To lathe or not to lathe, that is the question

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Forum topic by Mrwombat posted 04-06-2015 05:53 PM 1047 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7 posts in 570 days

04-06-2015 05:53 PM

Hello all! Newbie here to lumberjocks.
I’m moving to Germany for 3 years. I would like to have a wood lathe while I am there. My question is should I buy one here and have it shipped with me(I’m in the military so there is no cost to have it shipped with me).

Or buy a lathe in Germany.

Obviously wiring will be an issue either way. As i will return to the states.

I’ll be near the town of Kyllburg if that helps

14 replies so far

View TheFridge's profile


5682 posts in 909 days

#1 posted 04-06-2015 05:59 PM

I would say maybe research German lathes and go from there? May be cheaper to find one here and ship because of exchange rates? Just pure speculation

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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5839 posts in 3008 days

#2 posted 04-06-2015 06:46 PM

Just join the Volkshochschule peoples high school which usually gives evening classes a wood lathe is a drechselbank and a machine lathe metal is a drehbank.I lived in Deutshland for five years.I worked privately in a large dental clinic.My wife Bronwen was a teacher there and gave English lessons at the vockshochschule too.The people are really nice you’ll have a great time.Don’t stick with all the people at the base get to know the Germans you won’t be sorry.I got on great and made many friends there.that I still have to this day almost 35 years ago.

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Wildwood's profile


1854 posts in 1557 days

#3 posted 04-06-2015 07:36 PM

Hard to answer your question for very important reasons know nothing about Germany. Don’t know what you want to turn on a wood lathe.

Lathes come in mini, midi, and full size depending upon what you want to turn will determine what size will fit your needs. Also your HHG’s weight limit another factor.

Don’t know if will be living in base housing or out in town. So cannot address wiring.

Don’t know if base will have a wood hobby shop with a lathe already set up.

If have a sponsor he/she might be able to address issues like base housing & base wiring, & waiting list. Also info on wood hobby shop set up. Nice to know info whether living on or off base.

Guess most of the mini & midi & full size lathes sold here have a European cousin wired of the area just not sure of the names available or cost.

Think you need to check before you buy anything!

-- Bill

View Adam's profile


36 posts in 1651 days

#4 posted 04-06-2015 07:44 PM

Base wiring in germany is German in my experience, so 220/240V. The PX had transformers easily available for those items that weren’t either dual voltage or bought locally.

If you intend to continue turning once you get back to the states, I would suggest buying and shipping, since it’s free. Then you won’t have to worry about offloading a german one before coming back here. It will be easier to find a way to make an American lathe work in Germany than vice-versa.

German socket info:

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7 posts in 570 days

#5 posted 04-06-2015 09:23 PM

Thanks for all the great answers. I will be living off base. I mostly turn small items pens etc. But would like a lathe larger than a mini in case I find a cool project that requires a larger size. As of now I use the lathe at my shop. It is a 2hp grizzly. Well get the exact specs later.

I want the convenience of having a lathe at home
I did see these on craigslist

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7 posts in 570 days

#6 posted 04-06-2015 09:24 PM

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254 posts in 854 days

#7 posted 04-07-2015 05:10 PM

Germany is 50 hertz and the US is 60 hertz.

-- Working smarter with less tools is a true crafts person...

View bigblockyeti's profile


3581 posts in 1143 days

#8 posted 04-07-2015 05:26 PM

Buy it brand new here and sell it before you come back. If you were to get something that was both desirable and not available over there you might even stand to make a little money on the deal.

View Mrwombat's profile


7 posts in 570 days

#9 posted 04-13-2015 10:27 PM

I found this lathe, seems like a good deal

View RandyinFlorida's profile


172 posts in 1490 days

#10 posted 04-14-2015 02:41 PM

First off Thank You for your service.

I don’t know if the frequency (50 vs 60 cycle) would make much difference. Something to research. Enjoy your tour. Randall Mcconnell, MSGt, Retired, USAF

-- Randy in Crestview Florida, Wood Rocks!

View Wildwood's profile


1854 posts in 1557 days

#11 posted 04-14-2015 03:30 PM

Go for it, and don’t be afraid to haggle on price!

-- Bill

View Mrwombat's profile


7 posts in 570 days

#12 posted 04-22-2015 03:02 PM

I bought the jet mini. 1014vsi. At first I wanted a larger lathe, but I really feel in love with this one. $350 used and it’s in really good shape. Also have a Nova Infinity on the way. Thanks for all the suggestions, I really appreciate it.

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1720 posts in 1392 days

#13 posted 04-22-2015 04:49 PM

Vicmarc!!!!!!!! Get one of those bad boys. I see them all the time on European youtube videos, they are sweet lathes

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View Mrwombat's profile


7 posts in 570 days

#14 posted 04-22-2015 05:07 PM

I’ll keep an eye out for it. Would be nice to get some tools in Germany that would be hard to find here in the states. Although I’m not sure how maintenance would be if I needed parts

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