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post #1 of 5 Old 03-13-2008, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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Starter lathe

Do you guys have any suggestions for a good starter lathe?

I've always thought turning looked so neat and is a great way to get creative. I'd like one that isn't too expensive. Also I think I would probably start out with smaller pieces, but would possibly like the option to add and extension later for something longer.


*Woodworker in Training*
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post #2 of 5 Old 03-14-2008, 09:22 AM
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I suggest the good quality cast iron mini lathes like Jet, Rikon, General, Steelcity, etc. These are all decent lathes. They are much better quality than the angle iron full size lathes sold by people like l Harbour Freight. They also maintain a decent resale value when you step up to a bigger lathe.
I know the Jet and Rikon take bed extensions, I'm not sure about the other two.
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post #3 of 5 Old 04-18-2008, 10:21 PM
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Find a local woodturning club.
If you have no idea who or where they are, ask the folks who work at the local library, or the shop class teachers in the local Junior High, High, and Middle schools, Voc-Tech schools, college(s) and / or universities.
Go to a meeting or two, and ask about classes.
Take a class, and use as many different lathes as the class offers opportunity to try. We turners love to share. You might even find a buddy who'll give you private lessons for the fun of teaching you.
When you find a lathe you like, ask where to find a good used one you could beg, borrow, or buy. Keep an eye on estate sales, garage sales, and the like.
Woodcraft carries some reasonbly priced mini lathes. They periodically go on sale.
Check with your local hardwood dealers.
Talk with the guys at lumber yards, and the tool guys at the hardware store, home centers, and so forth.
They just might have buddies who have or had interest in turning, and know who to ask for local leads. Just about two weeks after you get your first lathe, three more will come knocking on your door, asking if they can come in and play. It never fails.
allen norris
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post #4 of 5 Old 04-18-2008, 11:03 PM
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the 12" Rikon and any of the 3 jet mini's are a great starting point..Bill..
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post #5 of 5 Old 04-21-2008, 09:13 AM
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All good advice.I started out with the Ricon and could not be happier as it pd for its self the 1st yr,then got a Nova 1624 and love em both.Stay away from HF and craftsmen,there junk.
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