't hold up, switches that go bad and the parts just don't work very smoothly.
john lucas is offline  
post #7 of 7 Old 03-30-2009, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 32
View Nomes's Photo Album My Photos
I have Delta Mod. 46-700 Variable speed and Craftsman Professional.
I think both do around 4' long posts I'm not much on bowls mostly legs and not a much of those. But getting back into it I might try a few other things.
Mostly just general purpose stuff.
Nomes is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Would a Shop Smith be a good lathe choice? Knucklebuster Power Tools & Machinery 4 12-10-2008 12:23 AM
Old Lathe tamirrajune1965 Tool Reviews 2 11-03-2008 08:10 PM
Live Oak Wood - Good or No Good seasidcut General Woodworking Discussion 6 09-19-2008 03:49 PM
Help with a lathe Mysteriouswoodsmen Woodturning 11 01-06-2008 12:43 AM
Fox F46-719 Lathe JOHNB Woodturning 3 10-25-2007 11:24 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome