So my wife is letting me ask Santa for a mini/midi lathe this Christmas! I get to graduate from the less than perfect setup (but great capacity) of my shopsmith. I’ve started scouting for deals, but I’ll still have to wait for my new toy no matter when it arrives. ;(
Should I keep debating, variable speed capability vs capacity for faceplate work and spindle length (before upgrading to an extension base, if that ever proves to be necc.) and brand quality, or should I perhaps just jump up to this new 12x20 from Jet, though it comes with a “manual” transmission.
I’m looking to come in around $500 for the lathe and a chuck, and intend to use this down in the basement, as well as outside when the weather allows. So compactness/weight, capacity and of course price and quality are all considerations.
Any thoughts, recommendations, preferences from my fellow turners?