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Best $1500 lathe?

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Wheelman, Sep 29, 2009.

  1. Wheelman

    Wheelman

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Messages:
    2
    I've seen discussions concerning what lathe to purchase, but they are usually outside my price range unless I've missed the posts. I've been turning for a couple of years on a Rikon Mini turning small bowls, platters, pens etc.. I would like to move up to a full size lathe to turn larger bowls and platters. I need to hold the budget to around $1500 plus. At this price range, what would you suggest? It has to be mobile since my wife is still under the impression that at least one vehicle is allowed in the garage.

    Thanks for your input!
     
  2. Gary Chapman

    Gary Chapman

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    Messages:
    244
    Location:
    Madison, Indiana
    mobile lathe

    Have you checked on ebay? I was looking for a bowl lathe last spring and found a t2o hp woodfast for 2500 but the bid didn't reach that so I wrote the seller and bought it for $1500. Sometimes you can get a real deal there. Gary:):)
     
  3. ScottH

    ScottH

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2006
    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    The Woodcraft October sale catalog just came out and they have the Nova DVR on sale for $1699.99...
     
  4. Steve Harder

    Steve Harder

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2009
    Messages:
    35
    And Woodcrafts sale on the Nova 1624 for $899 leaves you a lot of spare change to buy the larger chucks, etc that you will need. (And pay the $200 freight charge.)

    I have the 1624. Yes, speed change requires a belt change, but otherwise it's a very solid lathe. I've added a ballast box with 400# and have turned 50# out of balance blanks with no problem.

    Find the FineWoodworking review on lathes to get good reviews of the class of lathes that you are considering.
     
  5. Dan Mosley

    Dan Mosley

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Messages:
    132
    I got my Jet 1642 EVS with 2hp for a just a bit more than that and shipping costs........I think you can get a good lathe for that, watch Ebay and Craigs list.......I have picked up great deals on Craigs list as long as your not in a hurry........
     
  6. john kadi

    john kadi

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
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    2
    Steve: can you post a pic of your ballast box showing how it attaches to the 1624?

    Thanks!
     
  7. Steve Harder

    Steve Harder

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2009
    Messages:
    35
    I'll get a pic over weekend.

    It's basically a box constructed of 3/4" plywood - the top just touches the upper bolts that attach legs, the width just fits inside those bolts, length just fits between those bolts, depth sized to fit dimension of pig iron slabs I had. Lid of box is split at mid line so you can load pig after installing box and still get lid to fit.

    Attachment is heavy strap (hardward store with holes in it) that is bent to form a hook. The hook hangs from the of slot in cast iron portion of leg frames and then is attached to end face of ply box. So no holes drilled in 1624.

    It provides a shelf about 8" below the bed, and gets weight up high near bed and lots of room to sweep under.

    I have approx 450# in that box - and it really settles down the 1624 (original weight of 260# plus 80# for stand).

    I'm tall so I needed to put lathe on risers. So I took heavy steel U as a 'foot' under the end of legs. Then have casters. And then use crowbar to lift up onto 4x4 blocks to get up off casters. And that all works fine with the added weight. Just don't let go of the crowbar at the wrong moment.
     
  8. Tony Latham

    Tony Latham

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2009
    Messages:
    56
    Steve:

    There is a great article on building a ballast box for a 1642 here:

    http://www.sawmillcreek.org/articles/7/

    I opted to build a storage cabinet for mine capable of placing three or four sand bags on top... which I have not had to do yet.

    TL
     
  9. john kadi

    john kadi

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
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    2
    Tony & Steve: Thanks! At 6'5" I need to build riser blocks too - perfect solutions!
     
  10. bill easterling

    bill easterling

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Columbia S.C.
    Lathe

    You can't go wrong on the Jet 16-42 variable sPEED 1 1/2HP FOR ABOUT $1800.00
     
  11. Wayne Spence

    Wayne Spence

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    217
    Location:
    Denver, Colorado
    Nova 1624

    I too am interested in the Nova1624. One thing I have not been able to get from Woodcraft or the web site is the amperage at 115 volts for the 1 1/2 hp motor. Anybody know ? How about the adequacy of this motor?

