Picking a new Lathe

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Forum topic by bushite posted 04-18-2013 06:17 AM 1645 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 1920 days

04-18-2013 06:17 AM

Topic tags/keywords: lathe

Question for those with more knowledge than I.

I’ve been using an AMT 1/2 hp lathe for over 10 years. Had to rebuild the main bearing with Harbor Freight parts once. It’s making noise again and I think it’s time to replace it. I’ve looked at the HF that matches mine ( ), a Shop Fox 1758 and a Grizzly G0462. They all seem to have the same basic castings with different levers and knobs. The HF one is only 3/4 hp vs. the 2 hp of the Shop fox and the Grizzly.

In light of the fact that I’ve been using a 1/2 hp lathe for so long to make my martial arts weapons, does it make sense to spend $400 up for the Shop Fox or the Grizzly over the HF one? I don’t generally turn bowls so the extra 4” of swing really isn’t an attraction. I doubt the extra 1 1/4 horse motor will make that much difference for what I do. But I’m no expert, so I came here to ask you all.


11 replies so far

View HorizontalMike's profile (online now)


7755 posts in 2910 days

#1 posted 04-18-2013 10:22 AM

While I have only been turning for 3-4 months, I am sure glad that I was given a lot of good LJs advice and chose the Delta 46-460 Midi-Lathe with 1hp. Like you, I have been consumed with turning knobs and such.

That said, since you have been turning for 10yr, I am sure you would enjoy the added hp and the 12 1/2” capacity. And since you already have all of your turning tools and such, this Delta makes sense. I have found the quality of this lathe to be impressive, and I grin every time I use it 8-).

Best online price I could find HERE.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Wildwood's profile


2305 posts in 2131 days

#2 posted 04-18-2013 11:19 AM

Checked price of Grizzly G0462 and will cost you $674 with shipping. Shop Fox lathe costing more at places I checked.

You can read the reviews at HF and here on #34706. It is a good spindle lathe people do turn bowls on it. For what you are turning should be a good fit for under $300 if can buy from a store near you. Only question on that lathe is should you buy the extended warranty too?

-- Bill

View TheDane's profile


5423 posts in 3659 days

#3 posted 04-18-2013 03:22 PM

If you have a Menards in your area, they have the Delta 46-460 on sale for $599 … that is a heck of a price!

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

View Dakkar's profile


323 posts in 1924 days

#4 posted 04-18-2013 04:44 PM

I think Mike’s Delta may be the best of it’s class at them moment, but with the changes in the company right now, I’d be reluctant to buy anything from them. I read one new user of that midi who had to replace the variable control soon after purchase and had a huge amount of trouble with customer service.

You can find a lot on that HF lathe on this site. It’s probably made on the same line as the $1K-ish Jet version. If you buy from them absolutely pay extra for the extended replacement policy, though. HB products have very inconsistent manufacturing standards.

I hear that type of speed change system can work pretty well as long has you keep it very clean inside. I’m sure someone who has one can tell you more.

Before deciding, though, you might decide what chucks and other accessories you expect to add at some point and make sure they’ll fit that model.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4929 posts in 3956 days

#5 posted 04-18-2013 05:05 PM

My G1067Z Grizz has a 1/2hp motor. I can’t imagine needing more for bowls, spindles, etc.
That’s just for what I do, and I’m not doin’ 12” big stuff.
Having said that, HP ratings on today’s machinery aren’t even stated in most instances. Its a watt/voltage equation now.


View HorizontalMike's profile (online now)


7755 posts in 2910 days

#6 posted 04-18-2013 07:36 PM

When I stupidly got the MT2 taper dead center/spindle stuck in the tailstock ram, Delta had me a replacement in 2-weeks. It was covered under warranty. I also thought that no way would Delta cover this part since I beat the crap out of it trying to get it out, so I ordered another one on my own dime at the time. That one came even quicker, PLUS the Delta Service center returned the tailstock ram to me as well. I now have THREE. The only “non” re-usable part ended up being the dead center/spindle, and besides I bought the better version, also a Delta product.

I also ordered the Delta (Nova) Reversible Chuck from a third party online retailer. That one did take one month to receive, only because I stayed with this business for the price break ($122). Others had the chuck in-stock, but more expensive.

And yes, that variable speed is amazing. 8-)

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View TheDane's profile


5423 posts in 3659 days

#7 posted 04-18-2013 07:41 PM

Mike … Thanks for relating your experience. It is too bad so many people are buying into the FUD about Delta’s ‘new’ owners.

I haven’t had any customer service contacts or issues with my lathe … I have had it for almost 2 years and it is a great machine!

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

View bushite's profile


2 posts in 1920 days

#8 posted 04-19-2013 02:16 AM

Sorry guys, I can’t use a mini or a midi. Much of what I do is 24” or longer. Has anyone used both a HF and the Grizzly or Shop Fox?

View TheDane's profile


5423 posts in 3659 days

#9 posted 04-19-2013 03:28 AM

I put an extension bed on my Delta 46-460 … I can turn up to 42” between centers.

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

View Woodknack's profile (online now)


11611 posts in 2376 days

#10 posted 04-19-2013 03:36 AM

I have no experience with those particular lathes but a lot of people own the HF lathe and reportedly it’s very, very, similar to the more expensive Jet lathes. If you’ve been using a 1/2hp for 10 years then the HF should be more than adequate. The only question is whether you plan on branching out into bigger turnings. If so, go for the Grizzly. I switched from a 1/3hp motor to a 1-1/2hp motor and the difference is substantial but only on bigger, heavier pieces.

-- Rick M,

View Knothead62's profile


2584 posts in 2957 days

#11 posted 04-19-2013 10:45 AM

Highland Woodworking has a Rikon 70-050VS on sale for $249.00 plus shipping. Cost me a bit over $300. It was recommended by our turning club president. Used his at a recent Turn & Learn class. Liked it. Haven’t used mine yet as I’m painting, etc. getting ready for new carpet. So much wood so little time!
FWIW, I looked at a HF lathe for $199 but it only had a 90 warranty with option to buy more time. The Rikon has a five year warranty.

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