Potential Lathe

Discussion in 'Newbie' started by Tyler Spry, Oct 21, 2013.

  1. Shawn Pachlhofer

    Shawn Pachlhofer

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    really the 1642 I mentioned earlier in Hudson, MN is a pretty decent price.

    definitely worth looking at - and if you don't enjoy turning, it will be easier to re-sell than a POS Craftsman.

    (yes, I had a Craftsman once too - so I am qualified to label it as such)
     
  2. Tyler Spry

    Tyler Spry

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    Thanks Dwight! I have read that article a couple times... it's great!

    I did look at the ad and that's actually Hudson, WI ;) It's right across the border from Minneapolis, MN. That's about a 5.5 - 6 hour drive from where I'm at. :p
     
  3. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Many woodturners own a mini/midi lathe as well as a larger lathe. Some, like me get a large lathe first and then a mini. Others get a mini first. A mini is always good to have for various things. The Delta midi lathe is excellent. I have turned on that model on a number of occasions. I have not turned on the new Jet midi, but I hear that it is also a great lathe. You may find tht a midi is all that you will ever need. You can't go wrong getting one in my opinion.
     
  4. Tyler Spry

    Tyler Spry

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    Thanks for the mini lathe nod Bill!

    Here is the details of the CL posting:
    Jet 1642 1 1/2hp lathe w/ tools - $1600 (Hudson)
    For sale Jet 1642 1 1/2hp variable speed lathe in excellent condition with very low hours.
    Also have many other tools.
    2- chucks
    live ends
    drill chuck
    many bowl turning and spindle chisels
    Lathe has a ballast box which can hold many bags of sand or weights

    For not knowing much this seems like a pretty good deal after checking the price of a new one ($2345 is the lowest I found)...however there were no pictures so condition is sight un-seen.
     
  5. john lucas

    john lucas

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    tyler That's a good price with the accessories. We are going to sell our club 1642 for $1200 without any accessories and it's fairly well used and they wanted a low price to make it sell quickly. Call him up and offer 1400 and go from there. Tell him you need to cover the gas for the trip. I have turned on a lot of lathes out there and the Jet 1642 is about the best deal for the money when it's new. Used it's even a better deal. You can buy a new Nova 1624 for a little over a grand and it's a good lathe for the price but not as nice as the Jet. It step pulleys for speed adjustment instead of variable speed like the Jet.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013
  6. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Tyler,
    Can't see the lathe from here either.
    The two chucks, centers and tools depending on quality may have cost $200 to over $500 new.
    John had great advice. You will need a trailer or pickup. Take the head stock and tailstock off to make moving it an easy two people job.

    My ranking of the lathes mentioned is:
    Jet 1642. Way at the top. It is the only lathe 80% of the turners out there will ever need.
    It will handle a 14" bowl easily This lathe will handle a nice sized hollow form too.

    I have done hollow form demos on this lathe. I have also done them on a ONEWAY 1224.
    I would not do a hollow form demo on a midi, I would be too concerned with having disappointing results.
    I have hollowed Christmas ornament balls on the 10" minis.

    Jet1221vs. A little heavier and few nicer features than the Delta
    Delta 46-460. Being discounted. Lists for more than the jet but being sold a $100 cheaper.

    I don't own any of these lathes but have turned on all of them and had students use them in workshops.
    The all do what they do well.

    My rule of thumb on lathe capacities is to take away 2". A 12" lathe turns a 10" bowl comfortably.
    In my style of turning I like to true the rim of a bowl with it facing the head stock. Without the 2", the tool rest cannot be moved to that side without taking the bowl off the lathe for 3 cuts and the taken off to move the tool rest back.

    Lots of clubs are buying 3-6 midis for use in club hands on sessions.
    They handle pieces big enough to use for instruction and are fairly easy to store and move.

