Is this a decent lathe?

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Forum topic by bondogaposis posted 09-16-2012 03:57 PM 1349 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4767 posts in 2377 days

09-16-2012 03:57 PM

Topic tags/keywords: lathe

Is this a decent lathe for $200. I have no experience w/ woodturning and thought this might be a decent lathe for the price, but I have no experience w/ lathes and also would appreciate a few tips as to what to look for.

-- Bondo Gaposis

7 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3674 days

#1 posted 09-16-2012 04:17 PM

I had one of those. The tool rest holder castings are crude and
that created an issue with adjusting the tool rest post.

Inside the tool rest pose hole there are some cast iron
v-shaped protrusions but as I recall they were not machined
at all.

Other than that it was alright I guess. I wouldn’t give more than
$100 for it.

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 3024 days

#2 posted 09-16-2012 07:04 PM

For $216 (with 20% off coupon) more you could get one of the HF 12×33 with a variable speed and a spindle that pivots for outboard turning. I would give that a pass at that price. I personally wouldn’t go for even Loren’s $100 unless they threw in some turning tools. I don’t like changing belts for speed changes.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View lunn's profile


215 posts in 2335 days

#3 posted 09-16-2012 07:06 PM

I have the big HF lathe sells for less than $300 I don’t do much turning a few legs now and then. Has a speed control don’t have to mess with the belt. The head swivels so you can turn a big dia. I have a duplicator from Rockler attached. All in all it works for me. I’d also pass on that lathe

-- What started as a hobbie is now a full time JOB!

View Don W's profile

Don W

18754 posts in 2594 days

#4 posted 09-16-2012 07:26 PM

I’ve got a craftsman pretty similar to this one. I paid $100 with tools. Its ok for the plane knobs, chisel handles and that kind of stuff. I’d do it again for $100, but for $200, I agree with the statements above.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View IsaacH's profile


128 posts in 2123 days

#5 posted 09-16-2012 07:30 PM

My first lathe was a piece of crap…..but I loved it. It got me hooked!!! I think its smarter to try a $200 lathe than to jump into a more expensive one without knowing if you’ll use it.

-- Isaac- Decatur, GA - "Your woodworking....NOT machining parts for NASA!!!"

View johnstoneb's profile


2940 posts in 2199 days

#6 posted 09-16-2012 08:26 PM

I have a lathe identical to that. At the time of manufacture (35 – 40 yrs ago) that was a good consumer lathe. It will still do a good job especially for a beginner. If you find you like turning you can upgrade to a more modern one. I would definitely try to get it for considerably less than is being asked for it. I would definitely try to get it for $100 or less.
The lathe itself is fairly heavy but the stand leaves a lot to be desired. with that stand I would not turn anything very big and heavy on a face plate.


-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Wildwood's profile


2322 posts in 2161 days

#7 posted 09-16-2012 08:37 PM

Lot depends upon what you want to turn on that wood lathe. If everything works not a bad price for a starter lathe. Another plus that lathe easy to fix. Cleaning oiling parts not a big deal, replacing headstock bearings while not difficult takes time.

Want to make sure no funny noise coming from headstock, loose or worn belt also make noise. No play in headstock spindle, could be a sign of worn bearings. Ask if bearings take oil some old lathes needed oil or grease? Check with motor off and spin headstock spindle by hand, should spin smoothly. With motor running should be smooth hum at all speeds.

Tailstock and tool rest base (banjo) and tool rest should lock down securely, not moved if tapped with hand or wood mallet.

Head-tailstock alignment should be close. With a drive center in headstock and live center or dead center in tailstock bring up tailstock and lock down tailstock points of centers should be spot on. Simple fix replace worn centers, or shims in tailstock.

While HF #34706 nice starter lathe and goes on sale all the time for $269.99, not sure coupon will work on sale items. Store in my town will not take coupons on sale items.

-- Bill

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