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Almost new Harbor Freight lathe: crap or not crap?

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Forum topic by simonov posted 03-16-2017 03:34 PM 2033 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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simonov

51 posts in 316 days


03-16-2017 03:34 PM

Someone in my area is getting out of woodworking:

https://reno.craigslist.org/tls/6045733268.html

-- Nunc est bibendum.


20 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

8007 posts in 2388 days


#1 posted 03-16-2017 03:40 PM

It’s an okay one to start out with, a face shield is highly recommended.

View simonov's profile

simonov

51 posts in 316 days


#2 posted 03-16-2017 03:46 PM



It s an okay one to start out with, a face shield is highly recommended.

- waho6o9


That bad, huh?

Maybe I need to get one of these special Chinese Woodworking Equipment Safety Suits:

-- Nunc est bibendum.

View Carloz's profile

Carloz

858 posts in 402 days


#3 posted 03-16-2017 03:52 PM

No need to go to that extreme. This should be sufficient

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

1850 posts in 2449 days


#4 posted 03-16-2017 03:54 PM

May not be a great lathe, but for $95 is seems OK.

View Roy Turbett's profile

Roy Turbett

118 posts in 3391 days


#5 posted 03-16-2017 04:35 PM

We had several of those at my woodturning club that we used for teaching. As stated above, they are adequate and good for someone who wants to try their hand at woodturning to see if they like it. As I recall, we had trouble keeping the tool rest in place because of a poor clamp design and eventually replaced the lathes with Jets as the budget permitted. But we did get several years of use out of them.

The main thing to consider with woodturning is that sharp tools are more important than the lathe or even the quality of the tools. If you’re on a budget, invest in a good slow speed grinder with good wheels and a quality sharpening jig like the Wolverine. The Harbor Freight tools are very good for the price because you can practice sharpening without having to worry about messing up an expensive tool.

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1392 posts in 1800 days


#6 posted 03-16-2017 04:44 PM

$95 is about what that lathe and set of tools are worth. HF doesnt have that lathe anymore. The guy is referencing the 34796 lathe, which is far different and much better than this one. This and the tools would get you started, and you might get your $ back if you upgrade or move on. Cheap to see if you like turning.

View Rick_M's profile

Rick_M

10455 posts in 2191 days


#7 posted 03-16-2017 05:18 PM

From what I’ve been told, the steel tube bed on those causes a lot of vibration.

These are really well made but only have 4 speeds unless you convert to variable speed with a treadmill motor:
https://sacramento.craigslist.org/tls/6045476069.html

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

View simonov's profile

simonov

51 posts in 316 days


#8 posted 03-16-2017 06:35 PM

Thanks, looks like crap after all.

The Sacramento Rockwell is intriguing. Might be worth a road trip.

-- Nunc est bibendum.

View tomd's profile

tomd

2116 posts in 3581 days


#9 posted 03-16-2017 06:53 PM

A good lathe at HF is 34706.

-- Tom D

View Rick_M's profile

Rick_M

10455 posts in 2191 days


#10 posted 03-16-2017 06:53 PM

I bought just the headstock from an old 930 and restored it here:
http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/2015/11/refurbishing-delta-homecraft-lathe.html

Mine was a Milwaukee Delta. It’s branded Homecraft which was a lower end line but it has tapered roller bearings which are usually in better quality lathes; whereas the regular Delta lathes had radial bearings. One thing, these lathes do not have sealed bearings and require an oil bath, that’s what that little cap on the headstock is for.

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

View Underdog's profile

Underdog

1046 posts in 1846 days


#11 posted 03-16-2017 07:13 PM



Thanks, looks like crap after all.

The Sacramento Rockwell is intriguing. Might be worth a road trip.

- simonov

Exactly. I had one of these to start with, and it had a multitude of problems. I’d buy a used Jet, Delta, or Rikon mini-lathe if you just wanted to try it out. Much better equipment.
The problem with most of the cheaper lathes is that they have junk locking mechanisms or, (as with this one) the bed is so flimsy it won’t hold when you tighten the tailstock up. And then the speed adjustments are so clunky that it’s a pain to change, and your low speed is WAY to high for a lot of work.

If you only turn once in a blue moon? This would be ok I suppose, but I’d much rather have my little Jet… It’s just easier to use and it works better.

-- "woodworker with an asterisk"

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simonov

51 posts in 316 days


#12 posted 03-16-2017 08:34 PM

Sadly, there was a nice little 14 inch Jet a couple hours from here for $150 this week, but by the time I found the ad it had already been sold.

-- Nunc est bibendum.

View BenDupre's profile

BenDupre

527 posts in 299 days


#13 posted 03-17-2017 04:14 AM

Find something with a cast bed. Stay away.

-- The problem with communication is the illusion that it has occurred. – George Bernard Shaw

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

8007 posts in 2388 days


#14 posted 03-17-2017 01:21 PM

https://images.craigslist.org/00I0I_hJCFtFPFe4j_1200x900.jpg

Just lag it to a workbench and start turning.

View Rick_M's profile

Rick_M

10455 posts in 2191 days


#15 posted 03-17-2017 05:19 PM

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