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Discussion Starter #1
I’ve been avoiding Laths for almost forever mainly because I don’t have room for one and I don’t have any interest in it, but I keep coming up with things that need repaired or replaced like chisel handles and Plane knobs. So I was thinking about something small enough that could be stored away and put up on my work bench when needed.

Harbor Freight has a 8" x 12" Bench Top Wood Lathe on sale for $129.99, but the motor doesn’t look very good. I think the size might be OK, but I just don’t have any experience with them.


Any recommendations?
 

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Perhaps it's just me but I would make room for a lathe. It's the most fun piece of woodworking equipment you could own. I think you will kick yourself if you get that little bench model lathe. For not much more money HF has full size lathes.
 

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Really! :huh: Fun Hmm.
Well I haven’t really thought about it and I have to admit there have been times when I got something that I thought I would never use and now I don’t know how I ever did without it.

I usually have to have a purpose or function to get interested in something. I’m not interested in bowls or pens and I just can’t think of anything except to make parts.

At one time I thought about making legs for furniture, but I like square tapered legs better.

I guess I’ll have to keep an open mind and see if I can think of something.:smile:
 

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Thats a great lathe for the money. Probably the best rated lathe at HF too. Just know that it has limitations.:thumbsup:
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Thats a great lathe for the money. Probably the best rated lathe at HF too. Just know that it has limitations.:thumbsup:
Thanks, I found this YouTube video and I think it might be just what I want. I also saw another video on a larger full size Jet that was terrible so I guess I feel a lot better about the HF. :smile:

Harbor Freight Lathe 8" x 12" #95607
 

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I was mistaken. For some reason I thought that was the 5 speed mini lathe. I dont know anything about this one.
 

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I think this would make a better starter lathe for you. It is item no. 34706 for $270.00 It would be big enough you could make table or chair legs with and not cost thousands of dollars.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Steve, I've been thinking about this all day and I did finally come up with something that I could make besides tool parts. I thought about making stair spindles or even chair backs. I made a rocking chair when I daughter was born and I had to use store bought spindles because I didn't have a lathe.
 

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I just looked at that at HF and I wanted to know what "Reversible Head" means? Does that mean the Lath turns in reverse or does the head flip around?
 

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I just looked at that at HF and I wanted to know what "Reversible Head" means? Does that mean the Lath turns in reverse or does the head flip around?
This would be more helpful to those that make bowls. According to the product description the "Headstock rotates and locks in position at 45, 90, 135 and 180 degrees". If you look at the picture there is a locking lever at the bottom of the headstock. You could turn the headstock all the way left. I think it would be awkward in that position since it would be turning backward to me. Maybe that is for the southpaw.:laughing:
 

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Really! :huh: Fun Hmm.
Well I haven’t really thought about it and I have to admit there have been times when I got something that I thought I would never use and now I don’t know how I ever did without it.

I usually have to have a purpose or function to get interested in something. I’m not interested in bowls or pens and I just can’t think of anything except to make parts.

At one time I thought about making legs for furniture, but I like square tapered legs better.

I guess I’ll have to keep an open mind and see if I can think of something.:smile:
Same here. I didn't get a lathe for many years. Then I had a client that wanted an old Singer sewing machine cabinet restored. It had 4 ity bity drawers with ity bity decorative knobs. I searched all my sources (before the internet), and couldn't find one even close.

I just happened to run across a cheap import lathe as a display model. It was a 14"x 40", and only came with a spur bit. Got it for $65. Keep in mind I never ran a lathe, but I gotta say, turning that small knob was easy. Since then, I've done balusters, table legs, and spindles. I picked up a cheap turning set at the flea market, and I keep the tools sharp and they work just fine. I think the set was less than $20.





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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I found a used Sears 12” wood lathe for $100 and was wondering if I should buy it instead. I don't know what they're worth. It has a round base (I don't know lathe nomenclature) and I might be able to store it on end.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I think this is what I need right here:

 

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I found a used Sears 12” wood lathe for $100 and was wondering if I should buy it instead. I don't know what they're worth. It has a round base (I don't know lathe nomenclature) and I might be able to store it on end.
I have to wonder if you mean the tubular one like this. I've never used one myself but I've never seen a kind word about them on any forum.
 

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Ya that's the one except the one I'm looking at doesn't have all those parts. :smile:

I just got back from Harbor Freight and they didn't have the little one I was thinking of, but I did get to see the bigger one. After looking at how the head and tail is mounted I started to wonder how the Sears "Tubular" one stays aligned.
 

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Ya that's the one except the one I'm looking at doesn't have all those parts. :smile:

I just got back from Harbor Freight and they didn't have the little one I was thinking of, but I did get to see the bigger one. After looking at how the head and tail is mounted I started to wonder how the Sears "Tubular" one stays aligned.
I believe that was the complaint about the sears lathes that the tool rest would rotate toward your work while you were running it. If you had part of your turning like on a chair leg that had square corners the tool rest bumping into it would round it off in a heartbeat.

One negative thing I saw about the Harbor Freight lathe is on the "Harbor Freight Lathe" thread here someone stated the locking mechanism that rotates the headstock is bad to strip out so if you were to use this function it might be something to think about. I don't know enough about the lathe to say whether it is a common bolt or a special made part. I've never seen anything at Harbor Freight you could get parts for.
 

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I guess I'm going to pass on the lathe for now and keep checking Craigslist for a better one. I saw a Grizzly about a 1 1/2 hr drive from my place, but I don't want to drive that far unless its a really good deal. :smile:
 

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The 5 speed mini I mentioned from HF is a great little lathe and is an excellent starter. Its available with a whole bunch of names on it, its just cheaper at HF. Parts for it are available through Grizzly and others. Ive been spinning on mine for over 2 years now and havnt needed any parts though.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The 5 speed mini I mentioned from HF is a great little lathe and is an excellent starter. Its available with a whole bunch of names on it, its just cheaper at HF. Parts for it are available through Grizzly and others. Ive been spinning on mine for over 2 years now and havnt needed any parts though.
Do mean this one:
http://www.harborfreight.com/5-speed-bench-top-wood-lathe-65345.html



I saw this while I was over there, but someone stole all the parts off of it and they must taken the sign too because I didn't see a price on it. LOL.
 

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Yes thats the one. Grizzly, Rockler and several others sell the same lathe just at a much higher price. I used a coupon and got the extended warranty just in case. I got out the door for right around $180 if I remember correctly. Several reviews had mentioned that the stock belt is junk and it takes forever for HF to get them in. Grizzly always has them in stock but I have yet to need one. Still spinning on the one that came on it.:thumbsup:
 
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