12 x 36" Central Machinery Wood Lathe

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by musician posted 06-13-2009 06:01 AM 12806 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View musician's profile


38 posts in 3591 days

06-13-2009 06:01 AM

Topic tags/keywords: lathe

My grandson wants me to buy this lathe for him. It has a reversing head, 12” turning capacity, 3/4 HP motor that runs 600-2400 rpm spindle speed. Unit is brand new,, and includes chisels and wood tools. Unit has never been used, and is priced at $175.00. I know nothing about lathes. Would this be a good buy? I would appreciate any advice you might offer.

-- Joe,Texas,

11 replies so far

View musician's profile


38 posts in 3591 days

#1 posted 06-13-2009 02:14 PM

Thanks for your advice, Skarp, and I’m going to take it and pass this “good deal” up. I found this on craigs list, so I’ll just keep looking. I really appreciate your comment!

-- Joe,Texas,

View 747DRVR's profile


199 posts in 3593 days

#2 posted 06-18-2009 06:49 AM

Central Machinery is the Harbor Freight house brand.They make a few good products but the vast majority are junk.

View tomd's profile


2186 posts in 4006 days

#3 posted 06-18-2009 07:22 AM

Joe, when I first wanted to try turning I purchased that very same lathe and the tools too, that was about 10 years ago, I did not have the money for a PM3520B, I still have the lathe and still turn on it. If you click on my projects tab you will see what can be done with that terrible lathe.

-- Tom D

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18423 posts in 3912 days

#4 posted 06-18-2009 07:50 AM

Tom, What are you using for tools?

Anyone who knows, what about vintage Craftsman tools? What is their quality?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View herg1's profile


42 posts in 3949 days

#5 posted 06-18-2009 01:57 PM

Tom— Beautiful work.

-- Roger1

View SST's profile


790 posts in 4431 days

#6 posted 06-18-2009 03:27 PM

Well, it’s time for my 2 cents about Shopsmith, again. You might want to consider a used Shopsmith (probably on Craigslist, or even ebay if you’re in a metro area where many seem to show up). An older mark 5 can be had anywhere from $150 – 350 and they are a great variable speed lathe and, as a bonus, you get a great 12” disc sander, drill press, horizontal borer, and ok table saw that all fits in the same space. The mark 5 I use dates to 1957, so that tells you about durability. Older ones might need a “tune up”, but if they sound good & run through the speeds smoothly, all that means is lubing it.
I know I seem to sound a bit single minded about power tools at times, but…oh well…it works for me. -SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

View tomd's profile


2186 posts in 4006 days

#7 posted 06-18-2009 03:55 PM

Thanks Roger, Topamax, I am using the Harbor Freight HHS lathe set. The HHS is good but the handles are too short for my taste, so I rehandled them. The lathe we were talking about is known as the Jet clone, when I first purchased it I looked at the Jet too and the looked as if they both came out of the same factory except the Jet had an magnetic on and off switch and the HF had a simple double throw. I know HF makes a lot of junk, but now and then they produce a little gem, I consider this lathe to be on of those gems.

-- Tom D

View jhatcher's profile


8 posts in 3506 days

#8 posted 06-19-2009 02:29 AM

I purchased a central lathe and even though it does fine for short square stock, don’t try anything out of balance. It is just not meant for large items, and the framework just won’t take it. I was turning a piece and my chisel hit a knot and somehow jerked the chisel betwen the stock and the tool rest. The tool rest actually snapped off and got me in the gut. However, that was my fault, to much of a space between the stock and the rest and trying to turn something that I was not supposed to. I took the rest to a welder and he stated that it was “pig iron” and could not be fixed. So I figured instead of ordering a replacement rest, I’ll try and make some non turned furniture and sell them and earn a new (at least to me)lathe.
Mostly all of my large tools are bought with the money I make on my finished products, so I have learned that cheaper may not be better if it breaks.
Just my 2 cents…

View Cantputjamontoast's profile


416 posts in 3669 days

#9 posted 06-19-2009 02:42 AM

Kudos to you “Pops” for buying him a gift that he will remember you forever buying.

-- "Not skilled enough to wipe jam on toast!"

View musician's profile


38 posts in 3591 days

#10 posted 06-19-2009 12:40 PM

Thanks to all you Jocks for your comments. I decided to go with a JET1014 and the boy is estatic!

-- Joe,Texas,

View Ken22F's profile


23 posts in 3500 days

#11 posted 06-23-2009 08:22 AM

To All,
Stay away from HF Lathes the casting around the headstock clampdowns
are weak bend and can break sorry they do break, because the headstock pivots on a
bad design the headstock deflects when you monunt lumber between centers so then
what happens people tighten-up the headstock clampdown more and more untill it
bends cracks then breaks .

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