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post #1 of 10 Old 02-20-2011, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
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Lathe discussion

I'd like to know what kind of lathes you guys have, why you chose that lathe, and what do you like to turn on it. Also, if you could throw in some pros and cons of the lathe that you have, that'd be nice, too.

I'm interested in buying a better lathe, but there are so many options, I don't know where to start. If we can get a lot of info in one thread, maybe it'll help folks like me who are trying to decide which lathe to buy in the future.

* * *

I'll go first! I have a Grizzly G0462. I picked it because it was on special and I got it, a set of starter tools, and delivery for under $500. I'm still relatively new to turning, so I like to experiment with a variety of turnings. I've done pens, tops, bottle stoppers, candlesticks, small lidded jars / bowls, and a variety of bowls up to 11" diameter.

I enjoy the larger bowls, but this lathe can't seem to handle it without a lot of vibration.

Pros - Cheap, 2hp motor, long bed, variable speed
Cons - Susceptible to vibration, lowest speed setting not good for larger pieces, tool rest is kinda crappy
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post #2 of 10 Old 02-20-2011, 03:55 PM
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I have a general international maxi-lathe (mid sized) that I use for bottle stoppers, pens, cork screws, etc...most of the small stuff.

I also have a Jet 1642EVS that I do bowls, peppermills, platters, vases, etc.

I started with the little one and realized that I couldn't do all that I wanted to with it. With the Jet, I can do pretty much anything I'm gonna need/want to for a while. I really like the fact that the Jet reverses, which I do when sanding. Nice heavy lathe with a shelf on the bottom for even more weight if you're turning large out of round pieces. I don't care for the tool rest that comes withit, but I've got a couple of Robust ones for it and love those. Nice variable speed control. Love this lathe.

That bowl was perfect right up until that last cut...
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post #3 of 10 Old 02-20-2011, 04:01 PM
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I us a Grizzly as well...a G5979

For it's size, it has been more than adequate for what I do.
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post #4 of 10 Old 02-20-2011, 04:30 PM
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i have had an old craftman lathe but today after weeks of pondering
i bought a delta 46-460 lathe and im so looking forward to trying it out
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post #5 of 10 Old 02-20-2011, 09:42 PM
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I have too many lathes. No that's not correct, I have too little space. I have a Powermatic 3520. Love it. It has 2hp and you can slow it down to 50 rpm and still have enough power to hog off wood. That's in the high range, if I change pulleys my high speed is lower but you have a huge amount of power. I have short bed extension which makes it possible to turn much longer items. The 20" swing is really more than I need for 90 percent of my work. It's that 10percent that made me buy it.
Pro's Mass. 750 lbs with high quality bearings really makes turning fun, even with small items. Tailstock and tool rest are excellent, solid and lock in place extremely well. Plenty of power and wide range of speeds.
con's Tailstock is heavy and a hassle to remove. I had to run a 220 line.

Nova Comet. This was the beginning of all the mini lathe and I still think it's one of the best. You could order it with 1 1/4x 8 threads which matched my other lathe at the time so all my tooling could be swapped over. It took the same bed extensions as the Nova 3000 so I bought one. Now I have a mini lathe with 36" between centers. I love using it for smaller work because the tool rest and tailstock move so effortlessly. It has a 3/4" tool post. Most mini's have 5/8" and they break. The tailstock locks solidly, most mini's don't. Unfortunately they quit making this lathe.
Rikon 12" mini. I got this for the 12" swing so I was not so limited when I did demos away from my home. It's a good lathe but I may sell it and get the new Delta.
Pro's A small lathe with big capabilities.
Con's needs more horsepower.
Carbo-Tec mini. A small compact extremely solidly built lathe. This sucker is Cast iron and weights almost as much as the Jet mini. It only has an 8" swing and 12" between centers so it's pretty limits to small or smaller work. However it runs vibration free and everything works very smooth and solid.
Homemade spring pole lathe. Extremely quite and green power wise. Burns about 250 calories per hour. Speed about 3rpm per push.
Dremel mini lathe. swing about 2" 6" between centers. Very low power, tool rest sucks, tailstock is very marginal, accessories are non existent.
Pro's cute as hell.
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post #6 of 10 Old 02-20-2011, 09:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert421960 View Post
i have had an old craftman lathe but today after weeks of pondering
i bought a delta 46-460 lathe and im so looking forward to trying it out
Best of luck with it Robert
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post #7 of 10 Old 02-21-2011, 09:51 AM
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Best of luck with it Robert
thanks i cant wait to get it home
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post #8 of 10 Old 02-21-2011, 11:09 AM
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Post some pics Robert

Congrats

I'm rigging up an old Rockwell/Delta/Homecraft that was given to me by a friend.

I'm dubbin' with it while my "bowl guy" comes over and advises me on what it can and cannot do.

I'm buying my first bowl gouge this week

noobe noobe new

Learning more about tools everyday
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post #9 of 10 Old 02-21-2011, 04:41 PM
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I think the best lathe is the one you own now. Have never owned a lathe that did not like am on my fourth now. My current lathe Jet 1642 is best could afford. No not the perfect lathe but can handle anything I throw at it. Only way to learn your lathe’s weak and strong points is through use. Every lathe I have owned taught me different ways to do things.

Yes would like to own a General 260, Oneway, Powermatic, Robust, or Stubby lathe. Just not in the cards right now and that is okay.
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post #10 of 10 Old 02-22-2011, 10:52 PM
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Here are my thoughts on what to look for in a lathe.

There's no such thing as the perfect lathe. In the end it all comes down to: 1) what you plan to turn, and 2) budget.
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