looking for Recommendations on a lathe


I want to purchase a lathe for projects here in my wood shop. the price range is between $500 and $1000. I read on the net about the Jet lathe but I would like to hear from some of you guys as to a good system for my shop. I am not a beginner in wood working but never tried any lathe work. Any suggestions?
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Just had the same problem myself. Spent about a month looking at the specks on lathes from HF to One way. After going through it all and looking at the equipment I bought the Jet 1442 and have few regrets. Fit and finish of all parts was great, operation is smooth and little or no vibration even with off center turnings, speed control works smoothly after the first few uses and all parts that are supposed to slide do so smoothly after waxing the bed. Problems are that the speed control handle gets in the way at high speed when you are turning near the head spur and when you turn off the motor. Neither is a major concern though. For the money I don't think you could do better.

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You may want to ask at rec.crafts .woodworking
Do you want to turn between centers or make bowls? or both? What kind of bed length to you require?
This info will help guide your purchase.
I happen to own the JET 1442. I am very happy with it... it was the right lathe for my needs and my price point. Since you have apparently already read lots of pro-jet testimonials I'll tell you why you should *not* buy a 1442.
1. You only plan to do spindle work. smallish diameter work (3" or less) between centers is undemanding work for a lathe. You could probably meet you needs with a lesser machine.
2. You want to make big dameter bowls (>8"). The 1442 has a minumum speed of around 450RPM. The first time you chuck up a 14 lb blank that is just a wee bit out of balance and then spin it at 450 RPM, after you change your shorts, you'll know what I mean. This is why people pay an *additional* $1000 for Electronic variable speed. The only way to get really low RPM is EVS for rig your own pully system.
3. You may want to spend less money to see if you want to just try out the whole lathe thing. In which case, buy whatever you can find used and resell it for close to what you paid once you figure out what your really want.
-Steve

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D'ho!
That's rec.crafts .woodturning
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I have the Jet but before I bought it again and a $1000 EVS I would buy the bigger Delta for less money, equipped with adjustable belt ranges, EVS, larger capacity, and Baldor motor.
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Hello Leon:
So if I was to get a "VS Jet Mini Lathe" it's lowest speed would be 500 RPM? So what do you suggest. It would feel odd to put a $1,000.00 VSC on a $250.00 lathe.
Reason I ask is I too have not used or bought a lathe yet . . . .
Thanks in advance . . Steve

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For a Jet Mini or any other small lathe I would not worry too much about the lowest speed. You need the slower speeds on the "larger diameter capacity" lathes. With these lathes you need to go slow because the outer perimeter speed of the large pieces of wood can be much higher. Typically spindle turning and the like do not need slow speeds on small lathes.
I would not consider a speed controller or a lathe with Electronic Speed Control unless I was sure that I wan hooked on turning.
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...

If I was buying later in the year, I would consider http://www.general.ca/pagemach/machines/25200a.html this lathe
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That is a nice looking lathe.
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On Mon, 29 May 2006 15:49:31 -0500, "Petrified Woodworker"

I haven't used the Jet, but I've maxed out the Delta midi a time or two, and the lowest speed seemed fine. It wasn't until I maxed out the 12" gap bed lathe (12" dia x 41" spindle) I have that I wished I could slow the workpiece down a little more. Everyone is a little different when it comes to technique and comfort level when they get on the lathe, but the low end speed on the little lathes seems ok to me. In no case would I bother putting an aftermarket VS system that cost that much on a little lathe- and for that price, I think I'd rather buy something with a Reeve's drive.
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You can turn small stuff on a bigger lathe, but you can *only* turn small stuff on a small one. Something that will let you turn an 11" or 12" diameter workpiece and that has a minimum of 36" between centers should be versatile enough to keep you busy for a long time, assuming you want to try turning a little bit of everything over time. Consider also that you'll spend several hundred on chisels of various types, scroll chucks and their multitude of accessories, polishes, etc., etc. Consequently it becomes a matter of principle to scrounge for free wood!
J.
snipped-for-privacy@yourbiz.com wrote:

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Mon, May 29, 2006, 2:14pm (EDT+4) snipped-for-privacy@yourbiz.com doth scribble: I want to purchase a lathe for projects here in my wood shop. the price range is between $500 and $1000. I read on the net about the Jet lathe but I would like to hear from some of you guys as to a good system for my shop. I am not a beginner in wood working but never tried any lathe work. Any suggestions?
Hell yes I've got a suggestion. Buy my HF lathe. I'll make you a good deal, $250, and I'll toss in the stand I made, and the chisels. Works great.
Unless you're gonna do some really fancy lathe work I don't know why most of you would put out so much money for a lathe. A first lathe at any rate My HF lathes is very seady on the stand I made, doesn't vibrate, aligns well, 37" between centers, etc. Not quite as purty as the fancier lathes, but at around $127 new, it is better made, and sturdier, then some $300+ lathes I've seen.
I got a set of el cheap HF lathes tools (ab out $10 for 6). I figured I'd practice sharpening with those, and turning, then replace them when they wore out. Well, I'm still using them - they're made out of a bit softer seetl then I'd like, and the handles are not long enough to my taste, but basically, they do the exact same things expensive tools will do, but need sharpening oftener. But, one of these days I'll probably get around to making my own - with handles around 18" long.
I'd say get a HF lathe, or shop the local brgain papers for a used one. Get some decent lathe tools. Then use it and see if you actually need/want a more expensive lathe. Your money, your choice.
Me I figured I start with what I could afford, and later move up. It does everything I want it do do, so I doubt seriourly I'll ever replace it. If I ever do decide to replace it one day, I figure I'll make the next one, out of wood, or metal, will depend on my mood at the time. It ain't rocket science.
JOAT Never confuse "Oh, I can't do this!" with "Oh, I've never done this!". - JOAT
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Is that your total budget or just the budget for the lathe? Add $500 - $1000 for chucks and tools... to start.
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