General International Lathe Duplicator

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Forum topic by Jim Ganley posted 09-30-2011 02:28 AM 4139 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jim Ganley

54 posts in 3405 days

09-30-2011 02:28 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tools lathe duplicator

Evening folks, I have purchased this lathe duplicator and wondering if anyone has had experience with this machine, I looked at the Vega and it really looked the same except where the drive chain is placed. I am new to this lathe stuff and also purchased a Shopfox midi lathe. Lots of midi’s out there and the strange thing is they are all quite similar, it is 100% cast Iron and darn heavy also runs real smooth any tips would be appreciated.

-- Jim - Cushing, WI

3 replies so far

View TheDane's profile


5575 posts in 3900 days

#1 posted 09-30-2011 02:53 AM

Jim… Duplicators (not the GI but similar units) were part of the program at our September 2011 woodturner’s club meeting. Unless the expert who presented the program was way off base, prepare to be disappointed.

This artisan does antique restorations and repairs as well as custom work for a living. He said (and a couple of pro’s in the group agreed) that they aren’t worth the money unless you expect to do duplicate a lot of pieces and are ready to do a lot of manual turning. He said you can only do about 80-85% of the job, so you have to finish with a gouge, scraper, skew, etc.

He brought in a Delta rig mounted on a full size Delta lathe. He said it takes quite a little time to set up and calibrate, and the pieces he did during the demo were what you might call rough turnings. He said he bought it several years ago when he had a commission to produce 350 spindles with the same profile, but hadn’t used it in about five years.


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

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Jim Ganley

54 posts in 3405 days

#2 posted 09-30-2011 11:46 AM

Thank you for your honesty I am going to have to go to my thinkers office .

-- Jim - Cushing, WI

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 2930 days

#3 posted 09-30-2011 01:33 PM

I have a first genreation Vega duplicator for my Jet 1014 midi lathe it works fine if you keep the cutters sharp. All they are is 1/4” lathe bits for a metal lathe. I’ve tried a couple different patterns of cutters, round and pointy, and they work well enough to just have to finish sand. I use mine to duplicate broken chair spindles and to make bohran tippers and a couple other project I have in mind. The latest generation of the Vega duplicator is made similar to their big one with chain drive . My model uses a lead screw and it’s a bit slow at times. If you make patterns they have to be pretty accurate and yes it does take time to get set up but I think it is worth the time spent. The only hand work I have to do is parting off but in a lot of cases I can do that with a saw. I have to admit it is nothing like the duplicating lathe that I ran at our local drumstick factory…1 drumstick every 5 seconds good enough for filler light sanding and finish. But then it cost 1,000s of dollars mine was only cost a couple hundred. So hey my vote on lathe duplicators yea they are worth it if you need exact copies or lots of one thing. And kind of a new type of fun for a fun machine.

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