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Forum topic by jwm8898 posted 09-24-2009 11:27 PM 931 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View jwm8898's profile


13 posts in 2606 days

09-24-2009 11:27 PM

Want to buy a lathe and get into some mild turning. Mostly bowls. Just curious if any of you guys have any suggestions on what lathe to buy. Not looking to spend a ton of money just want a decent beginner lathe to get started. Any help would be great.


8 replies so far

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 2949 days

#1 posted 09-24-2009 11:32 PM

Look in the “Reviews” section, “berg” did a good review on a Rikon!

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View Alan's profile


443 posts in 2827 days

#2 posted 09-25-2009 12:43 AM

I purchase a used one on craigslist. It is 30+ years old, but is straight and heavy. I think it was a great way to get started with a lathe. So I would look for a used one if possible.

-- Alan, Prince George

View Hix's profile


161 posts in 2701 days

#3 posted 09-25-2009 01:10 AM

If you know some turners, ask them to let you try theirs out and go over the features. Nothing like hands on to help you compare.

-- ---call me---- Mark

View jwm8898's profile


13 posts in 2606 days

#4 posted 09-25-2009 01:21 AM

I have been checking craigslist, just not a whole lot out there. The Rikon looks like a pretty good one for the money.

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 2868 days

#5 posted 09-25-2009 01:28 AM

Jet has a couple of nice models and the nova is a nice unit.

View jeffthewoodwacker's profile


603 posts in 3227 days

#6 posted 09-25-2009 01:30 AM

You can ask at the local woodturners club – there is always a member who wants to upgrade. Also, Woodcraft and Rockler sell their classroom lathes at least once a year and you can get a great deal on one of these. If you want to turn bowls you should consider a larger lathe. You can turn small bowls on the mini and midi lathes, but they don’t have the weight to turn large bowls. A used Jet 1642 or used Powermatic lathe are both decent lathes with enough weight and power to handle bowls of all sizes. You can also upgrade these lathes with a ballast box.

-- Those that say it can't be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

View ACAFred's profile


2 posts in 2589 days

#7 posted 09-25-2009 01:41 AM

I’ve used the Rikon Midi and Jet mini and midi. They are all good lathes.

The Rikon is clearly the best buy for the dollars. If money is secondary, take a look at the new Delta Midi. It is available in both 5 speed and electronic variable speed. It also reverses.

I agree with the comment regarding a local woodturners club.

View Innovator's profile


3584 posts in 2836 days

#8 posted 09-25-2009 03:15 AM

If you want to turn bowls of a larger diameter you will need the machine to be heave (Castiron is the best) Or you will be putting sandbags on it to hold it down. I have the 20” Powermatic and it is awesome. Lots of weight and a nice strong unit. It is a little on the expensive side but give craigs list a try.

-- Whether You Think You Can or You Think You Can't, YOU ARE RIGHT!!!

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