Rigid WL1200 - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 07-01-2010, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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Rigid WL1200

My brother visited us this past weekend and brought me a few things. The biggest being a Rigid WL1200 lathe with a tube bed. I have a Jet Mini 1014 that I've used for a couple of small pieces and I was considering getting a bed extension for it along with building or buying a stand.

The Rigid was the right price (free) and allows a couple extra inches of swing and a longer bed length (36") but gets mixed reviews as far as I can tell. It's also a tube bed, which I'm not super fond of, but the tube looks and feels sturdy and straight at first glance. (I haven't assembled the whole lathe yet as I'm trying to figure out where to put it and how I want to use it.)

I'm considering just using it as an outboard type lathe that I can swing larger diameter things with but don't know if the 1/2 HP motor will really swing anything big.

Do any of you fine folks here have any experience with the Rigid lathe?
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post #2 of 5 Old 07-01-2010, 04:53 PM
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Sorry Frank,Dont know about the lathe but for free what do ya have to lose,Lucky Devil! Itchy

***For the record*** Ive made hundreds of guitar bodies,never put one together and cant play a note.
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post #3 of 5 Old 07-05-2010, 01:59 PM
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Can't speak for the Rigid lathe, but i have a Clark tube lathe with a 10" swing over bed 3/4 hp. on this lathe 10" bowl, 5" deep was about the max it could due. but it did turn around a 12" platter on out board. blank was about 13.5" round and 2.5" thick, seem to turn it OK. hope this helps and would like to see your first outboard turning form it.


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post #4 of 5 Old 07-05-2010, 09:05 PM
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Originally Posted by frankp View Post
I'm considering just using it as an outboard type lathe that I can swing larger diameter things with but don't know if the 1/2 HP motor will really swing anything big.

Do any of you fine folks here have any experience with the Rigid lathe?
I had that same lathe and just sold it recently to help pay for the upgrade. My experience on a lathe is limited, but I can tell you what I know about it.

I used it to turn pens, candlesticks, and spindles. I didn't try anything very big. It would vibrate pretty easily, but I didn't have it weighted down. The 1/2 motor did seem to a little weak sometimes, but got the job done.

If I remember right, the lowest speed was around 900 rpm. That's fast for some larger pieces. It's also limited by the fact that it's MT1 and not MT2. If you put something on the threads, take some precautions to make sure you can get it back off. There's no real spindle lock.

Speed changes were simple enough and it seemed to be a reliable tool. I did enjoy learning on it and I think you should give it a try if you can find a place for it. I still have an electronic copy of the manual if you'd like it.

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post #5 of 5 Old 07-06-2010, 07:25 AM
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1/2 hp will swing large work but you'll have to take really small bites. The minimum RPm might be too high also. You might be able to put a Jack shaft between the motor and pulley and slow it down.
The only really bad problem with the round tube lathes was the tailstock not lining up. I almost bought an old Delta round tube from a black man who made a living selling bowls using that lathe. So obviously it can be done. I don't remember what motor he had or how he had it rigged. I was new to turning back then and just saw this used lathe for sale. It wouldn't do anything my lathe at that time would not do and had the same limitations so I turned it down.
If you do want to turn larger items bare in mind that nothing beats mass when it comes to larger turnings. If you can't get enough mass then lower speeds is the way you have to go. Even 200 rpm can be bit much on large out of balance pieces.
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