Harbor Freight wood lathes opinions. - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 09-08-2009, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Harbor Freight wood lathes opinions.

Would like to have opinions on these lathes. (middle of the road to higher priced) Thanks, Darrel


I bought a Delta 46-204P in Pittsburgh that I found on Craiges list last week.. Thanks guys for the comments. Darrel

Last edited by egnuol; 09-26-2009 at 10:00 AM. Reason: UPDATE
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post #2 of 9 Old 09-08-2009, 03:42 PM
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Only the 34706, which is the Jet 1236 clone, may be worth looking into.

All their other lathes I have seen are made out of sheet metal headstock and light duty tubing bed ways. They have high minimum speed, when tightening the tail stock, the lathe would flex. High speed and insecure holding of the work piece are not a safe environment.
The alignment is not good enough for pen turning with mandrel.

IMO, I would look for a good used lathe if budget is tight.
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post #3 of 9 Old 09-08-2009, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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The $200 one has cast iron ways/stamped metal legs. The $500 has cast legs. Both have reversing headstocks for outside turning. I would rather buy an american made used one if there is such a thing. 12-14"x36-40" Thanks Gorden for the input. Darrel
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post #4 of 9 Old 09-08-2009, 08:10 PM
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Harbor Freight wood lathes opinions

In my opinion they are junk.Bought the big one two yrs ago and it was JUNK,they replaced it four times replaced the motor once,before I got tired of it an returned it for a refund.All in less than 6 mo.Then I got the Nova 1624 and havn't regretted it one bit.A little more money,but well worth it.You can get the Jet 1220 for about 450.00 and HF can't hold a candle to em.The older HF used to be a pretty decent lathe,but there new ones

God Bless all
Ken Ward
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post #5 of 9 Old 09-09-2009, 12:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egnuol View Post
Both have reversing headstocks for outside turning.
Darrel,

I don't think they have reversing. I think you may mean pivoting headstock for turning larger diameter turnings.
That would work in theory. But in reality, light duty lathes with high minimum speed would not be steady enough for using the outboard feature. You won't enjoy the lathe if you have to chase the shaking lathe all over your shop. The toolrest extension for outboard is very flimsy. Snapping the extension is very common. Besides turning outboard, you can't use the tail stock.

You will be better off with a good mini or midi lathe (with a bed extension if you want the length capacity).
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post #6 of 9 Old 09-09-2009, 03:51 AM
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Hello.

HERE IS MY OPINION for what it is worth, if it is this lathe:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=34706

It is worth the money he is asking. None of there other wood lathes are worth having. The one above is a good lathe (for the money) when Harbor Freight puts it on sale and you have a 20% off coupon to add to the sale price (that is how I got mine). I have had no problems with mine and it has done everything I have asked of it, but I am a beginner. I can see that as a person get better, he will want a nicer lathe

AGAIN THIS IS ONLY MY OPINION
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post #7 of 9 Old 09-09-2009, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. Experienced opinions are priceless. I have looked at all of these lathes but until you are looking at it in your shop, there can be quite a differance. Yes, I did mean that the head stock swivels. I had it worded wrong. Thanks again, Darrel
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post #8 of 9 Old 09-09-2009, 12:06 PM
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I have the big one ,I like it ok did have to replace the drive belt , after 2 1/2 YRS. not to bad. if you bolt it down there is no walking ,I also have a jet mini had to bolt it down also, al in al it s not a bad lath for the money wait for a sale they have them all the time.

Steve M.
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post #9 of 9 Old 09-16-2009, 10:21 PM
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I have had the 34706, Jet 1236 clone for a short while now, and have turned a lot of stuff on it. I like it. Been smooth. I agree though, it is a bit on the light side, but then again so is the MUCH more expensive Jet JWL 1236... A heavy bench replacing the legs, or a plywood shelf on the legs with some sand bags or bags of concrete to act as ballast fixes the dancing lathe problem...

I do NOT want to give the impression that the CM lathe is any worse at dancing across the floor when an off balance piece is started up. ALL light weight lathes will do that...

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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