Looking at getting a new lathe.

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Forum topic by Micah Muzny posted 11-15-2013 08:51 PM 1924 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Micah Muzny

185 posts in 1152 days

11-15-2013 08:51 PM

I am looking into getting a new lathe. I have been using a 12×36 from Harbor Freight for almost a year now. It is making weird noises and has some issues. I am going to be returning it tomorrow since I got the 2 year protection plan. They will not refund my money since it is past the 90 days, but will give me it back in store credit (little over $200). So I guess its not to bad of a deal since I have had it for a while and used it quite a bit. I will eventually use up the credit by getting random stuff haha. I really enjoy woodturning and I am 21 so I hope to have many many years yet to turn. I want something that will last a long time possibly a lifetime would be great but I know in the far future I will probably want to get a powermatic just because I drool over them and envy those who have them haha. I wish I could afford the powermatic or oneway but just can’t. I have been looking at the Jet models, such as the JET 14 inch x 42 inch, JWL-1642EVS, The EVS model is really pushing and stretching my budget kinda far. I am in the process of cluttering my workshop with new tools, going to be getting a table saw and a bandsaw also, maybe if I just have to get myself a drill press also. I would like to get some more lathe tools, right now I am working with 3 easy wood tools with carbide tips (which I am barely satisfied with, I feel they dull faster than they should). I wish to get me a Sorby tool set and a sharpener also. So back to the lathes, how much of a difference does a 1hp, 1 1/2hp motor make? Will I ever notice any difference while turning?

5 replies so far

View rum's profile


148 posts in 2005 days

#1 posted 11-15-2013 09:25 PM

Consider Thompson over Sorby for price vs performance. I haven’t seen anyone sad who bought thompson.

The HP matters less for spindles and more for bowls. The larger the bowls and the more aggressive you cut the more the HP matters. I have stalled out my PM3520 at lower speeds (and had chisels jump at higher speeds :O not recommended!!). Based on conversations I’ve had with others most folks don’t think the 1642EVS vs the 1642EVS-2 is super compelling. The difference is of course incremental and there is the easy slide into “more is better” (ask me how I know.. cough 3520 cough.. well its nice to have it anyway I suppose)

I think more interesting is the VS or non VS argument. If you can swing it you won’t regret the VS, its really really nice especially if you start really getting into bowl turning. The ability to start at ~100rpm or less and slowly ramp up takes a lot of the “pucker factor” out of

I’d compare also with the Nova: although you’d need to build a stand for that (or add $$ for the nova stand which makes the price difference less compelling) and the 1642 stand is decent. The Novas go on sale a couple of times a year and sometimes nova usa has refurbs (that’s where I get my chucks mostly).

The grizzly 16×42 and 18×47 are also frequently compared to the Jet. they reportedly usually have a bit rougher castings but function nicely for the most part (i.e. .

View Wildwood's profile


1850 posts in 1554 days

#2 posted 11-15-2013 09:49 PM

If have 220V service might take a look at this lathe. Onwers manual almost same as Jet’s 1642. Do not know anyone with this lathe nor read a good or bad review.

Not a big fan of Jet 1442 at current price.

Grizzly does not always have parts for their lathes.

-- Bill

View PaulDoug's profile


1074 posts in 1123 days

#3 posted 11-15-2013 09:59 PM

Note also the that Nova that Rum mentions from Acmetools, looks like it is free shipping also. Pretty good deal. Wouldn’t take much to build a stand for it.

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View ScrubPlane's profile


190 posts in 1615 days

#4 posted 11-15-2013 11:59 PM

Consider visiting Teknatool’s available ‘factory refurbished’ NOVA DVR lathes or the 1624 model:

The value is excellent. I purchased both my initial DVR and chuck this way and saved some money.

As for turning tools, you may want to consider going with something like the ‘Easy Woodworking Tool’, two or three tools can do almost everything.

Good Luck…

View justinwdemoss's profile


148 posts in 2314 days

#5 posted 11-16-2013 12:04 AM

I have the 1642 EVS 1 1/2 hp 110volt. I look my lathe. I thought about saving the money and going with the 1442 but felt the speed range and mechanical speed control were not ideal. The 1642 EVS is a great lathe at an intermediate price. Some will tell to get a big Oneway or Powermatic, and they are nicers, but at a steep increase in price. I have done dozens of bowls in the year and a half that I have had it and had no issues with power and feel that the 16” swing has allowed me to do anything that I want. Jet is supposed to do a 15% for black Friday. The local tool dealer here was telling me about it when I was looking at jointers this past week. If you want to go for it, I would shoot for Black Friday. You can probably have your local dealer either hold one for you are pre-order so that there is one for you to buy on the day of the sale.

-- Justin in Loveland, OH

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