HF lathe, comments, experience

I have an ancient cast iron lathe, 24" x 6" capacity and a fixed spur center. With the proper pulley on the motor, I can get about any speed I want. I also have a mid-70's Saber-Lathe. As a lathe it has a 18" x 5" capacity and a 4" faceplate. The lowest speed is around 3k rpm. I'm no lathe expert but I've been able to restore several things with these machines. I'm considering this one as a minor upgrade:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber8515
Anyone have one? Seen one? Recommendations, caveats? I know some have issues with offshore tools but the ones I have are doing fine.
Ed
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On the "get what you pay for" scale, it would be hard to say that it's not a good deal.. A jet mini with a 10" swing is about 3 times the price, though much better quality..
OTOH, I think that a 14" capacity lathe with a (claimed) 1/2 HP motor is seriously under powered..
My brother had the older, single tube HF lathe and used it for years, but I've never seen one of these... I'd say buy one, bolt it to a bench and try it.. If it really sucks, take it back..
mac
Please remove splinters before emailing
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Tempting...
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Ed Edelenbos wrote:

Ed, been there, done that - don't.
The more expensive Jet 1236 knock off is a much better deal if you want a larger size. The Rikon mini is the current favorite of my Woodturners club (Alabama Woodturners). I bought one of the HF Jet knockoffs and turned a lot of stuff with it. I finally broke down and bought a Jet 1442, but that was about four years ago and they are now almost twice the price. So for the price and considerating what you are upgrading from - the HF 1236
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber4706
is your best bet. But you will want to weight the stand with sand bags or bags of quickcreet. Otherwise it will walk on you. Your best bet is to build a stand out of scrap iron (railroad if you can get it) and get the weight up to at least 250 pounds - the more the better.
Deb
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Well, since I started thinking about upgrading, a Craftsman (12 x 38) has come up on the local craigslist. As long as it is in good shape (and the model I think it is), I'm going to grab it today. I know... it won't be a JET but it *will* be a major upgrade from what I have and the price is right. I appreciate all the comments I've gotten.
Ed
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