Pen Lathe


I've been considering buying a small lathe to do pens, small bowls, and small turnings. I have looked at the Jet, and Delta. The Rikon is also advertised locally at Woodcraft, but I have no experience with their products. I like the setup of the Delta with it's ability to change speeds easily. The belt access at the front of the head. One of the reps at the local supplier ( trust him) says that the Jet is a better tool even though it costs a few $$ more, and has the belt access on the back of the head. His comment is that the Jet has less viabration, and runout. Just thought I would ask those who have more experience with lathes, and know a heck of a lot more than me!!
Thanks,
Frank
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On 01/12/2005 7:43 PM, Frank Dennis wrote:

If you want something *really* small, look at this one:
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&cat=1,330&pP260
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Check out rec.crafts.woodturning
for a lot of opinions and good folks..
As to the Jet mini, I can tell you that I've used and abused mine for a year and it's a great little lathe..
mac
Please remove splinters before emailing
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Frank...
Both the Jet and the Delta machines are good; of the two, I personally prefer the Jet, but you really can't go wrong with either one of them.
Avoid the Rikon machine like the plague. I have one in my shop right now that I was testing for review, and it's the worst lathe I've ever used -- terrible fit & finish with lots of paint chips and scratches, and a lot of sharp edges; the hinged plastic belt cover actually scrapes the belt when you open and close it; the pulleys weren't even close to being coplanar; the tool rest snapped off with only moderate use; parts were missing; and neither the tailstock nor the tool rest base will stay locked down for more than a few minutes unless you use a mallet on the locking lever. Unless they've done some serious retooling in the last month on every production unit that's out there, you're best to remove it from consideration. It's a true piece of junk.
If you're still sold on getting the Rikon, look right next to the garbage cans at the end of my driveway next week on trash pickup day.
A.J.
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The rikon is made by Fisch. Not a brand known to have such issues.
The Rikon is an exact match in photo comparisons.
The Fisch sells for $299 the Rikon for a couple of $20's less.
Alan
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Well, it certainly sounds as though they decided to omit some quality control and casting cleanup in order to sell for a couple 20s less.
--
Owen Lowe
The Fly-by-Night Copper Company
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Thanks for the replies about my pen lathe inquiry. Your comments support what I've been told by a few people that I trust, about both the Jet, and Rikon. As far as I can remember, the last time I used a lathe was when I was in Junior High Shop Class a long time ago. I also appreciate the direction to the woodturning group. I'm sure it will be helpful. I picked up a couple of books at the local Woodcraft store. One says to use the lowest speed, and the other says to use the highest. Guess I will start slow, and go from there.
Thanks,
Frank
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