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Thread: Lathe Question

  1. #1
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    Lathe Question

    I almost hate to ask but I have looked at this and it seems decent..

    Harbor Freight 34706 lathe. Seems very similar to both a Jet and Griz model. It is on sale for 199.00 and I have some 20 percent off coupons around so I think I can get it for around 160.00.

    It seems as if it would have to beat my Shopsmith the biggest problem I have with any real lathe is where to put it..

    I remember Allen had a HF of one sort and took it back. I have looked around and it seems as if most of the comments by people that have them are positive.

    The lathe I am talking about is here.
    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...campaign=1210B

    Would this be a waste of 160.00?

    Thanks for all input.
    Garry
    Last edited by Garry Foster; 03-20-2010 at 01:44 AM.

  2. #2
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    If your only gonna turn spindles I guess it would be OK but I wouldn't want to put a 10 or 11 inch bowl blank on it. The min speed of 600 RPM's could be scary for roughing a bowl.
    I'd wait and save my money for the right tool or look for something on the used market.
    My little Rikon only cost $100 more. Better to buy the right tool and cry once then cry everytime you use the tool.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    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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    that looks almost exactly like my jet, only painted green...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails lathe on mobile platform.JPG  
    benedictione omnes bene

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  4. #4
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    Dan,
    Whats the minimum speed on your jet ?
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  5. #5
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    not sure off hand, i'd have to check that tomorrow.
    benedictione omnes bene

    www.burroviejowoodworking.com

    check out my etsy store, buroviejowoodworking

  6. #6
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    A quick look at thew specs and it is pretty much the same as the Jet 1236.
    My biggie with both of them is they don't have any heft to them at 183 lbs.
    You'll have to rig up 2 or 3 hundred pounds on that thing to make it heavy enough for my taste.
    As a side note I would not drop the coin on it. But that's just me.
    But than again I wouldn't drop the coin on the Jet 1236 either.
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  7. #7
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    I guess a big question is what you you plan to turn? Pens, bottle stoppers, and other smaller pieces, or bowls and hollow forms that are pushing the edge of the capacity limits? That lathe would probably be fine for the smaller stuff, but it's not really geared towards the size of pieces that can physically fit it.

    I pretty much agree with Chuck's points here, although even with 1000 extra pounds on it, 600 rpm is too fast for roughing an out of balance blank. Also too fast for power sanding in a lot of cases, IMHO. (That's not to say people haven't used it for both.)

    I've also read a lot of positive comments on that lathe, but they seem to be from guys who aren't really trying to turn larger or off-balance pieces, and I suspect some of them have not turned on anything better for comparison. On the other hand, for a little over $150 it's a quite a bit of machinery. I would be careful to check it out closely after setting it up to make sure the headstock and tailstock line up accurately. At that price, I'd suspect the tolerances might not be drum tight, but Harbor Freight is good about taking returns if you did find a problem.

    Don's Rikon is a good lathe and will go slower, but it's not really designed to swing large out of balance pieces either. You can bolt it down to a heavy bench and it'll stay in place, but the bearings will take a beating and a likely suffer a premature death.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    Don's Rikon is a good lathe and will go slower, but it's not really designed to swing large out of balance pieces either. You can bolt it down to a heavy bench and it'll stay in place, but the bearings will take a beating and a likely suffer a premature death.
    I agree whole heartedly, I have turned 12" pieces but it does get exciting. I take extra care in preparing the blanks to get them ad round as possible. If I turned more I'd opt for the PMor maybe a oneway but i just can't justify the $$$.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Baer View Post
    If your only gonna turn spindles I guess it would be OK but I wouldn't want to put a 10 or 11 inch bowl blank on it. The min speed of 600 RPM's could be scary for roughing a bowl.
    I'd wait and save my money for the right tool or look for something on the used market.
    My little Rikon only cost $100 more. Better to buy the right tool and cry once then cry everytime you use the tool.
    Well
    I don't plan on doing spindles but actually thats one thing the Shopsmith isn't to bad at.

    >Dan said
    >that looks almost exactly like my jet, only painted green...

    I had read that but also read that the Griz and Jet come from Taiwan while the HF from mainland China. But don't know for sure...


    Chuck Said
    >A quick look at thew specs and it is pretty much the same as the Jet 1236.
    >My biggie with both of them is they don't have any heft to them at 183 lbs.
    >You'll have to rig up 2 or 3 hundred pounds on that thing to make it heavy enough for my taste.
    >As a side note I would not drop the coin on it. But that's just me.
    >But than again I wouldn't drop the coin on the Jet 1236 either.


    Well I would expect to have to weight it down some and from what I have read that goes a long ways toward taming them down..
    I don't expect to drop big money on a lathe right now.....I am reasonably sure I wouldn't use it enough..And I am not very artsy talented though I wish I were.


    Vaughn said
    >I guess a big question is what you you plan to turn? Pens, bottle stoppers, and other smaller pieces, or bowls and hollow forms that are pushing the edge of the capacity limits? That lathe would probably be fine for the smaller >stuff, but it's not really geared towards the size of pieces that can physically fit it.

    And here may be the killer
    Though I don't have a lot of talent in that area I would like to do some artsy pens and stuff for gifts and "Quick" gratification as even though I have retired I haven't found the time between all the must do things and the want to do things to get involved in the projects I would like to do. So a quick pen here and there would be nice break from grinding rivets or repairing rusted out sheet metal. Laying new floor covering, painting the inside of the house ect.
    And I don't really like doing things like this on the Shopsmith.






    I think I was letting the only 160.00 dollars really get to me. Now that a new sun has risen I think a mini or midi might better fit my wants and take up way less room...

    Thanks for all the thoughts on this. Actually maybe I should just try some on my old metal lathe. The last thing I turned I was on it, now it was just a coupler for my shop vac hoses and not artsy at all. I even used the power feed and metal working tooling..

    Garry
    Last edited by Garry Foster; 03-20-2010 at 02:16 PM.

  10. #10
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    There are a lot of similarities to that lathe and my old Grizzly G1067Z. My Griz gave good service for over six years. But, as others have said, the lowest speed is a tad wild for bowls and large objects.
    But, I was in a HF recently and all the large tools struck me as being crude and unfinished. I just wouldn't be able to buy a lathe there with confidence. But, at the price, if the points line up, it might be an OK starter.
    "Folks is funny critters."

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