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Forum topic by Hockey posted 02-28-2018 04:15 AM 726 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Hockey

138 posts in 529 days


02-28-2018 04:15 AM

I keep thinking I need a bigger lathe like the size of a Jet 1642 or Nova Galaxy. But then when I give it further thought, I start to wonder whether a midi such as the Rikon 70-220vsr or the Jet 1221vs might not be a better choice for me. Right now, I can afford up to the price of the Nova Galaxy or Jet 1640 or Laguna Revo.

Here are my thoughts. I do only desire to turn bowls up to 8” or so diameter with green wood (actually, many of the bowls I enjoy turning are in the 4” to 5” diameter range . I really like to turn small stuff like birdhouse ornaments, boxes and goblets. So, with the small size objects that I usually turn, I wonder what, if anything, a larger lathe will give me over the midi sized lathes mentioned above.

I would appreciate as much input as possible to see if I am thinking of all the various factors involved. Please convince me that I need a larger lathe or that I should just stick with a midi lathe. What can a bigger lathe do for me that a midi can’t for my intended purposes? By the way, I have plenty of lathe chisels, chucks nad grinding tools so I don’t need to take the less expensive route so that I can buy all the other stuff.


20 replies so far

View rizzo's profile

rizzo

68 posts in 1369 days


#1 posted 02-28-2018 04:46 AM

A larger lathe will buy you a couple things.

One, future proofing. If you eventually go after larger diameter turning, you will keep yourself from having to buy a second lathe. It doesn’t have to be a big heavy bowl, you might want to do a thin platter at some point etc. any large large can turn small things, but a midi lathe will eventually max out its capacity. Unless you know for absolute certain that you never intend to go beyond a midi lathe capacity, then I think you should strongly consider a full sized lathe.

Two, stability. The shear heft of a full sized lathe really helps with vibrations etc. while this might not see,s like a big deal, it makes a huge difference, especially when you are working with uneven stock at the beginning.

I actually recently added the revo 1836 to my shop and I love it! I’m planning on writing an “initial impressions” review now that I have had it for a month. So keep an eye out for that. Strangely there aren’t that many revo reviews on this site, but the few that there are seem to share my thoughts on loving their revo. I really feel that for the money and at that price point it is the best lathe for the dollar you can buy.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

6887 posts in 2316 days


#2 posted 02-28-2018 04:54 AM

If you don’t plan on turning large stuff, the only advantage a larger lathe has is more weight. That can of course be compensated for on a smaller lathe somewhat by adding weight or putting it on a beefier stand, possibly bolted to the floor. A smaller lathe that has outboard turning capability, or the ability to swing/slide the head can also give you more capacity if the need ever arises. I have a Delta 10” lathe that I do 7-8” bowls on without any issue. I also have a PM45 that has more capacity and weight, but I have never needed the extra swing yet. It’s really up to you to decide if the extra cost and size is worth it to you or not. For me, I don’t think I’ll ever want or need anything larger than my PM.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Ripper70's profile

Ripper70

1113 posts in 1025 days


#3 posted 02-28-2018 05:42 AM


I keep thinking I need a bigger lathe like the size of a Jet 1642 or Nova Galaxy.
- Hockey

If you decide to go with the midi lathe, won’t this thought continue to run through your mind? Getting the full sized lathe would put the question to rest for good. You can still turn small stuff on the bagger lathe.


Right now, I can afford up to the price of the Nova Galaxy or Jet 1640 or Laguna Revo.
- Hockey

I believe you should always get the best tool you can afford if/when you can afford it. I’ve been hot on getting a lathe myself, though I have yet to accumulate the funds to get what I really want. I envy rizzo because he’s got the lathe that I would get right now, if I could afford it. I have to agree with him, based on my own research, the Revo seems like the best bang for the buck in it’s class.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12331 posts in 2497 days


#4 posted 02-28-2018 06:59 AM

Bigger lathe equals more mass which means less vibration. If nothing is stopping you from buying the bigger lathe then I would buy it.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1831 posts in 2106 days


#5 posted 02-28-2018 11:19 AM

What lathe do you have now, and why are you considering a larger lathe?

View Jacksdad's profile

Jacksdad

200 posts in 541 days


#6 posted 02-28-2018 12:10 PM

The nice thing about the bigger lathes the headstock usually slides the whole length of the lathe and sometimes you can turn it. I’m looking at upgrading my lathe to either the Laguna 2436 or the Grizzly, I’m looking for bigger swing and heft. I’d like the Robust but that’s way out of my price range.

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Jacksdad

200 posts in 541 days


#7 posted 02-28-2018 12:11 PM

The nice thing about the bigger lathes the headstock usually slides the whole length of the lathe and sometimes you can turn it. I’m looking at upgrading my lathe to either the Laguna 2436 or the Grizzly, I’m looking for bigger swing and heft. I’d like the Robust but that’s way out of my price range.

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

2407 posts in 2251 days


#8 posted 02-28-2018 01:31 PM

There is nothing wrong with midi lathes you mentioned for size bowls you want to turn. Like already mentioned if have the money buy biggest you can afford!

I have a Jet 1642, and often get that bad boy shaking roughing out of round wet bowls, hollow form, and spindle blanks even with weighted down shelf. For larger thicker bowl blanks 7 to 14 inches get them as round and even as I can wih chain saw. That is not always going to be finished diameter but still bigger & deeper than can turn on a midi lathe.

