Talk me out of a Harbor Freight Lathe

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Mr. Moose wrote:

The HF lathe I have is a visual duplicate of the Jet to which you received a link. At about 1/2 the price. Is it a duplicate in quality? No idea but it is solid and works fine.
-- dadiOH ____________________________
dadiOH's dandies v3.06... ...a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
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Harbor Freight has a dozen different lathes, some good, some bad. Which were you considering? I have the 34706 which I've been happy with. It was $170 on sale and I picked it up from the store. Don't pay full price.

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Well, problem solved, a Delta 46-700 showed up on Craigslist, and I picked it up, complete with stand, for $275. It also came with a few neat turning books, a video, and, even better, a 5 gallon bucket full of lathe chisels and tool rests! There are several very nice Sheffield gouges in there, and some other not-so-nice but grindable into seful tool chisels as well. Atleast 15 chisels, new they would have cost well over the $275 I paid for the lathe to start with!
It's not the "perfect dream" lathe, but it will last a couple years and get me through the craft fair season, and I can always sell it for what I paid for it, even less since I got all the cool goodies with it.
Thanks to everyone for the good input and information, it was quite helpful.
Mark
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Congrats! I think you got a fine deal. 46-700 search results on the Delta site:
http://search.bdk.com/search?ie=latin1&site lta_pub&output=xml_no_dtd&client=pentair_delta&lr=&proxystylesheet=pentair_delta&oe=latin1&restrictlta_pub&qF-700&submit.x&submit.y=6&submit=submit
--
Alex - "newbie_neander" woodworker
cravdraa_at-yahoo_dot-com
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Thanks, I'd seen that, but thanks for the effort.
Just turned a practice spindle, seems to work well though I need to really adjust the rattly pulleys and probably replace the belt. And master the freakin' skew chisel, but I think I'll take on the easy stuff first. :)
Mark
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I own a 46-700, and its been good to me. The belts do need to be replaced from time to time according to my buddy who has one as well, but I've been using it (moderate use) for about 5 years and not replaced mine yet. The stand is not to my liking and tended to vibrate much too much so I built a big box and filled it with sandbags and mounted the lathe on top, with rock solik results and mimimal vibration. Mutt.
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hello,
HF has 3 lathe ranging from (sale prices) $89 to $189.
the 2 lower end ones are not good. The main problem is that the "bed" part of the lathe, which is critical to maintain the alignment of the heads and the center is sheet metal and will bend under slight pressure. the more expensive one (which comes with a stand BTW) is much better with a cast iron bed and a good motor. this is the one that I intend to buy and at <$200 on sales prices, it is not beatable...
of course, like any HF tool, it is only good for occasional non perfection seeking usage. which is the case for most hobbyist.
regards, cyrille

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