Need New Lathe

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Steven Nicholson, Jun 29, 2017.

  1. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval

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    Lots of people from the Facebook group that i'm one of the administrators sort of accused me of been a good turner because of my Stubby late and good tools here in the USA. I did a demo for them, in Buenos Aires, on a home made lathe, a decent one, and I used home made gouges. I showed them that its not the arrow... lol Taking lessons is one of the things that I tell beginners that they need to do, join the AAW and the club, and DO NOT watch YouTube videos not approved by the AAW.... Amazing when a beginner tell me, but i saw that on youtube!!
     
  2. odie

    odie

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    I watched Brent English's video on the AB, and he claims at 2:11 that the screw indexer was more accurate than the spring plunger. I wonder why he thinks that?


    View: https://youtu.be/ZeXFNgVV6Dc
     
  3. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Well the Robust AB isn't cheap, nor is a Oneway or a Vicmarc. A new lathe won't make your work better or more inspired or innovative, but it's the things like how smoothly all the controls operate, how smoothly the machine runs, how conveniently things are arranged .... all the little details plus the extra power if needed.

    If it's a hobby then how do you justify the cost of any expenditure? We can rationalize all we want, but in reality it's all about wanting something. If we want it enough then we will make up reasons why we need it. How much we spend is a very personal choice.
     
  4. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    It's a bit fancier than a hardware store screw. It is a precision fit screw with a tapered point that fits into a matching hole on the handwheel. The back end has a nice knurled knob. A plunger always has a tiny bit of play.
     
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  5. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Oneway is sort of one way about what they make. I had them counterbore a tapered adapter for a t
    Talon chuck and I wanted it to be threaded RH only. Well they refused to thread it RH only so I wound up with a RH/LH threaded adapter. Their argument was that someday I would buy a Oneway lathe.
     
  6. odie

    odie

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    Oneway is very innovative in so many ways, but their business philosophy is limiting their success. There are other lathe makers who are bending over backwards trying to do what they think their customers want.....and, those are the ones who are going to make progress within the market, while Oneway will forever remain in the back of the pack.

    The interesting thing is.....my oldest Stronghold chuck (purchased in late 1980's or early 1990's I think) has a RH only thread. The other two Stronghold chucks have RH/LH threads. I too, would rather have RH only. It's only a minor inconvenience, but the RH/LH threads are just a little more tricky to initially get the threads to mate to the spindle threads. This can sometimes be a PITA when the chuck is already mounted to a heavy block of wood.

    -----odie-----
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2017
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  7. R Henrickson

    R Henrickson

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    I agree with every one of Bill's points completely. I've turned for 8-9 years. Last year I used a Robust for a week at Arrowmont. Since it was a Derek Weidman class, it was a good test of a lathe. I bought an AB the next week. A sliding headstock is crucial to my choice of lathe.

    I have turned once on a Oneway for a demo. The control arm was distracting, but admittedly it was my first encounter with one. I checked very carefully before the demo to make sure that the club had an adapter for M33>1 1/4".
     
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  8. john lucas

    john lucas

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    I prefer the banjo on the Robust. Every Oneway I've used when I lock the tool rest post it's always been hard to unlock it to move the tool rest. With the Robust's that I've turned on it only takes 2 fingers. I really don't like the controls being on that moveable arm. I feel like I have to search for it every time I want to do something. I like the concept of the 3520C. I bought the parts to change my 3520A to a magnetic control panel. What you have to do is always put the control panel in the same spot each time so you never even have to think where it is in a panic. Just my 2 cents which is probably maybe iffy on how much that's worth.
     
  9. Brian McInturff

    Brian McInturff

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    The Stubby has a magnetic control box that's moveable. I'm so use to moving it to where I need it, it would be awkward if I didn't have the ability to move it.
    If I had the space and money to purchase another lathe the AB would be it.
    Their are some other lathes out there I'd like the opportunity to try one day. The Serious lathe looked interesting as well as the Steinart. I had the luxury to try out the VB36 and realized I'd need to build a platform to turn on it. And I'm not short(5'10").
     
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  10. Hy Tran

    Hy Tran

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    Back when I decided to upgrade from a Shopsmith, the Powermatic 3520B was my first choice. Then, the folks at work decided to give me a fairly substantial raise. This put both the Oneway, the Robust, and perhaps the Stubby on my radar screen. Unfortunately, this was around the time that Stubby USA had stopped importing (or perhaps Stubby Australia had stopped exporting, I'm not sure). I had two local mentors, one with the PM 3520A, the other with a large Oneway. I got to turn extensively on both lathes. Then, I also got to turn on a nearby Robust AB. When I took my raise, projected to retirement age, and my "years anticipated turning before the joints become decrepit", it was an easy choice to go to the best lathe (for me). (Price_of_Robust_AB - Price_of_Powermatic_3520B)/(# of years); then, there's present cost, amortization, and a whole bunch of weird accounting stuff...

