Jet Mini Lathe ?

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I was thinking about trying my hand at turning. Mostly small things like pens, bowls, etc... I was looking at the Jet 708351B JML-1014, which if I want to do some longer items I could get the bed extention also.
Does anyon here have one or used one and what is your opinion of it.
Thanks Chris         
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Chris,
I had one of the first ones when they came out with that model. It is an awesome lathe for the money. I worked it to its full potential and never had any problems.
cm
www.vintagetrailersforsale.com

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cm wrote:

Chris
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You might want to also ask this question on rec.crafts.woodturning. You'll find a lot more turning-specific experience there. Consensus though is that the Jet is the best deal on the market in a lathe of that size. Personally I've got a Delta midi--it does everything I ask of it and the Jet is supposed to be better, so I'd say go for it.

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wrote:

I have a Jet Mini. It's around six or seven years old, so not the variable speed, and not the one that an extension will fit onto. I tell you all of that just for perspective.
In my opinion you cannot go wrong buying a Jet Mini. I have many acquaintances that hang on to their Mini even after they've moved up to lathes costing many thousands of dollars. I have a Delta 12" lathe, now, and I have no plans nor desire to sell the Jet.
By the way, one of the nice things about the Jet is it has big toy fittings--that is the spindle thread is 1"-8 (some of the bigger big lathes have a 1"-8, however), and the taper in the spindle and tailstock is #2 MT. Consequently, all of your accessories such as face plates, chucks, and various centers (drive and tail, live and dead) will likely fit on your new lathe that you eventually will get to supplement the Jet. It should go without saying that the tools will, too.
If you ask this same question over on rec.crafts.woodturning, you can get the opinions of quite a few very accomplished turners, and I'll wager their sentiment will be much like what I've given you.
Good luck.
--
LRod

Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
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Wed, Nov 15, 2006, 6:01pm snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (ChrisGW) doth sayeth: I was thinking about trying my hand at turning. Mostly small things like pens, bowls, etc.. <snip>
Yep, I thought that too when I got a mini-lathe, many years ago. And 5 min after I got it I wished I'd gotten a big lathe instead. You can make small stuff on a big lathe, but you can't make big stuff on a small lathe.
JOAT Democratic justice. One man, one rock.
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On Wed, 15 Nov 2006 20:49:18 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:

True, and it reflects my experience- but as I told the guy who is thinking about buying my midi-lathe, you don't know if you're going to really get into it, or just putz around every once in a while. If you just putz, you're only out a couple hundred bucks with a midi/mini- but if you go all out, and decide you don't care for turning, you'll have a giant paperweight that cost a couple of grand.
Though most of the folks on this and the RCW group are really into turning once they get started, there are plenty of others who buy big, nice tools, and then let 'em rust in the garage under a pile of boxes.
If you get a Jet or Delta, they retain most of their resale value, so you can always sell the little one if you upgrade.
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Thu, Nov 16, 2006, 5:36am (EST-1) snipped-for-privacy@NOSPAMcharter.net (Prometheus) doth sayeth: <snip> If you just putz, you're only out a couple hundred bucks <snip>there are plenty of others who buy big, nice tools, and then let 'em rust in the garage under a pile of boxes. If you get a Jet or Delta, they retain most of their resale value, so you can always sell the little one if you upgrade.
I'm the type that'd rather putz with a big machine. I've got a Atlas metal lathe,, about 29" between centers, that I bought new many years back for $600, with accessories. Never had a place to set it up, but should have soon. So, it's been setting, but stil with the cosmoline or whatever on it, so it's still in the same condition as when I got it. If I were to sell it, I could make a nice profit. But, I never will, I scrimped a long time to get it, because I knew if I didn't gt it, I'd never be able to afford one later.. I hope to have it going soon. I'd had some lathe experience in high school. Then I got a mini metal lathe - and got rid of the mini metal lathe. Then started saving for this lathe. Sometime just owning something is good too.
JOAT Democratic justice. One man, one rock.
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On Thu, 16 Nov 2006 11:23:30 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:

Maybe so, JOAT-
I'm the type that will stay up for 24 hours straight after a big tool purchase to unpack, set up, and use my new toy- so I haven't really tried just owning something that stays in the package.
Though I'd agree- putzing with a big machine is funner. But you've got to know yor budget and level of interest before dropping all your savings on a single tool.
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Fri, Nov 17, 2006, 5:24am (EST-1) snipped-for-privacy@NOSPAMcharter.net (Prometheus) doth sayeth: Maybe so, JOAT- I'm the type that will stay up for 24 hours straight after a big tool purchase to unpack, set up, and use my new toy- so I haven't really tried just owning something that stays in the package. Though I'd agree- putzing with a big machine is funner. But you've got to know yor budget and level of interest before dropping all your savings on a single tool.
It was a time of chaos, a different lifetime, a different world.
Normally I'd agree with you. But the money was available, the lathe became possible, I could get it, and not be able to set it up; or I could pass. It wasn't saving, it didn't come out of the budget, It was disposable income that became available, and I'd lusted after a lathe for a long, long, time. I took the bird in the hand approach - which was good, because shortly after, the price on that model lathe pretty much doubled - I'd never have been able to get one.
It's been awhile, but I'm not in a position where I can get it set up and finally use it. Feels good. The way t hings were, even if I'd got it set up long ago, I'd still not have been able to use it until now. Basically life is good.
JOAT Democratic justice. One man, one rock.
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On Sat, 18 Nov 2006 14:48:36 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote:

