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  • Good Little Lathe

    I'm thinking the next thing I want to play with is turning wood on a lathe. I want to start out pretty small, of course...don't have the room or money to go hog wild...at least til I decide if it's something I'll keep doing.

    So...I want to buy a nice little lathe, but have no idea where to begin. Don't want to spend a bunch, but also realize price does not always mean quality.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance,

    Teri
    "Santas for the Soul" &&Original Carvings by Teri Embrey&&http://www.teriembrey.com&&[email protected]

  • #2
    Re: Good Little Lathe

    go over to the wood magazine website, then to the turning forum. always a thread or two about small lathes. Jet makes several Lathes, and really nice small ones also.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Good Little Lathe

      Unless you are absolutely certain you are never going to want to turn anything larger than perfume bottles, bottle stoppers or anything else in the 4' range, I would not spend the money to buy a mini lathe.

      I would suggest you look at the Delta 46-701 (with stand) or 46-700 (same lathe without the stand) in the 500 - 600 range, depending on where you buy it. It has a 12' swing, allows 34' between centers and has a 3/4 hp induction motor. Probably the best lathe in that price range. I own one myself, have had it about three years, and was very happy with it for about two years. I would like a bigger lathe now with a larger motor. In order to upgrade, however, you pretty much have to go to the 2000 dollar range. What I really want is a Oneway, Stubby or VB but the $5000 plus price tag is definitely out of my range.

      Having said all that, I wish I had gone to the $2000 range in the first place (Delta, Woodfast are names I like) but couldn't really afford it. So, I make do with my Delta 46-701. If, and when, I can afford it, I will probably jump up to the 5K range and look at Oneway, Poolewood or Stubby.

      That was a lot of verbiage and I guess I could conclude that you should look at the best lathe you can afford. IMHO, price DOES mean quality. Mainly, unless you are absolutely convinced you will not be turning anything larger than 4' diameter, stay away from the mini lathes. Also, absolutely do not consider than Harbor Freight mini wood lathe, a real piece of junk.

      WK

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      • #4
        Re: Good Little Lathe

        I am also interested in a mini lathe, I want it to build some dollhouse furniture, I can't afford $5K now for it so I will go the home depot route. I figure that if I buy a cheapie right off it will tell me if this is what I want to do. I want to make staircase finnuels(spell??) and decorative posts, all 'Barbie' size, so I might try a junker to see how it works out.

        steve

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        • #5
          Re: Good Little Lathe

          I bought two lathes from www.harborfreight.com one is a mini and the other is full size. I only paid $150 or less for each. They work fine for what I do.

          Thanks,
          Don
          May the Lord Bless You and Yours,&&Don&&

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Good Little Lathe

            Terri, check over at www.grizzly.com they handle a very good line of tools at reasonable prices and ship reasonably. They have everything from a $40 hobby lathe that uses an electric drill for power (wouldn'r recomend this route, but it might be OK) to the big many$$$$$ typs.

            Al

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            • #7
              Re: Good Little Lathe

              Terry, I definitely agree with Al. The Grizzly drill press I just bought arrived yesterday and I looked at the accompanying catalog this morning. They have a good selection on lathes. They have one model that seems to be the twin of the Delta I have and it is about half the price. Definitely worth a look.

              WK

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Good Little Lathe

                Teri, Grizzly is a good company. They will deliver directly to your door.
                They run specials at times on shipping and some discounts at various times
                especially around Christmas. I have their small metal lathe which can turn
                wood also. There are some very good sites on these lathes at Yahoo Groups
                that are free to join. They are post boards. These guys really are very well informed.
                You can request a free catalog from Grizzly on line. Interests sometimes expand
                and so can the extent of your turning. Buy what you can and anticipate your
                future plans as much as possible before purchasing.
                Tony

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Good Little Lathe

                  Teri...it's good advice the guys have given you on planning ahead. Once you get the hang of it you can make all sorts of neat stuff on a lathe. Another thing to consider is if you would like to do face plate work (i.e. turning bowls). It's another fun part of lathe work. Just a thought... 8)

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                  • #10
                    Re: Good Little Lathe

                    Thanks, you guys, for all this information. I wonder, are you all willing to go shopping with me?? LOL You're right, I am going to think it through a bit first, and try to get a 'feel' for what I might want to do with it.

                    Thanks!!

                    Teri
                    "Santas for the Soul" &&Original Carvings by Teri Embrey&&http://www.teriembrey.com&&[email protected]

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Good Little Lathe

                      Next, you will start thinking about 'Flat Wood' woodworking. Just seems it is natural that one aspect of woodworking eventually leads to another. Carving -- Turning -- Flat Wood -- etc...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Good Little Lathe

                        I just ordered a G8691 lathe with stand for $149.95 and shipping and handleing was only $35.
                        Now the little bride is excited that her darling hubby will make her a pen out of her wood blank she bought at Woodcraft. NOW, Do I tell her I need some wood gouges to turn these pens. ??? Maybe it is Black eyes again! :
                        Grizzly has some nice prices on their equipment. Saw a mini lathe at Harbor freight in Tusla but this one I ordered appears to be better.

                        Kenny S
                        Safety first, then enjoy carving! Ken Caney, Ks

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Good Little Lathe

                          someone already mentioned that you should stay away from hardor freight. i agree -- real junk. i still sugest that you really do your homework here before you consider a lathe purchase. a little extra money up front will make a world of difference.

                          as i mentioned before go to the wood magazine turning forum and ask those guys. they are the experts that test and write the reviews.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Good Little Lathe

                            Hi, I used to have the coolest mini lathe, it was a dremel lathe. The whole thing was probably 18 inches long it was great fun. Probably most useful for stevefrla if they even still make them.

                            I must say that I have thought about getting a mini lathe, but I would want a Nova Chuck for one. Does anyone know if they have Nova Chucks for mini lathes? My issue is space, so a large lathe would take up real estate Im not willing to dedicate for turning.
                            I Cut It Six Times And It's Still Too Short!!!

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                            • #15
                              www.woodcraft.com

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