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Jet 1640 EVS - First Impressions

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Review by WoodworkingVet posted 06-24-2017 06:40 AM 2193 views 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Jet 1640 EVS - First Impressions Jet 1640 EVS - First Impressions Jet 1640 EVS - First Impressions Click the pictures to enlarge them

When I started turning I bought a Rikon 70-220vsr midi lathe. Its a great lathe and served my needs quite well until I decided I wanted to go bigger. Two months ago I found a Jet 1642 for sale a few hours away and later that afternoon it followed me home. What a great lathe, but it lacked one feature that I was hoping to have in a new lathe. Because of some challenges that I have with my feet and back I find it difficult at times to stand at the lathe or to bend over the bed when hollowing. For this reason I wanted a rotating headstock. Being able to sit in a stool while sanding or taking light cuts with the work turned toward me seems like a good idea.

So about ten days ago I was contacted by a gentleman who learned that I had a 1642 and he just had to have one. That was the lathe he wanted and nothing else would do, so he made me an offer that I just couldn’t refuse. With that lathe sold I ended up purchasing the Jet 1640evs, the lathe that I really wanted as an upgrade to begin with. I ordered it through my local Woodcraft in Spokane Valley Washington and have to say that Nick and Rosemary were awesome to work with. Before I placed by order they let me play with the one they had on display for well over an hour. I couldn’t plug it in but I was able to grab a tool off the wall and do some virtual turning to make sure that I felt comfortable with the spindle height and features of the lathe. I also took the time to check out the Nova 1644-II and the Laguna Revo 18|36. I chose the Jet in the end for its features and comfort as well as its five year warranty. Nick and Rosemary placed my order and had it shipped to their store at no additional cost and it arrived exactly when they said it would. They even let me unbox it there on their loading dock and load the pieces into my car, leaving all the packaging material behind.

Detailed specs can be found on Jet’s web site as well as in the manual but here are some quick basics;

Input power – 110 vac
Delta VFD
Low speed – 40-1200
High speed – 100-3200
Spindle Height (with adjustable feet) – 45”
Spindle Height (without adjustable feet) – 44”
Spindle Thread – 1-1/4” x 8tpi
Morse Taper #2
Bed length – 53”
375 Pounds
5 year warranty

Assembly is quite easy. I chose not to install the adjustable feet as that would have added an extra inch to the spindle height and my shop floor is very flat. I am 5’8” and that extra inch would have made the spindle height too high for me. When I had my 1642 set up I didn’t have the adjustable feet installed and had no issues with alignment so I felt confident doing the same with the new lathe. I set the two legs up and with the help of a friend I set the bed on top of the legs. Each end takes four hex bolts. The two outer hex bolts on each end were a pain to get in and tighten because they are right in the corners with little room to maneuver fingers or a hex wrench. Eventually all the bolts were tightened. Next was to clean the grease off the bed. They must use a new type of grease because it came off very easily. I then waxed the bed three times before sliding on the headstock, banjo and tailstock. That was it for setting it up. Using the spur and live center I checked alignment and it was spot on.

The Delta VFD is physically much larger than the one on the Jet 1642.

Included is a tool rack that can be mounted on either end of the lathe, a spur center, knock out bar, 14” tool rest, face plate wrench and a three inch face plate. The faceplate has two set screws and they must be loosened before removing it from the headstock. The live center is a Oneway knock off just like the one that came with the Jet 1642. Oh, a tool rest extension that mounts in the banjo is also included to extend the reach when turning outboard. Everything seems well built.

I turned on the lathe to make sure it works. The low speed is rated from 40 to 1200 rpm, my actual speed was from 31 to 1265 rpm. The high speed is rated from 100 to 3200 and I was able to get 91 to 3242 rpm. The belt is about 50% wider than the one on the 1642. Jet makes it a point to mention that the spindle nose is longer to allow work on the headstock side of the wood but it doesn’t seem to be quite as long as Laguna’s or Nova’s. With a piece of wood chucked up I did notice that there is considerably more space than on the 1642, plenty of access. The motor is very quiet and smooth.

On top of the headstock there is a removable rubber tray, and I’m not sure I like it yet. Its a bit flimsy and while it will hold a few small items it is too small to hold my chuck wrench. I can see the tray being great for holding finishing cans as it would contain the drippings but its too small to hold a quart size can whether round or rectangular. It also seems that with the rubber tray removed any liquids spilled or dripping if left on top of the headstock could easily drip into and behind the control panel. My plan here is to make a wooden tray with magnets under it so that its the right size for me.

The power switch is an improvement and is similar to what is found on a lot of other equipment. Easy pull and easy push. It also has a removable key to lock out the power. The forward/reverse switch has changed and is now a sliding plastic switch rather than a metal toggle switch. It feels sturdy and is not a concern to me. The speed control knob is large and smooth and easy to turn. The digital display is located high on the headstock and is easier to read than on the 1642 (though I had no problem seeing the display on the 1642).

The spindle handle has been shortened by about an inch and I do not like this. There is less to grab onto and with the index pin being right above the handle my knuckle hits it every time. The spindle handle should have been left just as long as it was on the 1642. I plan on taking the handle off at some point and having one machined to be an inch longer. There is a machinest in our club that might be able to do this for me.

The spindle lock is just like that on the 1642 except for the addition of a slide to hold the locking pin in. Great addition!

