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Beginner Lathe

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Blog entry by Jolly13Roger posted 11-08-2012 07:02 PM 1240 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

turns out the lathe i had was pretty old and when i plugged it in poof went the motor. Soooo ….... what do you guys think would be a good beginner lathe? I want to try and turn some pens and maybe smaller bowls aswell. I’m looking to spend somewhere around $200 and the stores i have in my local area are Menards, Lowes and Sears, but i do have a home depot in driving distance aswell. Are there any brands that i should go for? or maybe even stay away from?



13 comments so far

View NH_Hermit's profile

NH_Hermit

384 posts in 1784 days


#1 posted 11-08-2012 07:53 PM

Well from my point of view, that’s a tough question without more information. What’s your level of experience? Is the old lathe a complete mess or just the motor?

First, $200 is not going to get you much for a new lathe, except if you try Grizzly’s H8259, but you’ll need to pay the freight, so you’re looking at $284. There’s always Grizzly’s H2669 which just might meet your needs.

http://www.grizzly.com/products/category/565000

If the only problem with your old lathe is the motor, then would simply replacing that be a good idea?
And then again there’s Greg’s list where you should be able to find a fair lathe for your money with some persistence
.
Hope this helps?

-- John from Horse Shoe

View Jolly13Roger's profile

Jolly13Roger

17 posts in 743 days


#2 posted 11-08-2012 08:01 PM

i’ve never turned before and i plugged the motor in and it blew but the rest of it looks in good shape

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5386 posts in 1920 days


#3 posted 11-08-2012 08:12 PM

Why not get the motor fixed?

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View Jolly13Roger's profile

Jolly13Roger

17 posts in 743 days


#4 posted 11-08-2012 08:14 PM

ive put ads in like the local paper and searched online and cant find anyone who can

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2135 posts in 1797 days


#5 posted 11-08-2012 08:17 PM

If there is a harbor freight in your area, this one has generated some good reviews. You can usually find 20% off coupons and these go on sale quite frequently. If you are mainly interested in small turnings, this bench top model could also serve you well, and these have gone on sale frequently also.

Also keep in mind that chisels and sharpening supplies will also be required. If you have both, you are in good shape. If not, you will quickly get frustrated because dull chisels will not lead you to good turnings.

One thing I would encourage you to stay away from are lathes that utilize a hollow steel construction. They are too lightweight and will vibrate like crazy. I made due with one for a few years but it involved much weighting down and jerry-rigging to make it work. You want one that is made from cast iron.

David

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View hoosier0311's profile

hoosier0311

425 posts in 713 days


#6 posted 11-08-2012 08:29 PM

I think a motor replacement would be my first thought. If you pull the motor off just about any hardware store can get a suitable replacment for a pretty reasonable cost. Make sure you get the specs right though, the motor should have some sort of tag on it.

-- I'm only deaf in one ear,,,,,I just can't hear out of the other one., Denny, Indiana implant, living in PA

View Jolly13Roger's profile

Jolly13Roger

17 posts in 743 days


#7 posted 11-08-2012 08:39 PM

ok i havent looked into a harbor freight i will have to see if there is one close by and yes i do have chisels and a grinder to sharpen them with and i will have to make some calls on my day off to see if anywhere close by can do anything about this motor situation! the thing about the current lathe is you can only turn something 4 inches in diameter and i want to try and make bowls aswell but i do think it would be good to start out with pens and other stuff to get the technique down before i move onto bigger and better

View Jolly13Roger's profile

Jolly13Roger

17 posts in 743 days


#8 posted 11-08-2012 08:41 PM

and that benchtop one does look like a good one for small turning now i have to see where there are harbor freights in ohio lol

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2135 posts in 1797 days


#9 posted 11-08-2012 09:35 PM

Just one word of advice about Harbor Freight, you can find coupons and deals on everything there. If there is not a coupon directly involving the product, there will be a sale on it, or you can find a 20% off an item coupon. Do not pay full price for the lathe if you get one :)

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View Jolly13Roger's profile

Jolly13Roger

17 posts in 743 days


#10 posted 11-08-2012 09:52 PM

ok good to know! i found one about an hour away so i think ill have to make a trip here soon if i cant get this motor fixed

View willoworks's profile

willoworks

41 posts in 1239 days


#11 posted 11-09-2012 02:42 PM

I just bought the Harbor Freight lathe and was pleasantly surprised. Since I had never used a lathe I didn’t want to invest a lot of money but I found that I LOVE turning and will probably advance to one with electronic speed control at some point but this lathe is quiet and seems to be well balanced. I would highly recommend it.

-- Turning A Round

View Jolly13Roger's profile

Jolly13Roger

17 posts in 743 days


#12 posted 11-09-2012 09:12 PM

definintly good to know that its a good machine for the money! i see the reviews are good but never know how much of it is true. what is it that you turn?

View tomd's profile

tomd

1771 posts in 2458 days


#13 posted 11-10-2012 02:59 AM

I purchased that HF lathe in 1998 and used it for 10 years, almost all the turnings I have posted were turned on that lathe. I though for the money it was a great beginner lathe, and I got alot of years of service out of it, finially sold it and got half of my money back. I know HF gets alot of slams but this lathe is one of their secret jems. If you decide on one try to get a 20% coupon and also their set of HS chisels are good too. Good Luck.

-- Tom D

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