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Thread: Need advice on lathe

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Salt Spring Island, BC Canada
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    Need advice on lathe

    It is a Samona 12"x36" with 1/2 hp for 280.00 . I noticed that it is a discontinued model that originally sold for 489.99 and was on sale for 349.99. I have been thinking of getting a mini lathe but am not sure what to look for in regards to a good mini lathe. There is a sale this Thursday at KMS tools with a Nova DVRXP for 1999.95 and a Nova 16"x24" 8speed for 999.95 and a general maxi for 369.95. I use to turn back in school and have been looking at rekindling my old love of the spinny things. Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.
    Daily Thought: SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES..... NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS...............

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Tokyo Japan
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    Don't buy the cheap lathe.

    If you buy the DVR-XP, you will be buying your last lathe, sure it is more money now, but in ten years, or 15 years, you will not notice it, also, each and every time you turn on the DVR-XP and use it, it will bring a smile to your face.

    You asked, that is the advice I'm giving!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    Don't buy the cheap lathe.

    If you buy the DVR-XP, you will be buying your last lathe, sure it is more money now, but in ten years, or 15 years, you will not notice it, also, each and every time you turn on the DVR-XP and use it, it will bring a smile to your face.

    You asked, that is the advice I'm giving!
    Thanks Stu. This is what I am looking for to hear. I was thinking of a small mini lathe right now when i noticed this add for the lathe. I kind of thought it sounded a bit cheap. I know you and Alex have the Nova's and I do appreciate your advice. What have you heard in regards to the mini's?
    Daily Thought: SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES..... NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS...............

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    ABQ NM
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    I'd not heard of Samona tools until now, but I found a picture of it on the BossTools website:



    Looks like one of several other Asian-manufactured units with a Reeves drive for the speed control, most notably the Jet 1236. It'd probably make a decent starter lathe, although if you do get into the spinny world as much as a lot of us, you will most likely be looking to replace it with something bigger and more powerful down the road. The 1/2 HP motor would be a bit underpowered for many bowls and other vessels, but it'd still be plenty to turn enough pens and bottle stoppers to pay for the lathe.

    Stu gave good advice about buying a much lathe as you can afford. If you're serious about getting back into spinny stuff, get the best you can buy now. On the other hand, if you're unsure about whether you'll really fall in love with turning, at the current price of the Samona 1236, you could use it for a year or two and probably resell it for almost as much as you paid. I would imagine that lathe would not be too hard to sell used for $225 to $250.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  5. #5
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    ozarks
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    then there`s the other side of the equation.........
    if you use an inexpensive tool that doesen`t perform as you believe it should it`s quite possible you`ll become dissenchanted with the whole venture and you`ll be stuck either looking at an eyesore or trying to market an inexpensive tool in order to mitigate your losses.
    good equipment is a pleasure to use and holds it`s value should you decide to sell.
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Tellico Plains, Tennessee
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    Agree with advice above... get the most you can afford up front.
    I bought a Jet 1442 with Reeves.. not sure of motor size, but pretty good power. My first look was at the Nova with the EV speed control, but the local wood craft didn't have one in stock and the manager said she had sold only one the entire year and that wound up coming back... something about the guy kept breaking the motor shaft... anyway the Jet was same size - and same price and had cast iron legs instead of the formed metal legs of the Nova.... don't regret my choice at all.
    Chuck
    Tellico Plains, TN
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/TellicoTurnings
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
    If you go looking for trouble, it will usually find you.

  7. #7
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    As Vaughn pointed out the Samona is a good performing lathe in it's price range. If that is all your budget can handle, buy it and enjoy, it will serve well for most turning needs.
    It does have limitations compared to more expensive lathes. It will not run real-real slow for big, off balance, bowl blanks and it lacks power when turning large projects.
    Ask your budget and your wife what the spending limits are then shop accordingly.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  8. #8
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    Thanks for all the advice guys. I have thought more about it and will hold off on getting an inferior tool that i am sure i will regret later as opposed to getting something I will never regret. It sucks having champagne taste but living on the beer budget.
    Daily Thought: SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES..... NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS...............

  9. #9
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    Good choice. There are some great name brand lathes out there that will be more satisfying in the long run.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: Thats when you return from work one day
    and say, Hi, Honey, Im home forever.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Tampa & NC
    Posts
    432

    Need advice on lathe

    If the bucks are tight,you can get the Ricon mini for less than 300.00.It was on sale for about 250.00.Its the 1st lathe I got and still have it,plus I have the Nova 1624 and love both of them.You may want to checkout the Ricon as it is one tough little lathe and you can't beat there service,fantastic all the the way around.It has a 12" swing and I have turned quite a few pieces 10 an 11" dia on it with no problem.

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