Lathe purchase advice

So, SWMBO's and my 10th anniversary coming up. Not wanting to screw this up too badly, I go make the obligatory jewelry purchase, get the card and am good to go. Now just waiting for the date.
We're talking the other night and she says she wants me to start looking for my gift since there's no way she can pick it out. This sort of statement is always a good sign and more often than not precedes a tool purchase.
I am not disappointed.
Now, however, I need to start shopping around for a lathe. Any advice would be appreciated on your experiences, good or bad, with particular brands, etc.... I'm looking for enough capacity to turn table legs as well as the occasional small bowl.
Oh, and a neener in advance.
Joe
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Joe C wrote:

rec.crafts.woodturning You'll need to know what your price limits are and remember that tools will cost you several hundred dollars unless you buy HF's $40 set. Start collecting fresh cut wood and sealing the ends with anchorseal. You do realize this is as bad as plane collecting, right? Dave in Fairfax
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snipped-for-privacy@fairfax.com wrote:

Depends on what kind of planes you collect. I know a guy with a whole bunch of WWII planes that are pretty damn expensive to maintain. Especially the B17.
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Or you could just build one. I did. Check it out on my workshop page... http://www.angelfire.com/jazz/kb8qlrjoe/page5.html
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I have owned a Rockwell/Beaver for 25 years and I'm very satisfied with it. If you can find a used one that would be my recommendation for a lathe. Spend the extra saved money on good quality wood turning chisels. (Not sure if its chisels or knives) Mixed up with my french sorry.
Daniel
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D. Martin wrote:

FWIW, I avoid the awkwardness by calling them "turning tools."
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wrote:

I recommend south bend.
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Joe C wrote:

You suck. I just went through this with SWMBO (also our 10th... congratulations, we're both statistical anomonlies in this age of two-year marriages). I got her some diamond-encrusted anniversary ring thingie, and what did I get in return? A DVD. Whooee.
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Well, I have the Nova 3000k. Had I known how much I'd enjoy the lathe and could go back in time, I'd probably have sprung for the Nova DVR or the steel bed Delta. Both of those are in the $1600 range (USD). I paid about $850 (USD) plus got a free Nova chuck and the usual doo-dads the lathe comes with.
The Nova 3000k is a nice lathe, I've since extended the bed (a nice fixture) and have 43" between centers (built the stand planning on this). It has a 1HP Leeson motor, the lowest speed is 214 rpm (in US, 60Hz) which I was willing to shell out the extra money for over the 500 rpm lathes that are a bit cheaper. It also has a larger spindle (thus stiffer) than the lower priced lathes out there. Everything was lined up and ready, the bed is well-machined, no discernable vibration (unless an unbalanced chunk is on of course), etc.
It would be nice, however, to have true variable speed like the DVR & steel bed Delta. The biggest chunk I've loaded up was about 14" diameter, wet, probably weighed around 35-40#. Even at 200 rpm that's a pretty exciting piece of wood to make round. Once it's round of course things get easier.
In my dreams I own a Stubby, but I doubt I'll ever get there since I haven't pushed the Nova anywhere close to the limits, and I could convert it to a DVR or add variable speed DC or AC for considerably less money.
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