Wife wants a lathe - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 04-21-2008, 07:54 AM Thread Starter
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Wife wants a lathe

Ok, so my wife wants a lathe and wants to start learning how to turn and be in the shop with me. She found this lathe by HF, Central Machinery 45276-1VGA http://search.harborfreight.com/cpis...athe&Submit=Go

Is this thing complete junk or would it be ok for her to take a stab at and see if she likes turning? I don't know alot about lathes (hince you guys) and don't know if it comes with everything that she'll need to get started. I know we'll need to get some basic chisles but thats about as far as I know. We've seen several other cheaper lathes but this was pretty much the cheapest. I personally think that for 100.00 bucks, I can't really not buy it, and if she ends up loving turning wood then we'll go for something a bit more advanced. Any tips on what to look for in a cheapo and what to avoid would be greatly appreciated.. Thanks, Jeremy

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post #2 of 21 Old 04-21-2008, 08:11 AM
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I was given one of those, glad I didn't buy it. There is no hole thru the spindle of the head stock or the tail stock. No Morse Tapers to put tooling into. The tailstock is setup with a live center that can't be removed. So you can not put any other tools on it like a drill chuck. The spindle has some odd-ball thread that I have yet to figure out. I'm thinking a very sloppy 3/4-10 or metric. Spindles usually have 3/4-16 or 1-8 thread so most all tooling and chucks will not fit this lathe. The only thing that I liked about it was that you could turn up to 15" dia.
You would spend a little more on a better lathe but if you look around you will see that you can get most your money back. A good lathe has a good resale value. If it was for my wife I would get one of the mini/midi. You can add all sorts of tooling to do most anything you want on it.

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post #3 of 21 Old 04-21-2008, 08:22 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Mike, we actually went to the local HF store yesterday and looked at it but I am clueless about these things. I did notice on the display model that it didn't have and spurs on it to hold the wood in place. The did have another one there that "appeared" to be a little better but again I'm clueless. I just noticed on the 2nd one that it had adj speeds, spurs, and looked like it might be better but again it was a central machinery lathe. Whatever lathe we get, we want it to be long enough to turn 30" lenghts and big enough to turn decent sized bowls. Thats what attracted us to that particular lathe..

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post #4 of 21 Old 04-21-2008, 09:07 AM
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I bought one 2 yrs ago in Oct,no power,took IT back got another one,motor went up,so they sent me another motor and when I put it on,it lasted a week???took lathe back and got another one,it wouldn't even run.TOOK IT BACK.I now have a Nova 1624 and could not ask for a better lathe for the price.I got the HF because it was on sale for 80.00 bucks off reg price.I lost that in gas taking them back.
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post #5 of 21 Old 04-21-2008, 09:33 AM
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That lathe is pretty junky and you will not enjoy it. I would save a little more and buy the 10" jet mini non variable speed model. You can get them for a little over$200 and it's 3 or 4 times the quality of the HF lathes. If you want to spend more the variable speed jet is even better.
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post #6 of 21 Old 04-21-2008, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
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I was just looking on CL and found a Ridgid brand lathe http://atlanta.craigslist.org/tls/624130916.html for $175. I own alot of Ridgid tools and have had great experiences with them. What do ya'll think about there lathes?

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post #7 of 21 Old 04-21-2008, 02:25 PM
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You might take a look at the delta mini also, such as the LA 200. Good versatile starter lathe and if you shop around I've seen them under $200. I'd avoud VS lathes, you don't gain much over a multi-speed lathe and the variable speed lathes use a universal motor which will wear out much faster than an induction motor. The Delta and Jet also accepts a bed extention to increase the available turning capacity. The extra hundred or two will be well worth it as if she likes it she'll grow tired of the cheaper lathe quickly and it will become wasted money.
Just my 16 cents... Inflation.
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post #8 of 21 Old 04-21-2008, 03:51 PM
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I would not go with the round tube lathes. I've never owned one but I've heard a lot of people tell me you can't keep the tailstock aligned. I do know of people who switched from the old round tube craftsman lathes that were extremely similar to that one, and they went with the Jet mini and loved it.
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post #9 of 21 Old 04-22-2008, 01:51 AM
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I got that HF one a few years ago,crap,but for less than $100 it was the only one I could afford.I guess for $100 it is a good starter lathe to see if you want to move up.
I think the lathe was $79 and the stand was $100. I've been wondering about that for years.
Don't know about Rigid though.
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post #10 of 21 Old 04-22-2008, 06:29 AM Thread Starter
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We pretty much have a budget of 200.00 for a lathe and some basic tools for it. It needs to be longer than then most the mini lathes I've seen and able to turn 12" stocks, so that my wife can make her bowls that she wants to make. I'm gonna keep searchin CL and see what pops up fairly reasonable. Thanks for the input guys.

