Need opinions on wood lathe - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 09-07-2008, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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Need opinions on wood lathe

I need opinions on a lathe. I have a fairly descent woodshop for a hobby guy, but I have never used a lathe. I am sure I will like the ability to build projects with large round legs and other round components. I would also like the ability to turn large bowls and other ornamental items. I may also wont to have a duplicator.

One of the most important things is that I only want to buy one lathe. I need to make sure I get enough power and enough length to do it all the first time.

I have had good luck with Grizzly. I am considering the lathe at the following link.

I have seen some negative posts on other sites about Griz lathes. If those of you who have been turning for a while could look at this lathe and share your opinions I would appreciate it. Also any other recomendations would be great.

Thanks in advance

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post #2 of 9 Old 09-07-2008, 08:53 PM
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I will tell you the same thing I tell everyone else that asks what you are asking. Try and find a local turning club in your area. At the very least, try and find a couple of turners if you don't have a club nearby. See if they will have you over to give you a chance to see some turning close up. I know what I like and what I consider good lathes, but everyone has their opinions. Even though you only want to buy one larger lathe, I would still recommend starting out with a smaller lathe and learn the basics on it. Then once you feel comfortable on the smaller lathe, you will have a much better idea on what you want out of a larger lathe. I am a big Jet fan, and own two of their lathes, a 10" midi, and a 16" variable speed. There are a lot of good machines out there, but you need to take it one step at a time. A turning club is invaluable to a new turner. It shortens the learning curve, gives you a lot of ideas on what to make, and plus its a lot of good people to hang out with. Good luck,
Mike Hawkins
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post #3 of 9 Old 09-08-2008, 10:09 PM
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I've been trying to watch the posts on Grizzly over the last few years and their lathes don't seem to get bad reps as long as you get one with the standard thread sizes. The one your looking at does have a standard spindle thread. Most people who own grizzly lathes think they are worth the money.
The Jet 16" is probably a better lathe but is more money. The Jet 14" is around the same price and uses a mechanical variable speed which is longer lasting than electronic but does require some maintenance over the years. The Nova 16/24 is around that price range but uses step pulleys for speed changes. It is an excellent lathe with a good reputation. I would compare the Grizzly to these and if you still feel like going that way then you will have made an educated decision.
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post #4 of 9 Old 09-09-2008, 12:55 PM
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opinion on lathe

I have the 1624 an love it,the only drawback is that it is not VS.That said said now.What so many have said,if you are sure that you are going to stick with it and can afford it,get the best you can get.I just turn for a hobby don't get in a hurry and thats why I chose the 1624,but if I were planning to turn for a living I would have went with the PM ,Robust or even a One Way.
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post #5 of 9 Old 09-12-2008, 05:58 PM
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I think you will find this to be one of the best that Grizzly offers. (a friend has one). The speeds are right too. They usually have a low speed that is way too high but I think 0-1200 is a pretty good range. I've had a bit of trouble with my grizz bandsaw. Their support people are a little slow but did get everything right for me!..good luck...Bill..
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post #6 of 9 Old 09-12-2008, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help. It may be a couple of months befire I make the purchase but thanks to your help I am sure I will be able to make a much more informed decision.
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post #7 of 9 Old 09-14-2008, 07:05 PM
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There is some comparison discussion on lathes at
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post #8 of 9 Old 09-16-2008, 11:23 PM
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Lathe Choices

I have play around now for 3 years, I started out with a Shopsmith and still enjoy. However I wanted a bigger and more productive machine for larger bowls. I am not really big into new is better i kept watching the local craigs list, ebay and reading learning and have found a nice Vega Lathe.
Again like all others advice, big requires space not just for the machine but all of the shavings, saw dust.
Take you time there are plenty of great machines out on the used list for about half of the cost.
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post #9 of 9 Old 10-26-2008, 10:30 PM
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Eugene--I work for a cabinet shop and do all the turning for them. we have a hapfo copy lathe and a mini max t124 copy lathe. the mini max is a really good lathe for hand turning and copying. the only thing you may not like is the price--4500.00bucks. take a look at there web site.

Last edited by Art Lackey; 01-24-2009 at 09:41 PM.
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