    Al
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013
  7. hu lowery

    hu lowery

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    lathe size

    Tyler,

    We all start off thinking we want very large capacity and I will admit that there is nothing wrong with bigger equipment other than the space it takes up and price. However, if you start looking at what is on display on this site and what is offered for sale you will find very few pieces that can't be turned on a lathe with a 16" swing. You are more likely to want a hollowing system than a bigger lathe in my opinion.

    If you look at age and pricing on used lathes you will see that you can run a quality lathe bought used for a few years and resale for little or no loss if you decide you want a larger lathe. You are more likely to find that two lathes are better than one!

    About the used lathe you are considering, pretty much everyone has a cell phone that can at least send you low quality snaps or take pictures to e-mail. Some people finish on a lathe and aren't the neatest, the lathe looks horrible in a few months! That has nothing to do with quality of the lathe. One that has been used as an anvil and truly abused is a different story but the worst I have found on wood lathes is heavy rust.

    I would request photo's before driving that far. I once drove four hours each way to buy a canoe "in excellent condition". An aluminum canoe to fish the marsh was gonna collect some dings pretty fast anyway and even downgrading a couple levels as I usually did when reading condition in an ad I would have bought it. I was an unhappy camper to get there and find the canoe was absolute scrap!(With or without the "s") That was in a little earlier time but lesson learned, make people provide pictures before a long drive. Then I would go for at least a split on the gas. Somebody asking $1600 is probably hoping for $1500 and may take a little less. Some prices are firm but most people list a little high so they can negotiate.

    Hu
     
  8. Dean Center

    Dean Center

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    Tyler,
    As you well know, living where float planes out-number lawn mowers, you're going to have to travel to get what you want. You probably figured on driving to the Twin Cities, so maybe Hudson is tolerable.

    That being said, you could also keep monitoring craigslist and one day exactly what you're looking for will show up. (Only to be snatched up by someone quicker than you :( ) When I was seriously shopping, I was amazed at the large number of lathes I turned up by contacting 'local' turning clubs, so that's another good source. http://www.woodturner.org/community/chapters/LocalChapters.asp#126

    I would reinforce the comments that a good quality mini/midi is a fine tool and a relatively cheap way to get your feet wet. I could probably do 90% of what I do on my Powermatic on a good 12" lathe.

    Finally, half the cost of getting started is not the lathe, but the accessories. Figure that into your budgeting, and appreciate the value if a lathe seller includes accessories in a price, assuming they are in good condition and do the things you want to do. And don't put much value in older, carbon turning tools--(Yes guys, they are usable and lots of you have used them in your turning careers, but what I said was, "they don't have much value." ;) )
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013
  9. Tyler Spry

    Tyler Spry

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    Thanks for the input! The closest "local" club is 2-3 hrs drive from me... But I've contacted a couple to try and get some shop days set up. My initial thought was to buy a mini lathe (probably the Delta 46-460 or Jet 1221vs) but several people have recommended buying a bigger lathe to avoid having to upgrade in the not too distant future. On the other hand several people say having a mini will satisfy you for quite some time until I gain more experience.

    I figured on spending around $1000 buying a new mini lathe and a basic setup of tools to get started. I'm of the opinion that when you buy tools it's better to buy quality tools right off the bat to get your money worth. I can totally see that lathe work has most everything to do with the person behind the machine and not the machine itself but having a quality machine helps :p

    So from what I've gathered from everyone's option is that I can't really go wrong with a mini and that Jet 1642 isn't a bad choice either as long as it wasn't abused! It really comes down to how much my wife is going to allow me to spend ;)

    Thanks again!
     
  10. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I agree with Dean. A mini (10 inch swing) or a midi (12 inch swing) may be enough for anything that you will ever want to turn. I have turned very few bowls or other things larger than 10 inches diameter.

    If you do look at the Jet 1642, be very picky about its condition. It would help if you were an experienced turner so that you could assess its condition better. Check for bearing noise -- both running and turning the spindle by hand. Feel for any axial or radial play in the spindle. Check the condition of the ways and how well the tool rest base and tailstock slide on the ways and how well they lock down. Make the seller aware of deficiencies that you find and downgrade the offering price. Of course, it it looks like junk don't even bother negotiating.
     
