what is a good mini lathe brand

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Forum topic by jems posted 04-12-2010 03:53 AM 2690 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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47 posts in 3202 days

04-12-2010 03:53 AM

Topic tags/keywords: lathe question

i’m looking into getting a mini lathe i know nothing about them but thuoght i would give it a try and was wondering what you guys would recommend

-- every good gift and every pefect gift is from above James 1:17

9 replies so far

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3263 days

#1 posted 04-12-2010 04:15 AM

I have the Jet Mini lathe and love it. I have the older version without electronic speed control so I actually have to move the belt to different pulleys to change speeds. I did purchase the extension bed and that makes it possible for me to turn a full table leg. As yet, I have not tried much bowl turning so I don’t need the power of some of the larger lathes. However, I did just purchase a 4 jaw chuck for mine and intend to experiment with turning some smaller bowls and vessels.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3263 days

#2 posted 04-12-2010 04:18 AM

I neglected to mention, when I purchased my lathe, it was the previous years model and was on sale at Woodcraft. If got what I thought was a very good price at the time. If you are willing to live without the latest and greatest, you can get a quality tool without spending a huge amount of money. There are some others on LJ that have purchased lathes from Harbor Freight and apparently are pretty pleased with it. My only concern with some of those tools is gettinge accesories and attachments that will work with them. I know that I can easily get things that will work with the Jet.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View JuniorJoiner's profile


488 posts in 3644 days

#3 posted 04-12-2010 04:32 AM

you should look at a sherline. they are very precise little machines.

I think it is money well spent

-- Junior -Quality is never an accident-it is the reward for the effort involved.

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 3634 days

#4 posted 04-12-2010 07:46 AM

I agree with DocHolladay, I have the Jet 1220 and it works great. No Variable speed, and I turn bowls/Hollow Forms. Just got a chuck for it and it made things a LOT easier. Not a lot of power. But it is a MINI lathe. You will not have the power of a full size lathe. Just take light strokes and everything works great.


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View 4woodturning's profile


187 posts in 3185 days

#5 posted 04-12-2010 11:23 AM

Agree with Doc & Scrappy…I would have to say Jet 1220 variable speed

Jet Mini VS

-- Jeff, Missouri ,"Just because your not bleeding, dont mean your turning safely!"..............

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3278 days

#6 posted 04-12-2010 02:26 PM

I own and use a full sized floor mounted lathe. I had never used a mini lathe before a few of us did a demonstration at the local tool store. The store let us use 2 of their lathes, including the Jet mini. That was the first time I had used a mini. I was very impressed. I used the Jet mini without variable speed. Moving the belt to change speeds is a mini-hassle. It takes less than a minute to do. The Jet was super smooth and stable.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Jon Spelbring's profile

Jon Spelbring

199 posts in 4457 days

#7 posted 04-12-2010 02:56 PM

My first lathe was a Jet 1220 – still have it. Good lathe. My only regret was not getting the VS option.

-- To do is to be

View Chris 's profile


1879 posts in 4195 days

#8 posted 04-12-2010 03:13 PM

I still love my old Jet mini… It’s a manual VS (change belts). I still use it at times even though I also have a big Powermatic too.

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View DonFaulk0517's profile


132 posts in 3690 days

#9 posted 04-14-2010 02:12 AM

I am also looking into a mini/midi lathe… torn between the Delta 46-460 midi lathe (with variable speed) and the Jet 1220 mini lathe (with variable speed)... any comments on the Delta?

jems… love to hear what you decide on and why.

Good Luck!


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