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Thread: Need a new lathe!!!

  1. #1

    Need a new lathe!!!

    Ok, I know I am pretty new to wood turning still but I just burned up my Central Machinery lathe. I was turning a 10x6 birch wood bowl blank and it just went out on me. I felt the motor and it is extremely hot. Guess it can't handle taking the big cuts. It will turn on still but takes to long to get up to speed. I will fix it but want a better lathe that can do the pieces I am wanting to do. Anyone have any suggestions on what lathe would be a good one for big knarly peices. And need advice on what I messed up on the cheap Central Machine.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Villa Park, CA
    I don't know a lot about lathes, or have experience with a lot of them, but I had the opportunity to try out a Nova DVR a while back and was really impressed. It was solid and I really liked the variable speed. And you could pivot the head.

    I use a Jet 1236 right now.

    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Inside the Beltway

    Too bad about that CM machine. For a good recommendation, we need to know your price range, and what you intend to turn. The possibilities range from 500 to 5,000 bucks. My $500 grizzly lets me turn big stuff, but there are people here who have spent a lot more, and are much happier...



  4. #4

    Price range

    Well My price range will probally be around
    $1500. + or - some $. I would like to have the power to take big cuts and not bog down and be sturdy enough that I can turn a little faster with less vibration. Cm machine was good till now but left a real taste in my mouth for the good stuff. Lathe turning is a dying art and at the age of 31 I think I can help take it a bit farther. thanks for any help received!!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Decatur, Illinois
    zack, i also upgraded from a 10" lathe to the nova 1624. got it on sale from amazon for $800 plus delivery. i like many of the features, especially the revolving head stock which i use on every piece but....i wish i had sprung the extra $1000 for the variable speed dvr. i can change speeds quickly with all the practice i've had but still is an irritation. stupid, i know, to double the price of the lathe for a convenience like that but the pain is brief and the payback just keeps giving. i also like the short footprint of this lathe in my shop with the large swing diameter.
    99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name...Steven Wright.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    If you're serious about turning, my vote would be to save up a bit more and get the Powermatic 3520B. The Jet 1642 EVS is in about the price range you mentioned, and it's also got a lot of happy owners. The Nova DVR is another good one, in between the Jet and the Powermatic price-wise.

    As far as what went south on your Harbor Freight lathe...what model do you have? It might be as simple as a slipping belt, or as complicated as a fried motor.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Goodland, Kansas
    I would take a good look at the Jet 1642 or the Nova DVR XP. The Nova is what I have and just love it. You could take a look at the Nova 1624-44. It is a belt changer but has a good low speed and has some good reviews. It is around $1000.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: That’s when you return from work one day
    and say, “Hi, Honey, I’m home – forever.”

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    If you really do like turning, then I'd fix the motor on the one you have, and take lighter cuts, and save your money and buy the Big PM like Vaughn said, that way, you will not be upgrading again, well, I'd guess about 98% on that, who knows

    I have the Nova DVR 3000, that is the one model older than the DVR XP, and I do truly love that lathe, but, if I were in the US or Canada, I would have saved up for the big PM.

    Remember, if you really fall into the vortex, big time, you will spend way more on other things, besides the lathe.

    Good luck!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Grand Rapids, MI

    New Motor

    Saving for a big lathe gets my vote, but I would replace the motor as a stop-gap. You can get a quality low horsepower motors for quite a low cost.

    Like stated above, there are many quality lathes to choose from. Though I haven't turned on these myself I would recommend any Nova or the Jet 1642 belt changer or EVS. But if you can save up for even more, go for the Powermatic 3520B.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Inside the Beltway

    Take a peek at this thread:

    See that lathe in the background? That's the machine to measure against. But... you'd have to say goodbye to something north of 5K. By all accounts, they're brilliant machines. We've got at least a couple members that have one.

    Next step down is a Oneway. Somewhere around 4. Very, very nice. Lots of people stop their upgrade path right there.

    The mustard path (Powermatic 3520B): we have several people who have them. I wish I did. You'll get out of the gate for about 1K less than for a oneway, but these are VERY highly rated. Very nice, very solid, high performance, everything you could want, and more.

    Down 1K more, the nova variable speed. Great ratings. Lots of people say it's a little light, but you can solve that by building your own stand. People like them, and do great work on them... but some (not all) people wish they'd gotten a PM.

    New kid on the block: . Figure about 1.5K. I think two people here have them. Looks suspiciously like the Jet, but for a bit less. If I had that kind of money, that's what I'd get. But everyone will tell you how cheap I am!

    That's pretty much the range without going lower. You may want to check out Jet and Laguna, just so you don't have any regrets.

    I'm not giving any advice about what to buy. I just spend a fair amount of time surfing and dreaming...


    Last edited by Bill Lantry; 05-08-2008 at 02:55 AM.

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