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post #11 of 21 Old 04-22-2008, 09:13 AM
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To stay under 200 used is definately the best way to go. Even something pretty beat up with a good quality original product will serve you far better than the HF POS. One of the first lathes I ever had was HF, shortly after I got it I built a better lathe out of Scrap steel from my shop and an old drill press. If you like I can send you the plans.
Randy.

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post #12 of 21 Old 04-22-2008, 06:19 PM Thread Starter
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Id love to see them but if it requires any metal working than im clueless.

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post #13 of 21 Old 04-23-2008, 09:58 PM
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Check out some of these on the Altanta Craigslist

http://atlanta.craigslist.org/search...min&maxAsk=max
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post #14 of 21 Old 04-24-2008, 07:31 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah, i emailed a few of those adds but no one has emailed back yet. trust me, nothing gets nothing gets put on the tools and free section that i don't know about...i'm addicted to that darn site..

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post #15 of 21 Old 04-25-2008, 09:53 PM
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starter lathe

Hi FFEMT,
I started out with a Jet 10" midi lathe and then shortly after bought the bed extension for it. I have turned a lot of items on it and really have no complaints. The limit for a bowl is going to be aprox. 9" diameter. These lathes go on sale at Rocklers and Woodcrafters periodically for 200.00. You will still need a chuck and some turning tools. I have seen Woodcrafters include a 100.00 chuck with the lathe for around 239.00 during special sales. The nice thing about a jet is they are good quality, and if you ever go to sell it, you will be able to easily and get a decent buck for it. You can find some good deals on used turning tools on ebay if you watch. Stay away from the HF type no names. I have bought a couple of sets of Craftsmen chisels that were made in the US, older, but never used. Each five piece set was under 40.00. Find a turner locally you can pal up with or see if there is a local club you can visit. Most people are happy to share their knowledge and help you get started. Good luck,
Mike Hawkins
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post #16 of 21 Old 04-26-2008, 06:13 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Mike, I think thats what we're gonna do is just get a respectable first timers lathe and work from there.

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post #17 of 21 Old 04-27-2008, 09:04 AM
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I had one of the less expensive Jets for my first lathe. I miss it all the time. It was a great (for the money ) machine. I'll probably get another, when having two lathes makes sense. Michael
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post #18 of 21 Old 04-29-2008, 08:56 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, so we have decided to just wait til the mini Jet lathe goes on sale and just purchase a new one with an extension bed. I know we need to get a basic set of chisels and a caliper but what else do we need to purchase. Does the Jet mini lathe come with everything we need to start basic turnings (like the things that hold the blanks onto the lathe)? I'm a complete novice when it comes to lathes. For now she just wants to turn some blanks into round dowels and work from there after she gets that down pretty good.

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post #19 of 21 Old 04-30-2008, 10:58 AM
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Your going to need a chuck for mounting your work.My 1st lathe was the Ricon and I got the Nova midi chuck for it,it is about a 100.00 bucks or less.Suggestion,is there a woodcraft or maybe a woodturning club near you?That would be your best bet and a club would probably give you a lot of good hands on advice on getting started.
Ken
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post #20 of 21 Old 04-30-2008, 03:57 PM
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I disagree on the chuck. They are nice to have and I would save for one but I turned for many years with a faceplate and drive centers. Just about any project that I turn with a chuck I can do with a faceplate and wasteblock.
The Jet comes with a faceplate, a drive center and a live tailcenter. It also comes with a Knock out bar to knock the drive center and tailcenter out of the spindles.
A set of calipers is nice. I buy them from Grizzly but you can find deals at Harbour freight. I like metal dial calipers for this.
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