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Need some help buying my first lathe

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  • Need some help buying my first lathe

    I want to begin wood carving/working and want to get a lathe. I looked for reviews online but did not really find any. I'm not sure if I want a mini lathe or a regular size. I would like to get into all kinds of wood working so would a mini lathe restrict the size of my projects due to its size? Also what brands are good for a beginner with a small budget? Thanks!

  • #2
    Re: Need some help buying my first lathe

    Ok one thing I do know alot about is lathes, how much do ya plan to spend ya really get what ya pay for, what do ya plan to make / how big? I highley recomend Jet either the 1014 smaller mini and what I have right now it works great, or the 1220 its a little bit bigger but its still a mine here is a link with both of these lathes. Some might suggest a Delta but I can't stand there products anymore really going down the toilet, just stay away from grizzlies lathes they are even worse then delta. If ya have about 10 grand to spend I would buy a Robust they are a fairly new company made in wisconsin and are awsome, that or a Oneway they are made in canada Oneway right now are probably the very best lathes made int he world, they can run up to about 5 grand. Here is the link lol I forgot about it.
    Jet Mini Lathe - Woodturners Catalog - Woodworking tools and supplies specializing in woodturning.
    Strange they didn't have the 1220 listed, If ya do buy one I would also get the variable speed it is a dream.

    The 1014 Jet mini lathe runs about $350.00 for just a basic lathe, if ya want the variable speedits $450.00. It has a 10" diameter capacity and is 14" between centers. they don't include the tool rest banjo in the measurement so ya can turn an object 8"x14" no problem. It is 1/2 HP, speed range from 500-4,000 RPM. the spindle is 1"x8 TPI a very commen size with a number 2 morse taper also commen.

    The 1220 Jet mini lathe, I haven't yet but plan to upgrade to this one has a 12"x 20" capacity, the same speed range, the same spidle sie and morse taper and a bigger 3/4 HP motor.
    I am gonna have to start another post.
    Carl

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    • #3
      Re: Need some help buying my first lathe

      O yeah the 1220 prices from 450-550, if ya can afford this I would get this one. But ya also need turning tools and some safety gear and books are also very helpfull. A chuck wouldn't hurt but they can cost more then the lathe sometimes, and arn't really the best for beginners.
      Ok the biggest thing I can tell ya is that to buy the very best ya can afford, a better lathe will hold its retail value even after having been used, as long as its cared for properly.
      Ok another thing before ya listen to me buy this book it is the single best one out there about getting started with woodturning.
      Complete Illustrated Guide to Turning - Woodturners Catalog - Woodworking tools and supplies specializing in woodturning.
      Ya wont find many reviews on lathes but I can tell ya right now jet is the best for there price and reliability, I turned something I shouldn't have on my mini lathe, I made a full size baseball batt two of them actually and that little lathe did it peice of cake. Talk about great things in small packeges wow. I will say stay away from Delta and Grizzly heard some horror stories about them. Ok time for post 3
      Carl

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      • #4
        Re: Need some help buying my first lathe

        Found em here are the lathes at Rockler I would order them here or buy in the store.
        Jet JML-1014VSI:10''X14'' Variable Speed Indexing Mini Lathe - Rockler Woodworking Tools

        Jet JWL-1220VS: 12'' X 20'' Variable Speed Wood Lathe - Rockler Woodworking Tools

        I see the 1220 has a light added onto it, heard it isn't all that great the neck on it is to short. So don't buy the bigger one cus of that light go for the power and capacity.
        Another to stay away from is craftsman unless ya can get an older 12X36 I have one I plan to sell and it's an american made, If ya are interested planned to sell it for $130 but it would need to be picked up, I could through in some tools and it comes with a live center set. This was the lateh I started with and its very reliable but not as accurate as the jet its also quite noisy, but that doesn't matter to a beginner. I have seen Rigid made this same model or craftsman copied rigid, no idea on the rigid quality but if ya need to spend less then say 600 this might be the way to go. I think they sell around 200 at the home depot. I have seen the pennstate mini lathes and wasn't impressd for the price. If you just want to experiement ya could buy a tool shop mini lathe from menards they are very awfull but under $100.

        Ok that was a mouth full Uff Da! If ya have any questions or if I made ya confused, I did try and dumb it down, let me know post it here or send me a PM throught the board. I hope this helps and if your serious about turning buy that book it helped me so much I can't begin to thank Richard Raffen for doing it.
        Carl

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        • #5
          Re: Need some help buying my first lathe

          Carl is dead on this. You get what you pay for . I purchased one from harbor freight and had to do some grinding on the index pin for the head stock in order to get it lined up with the tail stock. Not real happy about that

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          • #6
            Re: Need some help buying my first lathe

            With the basic mini lathe ya can do many great projects like pens, mallets are a great one, spinning tops requires a chuck, small to medium bowls requires a chuck, lidded boxes requires a chuck, handles for just about anything, short spindles, chess sets, brushes, ornements requires a chuck, all kinds of great jewelry, bottle stoppers are very popular, scoops requires a chuck, all kinds of vases, rolling pins and a ton of other stuff for the wife or girlfriend, mother in law for the kitchen. There is an endless list, the only real differance with the mini and a regular or very large lathe is the size and power. So if ya know what ya wanna spend how much and how much room ya have to set it up in I will gladly help ya find what ever ya need. But for sure check out all the books by Richard Raffen he also has some really really great dvds. there are quite a few to choose from for turning instructional and project books and dvds also tool controll and work designing but out of em all Richard Raffens are the best. As for tools for the lathe they can be very pricey and when I recived my inheritance from my great great aunt I put it into my lathe tools I spne about $3,000.00 on them and now with the prices up and how much I saved, got them at a 45% discount they are worth twice that. I have never regretted spending all that money on them, they will last me my whole life and then some I also use every one of them. But to get started ya only need like 3-5 tools, a lathe, electricity, safety glasses, face sheild, respirator is a must, lathe chuck is optional, and some wood to spin.
            Carl

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            • #7
              Re: Need some help buying my first lathe

              That is another nice thing with the Jet the indexing system is great, really acurate and high quality. But wait what ELwood? the index pin was causing problems with headstock/tailstock alinement, dang that must of been really messed up lol. Ya can also if your handy and know about welding make your own lathe. When I bought my lathe tools I said I had the money and was buying the very best there is and did. LOL if I won a million dollars I would spend it all on making my perfect shop, all of it would be spent on tools but remeber it is possible to make great works of art with even the poorest tools.
              Carl

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              • #8
                Re: Need some help buying my first lathe

                Anyone know who or where to ask about having WCI put up a turning section? for both gallery pics and forum talk?
                Carl

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                • #9
                  Re: Need some help buying my first lathe

                  Originally posted by Carver/Turner_FromNowhere View Post
                  . But wait what ELwood? the index pin was causing problems with headstock/tailstock alinement, dang that must of been really messed up lol. Carl
                  It was the index plate that was messed up. If you laid a straight edge across the channels that the index pin engaged, you sould see it angled off into outer space instead of down the center and I figured it was easer to grind the pin than it was the channels God bless Central Machinery. It works OK now

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                  • #10
                    Re: Need some help buying my first lathe

                    Good fix, at least it works now.
                    Carl

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                    • #11
                      Good Day Amigos

                      I am stoked to meet new people here. It appears to be a amazing place!I'm into playing camping.Any others here?What do you engage in?

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