|Review by DurocShark||posted 09-10-2011 02:48 AM||5021 views||1 time favorited||7 comments|
I’ve had several lathes over the years, starting with the cheap HF stamped steel lathe (no MT in the headstock??), then the hundred buck HF mini lathe (great for pens), a PSI TurnCrafter Pro (just OK), and then a Delta 70-700 with the Reeves drive (noisy!)
I sold the Delta recently to make space in my “shoparage”. It was a nice lathe but took a LOT of space. And since I mostly do small turnings it didn’t make sense to keep tripping over it. Once I got that sold, I found Woodcraft had this Rikon 70-050 on clearance for $200 and $5 shipping. Winner!
It arrived today. The box was pretty beat up, but the lathe inside was fine. Assembly was quick and easy. Including cleaning the oil off the bed and waxing everything (and taking pics along the way) I had a piece of mahogany chucked up and spinning in 45 minutes.
It is in the class of the TCPro lathe. Similar size and features. But it is far smoother and quieter. Speed changes are easy enough, and made even easier than the TCPro by having no knobs to unscrew to open the access doors.
The Rikon has about as much vibration as my old Delta, less than the TCPro, more than the HF mini lathe. It can (barely) be felt in the bed. I might be able to knock that down some by bolting it down to the table. Possibly with some heavy rubber bushings.
In the photos you can see that the points don’t quite line up. That was with the live and dead centers that came with the lathe. When I replaced the live center with my own, the points lined up perfectly. Well, we know where THAT live center is going!
The paint was cracked on the tab to open the rear belt access door. Like the tab was bent to shape after paint. Not a big deal, but it made me worry about the finish elsewhere. There was overspray in the bed gap at the far end. It’ll wear off quick (makes the tailstock not move as smoothly out there at the end) so I’m not worried.
The other sign of a lack of attention to detail was the Rikon badge on the side. It fell off in my hands. The stickum was still there, but nobody had applied pressure to make it stay. I reattached it and it seems like it’ll stay for a while. Not like I care, but again, I worry about the other details.
Overall I gave this 4 stars. The mechanicals seem to be first rate. It’s a heavy and solid lathe, and all the parts lined up well. It’s powerful and quiet for its size, and should make a fine replacement for my Delta until I can win the Lotto or something and get a shop bigger than a one car garage!