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post #1 of 15 Old 11-28-2011, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
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Lathe Question

Hey guys, wow, I havnt been on this site for months!!

So, its Christmas time again and the wife is asking what I would like. My favorite section of this site is the turning section yet I have never used a lathe in my life. I love seeing the things you guys are able to create. So...I'm thinking I'd like to give it a shot. What entry level, low budget lathe would you reccomend? I'm thinking I should start with something small and could always upgrade to a larger name brand lathe later if it turns out to be something I really enjoy doing.

I was looking at these two from HF and being a complete lathe noobie, I have no clue the real advantages or disadvantages to either one. What are your thoughts?
http://www.harborfreight.com/5-speed...the-65345.html

http://www.harborfreight.com/8-inch-...the-95607.html

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post #2 of 15 Old 11-28-2011, 05:08 PM
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The 8 speed lathe is a decent lathe, the smaller one is crap. I haven't owned either but have played on the smaller one and have read some good reports on the bigger one.
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post #3 of 15 Old 11-28-2011, 05:31 PM
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I would go with the 5 speed lathe only because of MT-2 tapers for $200.

For just a few more dollars recommend this one because has good reputation for starter lathe.
http://www.harborfreight.com/12-inch...ead-34706.html
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post #4 of 15 Old 11-28-2011, 05:59 PM
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If you want benchtop, model # 65345 (the 5-speed, not 8 speed) gets decent reports -- search online for "HF gems" and you'll find good info.

I went to buy that, but instead got model # 34706 because the store was out of stock of #65345 and I absolutely *had* to turn something that afternoon

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post #5 of 15 Old 11-28-2011, 07:17 PM
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I haven’t used either one but I agree with the others.
Little one: 1/3 hp and rated in watts, not even amps? M1 tapers
Bigger one: ½ hp but listed as 7.5 amp. That should be a very strong ½ horse. Probably as close to ¾ as it is to ½.
Maybe they meant spindle taper MT2 on the larger (instead of quill), on the Specifications tab it list headstock as MT2 and tailstock as MT1. To me the headstock is most important; about the only accessory you may buy for the tailstock might be a better live center.

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post #6 of 15 Old 11-28-2011, 08:11 PM
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Check out "Craigslist". You can find great deals locally and can wind up with a much better lathe and maybe some nice tools to boot. Look for Jet,Delta.
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post #7 of 15 Old 11-28-2011, 09:00 PM
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I see I got some things confused. The larger lathe is 5 speed and is the one I would suggest. If you can find a Jet or Rikon lathe used they are better quality.
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post #8 of 15 Old 11-28-2011, 09:27 PM
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Around here, the lathes on Craigslist are all priced high -- I didn't see anything even remotely near the $160 I would have paid for the HF model # 65345 (5 speed) lathe.

There are HF 20% discount coupons all over the place, btw, so unless the "sale price" is less than $170, you save money by paying full list price less the 20% coupon.

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post #9 of 15 Old 11-29-2011, 11:53 AM
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I find it hard to recommend Craig’s List for someone looking at getting into woodturning. In my area good used wood lathes sell same day if priced is reasonable. Have seen few Craftsman-Plamgren style lathes selling for new lathe price. Same for Craftsman-Rigid tube lathes.

Finding good used lathe takes more time, knowledge, and patience than buying new. Those sales as is where is, which is okay of know what you are buying.

If know nothing about wood lathes and money is tight, local Harbor Freight offers couple of good entry lathes as well as junk lathes. Everyone already commented on which mini to get.

This lathe while not perfect has large following.
http://www.harborfreight.com/12-inch-x-33-3-8-eighth-inch-wood-lathe-with-reversible-head-34706.html

Will do well to avoid this style lathe especially used or sold new on E-bay for less.
http://www.harborfreight.com/14-inch-x-41-inch-wood-lathe-38515.html
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post #10 of 15 Old 11-29-2011, 12:16 PM
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I forgot to mention -- if you are going to buy a chuck, avoid the type with independent jaw adjustments (at least while getting started.)

Go for one where all 4 jaws move at the same time, sometimes called "self-centering".

They come in 2 main flavors -- a single key to control the mechanism, or a pair of tommy-bars to control it. The kind I have uses tommy-bars, they are cheaper than the single key variety, and it's okay. Next time I will get a chuck with a single key mechanism.

