yes, one more lathe decision post :)

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Forum topic by Genuino posted 11-21-2016 04:30 PM 1466 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Genuino's profile


24 posts in 699 days

11-21-2016 04:30 PM

I’m totally new to turning and a novice woodworker, have purchased in the last two years a few tools built a shed in my yard and finally started to get a little serious about it as a hobby and perhaps make a little money on the side.
I started looking for a lathe with at least 12” swing over base, planning to turn bowls, plates, etc., although 10” might be ok but 12” is better :). Looked at the HF Central Machinery 34706 12’’ x 33-3/8’’ but the price looked suspicious, too low to trust I guess, then the Rikon 70200 and finally the JET JWL-1221VS. Mind you, this is my first lathe but wanted 12” swing and 1 HP, I’m leaning towards the Jet just for the fact that speed goes down to 60 rpm (per specs) good for sanding and finishing for an extra 200 or so over the Rikon. Not that I want to spend money like crazy but this needs to last for a while knowing that tI can get parts and good service for it. All comments and suggestions are welcome.

Can anyone recommend a good entry level set of chisels?

One more comment, my dear wife told me to get something cheaper or smaller to start. I prefer to get something good, in the event that wood turning doesn’t work for me, I’ll have something good to sell later.

21 replies so far

View Wildwood's profile


2426 posts in 2282 days

#1 posted 11-21-2016 05:16 PM

The Jet 1221VS would have the best resale value, but the HF34706 not a bad entry lathe. For sanding 250 RPM’s okay for sanding so would not rule out the Rikon 70-220VSR.

Both the Jet & Rikon lathes easier to adjust speeds up or down over that reeves drive on HF 34706. You can turn bowls on that HF 34706 but has the highest starting off RPM’s. So think eith the Jet or Rikon a better buy.

You can find several sets of inexpensive spindle gouge sets starting at less than $100. For turning bowls & platters recommend buying individual tools.

Understand two different ways to measure bowl gouges. This why suggest getting some turning catalogs. Depending upon where the tool is made or brand (British measurement) you can order 1/4” bowl gouge and it will actually be 3/8” diameter.

Craft Supplies

Packard Woodworks:

Penn State Industries:

Both Craft Supplies & Packard offer discounts if buy more than one tool from them see catalog or ask before ordering; not sure about PSI. There are several other reliable vendors but since don’t know where you live recommended ones know and ordered from.

-- Bill

View Bill7255's profile


427 posts in 2432 days

#2 posted 11-21-2016 05:21 PM

If it’s pick a lathe I’d pick the Jet. IMO better than the others. As far as entry turning tools, you get (and sometimes not ) what you pay for. I recently bought a roughing gouge entry level that will not hold an edge. This would be frustrating if I was just learning. Many use carbide, I have some but prefer conventional. With carbide you won’t need to invest in sharpening right away. If you go conventional you will need a way to sharpen them, another expense.

-- Bill R

View Julian's profile


1369 posts in 2838 days

#3 posted 11-21-2016 05:26 PM

I would choose the Jet lathe; but I wouldn’t rule out taking a look at used lathes on your local Craigslist. Regarding turning tools; you can purchase good HSS tools without handles at several supplies. These are good quality tools and you can turn your own handles which is also a great starter project.

-- Julian

View bigJohninvegas's profile


490 posts in 1609 days

#4 posted 11-22-2016 02:27 AM

I would go with the jet. And friday jet will be 15% off, with alot of web sites offering free shipping.
Good entry level tools. I started with a set of sorby tools. Any of the sheffield steel tools will be good and hold an edge well.
I think I bought that 1st set here at hartville tool. While I have not bought from them since. At the time they had the best price. I want to say it was on sale for about $190. A bit cheaper than what they show today.

-- John

View Genuino's profile


24 posts in 699 days

#5 posted 11-22-2016 05:06 AM

Thank you guys, for the input, black friday will be the day then :). As I said, totally new to turning but have tried a couple times about 15 years ago but never did anything after recently that started to watch videos on youtube. Don’t want to get the cheapest set tools either, want them to last my learning curve period, then go for a nice set.
Decision is made, Jet 1221VS it is, since I have 2 Jet brand items at home, dust collector and 8” jointer/palner, the times I had issues with Jet, it was taking care quick and professionally, not sure Rikon share the same.
As for the tools, carbide tip bits its all I use on my CNC, last a lot longer and way cleaner cuts than the other ones, does this translate the same for turning tools? Sorry for all the questions, newbie here :).

