|Review by dpoisson||posted 03-30-2012 02:48 PM||6299 views||0 times favorited||12 comments|
In this review, I do a lot of comparing with the Mastercraft 12” lathe, because that’s the only other lathe I’ve ever used and that’s the one I was looking at replacing.
I went to my local Rona (hardware store in Quebec City) during my lunch break and saw a lathe. Hmm, I thought. Interesting. It seemed well build (very well build actually: solid and uses an MT2 instead of MT1 like my mastercraft lathe, which, as I start buying accessories for my lathe, seems to now be a bigger deal than before). Seemed much better than my small mastercraft lathe. I check out the price tag: It’s on liquidation! 200$ instead of 267$.
I rush back to the office and try to find some reviews…Nothing.
I go to Haussmann’s Xpert site and try to find specs, a manual, anything…Close to mothing.
I search on google and lo and behold, I find a manual. I look it over. I had 2 questions: The HP of the motor and the threading of the spindle.
HP seems to be 1/2hp (I had 1/3hp on the mastercraft), although I would later find out that the actual force of the motor is 1/3hp, NOT 1/2hp. I hadn’t found the correct manual (dooh), and spindle is 1-8tpi (same as mastercraft). I get a pre-approval from the accounting department (the wifey) and right after work, I swing by to pick up the last box they had!
After, the usual routine (supper, taking care of both kids, prepping them for the night, etc, etc), I finally head downstairs to take a look at this new toy. The box was a bit beaten up, but nothing that serious. I open it up and I quickly have that stench of the goop they (Mastercraft does the same thing) put on everything so they don’t rust.
I take everything out of the box and use some Hoppes 9 (gun cleaning product) to remove all the goop and I assemble everything back. Everything held together very nicely. I mean, it just looked way tighter than my mastercraft lathe. No play in anything. When you tighten the toolrest, you KNOW it’s not going to move. I had to tighten 1 nut under the tailstock though so I could get a firm lock when I lock the levers. Nothing serious. All of that using metal handles (sorry, I’m used to plastic handles, so this was a big plus for me).
Up to this point, you’re probably thinking…seemed like a great lathe, why the 2 star rating? Well…it goes downhill from this point on.
I take a piece of sapele (what was I thinking, but I had no pine anywhere near me) that’s about 1.5”sq by 4” long. Mount it on the spurs and turn on the motor. I’m sure we can all agree that such a piece of wood can HARDLY qualify as a stress test of any sort. As I turn the motor on, I can see that the ON-OFF switch doesn’t seem very secure. I don’t think anything of it…but, it’s weird. The motor starts and the piece of wood spins. Wouhou! I grab the speed dial…what the…I seriously think my 1 year old could of yanked out the speed dial from it’s socket. It was VERY loose, wobbly…I didn’t trust it one bit. But anyways, I crank it up a bit to see if I can reach max speed without too much vibration on the lathe (at this point, the lathe is simply resting on my workbench, unbolted). As soon as I reach full speed, I can hear the speed drop a bit and then…nothing. The fuse on the motor tripped and the piece of wood is coming to a stop. As I hit the reset button, I notice there is no resistance…it’s like it’s not touching the motor or something like that. As a matter of fact, I have to wiggle it and tap it rather hard and keep playing with it for a good 2-3 minutes before the motor starts up again. That, amongst other things, is totally unacceptable. I almost seems like the casing where the motor resides has been opened before (loose on-off switch, wobbly speed dial, reset button doesn’t link up to reset on motor). Note that I wasn’t even trying to cut anything at this point…the wood was simply spinning by itself, it wasn’t touching the toolrest or anything similar.
When I finally get the wood spinning again, I notice the fact that the RPM indicator isn’t displaying anything. Geez, talk about a lemon! But again, this could also be due to the fact that the motor casing might have been removed.
In the end, I loved what I saw in the store: the feel of everything this machine had to offer was awesome and cried out “mean machine” at an affortable price. The illusion all crumbled down the second I turned on the power and problems started appearing. I returned the lathe at the Rona. I thought about taking the floor model…but then I thought, if a boxed model was that bad, imagine the floor model.
PS: If things had worked well, I still wish they would of made a 1/2HP version of this lathe. To me this, it would of made more sense. Especially on an Xpert version of a product.