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Thread: Lathe recommendations?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Hitchins, Kentucky (Northeastern part of the state.)
    Posts
    80

    Question Lathe recommendations?

    I am interested in starting turning, so I have been looking into the different lathes that are available. I was hoping to get some advise from you experienced turners as to what would be a good starting lathe.
    1) It would need to be 110V.
    2) What I am interested in trying at first would be canes/walking sticks (so the ability to turn longer items would be necessary) and pens.
    3)Bench space is a premium in my shed so I would want something that could have its own stand or be a stand alone model. That way I could move it out of the way when I wasn't using it.

    I would like to get a quality tool, as the HF items I have tried so far have not impressed me. I have looked at the Grizzly G0462 and G0624 with an extender and stand. If you have one of these, how have they worked out for you? Any other recommendations in the same price range? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,833
    Agree, stay away from the HF offerings.
    Pick a well known brand at the top of what you can afford.
    The Grizzly's are just fine. I have one, it is my second. I'm a fan.
    However, you mention canes and walking sticks. The length of the bed is far from the only consideration when turning these.
    Those canes and sticks are slender and will flex while you are trying to turn them.
    From my experience trying to turn them, I'll can tell you it is near impossible to do, even with a center stabilizer.
    I have successfully made them using coupler kits and make them in two or three sections.
    Good luck. Let us know what you decide.
    "Folks is funny critters."

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    NH
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    4,006
    Hey Larry this one has a pulse. maybe you can still save him
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Oak Harbor Washington on Whidbey Island
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    Quick drain the pool before he gets away drop a Delta 46-460 with bed extension & stand with extension on him & keep the RPM's high until he doesn't know which way is up. Frank is alright even if his amount of posts 10140 show what a lively spinney life he really has. Always spinning in circles.
    Last edited by Bart Leetch; 09-07-2011 at 12:23 AM.
    "Forget the flat stuff slap something on the spinny thing and lets go, we're burning daylight" Bart Leetch
    "If it ain't round you may be a knuckle dragger""Turners drag their nuckles too, they just do it at a higher RPM"Bart

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Delton, Michigan
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    17,474
    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Thoits View Post
    Hey Larry this one has a pulse. maybe you can still save him
    hugbb hugb some one say somethuing oh i see this scott guy thinks he wants to get intot he spinny stuff now just hold on a minute scott the cost of one of those things is twice to three times what they list at,, see you need tools to use one then after you get them you need chucks, and after that you need new tools becasue the first batch didnt do what you want to do now..and for these canes you want to make you can buy a nice set of carving knives and make some really good looking canes before you get tot eh age of needing one so my advice is to stay away from the lathe world its a very high maintence hobby and one that once afflicted you will never be the same
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Oak Harbor Washington on Whidbey Island
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    3,134
    Raymond watch out for Larry he's never turned on a lathe so he doesn't know it's effect first hand. When he was a young-an He was still in his britches one day when his mom threw them in the washed & dryer & to this day he thinks that's what turning is like.
    Last edited by Bart Leetch; 09-07-2011 at 12:33 AM.
    "Forget the flat stuff slap something on the spinny thing and lets go, we're burning daylight" Bart Leetch
    "If it ain't round you may be a knuckle dragger""Turners drag their nuckles too, they just do it at a higher RPM"Bart

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Oak Harbor Washington on Whidbey Island
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    Raymond

    Did you see the lathe recommendation in my first post?
    Last edited by Bart Leetch; 09-07-2011 at 12:34 AM.
    "Forget the flat stuff slap something on the spinny thing and lets go, we're burning daylight" Bart Leetch
    "If it ain't round you may be a knuckle dragger""Turners drag their nuckles too, they just do it at a higher RPM"Bart

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
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    30,019
    Raymond, there are several good lathes that would fit your bill. The Delta or Jet midi lathes would be workable, but you would also need to add the bed extension for either to turn things like walking sticks. (Don't let Frank scare you off...they are turned by lots of folks. They are challenging, but not impossible.) Either of these midi lathes can be purchased with a stand, or you can fabricate your own out of metal or wood. (The beefier the better, but if you have limited space, there will be limits to the beef you can fit.) Also, if funds allow, I recommend getting a model with electronic variable speed. A lot of folks turn great stuff on non-variable speed lathes, but I've not met anyone yet who has a variable speed lathe and wishes it didn't have that feature.

    The two Grizzly lathes you mentioned would also be workable for walking sticks and other spindle projects. The G0462 has a Reeves drive to vary the speed. Reeves drives work well, but they're not as convenient as an electronic variable speed. They also do require some maintenance from time to time. That lathe is large enough to tempt you to turn larger items like bowls and vases, and while it can do that kind of work, it's not really well-suited for turning large pieces. Its lowest speed is still pretty high, and the lathe and other parts that come with it are not what I'd consider heavy-duty enough for serious bowl turning.

    Due to its size, the G0624 is pretty much limited to spindle work. Its speed is changed by moving the drive belt to different pulleys...pretty easy on most lathes I've done it on, and I'd expect the Grizzly to be about the same.

    Based on my own experience with Grizzly tools and the feedback I've seen from other turners, Grizzly lathes are a good value, but don't typically have the fit and finish of the Jet or Delta lathes.

    And as Larry mentioned, the cost of the lathe is just the beginning of the journey into woodturning. In addition to the lathe, there are things like face shields (mandatory, if you ask me) cutting tools, grinders and jigs to sharpen the cutting tools, chucks and other accessories to hold the wood onto the lathe, sanding tools and supplies, dust and chip collection, more cutting tools, some wood, a chainsaw, more cutting tools, and on and on. Someone once gave me a free lathe. It ended up being the most expensive tool in my shop.

    Oh, and in case you hadn't noticed, there's a good-natured war here between the turners (spinny folks) and the non-turners (the flatlanders). The flatlanders will try to draw you away from the abyss, but once you've gotten caught in the woodturning vortex, all hope is lost.

    Come to the dark side. We have cookies.

    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

  9. #9
    There are a lot of guys that have the Delta 46-460. the majority of them will not give them up unless going much larger. For the money a lot of bang for the buck.
    Dennis

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
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    12,260
    Raymond Vaughn has given you the best advice money could buy.

    I cheaped out on my lathe and regret it every time i chuck a piece of wood in it. Someday it will be gone.

    Even good accessories dont improve a poor base.

    Variable speed control is a real asset given its easily available today.


    Budget is the big thing.

    If you want another good lathe look at the Nova as well. It would be a one time buy and i dont think you would look back.

    A few guys here have these lathes. One is Stu in Japan. When i look at the way it works for him when he does videos of how to that are available on his site then i am sold on that lathe.
    Its pricy if you just starting out but you can either buy one and get accustomed to lathes and buy another and then be happy.

    This is my 5 cents. BUt be prepared you have been warned about all the collateral expenses.
    cheers

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