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Forum topic by Charlie75 posted 02-26-2015 06:57 PM 1150 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Charlie75's profile


312 posts in 2261 days

02-26-2015 06:57 PM

Folks, I am thinking about getting a wood lathe. I guess you could say I am seriously thinking about getting one. As usual the first place I try to look is Craig’s list. Here are the links to the ones presently listed. These are examples of what are usually listed in my area.

So, I don’t think I would be interested in any of these unless one of you guys can see something I am missing. There are one or two that include some chisels that may be worth the asking price but not sure.

There is one I did not include and is was photographed out doors where it looks like it had been in the weather for some time. I was totally rusted in many places.

Frankly, I think I could be more interested in one of Harbor Freight’s lathes.

Any ides?


-- Charlie75, Alto

11 replies so far

View Nubsnstubs's profile


1286 posts in 1727 days

#1 posted 02-26-2015 07:06 PM

Send this over to the wood turning forum where these guys have some experience with lathes…....... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View DrDirt's profile


4424 posts in 3739 days

#2 posted 02-26-2015 07:06 PM

What do you want to turn.

If you are looking to do pens and small diameter things… most lathes will handle that fine as long as there is a Morse Taper on the drive end, because the mandrels you turn pens on usually have a morse taper to attach with.

If you are wanting to do bowls or at least things LARGER than 12 inch diameter, then you need more beef.

I would definitely hunt for one that has variable speed.

I just have a Delta Midi lathe, where you have to change belts around, and that can be annoying..

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View DW833's profile


215 posts in 1879 days

#3 posted 02-26-2015 07:08 PM

I started turning recently also. Had similar lathes on Craigslist where I live.
Not impressed with any of them. Either the quality or price. Ended up with the HF lathe.
Glad that I got it. Great lathe for the price. Check my blog entries for my initial experience with
the lathe.

View MrUnix's profile


6706 posts in 2196 days

#4 posted 02-26-2015 07:24 PM

I wanted a lathe, but was not willing to spend the kind of money they are asking for new POS ones these days.. For the life of me, I can’t understand how one of the simplest machines in the world can demand such prices. Even on Cl, E-bay, etc… many sellers think these things are made of gold or something. Anyway, I checked CL every other day for almost 2 years before I finally found the deal I was looking for. Patience pays when looking for a good used tool. My only suggestion is to avoid the tube types and look for one that has a cast iron bed with ground ways. Don’t just check CL for a few days, give up and buy new – unless you absolutely have to ‘have it now’ and don’t mind throwing away your money.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Charlie75's profile


312 posts in 2261 days

#5 posted 02-26-2015 07:41 PM

Thanks Brad. Yours I think is probably the best suggestion. There was on ad that I didn’t include because it was all turning tools. I might go back and look at those again. As I am just starting out I don’t know much about turning tools.


-- Charlie75, Alto

View Newbiewoodworker43's profile


150 posts in 2439 days

#6 posted 02-26-2015 07:52 PM

Hey Charlie, Long time…

You might want to try placing a Want To Buy (WTB) ad on OWWM’s BOYD forum. Explain you are starting out turning and are looking for an entry level wood lathe. I would not be surprised if one of the members hook you up with a good quality lateh for a reasonable price.

Good Hunting Howard

-- ---Howard, Amesbury MA

View bruc101's profile


1200 posts in 3539 days

#7 posted 02-26-2015 10:33 PM

The link to the very last lathe, I’ve got one in my small shop where I build tables just like it. I paid $90 for it at HF about 1998 and the only thing I’ve done to it is one new belt and one new switch. I’ve turned 100’s of table legs and island legs with it and it’s till going strong. Every leg on my project page, which are tables only, were turned on that lathe.

I bought our 14 year old daughter the bigger lathe from HF and she loves it. Much better than my lathe, She built a cabinet to mount the lathe on and made here a sliding miter saw stand out of the base with rollers so she could roll it around.

If you got the money I wouldn’t hesitate to buy the bigger HF lathe. I may get me one after seeing how well her lathe turns.

-- Bruce Free Plans

View Charlie75's profile


312 posts in 2261 days

#8 posted 02-27-2015 12:11 AM

Thanks Howard. I hadn’t thought of that. I’ll give it a try. How you doing now days? Ever get that band saw up and running?

-- Charlie75, Alto

View Newbiewoodworker43's profile


150 posts in 2439 days

#9 posted 02-27-2015 12:44 PM

Hey Charlie, Doing very well thanks. Yeah I got the band saw going quite some time ago. I never did a full restoration. I just changed the tires, cleaned it up and made a fence/table for it. It runs great.

I recently acquired a CI base that I am restoring. I was going to put my band saw on it but scored a 1940’s 14” Delta band saw that is more time period correct for it. So I am going to sell off my first band saw when I get around to it.

I also am working on fully restoring a 1940 Unisaw. It is totally apart right now and waiting for paint. Unfortunately it is too cold up here in northern MA to paint so I am on hold.

-- ---Howard, Amesbury MA

View OSU55's profile


1667 posts in 1986 days

#10 posted 02-27-2015 01:16 PM

Depends on whether you want to turn above ~12”. I have the HF 34706 lathe (review, and I only have complaint – it doesn’t go slow enough to do anything bigger than ~12”. I’ve looked at changing to a variable speed drive, but fitting the motor into the existing space envelope and retaining the headstock rotation for outboard turning is proving impossible. For under $200, this lathe is pretty hard to beat.

View Charlie75's profile


312 posts in 2261 days

#11 posted 02-27-2015 07:27 PM

Thanks OSU55. See my posting “HF lathe comparison”.

-- Charlie75, Alto

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