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post #11 of 15 Old 11-29-2011, 01:43 PM
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Lathe Question - Go with a Jet

I've read a lot of reviews of the HF lathes and its truly hit or miss with them.
For some extra bucks you can get a Jet Mini that will give you a could taste of turning without having to worry about how well it was built. The lathe is the core part of turning if you skimp on it your turning experience will be vastly affected.

If it turns out it isn't for you (doubtful-it's highly addicting) you can recoup most of your money by re-selling the Jet. Whereas, with an HF lathe you will typically get a LOT LESS of your money back.

If you like turning you can either sell/tradein your Jet for a bigger lathe or keep it for small work and use the bigger lathe for your bigger turnings.
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post #12 of 15 Old 11-29-2011, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BassBlaster View Post
Hey guys, wow, I havnt been on this site for months!!

So, its Christmas time again and the wife is asking what I would like. My favorite section of this site is the turning section yet I have never used a lathe in my life. I love seeing the things you guys are able to create. So...I'm thinking I'd like to give it a shot. What entry level, low budget lathe would you reccomend? I'm thinking I should start with something small and could always upgrade to a larger name brand lathe later if it turns out to be something I really enjoy doing.

I was looking at these two from HF and being a complete lathe noobie, I have no clue the real advantages or disadvantages to either one. What are your thoughts?
http://www.harborfreight.com/5-speed...the-65345.html

http://www.harborfreight.com/8-inch-...the-95607.html
I would buy some good tool's. I my self don't do HF stuff at all. But that is me. If you get what i call junk tool's than the work you do isn't going to work out very well. Like the turning on the lathe will not go smooth. And other cut's won't work at well eather. I wouldn't get a tube type bed lathe reason the tool rest may tend to turn or not stay where you tighten the tool rest . The flat bed is the best. I have had a delta lathe and henry taylor tool's which is very good .Their are lot's of other good one out their . But i don't do sear's eather.That is me. Get some catalog's and look up some web sites on wood turning and you will learn more their also. Do a google search. Good luck turning can be fun and get lot's of cool item's out of junk wood here is one site http://aroundthewoods.com/
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post #13 of 15 Old 11-29-2011, 08:25 PM
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I'm not putting HF down but I would not suggest getting one from there. You know the saying "You get what you pay for". Most items in there are a very low end sale. You might get lucky and get one that is decient but do you want to take that chance? My first lathe was in that catagory and I could not get the tailstock to line up with the headstock no matter how hard I tried so everything I tried to turn ended up firewood. After a while turning I decided this wasn't for me. After a few years I ran into a friend that turns and invited me over to try out his lathe and it was great. I did find a buyer for mine and added some with it and bought me a Delta 46-460. That is a nice lathe. The moment I took it out of the box I checked the centers and they were perfect. I would stay away from the pole lathes too. Thats what I had. Check out www.pennstateind.com . Look at the Turncrafter Commander. These are great starter lathes for the price. Variable speed is the way to go.
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post #14 of 15 Old 11-30-2011, 07:31 AM
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Unless talking about old iron lathes built prior to 1990’s majority of wood lathes being made in China today. If lucky your China lathe still made in Taiwan. It is all about how many units fit into a shipping container. So at end of the day whether you pay $200 to over $1,000 for your mini lathe still made in China. Same goes for full size 12” x 36” lathes.

Yes, some models tad more refined in fit, finish, and offer more features like EVS. Which of those higher price brands of lathes excels in customer service after the sale? Love or hate Harbor Freight most stores bend over backwards to make it right for you. You can buy parts for HF 34706 model which has a ten-year history of both satisfied and not so satisfied customers.

No, do not own a HF lathe nor would I buy one. Want Oneway, Powermatic, or Robust lathe,when win the lottery will have new shop and one of those lathes.
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post #15 of 15 Old 11-30-2011, 10:14 PM
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Here is the link to the lathe I got a month or so ago. The people on here are really helpful. I was like you, liked how the bowls looked and got interested. I paid $155 for this one at Harbor Freight on sale with a coupon. The only thing I would change is to a variable speed. It is really know big deal but to change the speed, you have to move the belt. It just slows you down a minute or two. I really enjoy using mine, but I have never used a higher quality lathe. So, I don't really have anything to compare it too. Hope this helps. I bought Benjamin's Best tools and they seem to work good.
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f6/ne...e-setup-31868/

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
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