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Best wood lathe for begginner

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Forum topic by Noviceboone posted 10-06-2016 02:54 AM 659 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Noviceboone

3 posts in 68 days


10-06-2016 02:54 AM

Hello everyone, i would like to begin in the wonderful hobby of wood turning. I’ve been interested for a long time but never invested in a lathe. I’m finally ready to do so, I would like to purchase the best begginner lathe under $500. Any and all suggestions would be perfect. I would like to turn bowls and pens and other smaller objects like so. So a mini would work I’d imagine.

A lathe I’ve been eye balling is the Delta mini. I’ve attached a picture, and I can get it new for about $400 which is a good discount from what they usually sell for. Would this be a good lathe to start on? Anyone have experience with this one?

Any and all suggestions are appreciated. I’m just a begginner so I’m only learning by videos and reviews. Unfortunately no one I know is into the hobby. I live just outside the detroit area aswell. So I would always need to buy blanks as making them is difficult in the city. Thank you!


15 replies so far

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

7935 posts in 1848 days


#1 posted 10-06-2016 06:10 AM

It’s a $600 lathe. I expect the price to jump at any time, or it could go down more, Amazon is super unpredictable. I’ve bought $200 items for $5. One minute it’s cheap, the next full price. But yes, I believe it’s an excellent lathe.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7160 posts in 2382 days


#2 posted 10-06-2016 12:05 PM

Plus, the Delta 46-460 is a MIDI-lathe with a 1hp motor.

I bought this ~4yr or so ago and love it! Check out Penn State Industries for cutting tools/accessories. Here was MY journey: http://lumberjocks.com/topics/44106 that ended with the above Delta 46-460. Notice that I started looking elsewhere first.

Good hunting! Enjoy…

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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Wildwood

1887 posts in 1602 days


#3 posted 10-06-2016 12:11 PM

You don’t say if that $400 lathe is new or used! If can still get one at amazon for $400 would go for it.

https://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&page=1&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3ADelta%20Midi%20Lathe

You can read the latest reviews at amazon! Couple turners here use that lathe and love it.

-- Bill

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bigJohninvegas

216 posts in 929 days


#4 posted 10-06-2016 03:43 PM

That would be a very nice lathe to start with, and with a 12 1/2 inch swing will probably keep you going for years to come.
A good friend and professional turning once told me. They should give you the lathe for all they are going to make selling you tools and accessories to go with it.
So the lathe is just the beginning of cost.
Here is a link to the detroit area woodturners club.

http://www.detroitareawoodturners.com/index.html

-- John

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ScottM

347 posts in 1614 days


#5 posted 10-06-2016 04:01 PM



You don’t say if that $400 lathe is new or used! If can still get one at amazon for $400 would go for it.

https://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&page=1&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3ADelta%20Midi%20Lathe

You can read the latest reviews at amazon! Couple turners here use that lathe and love it.

- Wildwood

It’s new. The price is still dropping. It’s down to $386.

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SignWave

324 posts in 2503 days


#6 posted 10-06-2016 05:35 PM

I think a beginning woodturner could do a whole lot worse than that lathe. My first lathe was that size, but without the variable speed. I do wish I had gotten the variable speed now, but I’m dealing with it.

As far as a woodturning hobby, the lathe is just the down payment. Be sure to budget for turning chisels, sharpening setup, chucks, mandrels, finishes, sanding, etc. ;)

-- Barry, http://BarrysWorkshop.com/

View JADobson's profile (online now)

JADobson

682 posts in 1579 days


#7 posted 10-06-2016 05:51 PM

This harbor freight lathe has received very favourable reviews and falls in your budget. I have the Canadian King branded version and it has done me well:
http://www.harborfreight.com/12-inch-x-33-3-8-eighth-inch-wood-lathe-with-reversible-head-34706.html

Just as a point of interest, that Delta lathe is on the Canadian amazon site for $934.59 (CAD), nearly double the American cost.

-- James

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MrUnix

4247 posts in 1666 days


#8 posted 10-06-2016 06:05 PM

A good friend and professional turning once told me. They should give you the lathe for all they are going to make selling you tools and accessories to go with it.
So the lathe is just the beginning of cost.
- bigJohninvegas

[...]

