Need Lathe Advise

Discussion in 'Newbie' started by Thomas DiBuono, Apr 18, 2017.

  1. Thomas DiBuono

    Thomas DiBuono

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    Mar 14, 2017
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    Location:
    Harrison, New York
    I am new to wood turning but took to it like a fish to water. Im at the stage of determining what lathe to purchase. I can buy a midi lathe tomorrow but is that the right choice and if so what make and model is recommended. I don't want to be restricted to making pens and other small items but cant afford a $3000 machine. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. egsiegel

    egsiegel

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    Baldwinsville, NY
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    Midi lathe does not restrict you to only pens.
    depending on the swing, a Midi could turn 10" diameter bowl. A heavier lathe will be more stable with unbalanced blanks, but if you prepare your blanks before you put them on the lathe, this is not a big issue.
    More horsepower, will let you turn faster without stopping the lathe.
    There are certainly advantages to a larger lathe, but you can turn some "full size" pieces on a Midi or even a mini lathe.
     
  3. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    It is hit and miss and luck. But there are lots of good used lathes available.
    These are the best bang for the buck.

    I get emails every month or so from local chapter advertising lathes for sale.
    Check with your local AAW chapter.
    http://www.woodturner.org/?page=Chapters

    Even if they don't know of lathes a meeting or two will introduce you to the chapter and some members who have common interests.

    For small lathe with big lathe features
    I have a jet 1221vs it is one terrific little lathe.
    I bought it mostly to drag around for demos etc.
    It is great fo 10" bowls. And small hollow forms.
    Useable for 11" bowls.
    With a struggle you might get an 11.75" bowl.

    This doesn't work for everyone but what I did was buy a used 12" lathe without variable speed for about a $100. Took a couple of classes. Sold some work. Bought a 20" woodfact variable speed. Took another class Sold a lot more work. Bought a Oneway 2436. Sold more work.
    Bought a Oneway 1018 for turning ornaments paid for it with the first batch of ornaments.. I could turn ornaments on the big lathe but the little one I found much more intimate for turning small things and it's top speed was useful too.

    Have fun
    Al
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2017
  4. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Just got an email for a 20" woodfast for $1200.
    220V, 1.5 HP, variable speed, no reverse

    If you are planning a road trip to Florida I can forward the email to you.
     
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  5. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    A midi lathe such as the Delta or the Jet would handle everything that you would want to turn for a long time. Many woodturners keep their smaller lathe when they decide to get a full size lathe. I did it backwards ... I started out with a full size lathe and a couple years later I got a mini lathe for small projects, but mainly so that I could transport it to various club events. And now I have three lathes. I'll probably stop there ... maybe.
     
  6. Tom Beatty

    Tom Beatty

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    Sep 4, 2013
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    Location:
    Kennedale Texas
    see if there is a woodturning club nearby, can find out by going on the AAW website. The members sometimes have lathers for sale also most would be happy to let you try their lathes, so you could get an idea of what different lathes are like before you buy. Also, another benefit is that some clubs have deals with local wood stores to get some percentage off of purchases. In our area, we have three different stores that all offer a 10% discount off purchases. Stores and lathe manufactures offer sales throughout the year with 10% to 20% off. Should also take a look at Grizzly lathes, offer some good prices for decent lathes. Good luck and remember, buy the best lathe you can afford. Most people start with a mini or midi and then buy a larger one later, but you can turn most anything except large bowls or platters and very long spindles. But you can go quite a while turning on a midi. Some of our older club members do almost all of their work on a midi lathe since a 12 inch swing is adequate for most items. Larger lathes offer more stability due to weight and therefore, less vibration.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017

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