Reply by Mary Anne

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Posted on The most appropriate sized lathe?

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Mary Anne

1058 posts in 3206 days

#1 posted 03-13-2010 07:25 AM

If you already know you want to do bigger stuff, you might as well start with a bigger lathe if you have the space and the budget. You can do smaller turnings on a large lathe, but you are limited on the smaller ones.

I started out with the Jet 1220VS and had a great time with it for a while. I made a ton of pens and do-dads from kits, small turned boxes, and lots of bowls too small to be much use beyond a candy dish or for holding potpourri. It didn’t take long before I knew the 12” diameter limit was too small for me.

I moved up to the Jet 1642 EVS (reasonably priced compared to $4K) and it has served me well for several years. It is a good, solid machine and I do all my turnings on it while the 1220 is permanently set up as buffer. I am happy being able to turn bowls up to 16” over the bed, and there is still the option to go even bigger off the end. If you want to do a table leg or walking stick, the 42” is sufficient.

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