Ridgid WL1200LS model lathe review

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Forum topic by oscorner posted 01-06-2007 10:56 PM 22105 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4563 posts in 4305 days

01-06-2007 10:56 PM link will take you to a picture of my Ridgid lathe)

As requested by a fellow LumberJock, I am offering this review of my Ridgid 12 X 36 lathe. The twelve stands for the fact that the lathe can handle a 12” log or bowl over the bed or that there is six inches from center to the base and the 36 is the maximum length between centers that can be turned. Before I purchased this lathe the only lathe experience I had was to use a homemade treadle lathe which was foot and bungie cord powered(I wish I would have taken a picture of it). I must admit that the two main reasons I originally purchased this lathe were that it has a lifetime warranty and the price at the time was only, $125. This lathe is a tube type lathe and comes with its own stand. The instructions included are very complete and the lathe and bench are easily assembled. In the back of the owners manual is a very well illistrated how to,”basic lathe operations” manual. It has a 1/2 hp 110/120 volt motor, including a live center, drive center, 6” face plate, a small and large tool rest and did I mention a lifetime warranty! It has four speeds: 875,1350,2250 and 3450rpms. I use the 875 rpm speed for roughing in and 1350 rpms for sanding purposes. Caution must be used when setting the belt on the pulleys for the different speeds. I accidentally misread the scale when I first set it up and was spinning blanks at 3450 rpms when I was roughing them in. Well, let me tell you, I was covered from head to waist with shavings the first time I engaged my roughing gouge to the wood. I always wear a full faced sheild when turning!! I had one or two unbalanced pieces fly off the lathe before I realized my mistake. I can’t tell you the difference of turning on a pole lathe at about 300-500 rpms compared to 3450 rpms. Of course, please remember that I though I was turning at, 875 rpms. My first thoughts were…Good grief, this is 875 rpms!...I can’t believe that I have read of people turning at 1000 and 3000 rpms.

Warranty: I’ve only needed to use this feature once. One of the levers used to tighten one of the adjustments broke(after about 3 years of use) when I tighten it. I called the 1-800 number and without any questions I had a brand new lever heading my way. I got it in about 5 working days. This didn’t affect my use of the lathe because the socket end of the lever was still usable.

This lathe has performed flawlessly and has done everything I needed it to do. I cannot compare it to another lathe as far as operation since I haven’t turned with another lathe other than my homemade versions. But I did look at the Harbor Frieght brand and opted not to purchase it because I felt that its quality wasn’t satisfactory. The tool rest to bench assembly was very sloppy.

I hope that this review was informative and if I can answer any questions, feel free to ask.

-- Jesus is Lord!

2 replies so far

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4241 days

#1 posted 01-07-2007 09:53 PM

As long as you’re happy with it thats all that matters. I did own a harbor frieght lathe and you made the right choice. The thing literally fell apart. All the tail centers, tool rests, bango everything made out of pot metal and broke all to pieces in 6 months. Then I got a pretty good deal on e-bay, for 50 dollars. It worked good, but was a tad off center. I finally found one made around 1920-30, from a friend up north that belonged to his grandfather. I bought a new motor for it and it run like a gem. All cast iron weighed a ton. I used that until about 6 months ago I found a posting for a Delta 1462 that was 2yrs old for 1,000 dollars. Best money I ever spent, a womans husband died and she was selling his shop, she gave sanders, delta sharpeners, and a hugh assortment of Sorby chisels for the lathe. Plus glues and sandpapers of quite an assortment. I even told her this stuff was worth much more than she was asking and she said thats ok, I just want it out of here, oh yea, I got a pretty new dremel scrowl saw for 70 bucks. It was the best deal of my life. Needless to say the lathe is like new and spins from 0-3500 with just a twist of a knob, and reverse. I’ve been in lathe heaven since, so I know how you feel. your bud, mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4305 days

#2 posted 04-19-2007 06:47 AM

That Delta 1462 sounds like a sweet machine. Personally I haven’t found a need to turn at speeds over 1000 rpms, but I know that pros like you can turn at higher speeds. Hope your Thorsen Table is coming out the way you invisioned it.

-- Jesus is Lord!

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