    Wayne
     
  12. Paul Bennett

    Paul Bennett

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
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    19
    Location:
    Clarkston, MI
    Home Page:
    Check out auctions. Google auctions near you. I am in Michigan and it is amazing what deals you can get at auctions. Mill shops are going out right and left and machines many times go for salvage. I have seen PM and Delta's in good shape go for $200. You can also pick up accessories very cheap. It does take a bit of patience but well worth the wait. Besides it is fun going to an auction. Be sure to check the phase of the motor. Usually it is not much of a problem to change motors on a lathe.
     
  13. Steve Harder

    Steve Harder

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2009
    Messages:
    35
    Motor faceplate on my Nova 1624 states 13.5amp.

    I have roughed out 50# blanks of red elm with no problem at all. Plenty of power.

    My gut feeling - because the 1624 uses direct belt drive - and the motor is always turning at full rpm - you are getting full motor power delivered to the headstock at whatever speed you are turning at - especially noticeable when you are turning at slow speeds.

    On the other hand a VFD driven motor has to turn at less than its' rated rpm to provide those slow speeds. And that means the VFD driven motor (running at 25hz or so) cannot deliver the same power that it can when it is turning at its' full rated rpm. So the amount of power delivered to the headstock is less when turning at slow speeds with a VFD.

    That's just my gut feeling. But when you have a 13.5 amp motor, turning at 1725 rpm, and which is revolving 8 times for every revolution of the headstock that it is driving, then you have a lot of oomph behind the bowl blank that you are turning.

    (If that 50# bowl blank is unbalanced then see my prior post on ballast box.)
     
  14. Wayne Spence

    Wayne Spence

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    Location:
    Denver, Colorado
    Steve Harder-thanks for your comments-makes sense to me.
     
  15. Rusty Smith

    Rusty Smith

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    Oct 3, 2008
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    Location:
    Topeka, KS
    Wayne,
    I bought the NOVA 1624-44 two years ago when on sale at Woodcraft and I am very, very pleased with it. I have said this before and will continue to say so; I think that this lathe is the best price/performance lathe on the market.
     
  16. Wheelman

    Wheelman

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
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    Thanks!

    Thanks for the suggestions.
     
  17. Wayne Spence

    Wayne Spence

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    Location:
    Denver, Colorado
    Wheelman -Steve Harder

    I just purchased a Nova 1624 with 20"extension and outboard tool rest for just under $1500 tax included. Will use my Nova midichuck until a Supermova2 or Vicmarc becomes affordable. This is right at Wheelmans budget.

    Wayne Spence
     
  18. Steve Harder

    Steve Harder

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2009
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    35
    Here's the ballast box and details on my casters - which are floating just off the floor. The ballast box has 450# of cast iron in/on it. That weight really pays off with large out-of-round blanks, you still start at slowest speed but it gives you confidence as you start the rough out.
     

    Attached Files:

  19. Jack Gaskins

    Jack Gaskins

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2009
    Messages:
    8
    Delta 46-460??

    Hello, just ran across this thread and need some advice. I used to have a Jet 1014 for pen turning but had to sell it. Now I have enough money saved back up to purchase the new Delta 46-460. I asked around on Sawmill creek if I should look into saving more and get the Nova 1624 and I got a 50/50 reponse. Half say the new Delta the others say the Nova. I want to learn to do Boxes, Ornaments and Stoppers. Not really worried about bowls for now. Just need something to learn on and make stuff for family and friends like I did with the pens. Almost everyone says that since they moved to a VS lathe they would never go back so that is probably the one thing that keeps me from really taking a hard look at the Nova. What do you think?? Thanks.
     
  20. Richard Baker

    Richard Baker RIP

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2005
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    Location:
    Wimberley, Texas
    Steve's comment in October seems intuitively correct, but is not quite right with respect to VFD lathes, and we see this frequently in the forums. It is torque that rotates the spindle against a cutting load, NOT power. Power is the product of torque and rpm. If the torque is held constant and the rpm is reduced, then of course the power is reduced, but not the ability of that constant torque to rotate the spindle against a cutting load. Beyond that, the VFD unit provides the manufacturers with considerable latitude in "tuning" the torque curve of the motor to fit the application. For wood lathe use this can, and does provide very high torque at low motor speeds, even though the power produced by the motor is much less than rated hp.
     

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