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16” vs 18” Swing

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Tom De Winter, Sep 2, 2020.

  1. Tom De Winter

    Tom De Winter

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    I’m a new turner and have been using the Jet 1642 at our local club. I’ve got a Jet 1640 on order but it’s back ordered.
    Thinking of going with the Jet 1840 if it’s available sooner.
    Other than requiring 220 VAC is there any downside to going with the larger swing or this lathe in general?
     
    Ross Scott likes this.
  2. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    I have demoed on both lathes. They are both good machines.

    I would prefer the 1840 as I often turn 15-16” bowls.
    Doing a 15” bowl on the 1640 is a pit since the banjo won’t slide under the rim.
    moving the banjo to the headstock side means taking the bowl off to do it.

    220 is a plus.

    I don’t see how Jet/Powermatic can charge $2000 more for the powermatic.
    The Powermatic 3520 for $4500. When they sell Jet 1840 for $2600
    The 1840 is more lathe than most people need.
     
  3. Timothy White

    Timothy White

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    since when is anything a NEED in wood turning?
     
  4. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    I would go with the 18 inch Jet as well. I prefer 220 volt, and you have the extra swing, if you ever need it. I never had much luck selling bowls over about 14 inch diameter.

    robo hippy
     
    odie likes this.
  5. Robert D Evans

    Robert D Evans

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    I don't think you'll ever think to yourself, "Gee, I wish my lathe was smaller."
     
  6. Randy Anderson

    Randy Anderson

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    I have a Jet 1642 and while the swing is plenty big enough for me it does mean moving the banjo can be a challenge on large pieces. That said, my friend has a 20" and one thing he didn't count on was the weight and size of the tail stock. He has some issues with one of his shoulders and lifting the tail stock off and on and moving it when working is harder than he anticipated. I set my tailstock off into a cradle on just about every bowl I do to get it out of the way. Not sure if that's a concern for you or how hefty the tail stock is on the 1840, just data point. Like Robo, I find huge bowls are nice eye candy at events but they seldom sell.
     
  7. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

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    The tailstock swing away was an "Eighth Day" creation. Now if only all the lathe makers had them.
     
  8. Gary Beasley

    Gary Beasley

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    I have a swingaway on mine but never use it. With the extended bed plus the swingaway length I have plenty of room when I slide the tailstock to the end.
     
    odie likes this.
  9. Richard Coers

    Richard Coers

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    There will be a time in any turner's life when turning the biggest blank you can fit on your lathe goes out the window. Maybe after 25-30 years of turning? I did a slew of 18" bowls starting in 2012. Those things don't fit on a shelf, and dominate a coffee table or dining table. I'm much happier in the 12-14" diameter bowls now. But also getting to the age when cremation urns will be #1 on the hit parade. Did three in a row when my Mom got bad. So mine and my wife's are ready. Don't need a huge lathe for that work, and especially don't need a huge one for boxes and Christmas ornaments.
     
    Paul Lajoie likes this.
  10. Donovan Bailey

    Donovan Bailey

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    You have depressed me...but how did you fix the top of your urns (threaded, slip-fit, etc.)?
     
  11. Richard Coers

    Richard Coers

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    Sorry about the downer, but I'll have outlived my Dad by 6 years this month. It's something I think about each year, and his death anniversary is Saturday. I'm also still recovering from my Mom's death from complications from Alzheimer's on November 2018. It was a horrible year watching her fade away!
    Black ABS plumbing fittings from Menards. I part off sections of the threads on the lathe and epoxy them on a tenon on the lid and a bore in the vessel. This one was my Moms. Her Father gave her the nickname of his "Irish Rose" after the song. When I stopped the lathe to start sanding, I saw this pattern in the wood. I cried.
     

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    Last edited: Sep 3, 2020
  12. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval Administrator Staff Member

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    Great story, simply amazing, a sign from heaven. Beautiful work. Sorry about your loss. Aloha
     
  13. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    As for tailstocks, I really like the tilt away on my Robust. It is simple and efficient. I also have one on my Vic 240, but it pivots away. It is also very simple, but if I turned in long bed orientation, it would still be in the way. That is why I love the pivoting headstock on it. With the Vic, there is a positive positioning on it so it goes back spot on and you can leave the tailstock on the pivoting part of the bed to turn with. The Robust does not have that positive lock, and I haven't been able to fiddle with it enough to get it to line up that way. Maybe just not simple enough for me to make it work. I have to pivot the tailstock away when I turn bowls on it because I always slide the headstock down to the end of the lathe so I am turning in short bed/bowl lathe orientation. When turning larger blanks, I have to engage the tailstock to reduce vibration. I can still lift it off and on if I need to...

    robo hippy
     
    charlie knighton likes this.
  14. Tom Hansen

    Tom Hansen

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    i have a nova galaxi with 16" swing, rotating headstock and outrigger arm. I honestly think I'll never need to buy another lathe in my life. that said, I REALLY want a robust lathe and a slew of vicmark chucks. no reason in particular as it wont really do much more than the nova gear will, but I still want em. I'll probably upgrade in 5 years
     
    Timothy White likes this.
  15. Randy Anderson

    Randy Anderson

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    This has me standing in my shop considering a remodel. I have a Jet 1642 with the head stock about 12" from the left end of bed rails. I almost never do spindle work and never turn anything very long so, I end up leaning way over my rails to work large bowls with my arms extended out. Leaning over to get on the inside edge of even small items. Yep, very risky and no fun. I've considered just setting up my lathe for bowl work and be done. Slide the head stock way down and leave just enough room for tail stock and a little buffer. Could stand at the end of my lathe when needed like I see the big boys do and work bowls MUCH easier. At least I think I could.