    To Al H's point, I did budget for 1 workshop (3 days)--my avatar photo is me at Trent Bosch's in Ft Collins CO. A workshop was factored in my cost analysis regardless of lathe (well, perhaps not "keeping the Shopsmith as my primary lathe"...).

    Some of the other factors to look at, besides features & price: Support, warranty, expected lifetime (if 15 years from now, Wisconsin is struck by a meteor, and the power surge fries the electronics on my Robust, how easy is it to buy new electronics, etc.), cost/availability of future accessories (if the US is bought out by Canada and decides to go to hard metric, can we still get 1-1/4x8 faceplates, 1" diameter toolrests, etc.)

    To respond peripherally to another discussion: When our club offers workshops with a professional, I try to sign up. And on my bucket list is a multi-day workshop someplace (heck, several multi-day workshops someplace).
     
  11. Hy Tran

    Hy Tran

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    I have multiple locations for the control box, depending on what I'm turning. Small spindles (pens), control box on headstock. Larger spindles or initial bowls/platters, control box on tailstock. If tailstock has been pulled away to prevent turner's elbow, or the headstock slid forward to help me get a good angle on the bowl/platter entry point, control box on lathe or toolrest near my right knee.

    As a matter of habit, I try to always turn the speed to low immediately after hitting the off button, so I never start the lathe at high speed (even with pens). Similarly, I always try to "stand outside the line of fire." That said, buffing is still a mystery to me, and I need to find a mentor to show me the appropriate amount of force (and wax) to buff a piece.
     
  12. charlie knighton

    charlie knighton

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    I think it's "present value" instead of "present cost"........definitely a value decision!
     
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  13. John Nicholson

    John Nicholson

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    The best lathe in the world is a 25" Robust American Beauty.
     
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  14. Lamar Wright

    Lamar Wright

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    I'm like the OP, I will be in the market for a new larger lathe in the future. The Delta I have is fine for small to medium bowls and when I bought this lathe 5 years ago I was just turning pens. Did not even think about bowls and platters in my future. Now I'm hooked on bowls and other larger things to turn......


    I've been looking at the Laguna lathe and the Sweet 16 by Robust. Both weight about the same but big $$$$$ difference. I know that the Sweet 16 is probably a lot better lathe by a long shot. It is also a very versatile lathe.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2017
  15. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    $$ per pound isn't a useful metric. Just get the lathe that you want and be done with it. Remorse is much worse than guilt ... especially when you realize that it wasn't guilt after all, but actually overachieving frugality. Remorse caused by not getting what you really want never completely goes away and can lead to serious disorders such as artistic block.:D :eek:
     
  16. Tom Gall

    Tom Gall

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    :) :) :).......and a few tears!
     
  17. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    There are lots of lathes on the market and all of them have some satisfied owners.
    Best thing is to try and get some up close time with the machines to make an informed decision on what you like.

    In the 24" range I like the Oneway, Robust, Vicmarc.
    If you want to turn really big stuff then look at Oneway and the Vb36.
    ONEWAY is the best for me.

    Smaller lathes I like the Oneway 1640, Robust Sweet 16, jet 1840 all worth a long look.

    I have a sort of love hate relationship with the Powermatic 3520.
    I love to demo on it because it is a dependable machine that will do everything I need done in a demo.
    I like the spring loaded spindle lock and its location.
    Don't like the headstock, tailstock, banjo, index system, controls, the sliding head stock or marginal power.
     
  18. Lamar Wright

    Lamar Wright

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    Agree Bill, you'll never be happy if you don't get what you won't.
     
  19. odie

    odie

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    I have noticed that Emiliano.......and, it's not just that generally, many people tend to judge you by the "things" you have, instead of by your heart and soul, and.......of course, your results! :D

    -----odie-----
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2017
  20. odie

    odie

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    Wow.......I think that might have been a typo.......but, it certainly seems like a "Freudian slip", Lamar! :D

    Of course, what you can afford comes into play, as well. :eek:

    My Woodfast lathe was exactly what I wanted when I bought it 25 years ago......and, I've been very happy with it over the years. Getting a new lathe isn't going to make me a better turner.....I know that.....but, at this point, I wouldn't mind getting something with a sliding (or pivoting) headstock, a little more swing capacity, position-able controls, adjustable height, and a few other of the "latest" goodies. ;)

    Right now, the new PM 3520C seems my best bet, but if money wasn't a consideration, I'd probably go with the Robust AB.

    -----odie-----
     

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