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I want to buy my husband a lathe for Christmas but have no clue which one to buy. He's never done woodworking before but has expressed interested in building some furniture for our house. I'm sure he would make other things as well. He's very crafty so I have no doubt that he would be able to do it. : )

The two models I am currently looking at are the JET JWL-1220 and the Grizzly G0462. I'm not sure if either of these would be the best option or if there's another one I haven't discovered yet. I would like to keep the cost down to about $500 or less.

Any experiences you have had with these models would be helpful or other models you might recommend. I appreciate any advice you can give!
 

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4 Cents worth of Advice (adjusted for inflation)

My suggestion is to give him a very loving Christmas card with a hand written note that it is good for one lathe. Add a condition that he has to attend 1 or 2 meetings with a local turning club before he can purchase it. This will help him from starting with a lathe that he will out grow in 2 to 3 months (this is a very slippery slope). The time he spends at a club meeting will be invaluable and start him the rite way. Just do an online search for woodturning clubs in your area. (I would not buy a lathe from Harbor Freight or from grizzly tools. H.F. is plain JUNK and Grizzly's lathes leave a lot to be desired!)

Dave (PacNW)
 

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I want to buy my husband a lathe for Christmas but have no clue which one to buy. He's never done woodworking before ...
Becky,
In a word... DON'T

Your words "Never done ..." say volumes! To put it bluntly, a lathe is not the tool that a novice woodworker should start with. There are so many other better choices. (Table saw, band saw, scroll saw, carpenters circular saw, a zillion hand tools, etc.)

I would go with the nice Christmas card idea but suggest a few woodworking classes at your local Community College or wood working store. The big thing with these classes is that hubby will start with 10 fingers and learn how to keep all ten fingers. AND as a bonus learn various aspects of woodworking.
 

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I agree classes would be a grate gift.Give him a card with aguift card from your local woodcraft stoe for a class or two. He will thank you later.
 
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