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My new Penn State Lathe.

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Review by Karson posted 11-19-2008 02:29 AM 5009 views 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
My new Penn State Lathe. No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I bought this lathe to make a cane for my Mother-in-Law. I had a small Ryobi lathe that I used for making pens but it only had around 16” length. Not enough room for a cane.

I bought the variable speed version from Penn State Industries because I felt that it would be easier to use. It comes with a belt drive and a 3 step pulley. You can change the belt drive to change the speeds. The variable speed gives you a range within each of the pulley ranges. The motor is Motor: 1/2HP (650-3800 RPM). I also bought the extension table.

The lathe set up OK, but, the castings were a tight fit for the tail stock when you wanted to span across the two sections of the bed. I had to take the tail stock off and file and sand the edges to get it to cross the barrier of the two sections. it is still not an easy slide so I’ll probably do it again. As I was using the lathe I noticed that the tool rest also had the same problem. I could force it but It will require modification to give me an easy slide from one end to the other.

I wish the tool rest was longer, but it was designed for the mini lathe and is OK for it. But a lot of movement for a 30” piece of wood.

The belt was quiet when I ran it at start up. After I moved the belt I was unable to get it to run quietly I swapped to the additional belt that they provided and it’s quiet. They said they’d send a new one but it hasn’t shown up yet.

A pretty good lathe for $300 bucks. I could have driven to get it but the gas and sales tax was more than the shipping.

I think I’ll made a ball bearing steady rest for it also.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †




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Karson

34876 posts in 3055 days



16 comments so far

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Grumpy

19460 posts in 2506 days


#1 posted 11-19-2008 02:37 AM

Sounds good value for the price Karson as long as you can put up with a few minor design faults.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View lew's profile

lew

10032 posts in 2410 days


#2 posted 11-19-2008 02:50 AM

Don’t you just love it when you have to buy a new tool to complete a project!

I imagine after the kitchen project, the Mrs. didn’t complain too much about the purchase.

Lew

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11659 posts in 2343 days


#3 posted 11-19-2008 04:13 AM

Newbie here …Karson , what is a ball bearing steady rest please ?

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Richard Williams's profile

Richard Williams

162 posts in 2447 days


#4 posted 11-19-2008 04:23 AM

I saw one at Sears and it is about that price range and looks to be pretty nice. Try going to this web site and let me know what you think. I would not be making any canes for myself. :) Take care buddy. http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_00990247000P?mv=rr

-- Rich, Nevada,

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Karson

34876 posts in 3055 days


#5 posted 11-19-2008 04:45 AM

Richard. The Jet lathe has a 24 point indexing pin. The design looks similiar. It does not have the extension, nor does it have variable speed. That version at Penn state is around $200.00. I believe that I have the hollow headstock so you could drill through the headstock to put a hole in the end of the wood. The jet states that it has a hollow tailstock. I don’t know if I have that.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

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Karson

34876 posts in 3055 days


#6 posted 11-19-2008 04:56 AM

Dusty: It is a rest that holds long pieces of wood from flexing in the middle when using lathe tools. It’s purpose is to stabalize the wood so that it is turned truely round.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3808 posts in 2676 days


#7 posted 11-19-2008 05:33 AM

Nice chioce Karson.
I have always had a good feeling about Penn State stuff.

I’m sure you will put it to the test soon.

Good luck with the steady rest . You need one for thos long slender pieces.

Bob

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View itsme_timd's profile

itsme_timd

688 posts in 2485 days


#8 posted 11-19-2008 05:22 PM

Nice review Karson, I have this lathe as well and I noticed a few ‘quirks’ about it. I don’t have experience with others so I chalked it up to operator fault! Glad to see your opinion on this one, too.

-- Tim D. - Woodstock, GA

View bake's profile

bake

346 posts in 2332 days


#9 posted 08-28-2009 06:39 AM

Karson, after nearly a year would you buy this one again?
Bake

-- I love the smell of Home Depot in the morning, it smells like.......carpentry. Bake, Bar Lazy U Woodworks, Lehi,UT.

View Russel's profile

Russel

2199 posts in 2594 days


#10 posted 08-28-2009 12:40 PM

I don’t know about Karson, but I bought my lathe from Penn State about the same time and I have nothing negative to say about it or Penn State. From my perspective, they’re products are good and they are a great company to do business with.

-- Working at Woodworking http://www.VillageLaneFurniture.com

View Karson's profile

Karson

34876 posts in 3055 days


#11 posted 08-28-2009 03:07 PM

The lathe has been great. No problems other thatn what i identified is the review.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11659 posts in 2343 days


#12 posted 05-18-2011 02:48 AM

Thanks for the steady rest info , my friend …Did you ever get your belt from them ?

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Karson's profile

Karson

34876 posts in 3055 days


#13 posted 05-18-2011 03:56 AM

I’ve not complained to readjust their memory. So to answer you question. No.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View clieb91's profile

clieb91

3276 posts in 2589 days


#14 posted 02-17-2013 02:52 AM

Karson, My current Lathe seems like it is beginning to have some issues and I just looked at Penn States Lathes. Just curious as to how this one is still holding up for you. My budget is pretty tight and I really only turn pens and other 7mm projects so I was thinking about downsizing anyway.
Thanks, hope all is well with you and the family.

CtL

-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- PortablePastimes.com (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View Karson's profile

Karson

34876 posts in 3055 days


#15 posted 02-17-2013 03:13 AM

I probably only have 3-4 hours on it. So I haven’t had any problems.

I need to make some pepper grinders when the shop warms up.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

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