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Thread: Having trouble fing a good "used" lathe.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Lafayette, Indiana

    Having trouble fing a good "used" lathe.

    I've only gotten back into turning for a few weeks now since getting my old Ryobi mini lathe out of storage. I've been loving it. that my thoughts are for projects bigger than pens (although turning pens is way cool) I'm seeing the limits of my little lathe. I've been watching the newspaper and Craigslist for a bigger, better lathe. I see tons of Craftsman lathes but nothing else. So either Sears sold a boat load of these over the years or...they sold junk and everyone else is dumping them. Which is it? Is a Craftsman lathe worth $200.00? Thats about the going rate that I have seen. I do not ever see myself spending $800 or more, so I was hoping to find something used but would like to find quality. Can I find quality for under $800.00. Tell me what to watch for.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    i`ve seen old powermatic and delta variable speed lathes from the 60`s-70`s sell at auction for between 5 and 8 hundred.
    i`d immagine with the economy in the tank you should be able to find a deal if you keep lookin`.
    call the local auction houses and ask them to mail you listings for their auctions.
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    bethel springs TN, but was born and raised in north east PA
    Tom not sure what your thoughts are on the grizzly tools,but for the price i think they are a good tool.Now don't get me wrong they arn't top of the line by any means.I have had the go462 for about 2 years now and for 495 plus shipping i think it is well worth it. Do i want a pm or nova?(you bet)and some day i will, the lord willing and the creak don't rise.Heres a pic of the lathe i'm talking about.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 013 [640x480].JPG  

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Tom, it depends on which Craftsman lathe you're asking about. Based on what I've read, I think you would want to steer clear of any Sears lathes that have a tubular bed instead of a flat cast iron one. They do sell one that's made by Palmgren, and although it's not a top-notch lathe, it's a pretty serviceable machine. I bought this one used on Craigslist for $300, used it for about a year, and sold it for the same price. (I also sold a couple thousand dollars worth of work done on that lathe, so it definitely paid for itself.) I wouldn't recommend this lathe as a new purchase, but used models priced right should retain their resale value for later when you move up to another, better lathe.

    I'd suggest that you just keep watching Craigslist, and sooner or later something good will show up. Like Tod said, you can usually find older Powermatics and Deltas for a reasonable price, and they will also retain their resale value nicely.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Delton, Michigan
    here ya go tom this abover your cap but its nice lather witha good chuck as well..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Hardinsburg, KY
    When looking for a used lathe, patience is the name of the game. Continue watching Craig's List every day. Don't forget eBay or any other classifieds that you have access too. All of these really need to be checked daily. The best deals don't last long. The junk is always there. As has been said, stay away from the tubes, look for cast iron ways. A full HP is a really nice thing in your price range, 1.5 HP all the better. Doubt your going to find bigger at your price point. Several of the forums also have classified pages. You may want to put some of them on your daily search list as well.

    Hope you find your great deal soon.
    Working flat so I can play round,
    Doug Miller

    Repentance Is The
    Prerequisite For
    Gods Forgiveness

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    One other thing I might suggest is joining your local AAW (American Association of Woodturners) club, and going to a meeting. It is very common to find someone at such a club that is looking to upgrade, and needs to sell off their old lathe.

    Besides, they can be a great source of info and such.

    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Monroeville, IN(Fort Wayne)

    I have an old Delta Rockwell "gap" bed lathe that has been gone through and rebuilt with a frequency drive added, if your interested I'll get you some pictures and more info.
    my goal in life is to be as good a person as my kids think i am

    life is short, even in it's longest days

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