Help!! Wife trying to buy husband a lathe for Christmas - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 12-01-2009, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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Question Help!! Wife trying to buy husband a lathe for Christmas

I want to buy my husband a lathe for Christmas but have no clue which one to buy. He's never done woodworking before but has expressed interested in building some furniture for our house. I'm sure he would make other things as well. He's very crafty so I have no doubt that he would be able to do it. : )

The two models I am currently looking at are the JET JWL-1220 and the Grizzly G0462. I'm not sure if either of these would be the best option or if there's another one I haven't discovered yet. I would like to keep the cost down to about $500 or less.

I appreciate any advice you can give!
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post #2 of 9 Old 12-01-2009, 10:14 PM
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I would go with the grizzly, more lathe for the money. The "swing over bed" is how big of a turning you can do for long and short pieces....think 16inch diameter baseball bat OR bowls vs the jet with 12inch capability. The grizzly also has the ability to turn the headstock (main drive portion) so larger diameter pieces, think salad bowls. The jet doesn't have this option. The grizzly has a longer bed, 43inches, so it can turn things like table legs, the jet is limited to 20inches so chairs and end tables would be it.

The grizzly also has the rpm readout and better variable speed setup. When I upgrade from my starter lathe the grizzly is the one I am going for.
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post #3 of 9 Old 12-02-2009, 01:32 PM
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I've had the JWL-1220VS since September. This is my first lathe and I really love it.

The JWL-1220 doesn't have the veriable speed option, but I'd say it's a really fine lathe.

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post #4 of 9 Old 12-02-2009, 07:48 PM
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I have to ask...

What other tools does Hubby have?

For someone that has not done any woodworking, a lathe may not be the best place to start.

Use the right tool for the job.

Rich (Tilting right)
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Remember that when we have the "BIG ONE" everything east of the Rockies falls into the ocean.
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post #5 of 9 Old 12-02-2009, 09:43 PM
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You might want to take a look at the new Delta lathe(model 46-460).It is variable speed and it's probably all the lathe your husband will ever need. It retails for $599 but Woodcraft has it on sale now until the 12th of Dec. for $539. I've owned the Jet 1220 and it's a very good lathe. If you don't want to pay the price of the Jet or Delta, take a look at the Rikon mini lathe for $329 at It too is a very good lathe. Good luck.
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post #6 of 9 Old 12-03-2009, 08:20 AM
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You got real good advices already. The 3 models recommended are regarded as the best in this group. The Delta is a new model which has features that got it high marks. The Jet and Rikon have a track record to be very good and reliable.
Don't just compare the price and specs, service and warranty are important. Jet and Delta has 5 years warranty and Grizzly has only one.
How smooth a lathe runs is very important. Lathe tools are hand held; it is difficult to make smooth cuts when the lathe is shaking.
The variable speed models are more desirable because they have slower minimum speed than their manual speed change siblings. They can handle the unbalanced bowl blanks better, besides the convenience.
You mentioned that he may be interested in building furniture. All 3 models have bed extensions he can add on when he wants to turn long spindles, such as table legs.
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post #7 of 9 Old 12-03-2009, 08:55 AM
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I have never used a lathe,but, when at a woodworking supply store and not being happy with the prices of Jet and Delta jointers the rep told me to check out Grizzly.I got more bang for a lot less buck,I'm perfectly happy with it,and I use it at least three times a week.From now on I will check out Griz first.
Turning is an art in itself,I don't see why it wouldn't be a good place to start.Once you have the lathe and the tools for it what else do ya really need? Just my $.02
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post #8 of 9 Old 12-03-2009, 10:12 AM
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I'm with Rich

A lathe might not be a good place to start. Now my question is this going to be a surprise or does hubby know about it already?
If it's a surprise has been talking about it a lot and really shows interest tn wood working maybe a gift certificate. Also you you might want to talk to some of his friends and see if he has mentioned woodworking with them.
Something else to consider is does he have a place to make him a workshop?
I just thought of something. Are any of his friends into woodworking?

Aw heck just get a hundred $5 bills wad each one individually and put a brick on a shoe box and wrap it up.

Originally Posted by rrich View Post
I have to ask...

What other tools does Hubby have?

For someone that has not done any woodworking, a lathe may not be the best place to start.
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post #9 of 9 Old 12-03-2009, 04:10 PM
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On one hand a lathe is a great gift, I just got the Grizzly from my in-laws for my birthday and it is a well built tool for the money. On the other hand I have to agree with these guys there might be other tools that would be better to start if he is going to be getting into woodworking for the first time. There are many things that he can make with just a lathe but if he is looking to make furniture he is might need some other things like a table saw, router and router table, or meiter saw. If you are dead set on a lathe I would reccommend the Grizzly, it is a very nice beginners lathe to start and you cannot beat the price. Good luck Becky, you are a great wife to be doing this research!

Green Bay WI
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grizzly, jet

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