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Thread: New bee in need of lathe advice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    New bee in need of lathe advice

    I am looking for input on a lathe perches.
    I found a pair of powermatics both are $850.00 one has speed control, the other one you have to change the belts. Other than that the machines are the same.
    Now the one that you have to change the belts to change speed, comes with a 12" tool rest, a 24" tool rest , a 6" face plate, and both centers.
    The other one comes with a 12" tool rest, a 6" face plate, and both centers.
    You can't buy the 24" tool rest new for this age machine but you might get lucky on ebay or you could have a machine shop rework a new one to fit.
    The lathe I am using now has the speed controller and it is nice to be able to just reach over and speed it up when you need to. But the tool rest is a 12" and it's a pain in the but to have to move it when you are trying to do a longer piece.
    I put a deposit on the one with the belt speed change . The sale person has called to find out if I would swap to the other one because they had another guy come after me and he also wants that machine.
    Thanks Chuck

  2. #2
    Chuck....a number of folks have made their own tool rests or had a welding shop make one for a whole lot less than the companies would want. If it was me.....I'd buy the one with the speed control. Tool rests can be gotten cheaper than a speed control. JMHO.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    I'd second Ken's suggestions. New tool rests are easier to add later than the variable speed. I'm guessing you are planning to turn longer spindle-type things?

    Also -- and this is just personal opinion -- I'd use the 6" faceplate as a small boat anchor and get some smaller ones. I used a 3" plate last night roughing out a 19" bowl. Don Pencil sells nice aluminum ones that don't rust when they are used with wet wood.

    Out of curiosity, what's the size capacity of the lathes you're looking at?
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Drums, PA
    Chuck unless you are planning on doing long spindles, such as table legs, you won't use a 24" tool rest much.

    As others said, making a tool rest is easy, even long ones. Go with the one with the speed control.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Thanks for the nudge guys. When I looked at them I wanted the speed controller but we thought it was 3 phase. So I went with the other one part because it had the other tool rest and part because it is single phase. But when the other guy came in and the speed controller was the only one left they got a teck to find out what phase it was and found out it is single also.So I will be calling them Monday and tell them I will take the speed controller one.
    Thanks again for the shove in the right direction.
    Ron I just finished a set of cannon tools that I had to make in two pieces due to the Delta was not long enough to run them in one shot. While turning things around 40" my not be done all the time it would sure have been nice to be able to have done it with a longer rest.
    If all else fails I bribe Travis to making me a 24" rest.(maybe I'll hold his sled ransom)
    Vaguhn I have no idea what the size of the lathe is LOL I just know it is bigger than the Delta in my shop now I think it is some where around a 12 48 and I know it comes in at a hefty 380 LBS. wont be dancing across the floor like the Delta does. Thats one thing I will miss is the nice walk I used to get while turning.
    Last edited by Chuck Thoits; 03-02-2008 at 03:00 AM.

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