Selecting a new lathe

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Forum topic by nubbin00 posted 04-26-2012 01:19 PM 2104 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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21 posts in 2253 days

04-26-2012 01:19 PM

Good morning, everyone, it looks to be the start of a great day here and I hope it’s the same for you all. I need your advice and assistance if you’d be so kind. it’s time to upgrade to a new lathe so I’ve been doing a bit of online shopping the past few weeks and can’t if I should find a deal on a used lathe or bite the bullet and buy new.

First some background on me and my work: I’m an amateur woodworker and my main focus in the last few years has been turning. I currently have a 10” midi lathe with a bed extension from PSI – a good starter but the small size makes it limited and it doesn’t have variable speed. There is a good chance I may retain this lathe and use it to just turn pens and have a larger lathe for bowls and other work, haven’t decided yet.

My goal: To upgrade to a lathe that is at least 12”, has variable speed and runs on 110V. I also want to spend less than $2000. Simply put, I can’t justify a larger price tag since I’m not making money from woodworking. Right now this is just a very expensive hobby!

My research on new lathes (based on every review Google could find):
Jet JWL1442 – my first choice if I buy new though I understand dealing with Jet is an ordeal. 14” swing is fantastic and the headstock swivels for outboard turning. Don’t know if I’d use that but, hey, just in case!

Grizzly G0462 – I keep coming back to this due to the price and the 16” swing but I have yet to see a really positive review for it. I have an ‘okay for now’ lathe already, I don’t want to upgrade to another one. Same goes for the Shop Fox version of this, they seem to be identical except for color.

PSI Turncrafter Commander – Basically and upgraded version of my lathe. 12” swing, variable speed, digital speed readout, etc. This was the first lathe I researched till I realized I had other options. Reasonable price and there’s a good chance the bed extension from mine may fit this model. PSI is constantly out of stock, though.

My research on used lathes (again, this is based on many nights of Googling):
First and foremost, there are deals to be had, especially if you’re willing/able to travel to pick something up rather than having it shipped. Craigslist, eBay, classified ads on sites such as this – there are lots of used machines in various condition that need a new home.

Powermatic 45 and 90 – I honestly don’t know the differences between these 2 models and can’t find anything online. However, I’ve seen both for sale recently at very reasonable prices, sometimes for less than a new Jet. Both models have variable speed and a 12” capacity and they look like rock solid beasts. But where do you get parts if you need a repair? Where can you replace the bearings once they’re shot?

Rockwell/Delta 46-450 – Another really nice looking lathe, variable speed, 12” swing, heavy and stable (at least they seem to be). But, like the Powermatics, I’d be on my own for repairs and maintenance. The one I’m looking at on Craigslist is about $400 so it’s tough to ignore that price.

Well, there you have it, LJ. I welcome any opinions, advice, warnings, inside information, reflections, bragging or tales of woe from anyone and everyone who’s had experience with these lathes or any other. Sorry for the long post but I wanted to give as much detail and information as possible so you don’t go over the same ground I’ve already covered.

I thank you all in advance for your help and hope everyone stays safe.

-- Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

2 replies so far

View Darell's profile


434 posts in 3592 days

#1 posted 04-26-2012 03:15 PM

I have the Nova DVR XP. It runs $2249.00 but can be found cheaper at timies. The Craft Supply catalog says to call for best pricing. Have no idea what that is from them though. The Nova DVR has a 16” swing and 24” between centers. It is a heavy duty lathe with variable speed and no belts. The DVR motor is a fantastic feature. The head stock swivels outboard and believe me, if you’re turning bowls that is a great feature to have in a lathe. There are videos on the Nova website ( and on Woodcraft’s website about this lathe. That’s how I stumbled onto it. I’ve had it for over a year and absolutely love it. At its full price it’s a bit above your price point but I think it’s worth a look.

-- Darell, Norman, Ok.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4986 posts in 2491 days

#2 posted 04-26-2012 07:05 PM

A couple of things. I just sold a Luguna 1642 (more like unloaded) that I only had 1 year and quickly realized it wasn’t a very well made lathe at all….it is identical to the Grizzly in appearance and specs (one difference, the Laguna is rated 1.5HP, but the same amperage); I would bet it’s the same lathe in a different color and suggest you pass on that model. For one thing, it only goes down to 600 RPM which may be too fast for a lot of things. The variable drive is a not-very-smooth-working reeves drive, something that can often be a real problem. The tailstock on mine was just awful for slop, and none of the accessories were of a quality that was satisfactory. I just replaced it with a used Nova 3000 that has had some upgrades and it will serve me well. But if you find a good buy on one of the older lathes you mentioned, you probably need not worry about keeping it going. The bearings will be easily available at a bearing supplier, and other parts can usually be found. There are guys over at Old Woodworking using this in heavy duty use daily.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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