Just got into bigger hollow forms few years back which weigh more than my bowl blanks so appreciate my longer bed and more powerful motor. I start roughing out hollow form & spindle between centers with longer length just to get below bark so can see things like knots and other defect present. Depending upon what I find may break those blanks into smaller sections for hollowing and spindle turning. Use a Jamieson hollowing D-handle and back rest with assorted boring bars. Don’t have a swing away tailstock so remove it for hollowing.

Only optional item bought is six inch Robust tool rest for turning smaller items. Newer Jet has a different indexing sysem and shorter bed but headstock can both slide along the bed or swivel. Haven’t move the headstock since setting up my lathe. Cannot comment on either laguna or Nova lathes have seen specs and read several good reviews on both.

Yes you can buy optional bed extension and different size tool rest for most midi lathes. That’s also true for larger lathes you mentioned but you have more HP and larger beds to start with.

-- Bill

View Bill Commerford's profile

Bill Commerford

32 posts in 1311 days


#9 posted 02-28-2018 01:46 PM

It seems to me since you are asking this question you already have the answer. Personally I love my 18/36 even though it was a real stretch to buy.

View Hockey's profile

Hockey

138 posts in 529 days


#10 posted 02-28-2018 03:19 PM



What lathe do you have now, and why are you considering a larger lathe?

- OSU55

I currently have an old cast iron Shopsmith 10ER that is a dedicated lathe. I also turn on a Nova Comet. The Shopsmith has a speed reducer that gets me down to about 425rpm with about a 14” swing. The only problem with the Shopsmith, if indeed it is a problem, is the vibration. The vibration is a slight one that you can’t see; but, you can feel it by putting your tool or fingers on the tool rest while the machine is running even with no load. The Nova Comet could use a little more HP; but, it is great for the small stuff that I mostly do. By the way, I fully intend to keep the nice little Comet regardless of what I do.

To answer the rest of the question, I would like to eliminate all the vibration. I don’t know whether lack of vibration will have an effect on my end product. I don’t need the bigger swing than that of the Shopsmith. In fact, the Robust Scout lathe would be great size wise or even the Oneway 1224. however, the Scout is out of my price range even without shipping, and the Oneway is out of my price range because of the shipping.

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

1362 posts in 1847 days


#11 posted 02-28-2018 04:53 PM

I had a Delta Milwaukee Homecraft lathe that had a constant vibration. I could never find the source, so didn’t do much in turnings. Got it in ‘83, and sometime about 2009, I used it for a spindle, shut it down and noticed the motor pulley wasn’t running concentric. The motor had a 1/2” arbor, but the pulley was for a 5/8” arbor. The adapter was a weird size. I changed it and everything worked fine after that. Check yours for that scenario.
If you can afford it, go large.
If you have any ingenuity, you could take an old PM or Delta and make riser blocks to get a larger swing. ........ Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson) www.woodturnerstools.com

View hairy's profile

hairy

2750 posts in 3649 days


#12 posted 02-28-2018 04:53 PM

Go big. You may need to hollow out a telephone pole someday.

Ok, back to reality. Get the BEST lathe you can afford, not necessarily the biggest.

-- My reality check bounced...

View LeeMills's profile

LeeMills

583 posts in 1418 days


#13 posted 02-28-2018 05:31 PM

Nothing wrong with the Rikon or Jet but is it much of a step up from the Comet? (My daughter has the Comet2).
The Nova list 3/4 hp and IIRC 5.5 amp which falls in generally accepted range of DC motors (80-90% efficiency).
Unless they have changed the Rikon and Jet both state 6 amp but 1 HP. As far as I know a motor has not been developed yet with yields about 108% efficiency (Outputs more energy than inputs).
Depending on how badly you want turn dial speed control, the Nova 1624 (1.5HP) may be a consideration. Although our Comet is good there is a world of difference in the Comet and the 1624. I’ve had my 1624 10 years + with no problems. Currently on sale for $899 and free shipping…. not a lot more than the Jet 1221.
I use the swivel head almost 100% of the time for bowl or platter turning.
Some folks have even bought the 1624 and the DVR motor upgrade for an additional $600 and then have the belt belt drive motor as a spare just in case.
http://www.acmetools.com/shop/tools/nova-24221t?cm_mmc=Google-_-PRODUCTFEED-_-NOVA-_-24221T&CAWELAID=600009240005329529&CAGPSPN=pla&CAAGID=41176172354&CATCI=pla-342718787713&catargetid=600009240005408603&cadevice=c&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI8pnT_Y7J2QIVAsNkCh3-LAS5EAQYASABEgJuiPD_BwE
I almost never change speeds with spindles and at most twice with bowls, usually just once. Takes about a minute to move the belt but it is easy to get to on top.

-- We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

2407 posts in 2251 days


#14 posted 02-28-2018 08:43 PM

Like Jerry said doesn’t hurt to check the lathe for misaligned parts and repair or replace.

Not sure they make that doesn’t vibrate or shake sometimes. Lot of time just adjusting lathe speed up or down seems to take care of many vibration problems. Or turning wood into balance works every time!

If really want to confuse vibrations start talking about harmonic imblance, guess that’s the reason for making or buying steady rest!

-- Bill

View Hockey's profile

Hockey

138 posts in 529 days


#15 posted 02-28-2018 10:38 PM

Thanks for all the responses so far. They will all certainly be considered in making my final decision. Further comment is welcome.

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