HarborFreight Lathe

Has anyone had any experience with this lathe and chisel set from Harbor Freight????
36066-1VGA 14'' x 40'' Lathe WITH 6'' Sander for $99.99
47066-1VGA Windsor Design 8 PC. High Speed Steel Wood Lathe Chisel Set for $29.99
Thanks Ray
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Ray, Have not used that particular model, but it looks almost the same as the first lathe I ever purchased. It was ok for a beginner, just to see if woodturning would interest you... but the lack of a morse taper on the tailstock (and the headstock off memory) was very limiting if you wanted to use aftermarket attachments. 1/2HP did bog down a little too when trying to turn a bowl. No swivelling head either, which can be a pain in the rear if you plan on doing a bit of bowl turning.
I'd probably spend a bit extra and go up to the basic Jet model or comparables which is ok for beginners-intermediate if price is a concern.
-- Regards,
Dean Bielanowski Editor, Online Tool Reviews http://www.onlinetoolreviews.com Over 50 woodworking product reviews online! ------------------------------------------------------------ Latest 6 Reviews: - Infinity "Dadonator" Stacked Dado Set - GMC LS950SPJ Scrolling Jigsaw - Triton Powered Respirator - Veritas Power Tool Guide - Ryobi 6" Grinder/Stand Combo - Band Saw Handbook ------------------------------------------------------------
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My first set of turning tools were from Harbor Freight. I've upgraded a couple of time since then but I've still got them, still use them for the initial turning. They were outstanding, not to mention inexpensive, tools to learn the ins and outs of sharpening turning tools on.
--
Mike G.
snipped-for-privacy@heirloom-woods.net
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Ray wrote:

The $30 set of HF tools is a bargain. They're fair quality and will teach you to sharpen properly. You'll upgrade them as time goes by but they'll give you an idea of what you use and what you don't. The ones you don't can be reground into other shapes as you wish.
The lathe is a good starter lathe, it doesn't go quite low enough on the speeds, but for $100 what do you want. AS for the lack of head rotation, 14" is a big bowl for a beginner, even if it turns out to be 13" after you're finished. The lighter motor will force you to make your cuts properly rather than horse the tools around. The headstock is MT1 or 2, I don't remember, but the threads aren't standard. Accessories can be bought from HF, but they'll have to be shipped from out of country, order them immediately so when you get done figuring out how to do spindles your stuff for bowls will have arrived. Get LOTS of faceplates, and a couple of toolrests.
If you ask over at rec.crafts.woodturning you'll get mixed reviews because a lot of people will recommend spending as much as you can the first time out rather than buying something cheap to see if you like turning and then spending the money later. For $100, the difference is taxes on the expensive lathes, well almost. At that point it doesn't hurt to spend the extra $100.
Just my 2 cents, Dave in Fairfax
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daveldr at att dot net
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wrote:

I can't comment on this lathe.

these chisels work fine and are a great value. consider these to be the dividing line where decent turning chisels start. anything lesser would be more trouble than it's worth.

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Ray wrote:

I started out on that lathe with that tool set. The are elCheapo, but not bad for determining if turning is something you really want to do.
The base of the lathe needs to be stiffened. I cut a piece of 3/4" plywood and slid it into the sheet metal base along the entire length of the lathe bed. The stiffening definately helped. I am going to lose the sheet metal base and mount the lathe on a timber later this summer.
Outside of the flimsy base, the only real complaint about the lathe is that the slowest speed is a bit high. It is a good lathe to learn on and you will be able to sell it easily if you decide thgat turning is more than a passing curiosity.
The main advantage of the tool set is that you can practice sharpening the tools without worry about screwing up expensive tools. Once you get the hang of properly sharpening the tools, you will certainly want to upgrade to better tools. By the time you are ready to upgrade the tools, you ought to have a much better idea about what to look for.
Tim
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No BoomBoom for me! - snipped-for-privacy@BoomBoomVerizon.net


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Hi Ray,
I have Harbor Freight's 12'' x 33-3/8'' WOOD LATHE WITH REVERSIBLE HEA ITEM 34706-5VGA, and have used it for several years. I mostly tur smaller items like pens and bottlestoppers, but I have made a numbe of wooden mallets, tool handles and spindles for stairs/furniture.
Here's a link to the item on their website:
http://tinyurl.com/64okx
I'm very satisified with this lathe. When I bought it, the casting were apparently identical to those used by Jet, although the level o finish (cleaner castings) was actually better on the Harbor Freigh unit. Assembly was very easy, as I just had to bolt together the stan and screw on some knobs. I don't know if the motor is in the same clas with its more expensive cousins, but mine has held up and I've had number of days where I've spent a solid 6 hours in front of the lathe.
It is virtually vibration free - I can balance a nickle on edge on it' rails while it is running. This unit has 10 different speeds, which thought was a useful feature.
Since I saved significant $$$ going with a less expensive lathe, I wa able to buy higher quality turning tools (Sorby). I'm by no means a expert wood turner, but it seems to me that as long as a lathe ca safely hold the item to be turned in place, and spin it at the righ speed without vibration, a lathe is a lathe is a lathe. The critica components are the skill of the turner, and the quality of the turnin tools (mostly their ability to hold an edge).
You'll also need other accessories for your lathe like various caliber and a Jacob's chuck - I bought these items from HF and have again bee satisfied. When I was shopping for the Jacob's chuck, my loca Woodcraft had one for about $30, but the one I bought at HF was onl about $10.
I haven't turned any bowls on it yet, but the headstock swivels t accomodate outboard turning
-- makesawdust
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I have no idea ;-) but I'm kinda in a similar situation. All I can suggest is decrease your risk even more by using one of the $10 off $100 purchase!! I get those via email about once a week.
Let us/me know.. sounds like an inexpensive education :-)
wrote:

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the 36066 is $80 currently
On Mon, 29 Nov 2004 15:11:02 -0700, nospam snipped-for-privacy@mesanetworks.net wrote:

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