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Advice on my 1st new lathe

Joined
Jun 6, 2018
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La Grange, IL
Kelly, that lathe has some nice features, but some flaws, and I'm concerned about the execution.

I agree with Gerald that a 600 rpm min speed is just too fast. And 2400 rpm at the top end might be slower then pen and finial makers would suggest. It looks like the speed control is a Reeves drive. I don't know if that's good or bad, just not my favorite. I'd want to know about parts/repair availability. But my big concern is the steel legs in the video, which are whimpy-wobbly. The cast iron legs in the second picture look like a better choice.

I do like a headstock that slides and rotates, if it is well done. But if poorly executed it could be a nightmare. I would need to see their execution in person, but in the video the headstock looks wobbly. The tail stock looks a little diminutive, but I like the banjo.

If buying in the states is an option (?), $1300 will buy you a solid lathe, but with fewer features. Solid and similar, maybe $2100-2700.
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2021
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Location
Roulette, PA
Website
www.reallyruralwoodworks.com
Ewww.. That lathe looks like it would be not much better than buying a Harbor Freight lathe (except for the motor mountings, it looks otherwise almost identical) and the Harbor Freight lathe is like $399 USD (less if you get it on sale or 20% coupon) If you got 1300 bucks to work with, like Mark said, there's lots of far better lathes around for the money. (heck even a decent jet midi runs what $800 ish?) Or, for a couple hundred more, and enough patience (waiting for the sale), a Harvey T40 can be had for $1600 - Which is actually MY goal...
 
Joined
May 4, 2010
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Bozeman, MT
Kelly, it looks like that lathe's variable speed method is a Reeves drive. In the distant past, these worked OK, but current models that use this method have cheap, light split pulleys and they are prone to problems and hard to fix. I agree, you should be able to do better. Someone has a nice looking used Jet 1642 on the Marketplace for about $1700, located in Florida. Not sure if that's too far to ship, but it's a much better lathe.

You might check with the AAW chapters in Corpus Christi, Victoria and San Antonio to see if any of their members have a lathe for sale. The San Antonio club's web site shows a Nova 3000 lathe recently sold, and none currently listed. People think about selling stuff for quite a while before they pull the trigger and you might just find someone getting ready to sell what you're looking for.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 14, 2007
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Eugene, OR
Well, the footprint of the legs, how far they spread to the sides looks small. A 2 hp motor that runs on 120 volt would be a no go for me, though the Nova DVR lathe seems to work well, but that is a much different motor. I am trying to figure out what it is that rotates 180 degrees. It looks like the banjo, and the banjo appears to have 'extensions' so it can reach farther off of the bed. Not sure if that is because the headstock also rotates or not, but that type of banjo set up would be a no go for me as well. And there is the Reeves drive for speed changes.

Especially if you are turning bowls, you want turn the knob type of variable speed. HUGE asset for turning bowls. A 2 hp motor would be almost as important. If you are turning mostly spindles for furniture, then that lathe would work fine.

robo hippy
 
Joined
Oct 23, 2015
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Springdale, Arkansas
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www.copassawmill.com
Thank you Gerald. I am 8 hours South of Laredo TX... Time for a road trip..
Lets see, we need a plan. You should be in prime territory to obtain Mexican ebony. Load your vehicle with wood, contact a woodturning club in Laredo and ask if somebody has a lathe to trade for wood. With enough wood, I might try for a Oneway first.
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2006
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Panning for Montana gold, with Betsy, the mule!
Kelly, it looks like that lathe's variable speed method is a Reeves drive.

That was my first thought. I had a reeves drive lathe once........never again!

-----odie-----
 
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