Lathe, and Planer advice

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Forum topic by Woodshopfreak posted 03-09-2008 04:24 AM 1429 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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389 posts in 3917 days

03-09-2008 04:24 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question planer lathe

If you could pick a Lathe what would it be?
If you could pick a Lathe that is under $150 dollars, what would it be?
What’s your stand on a mini lathe vs. full size Lathes?

What would you pick as a begginging Planer?
What do you think of the 12 1/2” craftsman planer for $250 (link below)?

What are some cheaper Planers on the market?

Thaks once again. Love to hear your responces.

-- Tyler, Illinois

8 replies so far

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3943 days

#1 posted 03-09-2008 04:51 AM

mini lathes can do most of what big lathes can do if you have a bed extension. big lathes usually have bigger swings so you can turn bigger bowls and a little bit more horsepower (1/2 for a mini, 3/4 for a big). really the best mini lathe that i know of is the Jet but it is 250 and the bed extension another 50. the craftsman looks okay but it has many, many limitations such as the swing and you can’t add an extension bed. the affordable bigs usually run for about 500-700 dollars and they are just a mini with a bed extension on a stand with a little more horsepower and a little bigger swing. i’d say go for a mini and learn how to turn and then get the bed extension and a good project would be making a stand for it. thats my opinion and what i’m doing this summer.

for the craftsman it looks like a pretty decent little planer and it got some pretty good reviews but before you decide on that one you might want to look into these two ones for 250 or less that also got good reviews and look like good solid machines.

Delta TP305 Portable Planer

Grizzily 12-1/2” Planer also just something else there is this review i found that might help

hope this helps

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3997 days

#2 posted 03-09-2008 04:55 AM

Hi Tyler,

A friend of mine, who is a pro, once gave me some advice on buying tools. He said that I should not be afraid to spend money on tools and buy one expensive tool rather than trying to stretch my budget and buy several inexpensive tools. Most of the time I have heeded that advice but the one time I didn’t I ended up replacing the cheaper tools with quality ones.

I don’t know about the lathe but I would recommend either the Dewalt DW735 or the Delta 22-580. But this will definately cost more than $250.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3943 days

#3 posted 03-09-2008 05:02 AM

i agree with Scott. thats what i did when i bought my Stihl leaf blower. i was going to spend 200 on the home owner one but after doing research i decided to spend 260 on the pro version since it was rated to run 8 hours a day 7 days a week 55 weeks a year while the other one was only rated for 5 hours a week. well my decision to spend 60 more hasn’t let me down yet and i am much happier with the pro version.

View Woodshopfreak's profile


389 posts in 3917 days

#4 posted 03-09-2008 05:09 AM

The only problem is that I don’t have the money for the more expensive one’s, and I guess I could spend more on one tool, and then buy another, but the problem becomes, that by the time I get the tools that I’ll need to make a cool project, that I’ll be in college. LOL. I just want to make some things but don’t have the money to get the more expensive stuff. I have also had alot of luck with some of my cheaper stuff. Well most, but I don’t buy the worst stuff, I do try to get the stuff that will last, and so far I have had great luck with craftsman, so I think that I’ll stick with that, but I do like dewalts quality, and deltas as well, but I think that in some instances that they are overpriced, and considering alot of the stuff is made in china as it is, all of the tools are really about the same in PART QUALITY. Some may dissagree, but you can find parts for my craftsman saw that are also used by, rigid, ryobi, and numerous other tool maufacturers.

-- Tyler, Illinois

View Chris 's profile


1879 posts in 4166 days

#5 posted 03-09-2008 05:16 AM

I am turning all of my stuff on a used Jet mini that I bought for $100.00

Just beware it’s not the lathe that counts as much as the turning tools. Don’t be afraid to look at used power tools It can save a you a bundle; especially if you you are just starting out in a particular pursuit. I will confess to spending about $300 on a starter set of Sorby turning tools. That was a good investment!

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

View leonmcd's profile


204 posts in 4147 days

#6 posted 03-09-2008 05:24 AM

I got my first lathe a little over a year ago and I went the cheap route. I got a Rockler no name mini lathe for $150 and a cheap set of gouges for $40. Obviously these are not quality tools but I’ve enjoyed them. I’ve turned lots of pens, pencils, letter openers, perfume pens, magnifying glasses, screwdrivers and a few small bowls.

It’s been fun and you don’t need much of a lathe for these small projects. I did spend another $50 for a good bowl gouge and it made a huge difference. I also learned that that you can’t turn a 10” bowl on a lathe with a 10” swing. The tool rest base is about 1 1/4” tall times 2 is 2 1/2” subtracted from 10” leaves you about 7 1/2” as the max you can turn.

I’ve learned a little and will have a better idea of what I want when I get my next lathe.

Keep in mind that “your mileage may very” because I’ve heard of people that were NOT happy with these cheap lathes. I may have just been lucky to get a good one.

-- Leon -- Houston, TX - " I create all my own designs and it looks like it "

View whit's profile


246 posts in 4152 days

#7 posted 03-09-2008 05:57 AM


I have a Jet 1236 and, up to now, I’ve used it for platters, bowls, pens, lamp pulls, bottle stoppers, stuff like that. About the only thing is does is take up floor space in the shop. If I had it to do over again, I’d go for a smaller lathe. But . . . I don’t plan on turning longer spindles.

As far as the planer goes, I have the Delta and really like it. Portable is a misnomer, by the way. It’s portable like I’m a fashion model. Um, not so much.


-- Even if to be nothing more than a bad example, everything serves a purpose. cippotus

View darryl's profile


1795 posts in 4502 days

#8 posted 03-09-2008 06:11 AM

I don’t have a lot of spare cash to pay for tools either, so what I do is try and leverage my birthday and Christmas to try and get those “not the cheapest” tools. I have the Jet mini lathe ($250) and the Ridgid planer($400+) I like both. As has been mentioned, the lathe ends up being the cheapest part of turning. Once you add the cost of chisels, bench grinder, chuck, drill press (for drilling the holes needed in pen turning), pen kits and all those accessories… ok I need to stop thinking about what I’ve spent!!

Is there a possibility of using your school’s woodshop in an after-hours time scenario? Could be a good way to get in some practice while saving up.

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