Robust Sweet 16

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Review by hairy posted 08-05-2010 11:28 PM 14035 views 1 time favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Robust Sweet 16 Robust Sweet 16 Robust Sweet 16 Click the pictures to enlarge them

I treated myself to a retirement gift. I could not have made a better choice.

I have been using using this for 2 months now. I wanted my review to be based on what I’ve done with it.

I looked at everything I could see in person,and read for hours on the web what others have to say about their lathes. I had certain needs that had to be filled, plus I wanted options to grow into as my experience grows.

My main concern was getting it into my basement shop. I wanted bigger capacity than the Jet 1220vs I started out with. Variable speed is important to me. Indexing is very important to the projects I want to get into. Quality and safety go hand in hand, you can’t have one without the other. I wanted a powerful motor with reverse. Many lathes out there will do all of these things. For my situation, this was clearly the right choice.

This is the shortbed, 2 h.p. version. It’s a gap bed lathe. A section comes out of the bed that can be attached 2 different ways. 1 way is to increase swing over the bed, the other to increase spindle length capacity. This puts a lot of lathe in a small footprint.

The first 2 pics are of a big slab of cherry, 18” x 18” x 6” , bandsawn to about 17” diameter. Rough turning was easy in this configuration. Of course, I could make it dance all over if I wanted to, but being able to slow this down to as low as 58 rpm made it safe. Speed control is attained by turning a knob, no belts to change, just speed it up or down to where you want it. Look at how much swing room is left. I would need a hoist to load up a piece that big.

Pic 3, the spindle, is a cane I made and posted here.

I used a forstner bit in a jacob’s chuck to bore out both ends. It was easy and safe to do. Fun, too.

The indexing was used to layout the twist on the cane, along with the spindle lock to lock the piece in position for shaping after the turning.

I also used those features for this:

This is a stable platform for this type of work. Lots of room to get in there, I can rotate it where I need and then lock it down.

The control box is a great feature, just put it where you need it to be.

One thing I really like is being able to turn from both sides. I have found that in certain situations, I get much better access to the workpiece from the other side. It’s simple to move the toolrest, start the motor in reverse, and have the control box right where I need it.

I have 2 more pics in My Workshop.

I have seen others review and recommend the tool rests that Robust makes, and I agree. The rest of the lathe is at the same high standards and quality.

They are good folks to deal with, and they make them in Wisconsin, USA.

Here’s a link to Robust:
Watch the videos.

-- on Wednesday's I go shopping, and have buttered scones for tea...

View hairy's profile


2202 posts in 2569 days

15 comments so far

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 2734 days

#1 posted 08-05-2010 11:34 PM

Very glad for you way to go treat yourself.

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 2482 days

#2 posted 08-05-2010 11:34 PM

That is “sweet”. Nice review. I have their 6” tool rest & love it.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2111 days

#3 posted 08-06-2010 12:58 AM

Great review. Thank you.

I must admit I am intrigued by this lathe. Currently I spend about an equal amount of time doing flat work and turning. When/if I ever decide to focus more on turning I will want a more powerful lathe.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View araldite's profile


187 posts in 2441 days

#4 posted 08-06-2010 03:38 AM

That’s a nice lathe. I’ve never seen that one before. I too will be moving up to a bigger lathe some day and am already eying choices.

So let me ask you this, not knowing anything about it; let’s say you have a 24” platter chucked up with the bed removed. Can you get in close to the center of the platter with the removable bed on the side and the gap between the platter and the fixed bed, what, 12 inches away? You know what I”m saying? Can you hook the toolrest up to the fixed bed parallel to the ways as an extension to get in there? Otherwise you’re going to need an awful long tool rest.

-- Failure is the road to success if you learn to learn from your mistakes - Vince, Greenville, SC

View Mary Anne's profile

Mary Anne

1058 posts in 2245 days

#5 posted 08-06-2010 03:49 AM

That is one Sweet machine. I love that you can configure it to suit your project.
You are starting your retirement in style! Congratulations!!

View araldite's profile


187 posts in 2441 days

#6 posted 08-06-2010 03:59 AM

Just viewed the video and my question was answered.

Good luck with your new machine and happy retirement.

-- Failure is the road to success if you learn to learn from your mistakes - Vince, Greenville, SC

View poopiekat's profile


4031 posts in 2771 days

#7 posted 08-06-2010 04:20 AM

Wow, it’s built like a tank!! Nice choice! That reversing feature is impressive too!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 2307 days

#8 posted 08-06-2010 04:59 AM

Those are great lathes….very well built, you will have it for a long time. I have used one a time or two and they reallly make turning so much more pleasurable. I am envious of your new lathe and your retirement….but \ am looking forward the the beautiful pieces you will be able to do with more leisure time.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View michelletwo's profile (online now)


2442 posts in 2052 days

#9 posted 08-06-2010 01:19 PM

Thanks for helping the economic recovery of the U.S.!!!!! These are top of the line & I’m jealous as all get out. Thanks for writing such a good review. Now off I go to rob a bank…

View helluvawreck's profile


18732 posts in 1903 days

#10 posted 08-06-2010 03:38 PM

Boy howdy, when you treat yourself you do it in a big way. That lathe looks like one really fine machine that will give you many years of fine service. I pray that you will have many wonderful years of retirement so that you can play with that beautiful machine. Congrats and thanks for posting this.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 2152 days

#11 posted 08-07-2010 04:04 PM

thank´s for the reweiw
but do I dare to ask what the prize is ?
it seams to be realy expencive the way its build
and with those features build in


View hairy's profile


2202 posts in 2569 days

#12 posted 08-07-2010 04:50 PM

Lots of options are available, Dennis. That info is on their web page.

-- on Wednesday's I go shopping, and have buttered scones for tea...

View sawblade1's profile


754 posts in 2064 days

#13 posted 08-08-2010 08:27 PM

That seems to be the military tank version of lathes thanks for posting :)

-- Proverbs Ch:3 vs 5,6,7 Trust in the lord with all thine heart and lean not unto your own understanding but in all your ways aknowledge him and he shall direct your path

View Bearpie's profile


2597 posts in 2055 days

#14 posted 08-10-2010 04:07 AM

Well I must say you got yourself a doozy! I think that if I had seen that one when I was looking for my lathe, I might have ended up with it instead of my Powermatic, not that I have anything against my sweet machine, I just think this one has better features. Enjoy your retirement, you are stepping out in the right direction! Just be sure to wear a full face shield everytime you turn, I had a couple pieces fly off and land on my faceshield! Whew!

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View John's profile


341 posts in 2835 days

#15 posted 08-12-2010 10:36 PM

Never heard of it before, but now I’m not sure how I’m surviving without one! Thanks for the review!

-- John - Central PA -

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