View loiblb's profile


143 posts in 1203 days

#6 posted 11-22-2016 09:44 AM

My Jet 1221vs has been a work horse. I turn almost every day on it. That is hard for me to believe because my first lathe just sat in the shop not being used. Must be the ease of using it and its power too.

View Wildwood's profile


2426 posts in 2282 days

#7 posted 11-22-2016 01:55 PM

Whether you buy inexpensive or expensive turning tools they need to be sharp. So resharpening, and finding the right bevel angle for both you and design of the piece you turn very important. Getting repeat-ability of a bevel angle every time you resharpen your tool cannot be stressed enough.

Some folks have no trouble free hand sharpening their turning tools. While others use a jig whether homemade or commercial product. I made couple of homemade jigs which left lot to be desired before buying my Wolverine set up. I do both freehand & use a jig. There are other jigs on the market, but have no experience with them.

Bought a One-way Wolverine basic system with optional Vari-grind jig.

Only turning tools needed for turning bowls & platters are bowl gouge(s) scrapper(s) and parting tool. Hence say buy individual tools versus set!

So lets recap need a lathe, individual tools, sharpening system, and four jaw chuck! That’s why recommend those catalogs!

-- Bill

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5072 posts in 4108 days

#8 posted 11-22-2016 02:49 PM

Call Capt. Eddie Castelin. His site is on You tube. He will be very helpful and honest with ya about turning tools.
He sells carbide cutters and bars. 504-715-0512. He’s in the new Orleans area.


View TheDane's profile


5524 posts in 3810 days

#9 posted 11-22-2016 03:35 PM

Here’s Eddie Castelin’s website:

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Genuino's profile


24 posts in 699 days

#10 posted 11-23-2016 05:59 AM

Thanks again guys, great group of folks around here :). The anticipation has ended, Jet 1221VS is here, was given black friday prices today, went there today because they told me they had only one left and it was verbally reserved for a friend of one of the employees, Rockler didn’t have it in stock, both locations are about 45 from my house. 15% off on the 1221, and of course came home with a few extras. NOVA G3 chuck kit, the one that comes with the 4 different claws, all together is about $270 but got the whole kit for $150. Also bought an extra bigger Nova cole jaw (the one in the kit is very small to me). Where I didn’t get a discount was on the tools. Started looking at Sorbys and Wood River, set of 6 for the Sorby was $329, then saw a set of 8 from Wood River for $279, so I got the Wood River, plus a pen turning starter kit and two books on turning, I’m in the “don’t even feel sleepy” tonight, All this is my wife’s early Christmas gift this year, I will kiss the ground she walks on every chance I get (just until New Year’s, LOL), amazing day :).
Have the hunch that this will become my next obsession.

View Wildwood's profile


2426 posts in 2282 days

#11 posted 11-23-2016 02:26 PM

Best of luck with new lathe, tools, & chuck!

-- Bill

View Genuino's profile


24 posts in 699 days

#12 posted 11-24-2016 05:38 AM

Thank you Bill, luck is one thing I need plus a few more bucks for wood while I learn :).

View Genuino's profile


24 posts in 699 days

#13 posted 11-24-2016 05:50 AM

Hey Bill, went back to your original post, very detailed info on tools, but when I went to get the Jet 1221 had a little desperate moment and wanted to take everything I needed home to start, so never checked out Penn, Craft or Packard, reviewing those next, just having a “kid with a new toy” moment.
Thank you so much again, appreciated.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7770 posts in 3061 days

#14 posted 11-24-2016 11:29 AM

Here is a great cheap way to make your own belt sharpening system:

The Dane and I made these ~3yr ago and they work very well for the occasional turner. I think Gerry (the Dane) eventually went with the Wolverine since he was turning on a larger/frequent scale. The above is all you need starting up. Good luck, and start having fun!

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

View Nubsnstubs's profile


1408 posts in 1877 days

#15 posted 11-24-2016 10:05 PM

Thank you Bill, luck is one thing I need plus a few more bucks for wood while I learn :).

- Genuino

I don’t want to put a damper on you new adventure, but if you pay for wood, you are not going to be making yourself look good in front the woman your kissing the ground she walks on.

Wood can be had everywhere you go. You just need to be on the lookout for any wood that looks out of place. Don’t buy wood unless it’s imported stuff and you have the experience to turn it, so look for wood from friends, on the curbs in your town, Craigslist, and certainly listen for the sound of chain saws. In a short period of time, it will be music to your ears.

Welcome to woodturning and enjoy the ride.. ......... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

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