The indexing pin is excellent and while you are limited to only 10 degree increments it works quite well. The pulley inside the motor housing is marked with each index and is easy to read. The cover to access the pulley is now magnetic, another big improvement over the 1642. No more taking time to unscrew a little knob and then screwing it back in. This cover just requires a firm pull. Very quick, very easy.

The headstock’s locking handle is moved from the back to just up and behind the motor. Its easier to get to and use. The headstock is well balanced which makes it easy to slide along the bed. By unscrewing and pulling the locking pin on the front of the headstock and releasing the locking bar one can rotate the headstock. It rotates easily and has seven locking positions. I did notice that when placing the headstock back into position to be lined up with the tailstock there is a little wiggle room. The manual states to bring the tail stock up to the headstock and align the two center points then lock the headstock. I went ahead and ordered a Nova Acruline alignment tool and this makes the process much easier and quicker. For a $16.99 tool I think Jet should have just included this as part of the package. It insures an accurate alignment every time. (the spur in the photo below is not the included spur)

The banjo has been redesigned from the 1642 and is similar to that found on the Powermatic 3520b. The tool banjo moves smoothly and locks into place securely, even when its fully extended outwards. The included tool rest is 14” and locks into place securely as well. The hole for the tool rest post is no longer over the locking bar, this means no more tool rest posts bottoming out on the banjo’s locking bar. This is a huge improvement. The tailstock appears to be the same as that found on the 1642. The quill has measurements marked out in both inches and centimeters.

The tool rest extension is included and addresses many concerns that I’ve read about having a rotating headstock and the lack of reach with the tool rest. With this small black locust bowl as an example I am able to rotate the headstock and still get my tool rest behind the bowl. I could have slid the headstock to the right on the bed and moved the banjo to the left side of the headstock as well.

This extension also allows me to do face work without rotating the work back over the bed. Had this been a bigger bowl I could move the banjo further to the right and positioned the tool rest in front of the left side of the bowl and turn with the direction set to reverse, of course I would want to make sure my set screws were tightened on the chuck to ensure it didn’t come flying off when turning in reverse!

The molding on the legs have changed so there is now only one way to install a shelf whereas the Jet 1642 had a few options. I ended up making a quick shelf out of two 2×4s and an old door. In the future if I need to add ballast I’ll raise the shelf with a false bottom where I can put in some sand or bags of concrete. The bed and legs now has a curved profile to it so this will need to be a consideration for those wanting to build a cabinet to go under the bed.

All in all my first impressions of the Jet 1642 is very good. After I get some turning time on it I’ll be sure to post a second review.When I started turning I bought a Rikon 70-220vsr midi lathe. Its a great lathe and served my needs quite well until I decided I wanted to go bigger. Two months ago I found a Jet 1642 for sale a few hours away and later that afternoon it followed me home. What a great lathe, but it lacked one feature that I was hoping to have in a new lathe. Because of some challenges that I have with my feet and back I find it difficult at times to stand at the lathe or to bend over the bed when hollowing. For this reason I wanted a rotating headstock. Being able to sit in a stool while sanding or taking light cuts with the work turned toward me seems like a good idea.




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WoodworkingVet

8 posts in 166 days



6 comments so far

View Mike_D_S's profile

Mike_D_S

291 posts in 1998 days


#1 posted 06-24-2017 04:45 PM

Nice detailed unboxing and feature review. I don’t know about other people, but I find detailed info on the various features is very helpful when making comparison choices.

I’m on the fence about moving up from my midi lathe, so this is timely for me.

Thanks,
Mike

-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......

View michelletwo's profile

michelletwo

2689 posts in 2799 days


#2 posted 06-24-2017 06:20 PM

your 1642 could have accomodated sitting down..take headstock to end and you could hollow straight in. I have an old nova 3000 that I can use in seating position to make bowls. comprehensive review.

View WoodworkingVet's profile

WoodworkingVet

8 posts in 166 days


#3 posted 06-25-2017 12:23 AM



Nice detailed unboxing and feature review. I don t know about other people, but I find detailed info on the various features is very helpful when making comparison choices.

I m on the fence about moving up from my midi lathe, so this is timely for me.

Thanks,
Mike

- MikeDS

Mike, I turned on a midi lathe (Rikon) for a year or so before turning on a full size lathe. Its one of those things, when you turn on a full size lathe you will immediately ask why you didn’t make the upgrade sooner. Its awesome! I especially like the more powerful motor and slower speeds for sanding and roughing out. I’m glad you enjoyed the review.

View WoodworkingVet's profile

WoodworkingVet

8 posts in 166 days


#4 posted 06-25-2017 12:24 AM



your 1642 could have accomodated sitting down..take headstock to end and you could hollow straight in. I have an old nova 3000 that I can use in seating position to make bowls. comprehensive review.

- michelletwo

Yes, that is most definitely an option in most cases. However my shop is quite small and so my lathe sits with a cabinet to the left and another to the right. In order to turn from the end I would have had to remove one of the cabinets. I just couldn’t afford to lose counter space or storage space as its quite limited as it is. But for those that have the space it is an excellent suggestion.

D.

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Mainiac Matt

7302 posts in 2112 days


#5 posted 06-26-2017 03:02 PM

Looks like a sweet machine!

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View woodworm's profile

woodworm

14429 posts in 3374 days


#6 posted 08-06-2017 02:09 PM

Good review.
Thanks for sharing.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

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