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Reviews: Lathes

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Awesome little lathe (and bed extension)

Awesome little lathe (and bed extension)

1461 days ago by John | 9 comments »

My shopsmith was a great intro into turning, but it was just way too short and I had to bend uncomfortably to use it. This lathe is set to the perfect height on a shop built bench. Bought it last year on sale at woodcraft – December I think – I believe they go on sale every winter, worth the wait. This little lathe has lots of power, is built like a rock and was thoughtfully designed including the tool caddy that hangs off the back of the headstock. Speed changes are quic...

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My new Penn State Lathe.

My new Penn State Lathe.

2072 days ago by Karson | 16 comments »

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 (650-38...

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Great Beginners Lathe

Great Beginners Lathe

915 days ago by Troutsman | 11 comments »

I have been very impressed with this lathe. Although this review is based off of no other experience from any other lathes, I have to give it a high rating. It is by far the least expensive lathe on the market and with the famous 20% off discount from harbor freight can be bought for under $100. I picked mine up for $96 at our local harbor freight. This lathe has variable speed dial that is very convenient to work on your piece from turning, sanding, and finishing. I would recommend this l...

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Midi Lathe Duplicator Vega 8500 - Worth the price? maybe

Midi Lathe Duplicator Vega 8500 - Worth the price? maybe

635 days ago by Nick_R | 4 comments »

I have a delta midi lathe and have been using it for over a year now. I can get things done pretty quickly and have done quite a bit of turning, but one consistent problem has been duplication of pieces that is accurate… I have wanted to build a chess set and a duplicator is necessary. After much research I went with the Vega duplicator because it looked the most complete and easy to use. Not many knocks against it and most actually seems more than satisfied.. I ordered mine fr...

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First Lathe

First Lathe

2358 days ago by dustynewt | 10 comments »

Let me start by getting the disclaimer out of the way. I am a novice when it comes to turning. I have turned a few chess sets and utility shop items in the past on borrowed lathes. I really love the meditative aspects of curling wood. So, when my wife was curious if we could possibly turn out some candle sticks (she was a professional candlemaker for 12 years) I rose to the occasion and did nothing to quell the creative brain storming. I lauded the benefits of the lathe and bombarded her wit...

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Awesome Bang for the Buck

Awesome Bang for the Buck

1047 days ago by DurocShark | 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 f...

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Pretty good deal

Pretty good deal

2005 days ago by peabody | 16 comments »

I want to start off by saying that for all spindle or pen work, this lathe is perfect, the adjustment speeds are great and it is a breeze to operate. The problem is that when you try to turn anything larger than about 3” the whole machine goes to crap. I broke my shop’s midi while turning a 3.5” bowl and I bent the shaft, meaning that nothing can be turned on it ever again. As long as you use this for smaller objects it will serve you well although if you plan on using it...

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I am disappointed

I am disappointed

1007 days ago by MNgary | 17 comments »

While not, in my opinion, a professional level lathe this full-sized lathe is adequate for advanced hobbyists wanting to turn spindles longer than popular midi lathes allow and it does a nice job turning turning shallow bowls. I have not turned pens so do not know how it performs for that more precision task. Assembly is straightforward and waiting until the 170 pound lathe is placed in its final location before tightening the stand’s bolts allows installation on an uneven concrete ...

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Bowl Making Machine

Bowl Making Machine

934 days ago by doug1980 | 4 comments »

I bought this lathe used 2 years ago from my neighbor who also turned bowls with it. It’s powerful and easy to use. It will turn up to 38” spindles and turn 15” bowls inboard and up to 20” bowls outboard. I have made about 100 bowls with it and the only issue was the cooling fan belt slipped off once, easy fix. The headstock and tailstock are aligned perfectly and it accepts all the popular accessories like other brands. It may not be a Jet or Nova, but it is buil...

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Powermatic 3520b, superstar

Powermatic 3520b, superstar

1672 days ago by Padre | 9 comments »

I’ve had my Powermatic for almost a year now, and I have used it a LOT. It runs true and smooth. The lathe was perfectly level/square right out of the box. I have had NO problems with this lathe. It is quiet, powerful and it feels good to be at. It makes you comfortable knowing that you will be able to do what you want to do. At first, being a new turner, it intimidated me a little, but now, we are best friends. I would not hesitate to recommend this lathe to anyone.

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