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post #1 of 14 Old 06-10-2010, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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Harbor freight Lathe

I'm not sure about whether or not I would enjoy wood turning or if it would be worth the expense of a jet 1236 lathe.There is a h/f lathe,34706,on c/l for $100 obo.I ck'd out some reviews on it and a lot of people like it [for the money],and compare it to one of the jet lathes which cost 3 times more than the $200 ya pay at h/f. the h/f one is 3/4 hp and the jet is 1 h/p.the h/f one gets down to 600 rpm and the jet 500 rpm.Both have swivel heads.Other than that and the jet is 10-15 lbs heavier they appear to be about the same!What say you guys? Itchy

Last edited by Itchy Brother; 06-10-2010 at 04:16 PM.
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post #2 of 14 Old 06-10-2010, 03:55 PM
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For $100 you can find out if you enjoy turning. Throw a low ball offer in cash and see what happens. You never know.

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post #3 of 14 Old 06-10-2010, 04:05 PM
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HK sells it for $249. That's probably not a bad price but be prepared to possibly work on it to make it a better lathe. At that price I'm sure it's not the same lathe as the Jet. Still if you get it cheap it would probably get you started.
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post #4 of 14 Old 06-10-2010, 09:34 PM
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Itchy...

I started out with a $50 lathe 20 yrs. ago and I still use it when I need it today.

I'm not a turner, but it has come in very handy over the years.

I say, take the $100, and go for it!

You can always upgrade.... if you feel the need!

Scott
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post #5 of 14 Old 06-10-2010, 09:59 PM
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I've got that model (the HF) and I can tell you it's a mixed blessing. The price is certainly right and I make very good use of mine, but the motor burned out after only a couple of months so I hung a TEFC 3/4HP off of a hinged platform on the side. Sorry to lose the infinitely-variable speed control but the motor was underpowered for sure. My new 3/4HP is rated the same but seems stronger ... but still not really strong enough. If you're going to do any decent-sized bowls, I suggest a 1HP and I can't imagine that you'd want to toss the 3/4HP that comes with it and kludge together a replacement the way I did.

Also, the adjustment knobs mostly all stripped off after not too long and I replaced them with steel Allen wrench (hex-head) screws. Minor annoyance, but speaks to HF's lack of quality.

I put a 50lb sack of <I don't even remember what it is> on the lower rails and that gives it a bit more solid feel.

So, for just fooling around, I recommend it despite what I pointed out above. You can't beat the price. But if you really get into turning, you likely will want to upgrade.

You can check out my bowls at

http://www.phinds.com/bowls/

I did the most recent 100 or so of them on this lathe.

Paul

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post #6 of 14 Old 06-10-2010, 10:35 PM
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I am accually thinking of going and buying the HF lathe this weekend.
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post #7 of 14 Old 06-11-2010, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
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I've asked a friend here and he and a lot of people on the internet reviews say negative things about them.Enough so I'll pass on it.I'm now looking at Rikon 70-100 and Jet JWL1220.A couple hundred more but less chance of being disapointed.
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post #8 of 14 Old 06-11-2010, 12:43 AM
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You can't go wrong with either of those itchy. I've got the Rikon and it has served me well.

Tim
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post #9 of 14 Old 06-11-2010, 02:36 AM
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You might want to wait a couple of days more as the weekend is here and there are usually more tools posted on a Friday than any other day. I was able to pick up a Craftsman lathe for $30 and all it needed was a center cup for the tail stock. Just a thought.

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. James 3:17
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post #10 of 14 Old 06-11-2010, 08:48 AM Thread Starter
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Well here I am at 05:00 am.I found a jet jwl 1236 [12 x 36"] on C/L for $500.Its located 100 miles from where I live.I'm debating on whether to drive that far lol!The low speed is 550,is that low enough for large bowls and such?The add says it comes with 6 tools and I'm guessin thats what comes with it like faceplate and such.3/4 hp,1"x8 tpi,MT#2,VS.Sound like it would be worth the drive?Itchy
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post #11 of 14 Old 06-11-2010, 11:30 AM
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A new one goes for about twice that on Amazon. Make sure the faceplate, live center and drive center are all there. The wrench and the rod-thingie to punch out the drive center too. If something's missing use that as leverage to lower his price. The nice thing is anything missing on that lathe is easily replaceable. Only you can answer whether it's worth the drive or not. In my car a 200 mile round trip would be about 10 to 15 gallons of gas not counting a slurpee. If you strike a deal you have to break the lathe down, which isn't a big deal. Separate motor and tailstock from bed, bed from stand and away you go. You need 2 people to carry the bed. What would suck would be driving out there, finding out the guy is a stroke, not cutting a deal and deadheading it back latheless.
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post #12 of 14 Old 06-11-2010, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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Yup John, was thinking about that.I looked at a review on utube and one thing I did'nt like about it was the plastic handle on the tailstock,I'm kinda picky huh.I'm kinda leaning towards the jet 1220 with out the vs.About $450.00 at woodcraft.I just need to find out about any hidden costs like shipping from the factory to the woodcraft store or if they have them there or just order them from the store.Everything about the 1220 looks solid tho.Mike Hawkins ,[aka Firehawk], has been great helping me on info about various lathes and such.Itchy

Last edited by Itchy Brother; 06-11-2010 at 11:58 AM.
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post #13 of 14 Old 06-11-2010, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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Skipped the long trip and went to woodcraft and they gave me 10% off a jet 12x20.$404.00.It looks real nice.Gotta buy a chuck,theirs were about $250 so I guess Ill be scouring c/l and the internet to get a deal.Any good sources out there?Itchy
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post #14 of 14 Old 06-12-2010, 11:11 AM
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Hey Itchy that's great !! That's a fine lathe and will give you many years of service. But don't let the lack of a chuck stop you from trying it out. I still haven't got a chuck for mine and I'm not letting it hold me back. I just started a bowl project yesterday using the face plate. After all, what did turners do before chucks became all the rage? As far as deals, I know Rocklers and Woodcraft run sales on them from time to time. I think Rocklers just had one but I never seem to have the cash when the sale is on, so it's the faceplate or nothing for me.
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