    Question - by moving my head stock essentially to the middle or even a bit past middle on my lathe do I create issues with out of balance big blanks? Intuition tells my gut I may create tip over risk or reduce ability to spin up heavy out of balance blanks fast enough to work.
     
  16. charlie knighton

    charlie knighton

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    no I do not believe so....if u take or never install the level screw ons on the feet u will be less at risk.....the feet have a narrow profile and that is where the risks is and reason for caution .....slow speed to start is a must
     
  17. Dave Landers

    Dave Landers

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    Shouldn't be a problem. I have a PM3520 and a Jet 1642 and move the headstock wherever it needs to be. I usually move it as far down to the tail end as I can when I'm doing the inside of bowls and stand at the end of the lathe (I have a tail stock swing away, but just removed the tail stock before I got that). So much easier to turn when you're comfortable with good body position.

    I also made a box from 2x6's and plywood to go in between the legs and filled it with sand. Helps with vibration and stability. Also might relieve your tip-over concern.
     
  18. Richard Coers

    Richard Coers

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    Thanks
     
  19. Timothy White

    Timothy White

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    If it does cause a problem: turn the outside of the bowl with the headstock in the normal position then move the headstock to a comfortable position a n hollow the bowl.
    I have read that lathes are more stable with the headstock over the legs.
     
  20. odie

    odie

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    I have been turning on my Woodfast 16" lathe for 28 years now. For a long time, I thought I wanted another lathe like the Robust, Vicmarc, and others. At this point in time, I believe I'll just keep the Woodfast till I can't turn anymore. If I were in the market for another lathe, it would have a bigger swing.....but honestly, I seldom have the need, or desire to turn bigger pieces than what I can turn now.

    Tom......If I were in your shoes, I'd go for the 1840. ;)

    As others have stated, big bowls don't sell very well......but, they are great for gifts, and impressing others! There is a limited market for big salad bowls, but IMHO, these people are mostly looking for inexpensive utilitarian bowls, not art bowls.

    -----odie-----

    .
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2020
    Larry Komroff and Lamar Wright like this.
  21. Lamar Wright

    Lamar Wright

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    Hi Tom.... I agree with Odie..... I have a Jet 1640 and I never turn a bowl as big as it can handle. Most of all my bowls and platters of 12" or smaller. Like Odie... all the bowls I turn are art bowls. Happy turning!
     
  22. Tom De Winter

    Tom De Winter

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    I appreciate everyone's comments. I checked with my vendor and it looks like changing to the 1840 would get me a lathe about 10 days sooner. The price difference would be $350. Neither is a big consideration long term.

    I've decided to wait for the 1640 after considering all factors.
     
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  23. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    The only issue with a sliding headstock lathe is not using the slide part to your advantage. That is the reason I bought a 3520A 20+ years ago. sold it and got a Robust. There are claims that the sliding headstock creates vibration issues in the bed of the lathe. As near as I can tell, unless the headstock has the same pressure plate under it that is on the banjo, that is not really the issue. The headstock needs a big pressure plate. The vibration issue comes from a design element where they extend the headstock spindle out a ways from the headstock tower to allow access to the back side of the bowl when turning it. This moves your mounting point 2 or so inches farther away from the headstock tower than on the old 3520A or my Vicmark. The vibration issue goes away if you engage the tailstock. It drives me crazy to see people turning bowls on a sliding headstock lathe and not using that feature. It is a huge back saver... As far as I am concerned, the Vicmark 240 is the only pivoting headstock lathe that does it correctly. Locked by a pin at 0, 30, and 90 degrees to the lathe bed and goes back spot on with the set pin. No having to fiddle with it to get it back to perfect...

    robo hippy
     
  24. Dennis J Gooding

    Dennis J Gooding

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    Tom, 18 inch will much easier to sell when you move up to that 24 incher you really want.
     
    Curtis Fuller likes this.
  25. odie

    odie

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    Interesting.......never gave that any thought, but it does seem possible. Another thing that may exacerbate vibration issues, is a taller headstock tower on larger capacity lathes.

    Of course, these things can be overcome with weight, and design improvements.

    -----odie-----
     
    Paul Lajoie likes this.
  26. Randy Anderson

    Randy Anderson

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    Started rearranging my shop today to take advantage of the sliding headstock and turn more from the end on big items. Should have before but got in the habit of saying next time I will, then didn't. No videos of me online so you won't go crazy watching me stretch over the lathe with my gouge out in the air trying to make a cut. I have a small shop and once you get things "in place" it can be tough to make changes to give different access to various machines but, this is one that's worth it.
     
  27. Tom De Winter

    Tom De Winter

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    Well, the Jet lathes came back on sale. Initially if I switched my order from the JWL-1640 to the 1840 I would have lost the 10% discount on my purchase.
    So with the sale back on the 1840 was only $270 more.
    I switched my order and took delivery on Monday.
    :)
     
  28. Tom Hansen

    Tom Hansen

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    The Nova Galaxi does it this way as well.
     

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