|Review by dpoisson||posted 09-01-2012 01:23 AM||5539 views||1 time favorited||1 comment|
A little about me and where I’m coming from. I’m a newbie turner. Having started just about a year ago or so. I mainly turn game calls. So I won’t be able to comments on this lathe’s ability to turn bigger pieces.
I started with a mastercraft 12” lathe 1/3hp (reviewed here on LJ) with electronic variable speed. It did the job surprisingly well, although it lacked a bit of power. The thing that was a bummer with this lathe was that it only accepted MT1 accessories. And since I wanted to start buying accessories to enhance my call making capabilities, I didn’t want to invest in any MT1 accessories.
A bit later, I bought a Haussman Xpert lathe for 200$+tx on liquidation. Still 1/3hp, but head/tail accepted MT2. But, it turned out to be a lemon (big time lemon actually, reviewed on LJ as well). So I ended up returning it to the store.
So, fast track a couple of months and I saw on a local craigslist type site (lespac for those from Québec) a guy that was selling a bunch of woodworking equipment, asking 200$ for a lathe. I called him up and the only thing left was the lathe: Score! I was also able to lower the price down a bit to 150$ (he was including things I didn’t need).
The King lathe has 1-8TPI (same as mastercraft, which was important to me since I had already bought a beall tap for it). It accepts MT2 accessories for head and tailstock. Has a more powerful motor (1/2HP) and can turn bigger projects (16” spindle), which meant that I could move the tailstock out of the way while I was sanding/finishing my game calls.
At first, I was a bit apprehensive at the whole prospect of manually changing pulleys (this particular model has 6 speeds), but I just leave it on a single speed except when I do a CA finish! So it’s not really an issue. All the levers are steel (I was used to plastic levers) and I doubt I will ever again have a close call where my toolrest almost moves into my turning project knock on wood. When I rough out projects with my roughing gouge, I no longer hear the motor bog down when taking heavy cuts. Finally, another thing that really drew me to this model was the 3 1/2” quill travel which will be very convenient when drill out game call blanks (4” long).
I would of never paid 320$ for a new one, but at 150$ (including hamlet 3/4” oval skew, 1/2” spindle gouge and diamond shape parting tool), it was a very good deal and I can’t thank my buddy JC enough for pushing me to call the guy that was selling it ;-)