Delta 46-455 lathe

Amazon has this lathe at a net of $399 with free shipping -- about $200 less than I've found elsewhere. They say "usually ships within 1-2 months." That's right -- months, not days. Two questions: Anybody have any experience with this lathe in comparison to Jet or Rikon mini? I've had pretty good luck with Amazon deals, but I'm leery of the shipping disclaimer. Thoughts?
The only turning I've ever done is steaks on the grill, but I've always wanted to try.
TIA
Larry
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On 2/23/2012 8:25 PM, Gramp's shop wrote:

No knowledge of the lathe itself; I'll caution on the shipping, though.
I had a order for planer knives that never was fulfilled after about 18 months of continually checking that "yes, I _do_ still want these".
I think it was a loss-leader ad that they never had any intention of fulfilling but thru Amazon was no way to force the issue that I could see.
So, take a chance if they don't charge your card until shipped and see what happens. Just don't be too disappointed if you're still waiting a year from now...
$0.02, etc., etc., etc., ...
--
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I have used the Delta, and it is pretty nice lathe. But for a long time, they had problems with the castings, and fracture/breaking problems. All the boys in the turning club took their back and went to Jet. When I was teaching woodturning to a couple that were going to strike it rich making pens, they bought a Delta (which was more than the Jet at the time!) because Woodcraft didn't have the Jets in stock. After a crack appeared in the ways on the Jet, Woodcraft exchanged it and made up the difference.
When I was going to the turning festivals, there was a lot of buzz about how the Delta lathes didn't hold up over time, and the support was terrible.
I have two Jet midis. One is in pretty good shape, and the other looks like I drug it around behind the truck. It has been used hard and long, and when I had the bug in a big way, I would turn on that one for **hours** a day for fun. I chucked stuff up that made the whole stand jump, and simply clamped the lathe to the stand to keep it from coming off. The lathe has been indestructible, reliable, and has remained very accurate. Customer support (bearings and a drive belt) was outstanding, and when I told them I was embarrassed to haul this thing around with as much finish, glue, scratching and all the other battle damage it has accumulated over the last 13 - 14 year of its life, they told me to let them know and they would send me new stickers!
I used the other lathe when I used to demo as it looked more professional to keep it really clean.
If I were to start again and was unsure if I was going to like turning, I would probably buy something like the HF lathe that was brought up here a couple of weeks ago. Then if I upgraded, I could use that lathe as a rouging station,or with the polishing wheel system, use it as a buffing station.
Then I would buy the lathe I wanted after I was sure I was doing something I would like. As mentioned here, and every woodturning venue, this isn't a cheap hobby. After you find what you like and get it, it is really inexpensive if you like to turn your own designs and have your own wood. But buying all the ancillary tools to use with the lathe is where all the real dollars come in.
I would tell you the same thing I have always preached to someone interested in turning. Find someone that likes to turn, and see if you can spend some time with them to see what they have, how much it costs, and see what you don't and do like about it.
Second, the best way, is to join a club or group. Never met a group of amateur and even most professional turners that didn't really love to teach and share the craft. Especially when the bug first bites the craft can be a real joy, and they are anxious to share it.
Let us know what you decide - there are a few turners left here on the rec.
Robert
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Thanks, Robert, I really appreciate your thoughtful response. I think I am close to a deal on a CL Rikon with a full set of tools -- about 20 gouges, scrapers, face plate, etc. and a box or two of turning blocks. Details to come when it is all in hand.
On 2/24/2012 4:01 AM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

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The only difference I *might have to Robert's advice is the order of his suggestions. Join a club, then find someone, in the club, to personnally advise & help you.
I recently inherited a lathe and have enjoyed limited turning, for the few pieces I've been practicing on. I have spoken with members of the local club, but haven't, yet, joined. I have also joined the "Woodturning Online" forum, to get some info, general understanding, the "feel" for the art, etc. I have already been criticized for some of my thoughts and practice techniques.... after trying to learn on my own (reading an old book that came with the lathe), then showing pics of my practice work: simple spindles, bead and cove techniques mainly. I don't even know the tools properly, yet. The criticism was helpful. Good constructive criticism, that way, is welcome, so I would recommend you don't take criticism personnally, when you do get help. I had initially questioned someone's advice and he was quick to point out it dealt more with a safety factor, than the actual turning. You can't beat that kind of help.
Sonny
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On 2/24/2012 12:37 PM, Sonny wrote:

one old dog who likes to learn a new trick now and again.
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On Fri, 24 Feb 2012 16:48:17 -0600, Gramp's shop wrote:

Chuckle. I've been married for 42 (2nd time) so know what you mean. But I'm more critical of my WW and turning than she is. Her complaints are more about my driving :-).
Since I've been driving for about 60 years and have only been involved in 3 non-injury accidents, none of which was my fault, I consider her criticisms unjustified :-).
But if I want to get rid of a turning I consider crappy, I have to do it before she sees it - she always wants to keep them.
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

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wrote:

Well, it's true.
Why, just the other day I learned what scruffing "wood" was about from Mr. Marlow.
I would have >never< known anything about that practice had Mike not advised doing that. There are times I am exposed to things here that I didn't even know existed, and I am glad to tuck those things away as new knowledege.
I won't be scruffing my wood or let anyone scruff it for me, but I am certainly open minded enough to respect the preferences of others to do as they please.
:^)
*cough* *cough*
Robert
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