Well, I can understand that- If I were to suddenly come into just enough money to get myself a good mill or engine lathe, and didn't have room for it or enough money for the inserts, cutters, or 3-phase power, I guess I'd get it and store it, too. You're in kind of a special case there- I was talking more about a guy who gets something like a contractor's saw, has the room for it, and just lets it sit unopened for 10 years. Never been able to wrap my head around that, but I've seen it a number of times.

Good deal- have fun!
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Sat, Nov 18, 2006, 11:22pm (EST-1) snipped-for-privacy@NOSPAMcharter.net (Prometheus) doth sayeth: <snip> I was talking more about a guy who gets something like acontractor's saw, has the room for it, and just lets it sit unopened for 10 years. Never been able to wrap my head around that, but I've seen it a number of times. <snip>
I've heard of people doing that, but never ran across it myself. I couldn't do it, I'd have to set it up and use it, ASAP.
JOAT Democratic justice. One man, one rock.
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when starting out it is best to start is a good learner lathe.
The jet mini fits into this category.
You will spend many times the cost of the jet on various tools. My wife got me a really cheap griz lathe. I used it as a learner lathe for a year and a half before upgrading afterwhich I sold the griz. Most don't sell their jet mini's and all the secondary tools are still usable with my bigger lathe.
ChrisGW wrote:

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How deep are your pockets? The real devil is in the details - like the devices you'll want to get the things you want out of the lathe. Without knowing precisely what the price will be, it's tough to believe that you'll do better than http://www.teknatool.com/products/Lathes/1624/Nova%20_1624.htm which is supposed to run a grand. Since 16" is bigger than most toilet bowls, you can fit more crap in a bowl turned on one of these. It'll do everything the ~$300 mini will do, has a small footprint for tight quarters, and you'd be above the marketable salad bowl sizes before you outgrew it. Not a bit of "good enough for the price point" engineering, like the other Chiwan clones. They can be a crapshoot.
JET mini is a good one. Problem is, the motor's always sucking wood. Not that any of the others in its class are designed differently.
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George wrote:

On the other end of the price range is the Rikon mini. It requires belt changing to change speeds, but it'll do a 12" bowl compared to a 10" for the Jet and is a little lower priced. But the electronic variable speed Jet is better for turning pens, at least that's what the pen turners tell me.
-- It's turtles, all the way down
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I've got Powermatic 3520B and Jet 1014 mini.
Mini plugs into any electirical outlet. The B is 220v which can be an issue. Can even go with you if you're visiting another turner or on vacation. As mentioned accessories are interchangeable for the most part. AND you can get by with mini tools instead of those big$$ other tools. Easier to make your own tools - see sites like Darrell Feltmate's. Isn't nearly as intimidating for beginning turners you might share with, like your wife.
I didn't go with the variable because I felt I'd be losing horsepower at low speeds and could save money. Low speed power very important when you're turning at its max. Otherwise VS is a helluva lot easier to work with. Keep your tools very sharp since you can't hog out material as on a big guy. It'll slip the belt or just stall.
It can handle its max size BUT be sure to buy a longer toolrest. When roughing max size like for bowls the toolrest and tailstock conflict for ways space. I bought mine at the AAW Louisville but I think Harbor Freight has a reasonably priced set actually. I could care less about the extension for my work.
Enjoy. Regardless of brand or size the whole deal is a kick. Practice on some tops for the kids - they love 'em. Do some Harry Potter wands. Do some etc.etc.etc. just for the fun of it. Find some dogwood for finials (close grained).
TomNie

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ChrisGW wrote:

