When I purchased my first lathe it was a good Delta/Rockwell. It was used, but like new. A very short time went by before I purchased a new lathe. I purchased the new one for two reasons: 1) To get variable speed and 2) to get standard drive threads. Not having either one of those things would make me buy a new lathe. I, VERY STRONGLY, recommend that you get the variable speed and don't get any drive threads other than 1 x 8 (or larger if a standard thread). Odd threads extremely limit the accessories you can purchase---and they will be more expensive.
Remember, I sold a perfectly good lathe that I liked, except for those two reasons. I took a beating money wise on the sale of the first lathe. I am so very glad that I did sell it however. I just wish I had been smart enough to purchase the second lathe first and not wasted a couple hundred dollars because I did not know how important those two items are.
If my lathe had a slower, slow speed I would really like it. However, that alone is not enough to push me into another lathe. For your reference I have a Delta 46-460. I have the bed extension and I am glad that I have it. However, I could survive without it.
I hope this helped you.
The Excelsior does not have standard threads---Or it did not have them when I purchased my first lathe. The man at Rockler advised me to not purchase the Excelsior. I don't know if I got a "favoritism" treatment or if that information would have been passed on to any customer. I was expanding my shop at that time and was buying tools (hand, power, and major) at Rockler several times a month. I am sure Rockler was looking forward to a lot of future business from me.
Last edited by Jim C Bradley; 11-26-2012 at 04:19 AM.
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First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.