Help with first lathe...

Discussion in 'Newbie' started by David Tackett, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. David Tackett

    David Tackett

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    How much noticeable difference is there between the Jet 1220vs and the Jet 1221vs? I have found a 1220 for $400 used, while the 1221 is $799.
     
  2. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    There are a lot of positive changes whether they are significant depends on what and how you turn.
    A 3/4 HP motor should be big enough for anything you can mount on the lathe
    The 1 HP let's you take more aggressive cuts when roughing.
    SPEEDS ABOVE 3600 and below 300 a not used much maybe some sanding at 100-150 RPM will be a little better than a 270RPM

    Big thing for me - wide belt is big improvement and the controls on the right side with an easy to hit off switch and large speed dial are much nicer.
    The 1220 has the controls on a swing out box you have to open to change the belts. If you move the lathe a lot the box hinges can get bent from being hit or someone lifting on it. The on off switch is a little toggle which is hard to find in a hurry. the little belts do wear out a lot quicker than wide belts.


    JET-1220VS
    3/4 HP motor
    A speed range of 270 to 4200 RPM
    6 step pulleys
    Controls are in a little box that swings away to access the lower pulley

    Jet 1221vs
    1hp motor
    60-3600 RPM variable speed
    3 step pulleys with a wider belt
    Controls are mounted on the right side of the lathe and include a digital readout

    The 1220 can do everything the 1221 can do..
    The 1221 will do most things a little better and be nicer to use.
    For instance if you turn a natural edge bowl you probably have to change belt positions 1-2 times with the 1220
    With the 1221 you can probably do the whole bowl in the Middle belt position.

    Al
     
  3. Dan Masshardt

    Dan Masshardt

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    Currently, the 1221vs is excluded from all jet sales. At least according to Woodcraft. My looking seems to bear that out. My guess is that after awhile it may be eligible for the sales.
     
  4. Dan Masshardt

    Dan Masshardt

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    In addition to all of that, the whole design is changed. The ways are incredibly wide and the lathe has a curved look to it.

    I don't recall if the 1220 had the ratchet down belt design or not but it is easy to use. For the spindle work that I currently do most if the time, I never need to change the belt.

    If you can get a 1220vs for a nice price, I'd say go for it. By if its not vs, I'd think twice.
     
  5. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    These are two different machines as Dan says. An evolutionary jump
    Maybe the same paint formula...... -:)

    Al
     
  6. Leslie Walper

    Leslie Walper

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    Recent Purchase

    I'm a brand new turner. Got a Jet 1221VS about a month ago and LOVE it. Like you, I debated over which lathe to buy, comparing prices, features. I'd been turning on a friend's Powermatic 3520 - (very nice!) but way outside my price range. He also has a Central Machinery 12/33 (Harbor Freight) that I also used a bit. It is, of course, no comparison to the 3520, but was in my cheapo price range kind of thinking. Mentioning the HF machine is not really a recommendation - it's an option.

    We were wandering around in the local (Nashville, TN) Woodcraft store looking at some other stuff when my wife says, "It's only money." (gotta love her!) and walked out with the 1221. Sure, it was more money than I had intended to spend, but seems to be well worth the extra ponies. The lathe runs very quietly and has taken anything I've thrown at it. I didn't think I'd need the continuously variable speed and had considered something with belt changes (like the 1220), but the VS is very nice. That said, I think you'd be quite happy with the 1220 - spend that extra $400 on tools.

    The 1221VS relocated power button has been mentioned in the past couple of posts. I like it where it is - it's convenient, but to be honest, when inside bowl turning with the tailstock removed I find that the switch is right where I want to stand and lean on the button, switching the lathe off. Certainly not a deal killer, but a little inconvenient at times, I know there's a certain price point and marketing scheme for those who have the switch mounted on a cord you can magnetically stick where it's more convenient, but it sure would be nice to be able to get that switch away from my hip.

    So far I've done some spindle turning, just trying to become familiar with the various tools. Have also turned a couple of bowls taking the lathe to its limits as far as diameter. I had a huge black cherry tree come down a couple of months ago so have no shortage of wood - turning green and force dried wood (stick it in a 175° oven for a few hours - some of it splits badly, some quite usable, but it's dry). As I've been cutting the tree up for firewood there have been a couple of small but nice burls and a lot of nicely figured crotch wood. So far 12 ricks of firewood and a large "possibilities" pile for the lathe -- and 4-5 ricks (or more) to cut and split.

    You were also asking about tools. You can spend a ton of money on tools - and it never stops. There's always some new "gotta have it" toy out there. I opted for a set of Benjamin's Best tools from PSI. The price was reasonable. They seem to be cutting well though the handle diameter feels to be a bit small for my hands.

    I also got a 4-jaw chuck from the same source - a Barracuda2. This chuck has "teeth" instead of the tapered bite, and I can see the advantages of the taper, but for the price and jaw options what I got seems to work well - at least I haven't thrown anything across the room yet - just turn a good tenon so you've got something to bite on.

    Plan to spend a few dollars for quality tools. You may not need the latest whiz-bang thing, but a good quality tool will last and give good service for many years.

    Try to get hooked up with your local AAW chapter. Attend some meetings, talk to folks, ask questions. Most of all, happy turning!
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2013
  7. Leslie Walper

    Leslie Walper

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    Low speed turning

    P.S. to the previous --

    I don't have a bandsaw or any way to "round" the pieces I've turned so far. The chainsaw and table saw knocks of the edges and gets thing "close," but the out of round and out of balance is a real issue. If the lowest speed you can turn is 300 RPM, that would have at times been too much for me. A 12 inch blank with a 1/2" out of round will toss you around like a toy doll. My lathe is bolted down to a benchtop which is screwed to the wall and the whole (small) building will shake. Sometimes, slower is better. Another good reason to consider the 1221?
     
  8. Shawn Pachlhofer

    Shawn Pachlhofer

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    you forgot that the 1221 has reverse.

    I'm not sure if I've ever turned on a 1220, but I don't think it has reverse.
     
  9. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    That doesn't sound like too much of a problem for a piece of that size. Actually, the wood doesn't need to be round in order for you to be able to balance it. I don't normally use a bandsaw, I just knock off the corners with a chainsaw so that the turning is an octagon of sorts and then balance it between centers and turn it. I did that today with a piece of box elder that is a bit under two feet in diameter (way too big for a bandsaw anyway) with the corners knocked off and weighing 55 pounds dripping wet including faceplate (probably two pounds) when I mounted it on the lathe. I didn't quite get the balance perfect this time because of manually hefting around such a heavy piece while simultaneously keeping it oriented so that the face stayed perpendicular to the spindle axis. I did start off slowly because of the size and turning between centers to make a flat for the faceplate -- probably around 40 RPM. Also, I was turning indoors and didn't want to sling water everywhere once I had the faceplate mounted. Tomorrow, I will try to move it outdoors and run the speed up a bit so that I can see the shadow of the corners as I turn mostly air. The slight out-of-balance should be mostly gone by the time that I get it round and knock the bark off the back side. I will try to get a picture before I start roughing it tomorrow.
     

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