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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an old craftsman lathe that I got from fb marketplace for $110. I did not expect to enjoy turning, but I do.

I am getting some vibration on it towards the tail stock. Plus its loud. Plus it is not easy to adjust the rests, tailstocks or speed.

I was considering a new midi or mini lathe that would be kinda small. The woodcraft folks recommended a laguna for $999 and a jet for half that. Any thoughts?
 

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I have the Laguna 1216. Great lathe. I would highly recommend it. I have many bowls and platters on it 10 - 11 1/2" Dia.
I made my own stand because I needed the drawers - my shop has no room to spare.
It was a hard choice because the Laguna optional stand is super cool looking.
 

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YES it is.
Temporarily, I had it siting on my router table and just moving it over and lifting it a few inches onto the lathe stand I built was a task. It's heavy but do-able.
 

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Variable speed is great also. I bought an extra chuck from Woodcraft and mounted a 12" plywood disc on it. Had to use the lathe itself to 'flatten' and balance the disk and it makes a great 12" disk sander. I used contact cement to mount the 12" sanding disks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
YES it is.
Temporarily, I had it siting on my router table and just moving it over and lifting it a few inches onto the lathe stand I built was a task. It's heavy but do-able.
The craftsman I have takes up almost 30x60" footprint because of the way the motor cantilevers off the back. It is also hard to move around because it is awkward. Even if the new one is heavier, at least it will be smaller.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Variable speed is great also. I bought an extra chuck from Woodcraft and mounted a 12" plywood disc on it. Had to use the lathe itself to 'flatten' and balance the disk and it makes a great 12" disk sander. I used contact cement to mount the 12" sanding disks.
I also saw some of the buffing wheels you can get...

What do you use as a table for your 12" disc sander?
 

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I made a simple 4 legged table that just sits on top of the lathe stand and over the bed and about 3/4" below the center line. Nothing fancy, I just lift it out of the way when I am not using it. When the need arises nto do exact sanding I will make a miter slot. Untill then, I just free hand mostly curved stuff. I generally keep my jigs simple and complicate them if I have to.

BTW, the motor mounts under the lathe bed rails. Changing speed ranges is a piece of cake. Probably 10 to 15 seconds. The speed ranges overlap each other. I normally use the sander at around 2200 to 2400RPM. No particular reason other than it 'feels right' to me.
If I remember, I will take pics later on today,
There are several other folks on here that have the same lathe.
I dont know what the combined weight of the lathe and the cart but it is very stable. I bought four 3" locking wheels with brakes from Home Depot for around $50. Theyb are worth it.
 

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I have a Craftsman Midi Lathe Mod 217520 that I bought in 2014. I'm sure it's made by Rikon or Jet. It's a 12" swing and up to 17" between centers. It's been very good and I've made some nice bowls with it using a Nova chuck.
I wish I'd bought the bed extension at that time as now I want to turn some spindles 20-24 inches. Also reversable would be nice for sanding but that's just convivence.
 

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I've seen one at the local store. No need for photos unless you want
Too late now, I already took them. Anyway, here is the lathe with the disk sander on it.

The first shows the sanding table upside down so you can see the simplicity of it. It is a good fit so it dont move. If you want to slightly change position, I just use a spring clamp


Here is something important to consider - the height of the centerline between the head and tail stock. These are usually fixed by the manufacturer so not much options there. I have read several articles where the recommended centerline should be at the height of your elbow with your hand extended horizontally at 90*. I have found that for me this is oK for spindle turning with you looking down on your work. For bowl turning, which I do almost exclusively. I found that my ideal height for the centerline is with me standing with my head slightly tilted giving me a relaxing view into the center of the bowl where the most critical activity takes place. This is opposed to standing and bending.


Wood Gas Font Engineering Machine




Furniture Shelf Table Wood Shelving
Wood Gas Shelving Hardwood Stool
 

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For bowl turning, which I do almost exclusively. I found that my ideal height for the centerline is with me standing with my head slightly tilted giving me a relaxing view into the center of the bowl where the most critical activity takes place. This is opposed to standing and bending.
Tony, would you mind taking a picture of you next to your lathe? Cut off at the shoulders is fine. Not clear what you're saying. From this description my lathe should be at least a foot higher. No wonder my back hurts when I turn. And I sit whenever possible
 

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@_Ogre
Most lathes have the centerline of the spindle on the headstock to the center of the tailstock spindle at around 40 to 44 inches off the ground. This is an old figure that is based on an average (Whatever that is) male standing at a lathe with the lower part of his arm (elbow to fingertips) parallel to the floor and this is typically 40 to 44". This is supposed to be the most common work position on a lathe for spindle making. Bowl turning requires a different body position. Usually almost looking directly into the bowl but just a little lower. Most comfortably for both arms and head position, this requires a higher centerline for the workpiece. The height of the centerline of the lathe to the floor should be higher to be more comfortable. This is because spindle turning and bowl turning techniques are not the same and neither are the tools until recently with the carbide tipped ones.
Picking a height of the centerline for you will be your best guess or do what I did..... I just set my lathe on top of an old cabinet and kept blocking it up until it felt right. Then I just measured the centerline height from the floor and built my lathe cabinet and wheels accordingly.


I will try to take a pic tomorrow if I am at the shop.
 

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Sorry BC for the thread hijack, but this may be useful for a guy who starts his name with big. Tony got my attention. I measured my lathe at 40" and my elbow at 50", no wonder my back hurts. I really enjoy turning but suffered for days afterwards. My lathe is from the 50s, it's the only lathe I've ever used. I tried turning a bowl this summer, got discouraged and rolled my lathe into the back store room.
I've watched turning videos but never paid attention to body position. Duh!
 

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Those Revo 1216s are nice lathes, probably the best at that price point. I used one for a class at Rockler. I like my Rikon 70-220VSR, but I need to run out on the lowest range when I'm roughing a wet 12"x4" bowl. I got it for furniture parts, then got addicted. 😁

Factory stands are adjustable. I would go with a factory stand over a cabinet. You can stand a lot closer, and all the shavings end up on the floor instead of on top of a cabinet.
 

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I have a 14x36 shop built lathe that weighs 120 pounds. It is mounted in a torque box that clamps to my fixed workbench when used. My small shop doesn't have the space to dedicate to a lathe since I don't turn a lot. Mine stores on end on a removable rolling cart and I lift it up onto the bench one end at a time. I tip the tailstock end over onto the workbench and then lift the head stock up and on to the bench. The workbench is bonded to the basement walls and floor and is effective for quelling vibration. The torque box has a 2 1/2" vac connection to help keep things clear while turning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, I bought a lathe today..the woodcraft store said the jet was on black friday closeout for $600 ending today so I ran over to get it. Then I realized it was the 10-15 lathe and not the bigger 12-21 lathe, which was $900 (normally $1000, same as the laguna midi)

I looked at both the jet 1221 and the laguna and I thought the banjo on the jet was nicer. It was also $100 off, so I got it. I used both of them in their shop and I really didn't see much difference. I sort of like the control panel near the tail stock.
 
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