As far as a woodturning hobby, the lathe is just the down payment.
- SignWave

While it’s true that you can spend an exorbitant amount of money on extra stuff for the lathe – it’s also equally true that you don’t have to if you don’t want to. The lathe is an ancient tool that has been around for thousands of years, and some pretty nice stuff was made without all of the modern gizmos available today. For example, factory made turning tools are a relatively modern inclusion into the craft – before that, you had to make your own tools, and you still can easily (heck, if you already have the lathe, then the handles are a great first project!).

My first lathe cost me $50, and I turned dozens of bowls, lidded boxes, cups, goblets, spindles, handles, wheels and all manor of other stuff (as well as using it for cleaning and polishing) without any additional costs on that lathe (and still do).

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

7935 posts in 1848 days


#9 posted 10-06-2016 06:53 PM


Just as a point of interest, that Delta lathe is on the Canadian amazon site for $934.59 (CAD), nearly double the American cost.
- JADobson

You guys are subsidizing our wood turning. Thank you.

========

Also don’t join Brad’s stubbornness, join the darkside and buy all the whizbang accessories. Everyone knows the darkside is way more fun. If Star Wars taught us anything it’s that the darkside gets the hot princess and giant warships while the lightside gets a robot hand and eternal bachelorhood.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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Wildwood

1887 posts in 1602 days


#10 posted 10-06-2016 07:32 PM

ScottM, you got me I really rounded up!

Thank you but that lathe would cost me about $412.62 with $26.99 sales tax! While amazon.com might not collect sales tax at time of purchase, when file my state income tax will pay that sales tax.

Your mileage may vary but $588 is cheapest found for that lathe at Home Depot, every other place has them for $600+.

Maybe Noviceboone can escape sales taxes. Still a great price for that lathe with only 7 in stock if snooze you lose!

-- Bill

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Redoak49

1964 posts in 1456 days


#11 posted 10-06-2016 10:39 PM

You could pick up a Shopsmith Mark 5 for that amount. I do not do a lot of turning but works well for me. In addition, it makes a reasonable drill press and other tools.

View Lazyman's profile (online now)

Lazyman

703 posts in 855 days


#12 posted 10-07-2016 03:10 AM

Just looked at the specs on the Delta lathe and it looks pretty nice. If I hadn’t just bought an the cheapo from Rockler last year to try turning, it would be ordered and paid for.

The guys are right.. get the lathe and a decent set of tools and you will have what you need to move up the turning learning curve. A brand to check out for beginners are Benjamin’s Best from Penn State. They have a set of 8 starter chisels for around $75 I think and I think that they will give you a 10-15% off for your first order if you sign up for email alerts. Harbor Freight sells a set that looks almost identical to the BB so might be made by the same company. A face plate will let you do many things that you would use a chuck for. Check Youtube for face plate and other turning tutorials.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2326 posts in 1764 days


#13 posted 10-07-2016 12:45 PM

$370 as of 9am Friday morning. Pretty good deal!

View Roy Turbett's profile

Roy Turbett

55 posts in 3047 days


#14 posted 10-08-2016 01:32 AM

I suggest you visit a woodturning club before you buy. There are a lot of guys that sell their beginner lathes at significant discounts so they can buy something bigger. Plus, you get a chance to try before you buy. I think the Woodcraft store in Canton also has classes.

I was able to buy a nice Jet mini with electronic variable speed for $250 from a member of the Michigan Association of Woodturners. They used to meet in Holly but lost their clubhouse. They may be moving to a new location in Flint.

View Burbs's profile

Burbs

34 posts in 152 days


#15 posted 10-08-2016 01:52 AM



I suggest you visit a woodturning club before you buy. There are a lot of guys that sell their beginner lathes at significant discounts so they can buy something bigger. Plus, you get a chance to try before you buy. I think the Woodcraft store in Canton also has classes.

I was able to buy a nice Jet mini with electronic variable speed for $250 from a member of the Michigan Association of Woodturners. They used to meet in Holly but lost their clubhouse. They may be moving to a new location in Flint.

- Roy Turbett

Pretty much what I said in your other post noviceboone. Getting hands-on experience and talking to guys with experience is way better than what we can convey on a forum. With that said, for the price, I don’t think you will go wrong with that lathe. That’s the best price I’ve ever seen on that lathe. Lot’s of turners swear by chucks and own many. They can add up to the price of your lathe with just a couple of them. Check out Lyle Jamieson on youtube. He swears by a faceplate and glueblock for turning and will save you money on chucks to start but I bet you could buy a lot of chucks for what he spends on CA glue and accelerator.

-- ---The day I learn nothing of value will be the day I'm laid to rest--- Burbs

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