For most woodworking power tools I go with Buy Once, Cry Once - get the best you can afford and then some. But when it came to moving up from the little UniMat lathe I got when I was making jewelry I got the JET mini/midi - but with the variable speed. (Should've gone with VS when I got my drill press) and spent the savings on some turning tools - full sized ones - AND a decent chuck - a SuperNova2 - with extra jaw sets.
Have done everything from hair sticks and magic wands, a ton of pegs and pulls, small to medium sized weed pots, a bunch of tops, "turned lidded boxes", almost 10" diameter by 2-5" tall plates and bowls, a trembleur or two, all kinds of finials and a bunch of weird stuff. (if you want to wade through pics of some of them then go here)
http://home.comcast.net/~charliebcz/Turning/Turning1.html (have pics of a lot more stuff I've turned but have hit the space limit for my web site)
To date I seldom bog this puppy down and the only bitch I've got is that the banjo (the part that clamps on the lathe beg and holds the tool rest) gets in the way when turning at max diameter or reduces you max diameter capabilities if you want to move it to either end of the piece you're turning.
I can't stress enough how important the variable speed is, When roughing to round, being able to take the speed up to the point things start to wobble and bounce, then backing it off slowly 'til it stops is so much more convenient than playing trial and error with belts and pulleys. I can turn at the best speed for the cut and my comfort level and change speeds at the turn of a knob.
The JET VS mini/midi is a great first, and perhaps, last lathe.
Now realize that the lathe is just part of the cost of turning stuff - add a set of gouges and chisels - $100 - $1000, a chuck and several jaw sets - $200-$300, drive centers and tail centers - $100-$200, a few special tool rests - $50-$100 AND don't forget some way to keep your tools SHARP!- add another $250- $400. Then there's the space requirements for a lathe - and a bench/base for it. And as chisels and gouges proliferate you';; need a place to put them, . . .
http://home.comcast.net/~charliebcz/CBlatheBench/CBlatheBench9.html
(BTW - don't put the lathe up agains the wall. There are times when you need to work from the "back")
The lathe price is just the tip of the iceburg - or rather the top of a very slippery slope.
charlie b
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Can't tell you how _unimportant_ it is to speed up the lathe. Can be important to get it slow enough to keep it from dancing, but since you can cut at any speed, and cut at various when working the center of a faceplate piece versus the edge, it's far down on the priority list. People fiddle with the speed because they can, not because it gives a better cut. it's the edge that does that.
As to longer rests, not really an important thing anyway. When you start a piece, you're normally cutting center to rim to make the outside, so all you really require is a rest equal to the diagonal of the piece as you cut it. You'll be moving the rest closer as you progress anyway, or should, so not a big deal. Would be nice if JET gave you an offset versus a centered post though. Don't miss the centered post on the banjo of Ol' Blue at all.
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Very true, for many things. Getting the optimum speed and feed rate for a given situation is important in an industrial situation. It can save you minutes per part but for the home woodworker, they will never know the difference. How sharp your tools are is much more important.
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George wrote:

Let's take a couple of examples to look at EXAMPLE 1: You've got a piece of wood you've bandsawn to approximately rectangular. You set it up between centers, approximating the center points on the two ends. You want to get it round. But the two center points you selected are off - and in opposite directions As a result, there are areas where you're turning "in the shadow" - cutting, then the edge in the air, cutting, then the edge in the air, etc., etc.. Now add a difference in density within the stock which causes it to wobble as it spins.
When cutting "in the shadow" higher rpms reduce the "bump" because the edge doesn't have time to move into the gap between contacts with the wood.
So if you dial up the rpms 'til the piece starts things to wobbling, then back down 'til the wobble stops you'll be working at the highest rpm that doesn't wobble AND cut with the minimum bumps.
EXAMPLE 2: You've chainsawn a 12" diameter log about in half and then cut pieces about "square", the bark still on the outside. So you've got a flat face on the inside / pith side of each piece and about parallel ends. You bandsaw a flat on the bark side about parallel to the pith side's flat surface. You layout a bit under a 10" diameter circle on the pith side and, with the bark side flat down on the bandsaw table, you bandsaw close to the line. You then attach a face plate ABOUT where you think the center of the piece is. Then you mount things on the lathe, set the tool rest and hand turn the piece to check the clearance.
Now what speed are YOU going to start with - the one you'll use to create the shape - OR - a slow speed, perhaps the slowest speed your lathe will go? If the speed doesn't cause unacceptable vibration, do you do rough to round and do the rest of the shaping at that speed or do you change pulleys to a higher speed once the piece is round and not causing unacceptable vibration?
In neither example is the rpm determining the quality of the cut surface since initially you're only cutting some of the surface - that area farthest from the centerline. Until you get all the surface the equidistant from centerline you're cutting wood, then air, then wood, . . .

If you're using a bowl gouge that's true. If you're using a skew it isn't - necessarily. And I was referring to the banjo - the thing that holds the tool rest, not the tool rest.

That's why I've got six different tool rests. No one of them does it all, all the time.
Don't mean to get in a spitting match but sometimes statements based on a specific assumption about what's being turned with what tool that don't note the specifics can confuse the hell out of a newbie - and remember the original question was asked by a newbie, not that much newer to turning than this semi-newbie.
charlie b
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