  11. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Also, check out the Morse taper sockets on both the spindle and the tailstock. They should be smooth and shiny with no rust or galling rings which are evidence of spinning a taper shank. Some turners don't seem to worry about it much, but for me it would be as deal breaker to see a badly damaged Morse taper socket in the spindle. The spindle threads should also look nice and clean and not show signs of wear or filing to remove burrs cause by cross-threading a chuck.
     
  12. Donna Banfield

    Donna Banfield

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    Delta lathe

    I have that Delta midi (46-460) with the 12" swing. It is my travel/demo lathe. My primary lathe is a Oneway 2436.

    I bought the Delta to replace an older non-variable speed Jet mini lathe. The Delta is a nice lathe for someone just starting out. The cost won't break your wallet, and leaves you cash for those accessories that you'll need. There was a period of time when parts for any Delta machinery were hard to come by. I don't know the reason behind that, but I've also heard that was in the past, and replacement parts are now becoming available. I have also turned (I teach at a Woodcraft store), on the new Variable speed Jet midi. That, too is a very nice lathe.

    Most people that stick with Woodturning, when upgrading, tend to keep their mini/midi lathes when they buy a full-sized lathe. If you opted for either the Delta or the Jet midi, and fell deeply into the Woodturning vortex, you may not want to give up either of those smaller lathes -- unless space is a problem :-(. And if that's the case, you need to build a bigger workshop :)
     
  13. Tyler Spry

    Tyler Spry

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    Thanks Donna... :) I think it seems I'll try my hand with a mini... Learn the craft... And then build a bigger workshop to accommodate a big late ;) :cool2:
     
  14. Dean Center

    Dean Center

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    Tyler, I note there are 2 Turncrafter lathes available within a Summer day's drive of you. These are in many respects similar to the Jet mini/midi lathes, and the house brand for one of the well known mail order woodturning retail companies. Both are variable speed, which I highly recommend. One is a "Midi" 12" swing with a 1 hp motor, in Detroit Lakes for $325, with no accessories. The other is a "mini" 10" swing 3/4 hp in Bloomington, with a bed extension, basic turning tool set, inexpensive scroll chuck, and most importantly, a face shield, all priced at $700. Personally, I would consider this overpriced, but it might be a good set up at $500 +/-.

    I would suggest we get forum participants who have experience with Turncrafter lathes to weigh in and compare these to the Jet and Delta mini/midi lathes you've already had recommended.
     
  15. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I have looked at a few of the Brand X mini lathes at Rocklers and Woodcraft and elsewhere. They probably aren't too bad, but the lower quality fit and finish on them always bother me. I see rough castings that are not cleaned up, ways that are not machined very smooth, and centers on headstock and tailstock that do not line up as well as they do on the name brands. Additionally, parts and service seem to be non-existent on some store brands.

    Since you are a beginner, my opinion is that you would be better off buying a new machine with warranty rather than used equipment -- solely because you probably do not have sufficient experience to thoroughly evaluate a used machine. If you knew your way around a lathe it would be a different matter.
     
  16. Tyler Spry

    Tyler Spry

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    Tools?

    I was just wonder what everyone would recommend for a set of starter tools? I don't plan on buying "really nice" or expensive ones just because I need to learn how to sharpen them first and I'd rather get good at that with a less expensive set then ruin a spendy set. When I buy a lathe I plan on buying a chuck, tools, and sharpening system of some sort. Anything else I should ponder? I have read that beginner's article but I'm just also looking for suggestions here too!

    Thanks!
     
  17. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    First what you plan to turn dictates the tools you will want.

    I would recommend you buy the 3-5 tools you need now from craft supplies artisan or Packard Packard brand.
    These will be quality tools that will serve you well. Some of the cheap Chinese tools are okay but the flutes are usually ground poorly even had one student who had one with a sort of vee flute ground off center.

    I would encourage you to sign up for a class and ask your instructor for a tool list.

