I was at Harbor Freight today and was somewhat surprised to see their latest lathe looked pretty decent. I played with it a bit and things worked very nicely. It is called a 12 X 36 lathe, but actually the longest possible spindle length is 33 inches (table legs are 29 inches). It has a Reeves drive (five speeds as I recall). I wouldn't want to turn many large diameter things on it because of the Reeves drive, but for everything else, it looks like a decent starter lathe and the price was less than the average mini lathe.