Harbor Freight Lathes - Page 2 - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #21 of 32 Old 04-03-2009, 11:12 AM
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I second the Woodsman's comment, and watch out for the motor in particular ... they tend to be underpowered and easy to burn out.

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post #22 of 32 Old 04-03-2009, 11:56 AM
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Put away the tool rest extension and don't even attempt to use it. That part was poorly designed (including the Jet 1236 that this model cloned from). It is likely to snap, throwing yourself off balance and causes accident. HF is fairly good with warranty. You won't have problem getting parts replaced if broken. But a sudden loss of tool rest is scary & dangerous.

Congrats on the new lathe.
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post #23 of 32 Old 04-03-2009, 12:43 PM
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wow. just on a quick look at the HF lathes and the Grizzly lathes, I guess they buy this stuff from the same Chinese company!

Harbor Freight:


Grizzly:


I've got a Grizzly, have had no trouble with it, and since they're probably ultimately made by the same people, I'd say that you're pretty safe with your HF lathe.
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post #24 of 32 Old 04-03-2009, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b00kemdano View Post
wow. just on a quick look at the HF lathes and the Grizzly lathes, I guess they buy this stuff from the same Chinese company!

... and since they're probably ultimately made by the same people,
I won't assume that. They are the knock-off country of the world. There are plenty of small family style manufacturing factories all over China. They can't afford R&D, imitation is their specialty. I believe it all boils down to what quality standard the importer wants to accept on their brand. In that part of the world, there is knock-off for everything that is good. They even have knock-off cooking salt.

About the Grizzly lathe that you have, please be careful about the size you are turning. I believe it is a 16" swing lathe and the minimum speed is 600. That is way too fast on slightly off balanced bowls of that size.
http://www.woodturnerscatalog.com/wo...the_speeds.pdf
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post #25 of 32 Old 04-03-2009, 07:43 PM
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Harbor Freight lathe

I would save a few more dollars and get a Jet mini lathe. If you are going to choose between the HF lathe and the Shopsmith go with the Shopsmith.
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post #26 of 32 Old 04-03-2009, 10:24 PM
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Gordon,

Nice article on lathe speeds. I always thought that faster is better, but that is not true..... I think there is more control for the novice turner at slower speeds. It is easier to manage the catches. But a better/smoother cut is produced at higher speeds.....
I love my Nova 1624. Goes down to 217 RPM. Only drawback is it is not VS. So far, meets all my needs.

Fred
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post #27 of 32 Old 04-04-2009, 05:46 AM
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same model

OK, I went back and checked and it turns out that my HF lathe IS the same model you bought. I really like the VS feature and boy was the price right ... got it on supersale for $150. BUT, as I said earlier, the motor burned out after just a couple of months and the adjustment levers are real crap.

Also, I'm reminded by Gordon's comment about tool rests that on my previous lathe, an even cheaper HF model, the banjo snapped off many years ago. I had forgotten. It was obviously poor quality cast iron. Something else to watch out for, although on the 34706 it doesn't look to me to be a problem. I've had a couple of serious catches where if it was going to snap it probably would have done so.

Enjoy.

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post #28 of 32 Old 04-07-2009, 08:06 AM
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The tolerance for the Harbor Freight, Jet, and Grizzily are all the same.
I have a HF for for years and have had no problems. And if you follow HF you can get it on sale for $179.00
HF just put out a mini lathe too.
Just my $0.02
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post #29 of 32 Old 04-08-2009, 10:41 AM
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get a delta mini lathe, great little lathe ive had the same one for about 7 years its great.
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post #30 of 32 Old 06-22-2009, 04:31 PM
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I have the HF #34706, and it has been great so far. I am not sure which model the posters here have had problems with, but the one I got gets tons of good reviews on lots of different forums, and came highly recommended by a woodturning business associate of mine. I have been very happy with it so far. Yes it is basically a Jet JWL1236 clone. It's not as pretty but it is DEFINATELY functional and does what I want it to.

Now if you are talking the lathe with the stamped steel bed, well... Beyond hope is an optimistic statement for that thing... Even with the best stands, it will still try to do the wave on you...

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post #31 of 32 Old 06-22-2009, 06:39 PM
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I have had a Harbor freight lathe For 6yrs I love it. I have turned large bowls to 4" posts.
the only thing to replace was a belt. ( But this is just my opinion.)

Steve

Steve M.
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post #32 of 32 Old 06-25-2009, 04:32 PM
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One thing that bears mentioning here is that I looked at the Grizzly, and Jet lathes that are nearly identical to this one. The fit and finish of the HF lathe doesn't even compare to the Jet. Plain and simple the jet was well finished. The Grizzly on the other hand appears almost identical. One word of warning about the grizz version though. I haven't seen complaints about the HF doing this, but the Grizz model is known for having a weak motor / burns out easily... I passed on a Grizz on Craigslist and got the HF due to that one issue...

Also all of these lathes are too light on the bottom end to keep from dancing across the floor if you have stock that is out of balance... You will want to build a sturdy / heavy base for it. Not just the HF lathe, but pretty much any lathe, including that big cast iron legged Jet, you still need ballast...

Interested in my woodworking, workshop and whatnot? See http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com, want to see my other interests such as hunting, fishing, off roading, and camping? See http://wildersport-outdoors.blogspot.com
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