Need help, which lathe do I buy and why? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 01-05-2019, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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Need help, which lathe do I buy and why?

I have been looking to add a lathe to my shop for some time, it would be something completely new for me. I have researched and looked primarely at Jet because I really like the idea of the outboard turning and the reeves drive. I want to buy a lathe that I won't out grow in a short amount time as my skills increase and improve, can someone recommend a wood lathe that I should look at. Thank you
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post #2 of 22 Old 01-05-2019, 02:22 PM
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For the best bang for you buck you can't beat Grizzly


I have a G0766, and have turned everything from pens to a 24 inch segmented bowl (outboard), and many smaller ones. It is a solid smooth running machine, and talk about power, I went from a 12x36 Delta with a 1/2 motor to this with 3 hp, it will really send the chips flying



I bought it the year after they introduced it, it sure has gone up in price, I got it for under $1400 delivered, now it is 2000 something but it is well worth it, Powermatic has one about the same size except it is 24 in swing, it lists for about $9000, they look a lot a like, the PM does have a couple other features but no where near $7000 difference

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post #3 of 22 Old 01-05-2019, 03:47 PM
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For a first lathe I would go with a used model to see if you are really into it, you may get enough accessories with it to get started all for a relatively low expenditure.
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post #4 of 22 Old 01-05-2019, 06:33 PM
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Ditto on what Frank said. There are many good used lathes for sale. I would recommend a midi size, 10-12" swing. Most have bed extensions available if they don't have one already. Look for variable speed drive that is electronically controlled. The reeves drive is ok, but not as good as the electronic. I like Jet, I started out with a 10" that didn't have variable speed. Good to learn on. Now I have a Jet 1642. Turns everything I want.
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post #5 of 22 Old 01-06-2019, 03:25 PM
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One other thing to add, after you get your lathe, you will need tooling, good tools aren't cheap and cheap tools aren't good


Unless you really like sharping them high speed steel or even carbide are very nice. Tool steel works but you need to stop to sharpen quite often. I bought a set of three Easy Wood Tool carbide tipped tools, a radius cutter a square cutter and a detail cutter, you can make just about any cut with those, but I also have a bunch of HSS to back them up if needed

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post #6 of 22 Old 01-06-2019, 04:38 PM
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FWIW, my first lathe had the Reeves drive. Personally, I wouldn't recommend it. I bought a Rikon midi-lathe and like it. You are going to have several choices with the things you are needing. Look at the warranty and check on the customer service. May I suggest another website, http://www.woodturner.org for more information. This topic is a popular one there.
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post #7 of 22 Old 01-06-2019, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of your input, I did actually go and look and a couple of used lathes today, surprised by how many are out there, unfortunately no luck in finding one, both of them were really ruff and had not looked like they had been used in quite some time, but the other thing I was surprised at was the price they were asking, considering the conditions. In my search I did happen to stumble upon a grizzly that caught my attention on Amazon, price seems reasonable, reviews for the most part are positives. Was curious if you would give me your opinion on this one, seems to me a lot of what you have suggested.... thanks again for all the input it is greatly appreciated... here is the link. https://www.amazon.com/Grizzly-G0462...keywords=lathe
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post #8 of 22 Old 01-06-2019, 09:52 PM
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Old, old and heavy. Really heavy



-T

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post #9 of 22 Old 01-06-2019, 10:08 PM
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If your going to turn fire wood or tree parts, the lathe has to turn slow.
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post #10 of 22 Old 01-06-2019, 11:43 PM
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RSG - I decided to give turning a try a few months ago. I checked out some woodturners forums first and the consensus was to buy used to see if it is something that you want to get into. It does take a lot of practice and just like general woodworking requires a lot of accessory equipment such as a grinder, 1" wide grinder wheels of 80 and 120 grit, Wolverine sharpening system, face shield, woodturning chisels & gouges, chucks etc. I purchased a 1996 vintage Delta lathe with 1/2 hp motor, 48" bed + grinder, set of 8 chisels & gouges , 2 books & a video for $450. The original purchaser had not been able to spend the time that was necessary to develope the the skill, so he hardly used it. I recently joined a Turning Club and have found that there is a wide variety of what & how folks turn. One of the the better turners, that is also an instructor only uses a 1/2 hp lathe. Some of the folks do have larger lathes. Bed length varies with all of the them from 18" to 48".. I am only a newbie to turning, but I would suggest that you start out used ( 1/2hp @ $400 or so) or find something cheap at Harbour Freight.. Used lathes sell pretty quicly if you decoide to sell and upgrade.

