What large woodworking lathes are best?

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Forum topic by groland posted 06-27-2013 09:17 PM 1006 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View groland's profile


211 posts in 3617 days

06-27-2013 09:17 PM

Topic tags/keywords: lathe recommendations

I am considering adding a woodworking lathe to my tool set. I have never used a lathe, but I have been reading a bit about them online. I would be interested in a lathe large enough for turning legs for furniture and, perhaps some sizable bowl turning. I think one with the ability to turn the motor head for bowls or large items might be good.

I would be happy with a used one.

What models and brands would you recommend I look for?

Many thanks,


2 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3853 days

#1 posted 06-27-2013 09:35 PM

Oneway and comparable hand built lathes are pretty awesome,
but if you lose enthusiasm for turning you will have a very
tough time selling the machine for anything close to
what you paid for it new.

I recommend a vintage lathe with a spindle one the back
of the headstock.

If your capacity needs for bowl turning exceed perhaps
16”, you’re getting into a rather serious endeavor anyway.

Keep in mind that turning large and unbalanced items can
be dangerous and turners have been killed turning large
tree-trunk sized burls and things like that.

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 2898 days

#2 posted 06-27-2013 11:21 PM

Spindles can be turned on almost any lathe that has enough length for them. But to turn large unbalanced bowl blanks you need a HEAVY lathe usually attached to the floor with strong bolts. My advice would be to buy a vintage used lathe that will accept modern accessories and learn on it then if you still have interest and you have projects that exceed the capacity of this lathe then go out and buy a lathe sized to you new and future projects.

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