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Looking to get into getting a lathe machine seen bowls being made and really want to do this, been on CL and have seen many lathe machines "table top" around 2-300 what should I look for when purchasing one? Help
 

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You will probably get a lot of info here but I would sugest joining a wood turning club in you area if possible.
 

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Be careful on CL buying a lathe especially if you're not that familiar with them. Not saying there aren't good deals but 90%+ are not worth what is being asked(at least in this area). I agree with Lilty, check out a club or if nothing else find a turner, most of us appreciate showing the art. I can recommend a smaller lathe that is capable of turning smaller bowls for a decent start up price, it's the 10 x 18 Harbor Freight model http://www.harborfreight.com/5-speed-bench-top-wood-lathe-65345.html. I know a lot of folks will knock the HF line and that's understandable but I own this lathe and am VERY pleased at how well built it is. If interested do a search for discounts, mine cost less then $150.00 shipped to the front door. Keep in mind this is a small lathe with a higher low speed. If your wanting to spin large bowls then be prepared to spend big $$$$ for a large lathe with a low speed. Oh and there add is a miss print, it has the MT2 not 1.

If your set on buying used try to stay away from the cheaper reeves drive units, they can be a real head ache. I own one of those also that I have converted over to a 4 speed step pully.... MUCH BETTER! Also watch out for the cheaper craftsman style tube lathes(a lot on CL) unless your getting it for almost free I'd look elsewhere.
 

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There are a couple of turning clubs in the Boston area. The one I go to meets in Lexington 3rd Thursday of the month -- A.R.T. -- and there's one that meets in Abington -- MSSWT -- on the fourth Tuesday of the month.

Lots of friendly helpful folks both places. I'd say "look forward to seeing you Thursday", but I won't be at the ART meeting this week.
 

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I agree about being careful on Craigs list. Most of what I see are crap however every now and then a good deal comes along..
The best thing is if you see a lathe that your interested in post it here and get an opinion.
Good brands are Jet, Rikon, Woodfast, General, Nova,
Harbour freight has some decent lathes and some junk, Grizzly has better lathes but still has some junk. Again the best thing is to let us know what your looking at and we'll try to stear you away from the junk.
You can learn so much in a good turning club. You can play on other peoples lathes and get good advice so you have a better understanding of how to get into this hobby.
 

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Without seeing a photo it would be hard to say. Duracraft is one of those generic names probably given to one of the cheap angle iron lathes that aren't very good but then it's hard to tell with just that name.
I looked it up and if it's similar to what I found it's a round tube bed lathe that looks a lot like all the Craftsman lathes of that era. Not very good but not horrible. If you get it cheap enough and everything is there and working it would be OK. You would have to rig up a jackshaft to slow it down enough to turn bowls. The taiilstock never aligns properly on those lathes so anything like drilling would be a challenge as well as turning pens. It has #1 morse tapers which isn't terrible but not great either just limits you on what you can do.
Personally I would pass on it unless you can get it for like $100.
 

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Cool so if you were to get one at harbor freight what kind and size should I get
If you want a "benchtop", the one that 20/20 pointed you at has a decent reputation -- just be sure to buy the extended replacement warranty.

If you want a stand-alone, the one I got is THIS ONE. It served me well enough till I graduated to a Nova 1624 -- but the downside is its slowest speed setting is a bit too fast for starting out-of-balance bowl blanks. Had to chase mine around the shop a couple of times :laughing:

(Actually, I still have my old one -- if you're interested shoot me a PM.)
 

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Bostonwindows: craftsman itself isn't bad there were a couple of solid lathes they had(15" I believe was a good one, outdated now and would be hard to find parts for though). Most of the ones you'll find on CL ,"tube" style are only worth a few bucks, definitely not $150.00.

Duncsuss; brought up one of the other lathes I own from HF. it is the one with the reeves drive. This is a solid lathe just don't care for the drive system, that's why I converted mine once it died. I also weighted mine down to make it stable. I can not knock the lathe completely, I turned for many hours before the drive went out and even made my $$$'s back with it. I now have it on a manual change pully and it's still going strong, I even turned a 15'' diameter bowl once(took a lot of patience).

I agree with the others, find a few that you might have an interest in and post what they are. Once we know what you're looking at we can give opinions. If you can't get a picture then try to get model #'s makes and sizes. I'd also recommend staying away from this style, this is the HF model but it goes under other disguises/brands http://www.harborfreight.com/14-inch-x-40-inch-lathe-with-7-inch-sander-67690.html
 
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