I hope this helps

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post #11 of 22 Old 01-07-2019, 07:42 AM
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I like old antique lathes. They are often cast iron all the way to the floor. The weight helps with vibration which is very important with larger turnings. I have one similar to this one. https://www.ebay.com/i/113519021206?chn=ps
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post #12 of 22 Old 01-07-2019, 09:12 AM
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If learn what to look for and keep an eye out, one of the old work horse lathes can be had for a few hundred dollars. If you have the room. I see ads on Craigs list offerring those old tube lathes from Sears for anywhere from $40 to $400. Avoid those. Sometimes the old change pulley cast iron lathes are cheaper than dirt. A friend picked up a 1940's Craftsman solid cast iron with tools for less than $70, complete with stand. I bought an old Delta Rockwell high school shop lathe for $400 with a reeves style drive. The lowest speed is 300 rpm, which is just a bit too fast for large bowl blanks. Other wise it will do everything I could ever want. Weighs just over 400 pounds, so fairly steady on its feet too. Some of the newer lathes have some limitations. either with lowest speed or other items. An electronic variable speed is very nice, but the price will also be dear. A few years ago, Harbor Freight sold a lthe that was made out of square sheet metal tubs. Vibration city. They closed out 4 years ago at a final price of $89, yet a fellow has had the same lathe, with different paint marked Rigid for sale on CL in Washington DC for $350.00. Another place to look, is Face Book market place. In this area, there are about 10 wood lathes listed at any one time. I bought part of an old treadle lathe, the bed, head stock with wide belt pulleys, tool rest and tail stock for $10. It is usable, but has limitations. The Harbor Freight 12 x 33 lathe for about $320 after the 20% off coupon, is a great beginner lathe to cut your teeth on. It has a reeves drive and some limits on what it can do, but all popular accessories work with it. Don't buy cheap new tools.
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post #13 of 22 Old 01-07-2019, 10:58 AM
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And no matter how heavy the lathe is a big chunk of wood turning out of balance until you get it round will vibrate


If you get a lathe that has shelves in the lower legs, run some 2x12's or what ever size will fin under there and stack a couple bags of play sand or sack crete on the 2x12's amazing how much steadier the ballast weight will make the machine run smoother

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post #14 of 22 Old 01-13-2019, 02:54 AM
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I just just getting your feet wet you can't go wrong with a Harbor Frieght lathe IMHO.

I got a 12x33 for Christmas and it seems to be a well built machine, as all the YouTube videos about it say. I wouldn't worry about spending a bunch just to see if you like it.

The HF lathes are a good value and you can spend some money on accessories if you take to it and not have to worry about your lathe.

You'll find that tools and accessories can add up to as much or more than your lathe, regardless which one you get.
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post #15 of 22 Old 01-28-2019, 11:36 AM
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I also am just starting to learn to turn. I bought an old Milwaukee-Craftsman lathe for $200 and it came with some accessories and wood. It is called a spindle lathe and the swing is 5.5" so it will only turn a small bowl. I bought a three-piece set of carbide Easy Wood Tools and you will be turning the first day. I know it's hard to spend that kind of money on tools but you will happy after the first day. You can sharpen the carbide tools but you have to use a diamond plate. I am already wishing I had a bigger lathe. Turning is fun.



