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Forum topic by Dustin posted 06-16-2016 12:24 PM 903 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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557 posts in 887 days

06-16-2016 12:24 PM

Topic tags/keywords: lathe planer

Howdy, folks.

As of this coming weekend, I’ll finally have some scratch to add some much needed (ok, much wanted) tools to my shop. As of right now, the top of the list is a drill press. After posting previously, getting feedback, and reading the reviews here, I’ve settle on the Porter Cable floor model they sell over at Lowe’s. For the reasonable price, size, spindle travel, and power, it seems like a good value and one that I won’t be “outgrowing” unless I move into metal work (not happening; metal slivers far less tolerable than wood splinters).

There are two other possible tools I’m looking at: a lathe and a planer.

Most of my projects for the foreseeable future (at least 2 large sets of built-in bookcases) are using plywood mostly, with hardwoods only really used for the face frames. It’s not ideal, but for such a small portion of the project, it’s pretty easy to just pick this up (usually poplar) at the big box stores. That’s the mentality I have, anyway, for justifying not currently having a planer, but I know I’ll need one eventually (especially if I want to start getting better quality lumber for less at a mill).

So here’s what I found on good ole CL:

Delta TP400LS. I know it’s not top o’ the line, but it looks barely used, and that low of a price can atone for many shortcomings. Any thoughts/knowledge on this planer, or hard warnings against it? It seems like even if I grow out of this one, making back what I put into it wouldn’t be too difficult.

As for the lathe, the main goal here is to get into pen turning (my wife is a biliophile and avid journaler, and the thought of having 20+ fountain pens customized to her specifications makes her drool). I’ve seen a lot of small lathes for about $300, from Grizzly to Rockler to Harbor Freight. I don’t intend to get into turning anything larger than possible end-table legs in the future, so I don’t want to overdo it. My main two concerns here are: 1) I don’t want to buy a re-branded HF lathe from another source, only to find out I paid too much for the same thing with a different paint job, and 2) I don’t want to pay for a “nice lathe” that’s really just inflated in price due to bells and whistles that rarely even get used.

As for as what I’ve found in my area,

I can’t see the model number, but it looks like a decently sized Craftsman lathe, with some tools thrown in (I know this is an expense I can otherwise fail to factor in on this kind of purchase). It seems like a decent propect, especially if I can get the price negotiated down to $400, but this is a tool I’ve never worked with before and have no knowledge of, so your thoughts and suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Thanks for taking the time to read and respond to this.

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

8 replies so far

View Kirk650's profile


566 posts in 895 days

#1 posted 06-16-2016 03:10 PM

If you don’t have a drill press at all, I suppose you need one, but I couldn’t live without a planer. That thing sees a lot of work. As for a lathe, I love electronic variable speed. For years I had a Jet 1014evs before upgrading to a 1221evs. That small Jet was terrific and would be perfect for pen turning.

View Dustin's profile


557 posts in 887 days

#2 posted 06-16-2016 04:08 PM

Yeah, the press has been a long time coming. Also, thank you for the reply: it’s exactly the kind of info I was looking for, i.e., most frequently used, most critical, etc.
I’ve been steered toward the variable speed before, but wanted to ask: how useful will that really be if pen turning is all I intend to do, at least for quite some time?
Also, what other features/options would you consider must have’s?

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View knotscott's profile


8129 posts in 3522 days

#3 posted 06-16-2016 04:10 PM

The TP400LS was the successor to the 22-560. The “LS” stands for leg stand, so at one point it should have included legs. The 22-560 was a good planer, and I recall the TP400 being pretty much the same machine….well worth $150 IMO. Just be sure you can still get blades for it.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Dustin's profile


557 posts in 887 days

#4 posted 06-16-2016 05:37 PM

blades are still available, so now I’m just hoping that the planer is. Luckily where I am, stuff like this seems to stay up for a while, as there are few hobbyists around here that aren’t already well established.

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View Dustin's profile


557 posts in 887 days

#5 posted 06-16-2016 07:55 PM

Well, I did a little more reading here, and found the HF 95607 8”/12” lathe to be (to my surprise) reviewed pretty favorably. Again, as I’ll only be turning pens, I’m hoping this will suit my needs, and the affordability factor allows me to get it sooner rather than later. Good news for me: wife’s b-day is in July and I’d like to have 2-3 pens cranked out by then.

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View Woodchuck2010's profile


721 posts in 1005 days

#6 posted 06-16-2016 08:35 PM

Love my WEN 15” drill press. Variable speed, laser, light, nice table, wider footprint than most. A steal at $399!

-- Chuck, Michigan,

View sawdust703's profile


270 posts in 1566 days

#7 posted 06-18-2016 08:49 AM

My advice would be to decide what sort of projects you want to do besides turning pens. A drill press in the shop has endless possibilities, but if your plans are to spin out a few pens, & maybe end table legs, were I you, I’d put the lathe on the back burner for now. A planer is a useful piece of equipment IF you plan to use it for projects & necessary fixes. It also can be used for several other things other than just a thickness planer. A sled can be made to use it in place of a jointer, too. If its a cheaper model, it won’t take long & it’ll soon be high maintenance. On the other hand, if plywood is all you’re currently using, a planer is useless to you. I would start with the drill press & go from there. Just my .02.

-- Sawdust703

View ohtimberwolf's profile


862 posts in 2499 days

#8 posted 06-18-2016 12:37 PM

The post for the planer is gone, did you get it? larry

-- Just a barn cat, now gone to cat heaven.

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