    When I do a beginning bowl class I want the students to have a
    Bowl gouge (5/8 diameter bar or 1/2 dual bar)
    Spindle gouge 1/2 or 3/8
    Round nose scraper 3/4 to 1 1/4

    A lot of other instructors would have a different tool list.
    Some might include parting tool, square scraper, and a few might not include a spindle gouge.

    Al
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2013
  18. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I think that it is a mistaken notion that I see frequently from beginners that they ought to get cheap tools because they will use them up rather quickly from sharpening. After almost ten years my original tools are, at most, a half-inch shorter than when new -- many are almost the same length as when new. Learning to sharpen is not rocket science nor does it require an apprenticeship. One lesson or one DVD should be sufficient. I am guessing that some of those who wear out tools quickly from sharpening may be sharpening them they way that they have been sharpening lawnmower blades. A typical bowl gouge ought to be good for a few thousand sharpenings.

    My suggestion is to get the ""average" tools from Sorby, Crown, Hamlet, Thompson, or the brands mentioned by Al. Then you know that you have good quality tools. There really is no need for "designer" tools at this stage, if ever.

    The most important part of learning to sharpen is to get a decent set of grinding wheels. Old out of balance, out of round silicon carbide wheels aren't going to cut the mustard -- or the wood. Treat yourself to some new aluminum oxide wheels (white wheels) or better. For the coarse grit, 40 to 60 grit is usually good. For the fine grit80 is good. A hardness of J or K is ideal for HSS turning tools.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2013
  19. Dean Center

    Dean Center

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    This is one of those "your mileage may vary" situations. I started out with a set of inexpensive Benjamin's Best tools, which fortunately performed quite well. I learned to sharpen free hand on what I was advised to consider my 'sacrificial' tools.

    Just now, I measured my original bowl gouge and skew (which I love and use often). They both started with 6 3/8" of steel sticking out of the handle and both now have 4 1/4" of steel left, or about 1/2" per year of use. The bowl gouge started out shorter than usual for the brand name tools and now has only 1 1/4" of usable flute left--it's become my 'undercutting the rim' tool. But I also have a spindle roughing gouge, a smaller skew, and 3 scrapers, which are still plenty long. All for the cost of a single high quality bowl gouge.

    That being said, I recently purchased an inexpensive bowl gouge of a different brand to use solely for roughing bowl outsides and it's a nightmare. I can't get the grind I want on it due to the too shallow flute and it gets dull much, much faster than my good gouge, and even faster than my original cheap gouge. This new cheap gouge has been worse than a waste of $35--it's aggravating, produces poor cuts due to vibration and wastes time and steel on frequent sharpening.

    I think there is definitely a place for an inexpensive set of tools for beginners, as long as you're careful and lucky enough to select a set with decent steel and flutes. Doing so allows you to do a variety of turning until you discover which type you're going to find most appealing, and it allows you to spend a little more on safety equipment or accessories or lessons.

    Having fewer, better quality tools is also a good way to go, as it will be a pleasure to use them and they may be more forgiving. If you also will invest in a good jig set up, like the Wolverine sharpening system, it doesn't have to be expensive, when looked at over the long haul, as Bill points out.

    And Tyler, before the snow gets too deep, get in touch with one of your "local" turning clubs and hook up with an experienced turner for hands on help. It's the best thing you can do to get off on the right foot. Duluth (originally I wrote Detroit--what was I thinking???) and Bemidji aren't too far to go for the considerable benefit you'll receive.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2013
  20. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    That is a lot of very good information for beginners, Dean. If a beginner can find out which brand X tools are worthwhile and which aren't then that is a great help. As you mentioned, there is nothing favorable that can be said about getting a bad tool that doesn't perform well -- all the sharpening practice in the world won't help if the tool doesn't let you know how well you did in sharpening.

    I suppose that my concern can be boiled down to one simple thought: a poor quality tool may be more apt to teach poor sharpening technique needed to overcome deficiencies in the steel which might get carried over into sharpening higher quality tools and resulting in wasted steel in those tools.
     

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