https://www.google.com/search?q=ewt+...64166089308427

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post #16 of 22 Old 01-28-2019, 01:48 PM
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Heavy is good! Buy used, even dirty and poor paint doesn't hurt the usefulness. As long as the castings aren't cracked and the MT of the spindle hasn't been spun there is little to go wrong on a lathe, bearings are cheap if they are needed.
A friend has a Jet he bought new. Typical Chinese bearings failed, Jet replaced them, 3 times! He finally bought some from an industrial supply house, much better. He's just a hobby turner. He drools over buying a Oneway but too expensive.
Good tools are always expensive but you can sharpen the cheap ones until you can justify the good ones. Again, heavy is good.
All the accessories you can get will quickly add up to more than the cost of the lathe.
I'm just about ready to start turning 50, 3.3" x 30" balusters, cypress, for outside porch railing. I've got a Calpe lathe, Spanish made, bought used.
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post #17 of 22 Old 01-28-2019, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkeye10 View Post
I also am just starting to learn to turn. I bought an old Milwaukee-Craftsman lathe for $200 and it came with some accessories and wood. It is called a spindle lathe and the swing is 5.5" so it will only turn a small bowl. I bought a three-piece set of carbide Easy Wood Tools and you will be turning the first day. I know it's hard to spend that kind of money on tools but you will happy after the first day. You can sharpen the carbide tools but you have to use a diamond plate. I am already wishing I had a bigger lathe. Turning is fun.



https://www.google.com/search?q=ewt+...64166089308427



Actually that lathe in the picture was made by Delta for it's "competitive" pricing it was called a Homecraft


I had one that I got when I was 13, it was the first wood tool I owned, turned tons of stuff on it, I gave it to my friend for helping me fix up some stuff after storm damage, since I had just gotten a new lathe a GrizzlyGo776 I think, 22 inch swing 42 inch bed, it is a very nice lathe



I saw in the 2019 Grizzly catalog that Grizzly now has a full sized carbide cutter set with 4 shapes for $99, and their inserts are about half of what Easywood are. I have Easy woods mini set for turning pens, they are nice tools though

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post #18 of 22 Old 02-16-2019, 08:26 AM
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I'm following this thread as I'm also looking for a lathe. I can't find anything used in my area at all. Everything on craigslist is either a metal lathe, brake lathe, or gigantic monsters that look like you'd need a forklift or a crane to move.

It seems everything on amazon has enough bad reviews to make me not want to buy them, lol

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post #19 of 22 Old 02-16-2019, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BTracy138 View Post
I'm following this thread as I'm also looking for a lathe. I can't find anything used in my area at all. Everything on craigslist is either a metal lathe, brake lathe, or gigantic monsters that look like you'd need a forklift or a crane to move.

It seems everything on amazon has enough bad reviews to make me not want to buy them, lol
Sometimes you have to drive a bit for equipment. I live in the Dallas area and have bought a couple pieces of equipment in Houston. You might watch ebay which you can set the distance you are willing to go. Another option would be to watch craigslist in New York.
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post #20 of 22 Old 02-16-2019, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by rsg1376 View Post
Thanks for all of your input, I did actually go and look and a couple of used lathes today, surprised by how many are out there, unfortunately no luck in finding one, both of them were really ruff and had not looked like they had been used in quite some time, but the other thing I was surprised at was the price they were asking, considering the conditions. In my search I did happen to stumble upon a grizzly that caught my attention on Amazon, price seems reasonable, reviews for the most part are positives. Was curious if you would give me your opinion on this one, seems to me a lot of what you have suggested.... thanks again for all the input it is greatly appreciated... here is the link. https://www.amazon.com/Grizzly-G0462...keywords=lathe
I have this lathe. I got it for a lot of the same reasons you talked about in wanting a lathe. A few other reasons I purchased the Grizzly. I donít have 220 in my shop but still wanted a full size, floor standing machine. This lathe fits all of those requirements. It is quite heavy and stable. Grizzly support is pretty good and their store is less than an hourís drive away. A few things I donít like about it. The slowest speed it can achieve is a little over 600 rpm. I would like to get a little slower. Iíve read you can use a different size belt on the reeves drive to achieve slower speeds but I have not tried this. The banjo is difficult to adjust. In my opinion a poor design. Also the post size for the tool rest is a proprietary size making purchasing additional tool rests difficult. This can be remedied by drilling the post hole in the banjo to a standard size.

Even with the complaints I have this has been a very good lathe and from a beginner viewpoint a decent machine to learn on.
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