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Thread: Mini Lathes

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Salt Spring Island, BC Canada
    Posts
    2,070

    Mini Lathes

    Just starting to look into a good mini lathe. Any recomendations to a good brand? What to look for?
    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
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    224
    You'll get recommendations for every make under the sun. Just choose one that you think will suit you best. Or from a supplier that will work the best with you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    DSM, IA
    Posts
    5,719
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Jones View Post
    You'll get recommendations for every make under the sun. Just choose one that you think will suit you best. Or from a supplier that will work the best with you.
    Doug, that is the best recomendation for a lathe I've ever seen. No bias, full of "stay away from this, you must have this, etc.

    Drew, if you have a turning group close by, ask to stop in or join and you should get a few invites to try a couple different lathes out.
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
    My Website


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    800
    I have the Jet mini non-vs model & can attest to it being a exceptional lathe I would purchase it again in a heartbeat.

    Chuck

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Goodland, Kansas
    Posts
    4,834
    I got the Rikon for it's 12" swing and being a midi. I have not had any problems and run it hard. I would look at the Jet mini, Jet 1220, Delta midi or the Rikon midi if you are wanting to stay small. Can't tell you about the others but all are good starter lathes.
    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.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    WNY, Buffalo Area
    Posts
    873
    I have the Jet Mini VS. I just got it for Christmas so I don't have a lot of hours logged on it yet. So far I have been pleased with it, and have no complaints.

    When it comes to mini lathes this model and the non-VS are highly recommended amongst turners everywhere, as being much more versatile than they appear.

    It has a 10 in swing and is 14 in between centers. As an accessory for around $55-$70 Jet sells a cast iron bed extension that will give you much added capacity between centers, for long spindles.
    We create with our hands in wood what our mind sees in thought.
    Disclosure: Formerly was a part-time sales person & instructor at WoodCraft in Buffalo, NY.
    www.tinyurl.com/thewoodshoppe

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    lutefisk capitol, USA
    Posts
    485
    The only thing I will say is check out customer service. Some brands are severely lacking. I have a Jet and a Delta. I prefer where the on/off switch is located on the Delta but other than that they are both equal. Take a class if you can or go to a turning club and see if you can try out different ones. Rikon has a larger capacity that the others. If you don't mind parting with bundles of money look at the General with the digital variable speed. My two cents worth.
    Dale

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Salt Spring Island, BC Canada
    Posts
    2,070
    Thanks guys for all the input. I am just starting to look and figured I would ask here as there is quite a bit more rounded experience here and I do value all your opinions and experience. I have been trying to get in contact with the club here but have not heard back from them yet.
    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
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    618
    I have the General International VS Maxi-Lathe and am very happy with it.
    It's not near the lathe some guys are using but for a beginner like me it's just great; no complaints and I'm having a lot of fun learning on it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
    Posts
    15,809
    Get hold of some turning club people, try out a few lathes, maybe even find a lathe that someone has for sale, as they have upgraded?

    Gari Baiasillo recently upgraded to a Nova DVR, I don't know if he still has his Old Delta lathe??

    Maybe PM him?

    I'd look hard at the Rikon 12" seems like a decent lathe.

    As you are in Canada, I'd NOT get a Grizzly, because if you have a problem, well, across the border customer service may not be the easiest thing, but I certainly could be wrong about that.
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

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