Looking for a good lathe...

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodturning forum

Forum topic by Andrew Cho posted 12-10-2013 03:29 PM 1045 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Andrew Cho's profile

Andrew Cho

1 post in 1538 days

12-10-2013 03:29 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question lathe turning

I am looking for a good lathe that is less than or around $500. I was looking towards the Grizzly G0462 but people said it had too much vibration. I want to turn basic stuff like bowls and spoons. I wanted the Powermatic but that was way out of my range. Any suggestions on a lathe that is great and will not overflow my budget?

8 replies so far

View jordanp's profile


1086 posts in 1850 days

#1 posted 12-10-2013 03:36 PM

I haven’t done much turning but I did find a Craftsman (40”ish) Steel Pole Lathe with the motor still in the box with the manual for $100.. there are quite a few of the older craftsman (1940’s-1950’s) that seem to go for cheap on Craigslist..

I do not know which brands are considered GOOD/BAD/DECENT in the turning world but this thing seems to spin wood and when i put sharp tools to the spinning wood it makes shavings.

-- J. Palmer Woodworks - Rockwall TX -I woke up this morning thinking “man, I really hope someone posted some soul scarring sh*t on LJs today.” -- - Billy

View Wildwood's profile


2242 posts in 2044 days

#2 posted 12-10-2013 07:42 PM

Recommend this lathe if budget is tight and have a HF store near you.

You can read owner reviews as well as specs.

Yes geared more toward spindle turning than bowls. Yes, will have to reinforce the stand and add some weight. This entry lathe will help you get started.

With money saved can look at other tools & accessories going to need if do not have them. Talking about a way to sharpen tools and four jaw chuck. HF sells two spindle turning sets, not really much good for bowl turning red handle set more expensive than white handle.

If looking for inexpensive individual tools take a look here.

Advantage buying individual tools vice sets, will end up with tools you actually need and use. Starting out inexpensive tools let you learn to turn & sharpen without breaking the bank.

-- Bill

View Jimbo4's profile


1609 posts in 2672 days

#3 posted 12-10-2013 08:10 PM

I would not recommend the Craftsman “Steel Pole” thingee. Really noisy, plus the dead and live centers cannot be kept in proper alignment.

-- When I was a kid I wanted to be older . . . . . this CRAP is not what I expected !

View Loren's profile (online now)


9981 posts in 3557 days

#4 posted 12-10-2013 08:14 PM

If you’re going to turn unbalanced bowl forms like many
art turners do, you’ll want something heavy. An older
used machine is a good choice then. If you just want
to make serviceable and symmetrical bowls, many lathes
will do.

View Woodknack's profile


11147 posts in 2289 days

#5 posted 12-11-2013 05:35 AM

The Nova Comet II is within your budget. You won’t be turning anything bigger than a salad bowl but then you may not want to.


View jeff's profile


1063 posts in 3374 days

#6 posted 12-11-2013 07:09 AM

check craigslist…you probably want a lathe with substantial weight for turning bowls…You can turn small projects on a big lathe but not large projects on a small lathe…variable speed is nice to have and you want a low rpm to rough out your bowl blanks…one other thing-you need turning tools/chucks and a way to sharpen your tools…the price of these sometimes adds up to more then the price of a lathe…

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View ART LACKEY's profile


112 posts in 3288 days

#7 posted 12-13-2013 02:00 AM

I also say buy a god old heavy cast iron lathe. Craigs list or any site that sells used machines will most likely have something. I bought an old chraftsman lathe that was probably made by delta back in the fiftes and it is nice. But any of the “tubular” chraftsman JUNK should be avoided! If you buy JUNK you’ll soon lose interest.

-- Old turners don't die, they just turn to dust!

View Jerry's profile


2556 posts in 1557 days

#8 posted 12-13-2013 02:40 AM

You might consider an older Shopsmith. They can be bought for about $150 and make really good lathes.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics