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Woodcarving Tools, Technology & Sharpening

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  #1  
Old 06-24-2011, 08:23 AM
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Default Mid-size wood lathe recommendations?

I've been thinking about buying a wood lathe for a while now. Looking for some recommendations on a good one, and where I might find the best price. I want a smaller size, but not the mini.
Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 06-24-2011, 08:33 AM
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Default Re: Mid-size wood lathe recommendations?

I own an old Sears Crafstsman, 30+ inch centers, nothing special, build a stand or put it on a bench- in my opinion its the tools and understnding how to use and sharpen them that are more important than the the late itself. I'm sure more serious turners will not agree, but I've turned a lot on that little lathe and would not trade it for anything.
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  #3  
Old 06-24-2011, 09:55 AM
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Default Re: Mid-size wood lathe recommendations?

I have had a Jet for about 5 years now. It works fine for spindle work or very small items such and pens. But it is just to small to do any sort of bowl work even small salad bowls are just to hard to work on with it. If I could do it over again I would poney up the extra 500 dollars or so and get a low end jet full sized unite with a copasity of at least 12 inches. So I guess what I am saying is, if you can afford it or can waite until you can afford a full sized version I would waite. It is on my list of things that I bought but need to replace as soon as possible.
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Old 07-03-2011, 08:16 PM
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Default Re: Mid-size wood lathe recommendations?

Great question; I too would like to buy a wood lathe but wasn't sure which to get... The two options I have right in front of me now are:

1. A Rigid WL 1200 for $125 plus it comes with a set of craftsman lathe chisels...
2. A Jet JWL 1236 for $650 which also comes with a set of chisels...


Obviously I think the Jet is the better of the two... but I really was hoping not to spend that much...I've heard mostly bad things about the Rigid lathe and surprisingly many of the comments left in various forums about the Jet lathe are flaws or items that could/should be improved on...


Can anyone offer any advice? I'd be a newbie turner but at the same time; I don't want to have to upgrade in 8 months because what I purchased just isn't cutting it...

I would use it for bowls up to 10" (maybe 12"?) and various spindle projects...
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Old 07-03-2011, 09:02 PM
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Default Re: Mid-size wood lathe recommendations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by toycarver View Post
I've been thinking about buying a wood lathe for a while now. Looking for some recommendations on a good one, and where I might find the best price. I want a smaller size, but not the mini.
Thanks!
I have an old craftsmen lathe in perfect shape you can have for the cost of shipping. I extended it out to 44 inches but the tube can be cut off at any length. The shorter it is the easier it will be to ship. I have been turning a lot lately and have started turning spindles to do carvings on. Its a vortex and an addiction for me. The lathe in the first pic is the one up for grabs.
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  #6  
Old 07-03-2011, 09:12 PM
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Default Re: Mid-size wood lathe recommendations?

Look for a used/older lathe for beginning. What if you don't like turning???
Then you are kind of stuck with a new(er) machine and little chance of recovering your $$$
Guy on a woodturning forum I watch laughed when I posted a pic of my 1930's vintage Delta wood lathe. I got it for $50.00 with a BUNCH of accessories and tools. I have rebuilt the main turning part (headstock) added a newer, more hd motor to give me some more torque and still have less that $150 invested.

I have had a TON of fun with this thing....can turn as small as pens or up to 12" in dia
I would NOT turn loose of this thing for love nor money. Still does everything I need it for.


Do some networking, ask around if there are any turning clubs...ask at the vocational schools/high schools...yard sales, craigslist...etc..etc.
If you find a used one, you will most likely luck into tools and accessories as well. Good luck......Don't be afraid to make your own "wanted" classified on craigslist or the local paper???
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Old 07-04-2011, 08:16 AM
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Default Re: Mid-size wood lathe recommendations?

Hi there , i have a sheppach lathe which i bought second hand 10 years ago , still works perfectly , its belt driven not gear driven and is much more forgiving if you make a mistake and try to take to big a bite as the belt just slips and no wood flying all over the place . i would buy second hand and look for something with at least 3/4 hp motor , i agree that its the tools and the knowledge of how to sharpen and use them thats more important initially , if you can sell the stuff you produce and off set the cash against the price of a lathe then it should pay for its self over time easily , that how i funded a lot of the tools and equipment i have . hope this helps

Peter
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  #8  
Old 07-04-2011, 09:17 AM
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Default Re: Mid-size wood lathe recommendations?

I'm still using my Shop Smith Mark V which I've had bought new since 1975. I've done pens, bowls and baseball bats. Watch Craig's list there are some good deals to be had.
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Old 07-04-2011, 11:24 AM
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Default Re: Mid-size wood lathe recommendations?

Kris:
Try here for info: AAW Homepage They have a lively forum with lots of discussion about tools, lathes, etc.

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Old 07-04-2011, 02:09 PM
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Default Re: Mid-size wood lathe recommendations?

I bought a Midi lathe this year from Grizzly. You might want to look at theirs. Prices are excellent.
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