Conventional wisdom says get one of the "Mini" or "Midi" types from the
brand-name guys. Realize that your investment will be about twice what you
pay for the lathe itself to get turning, almost three times to turn anything
you like with convenience.
Then realize how great a bargain old iron, which normally comes with the
tools, at least, can be.
From what's being said out there, once you get about the 200 dollar or
better range, the Grizz stuff will do. Not a big saving, but some take the
funny threads and the rough finish in stride.
Fri, Dec 9, 2005, 6:23am George@least (George) who doth publicly claim:
Conventional wisdom says get one of the "Mini" or "Midi" types <snip>
Not a big saving, but some take the funny threads and the rough finish
Conventional wisdom? I must be listening to "unconventional
wisdom" then, because I figure anything you can do on a small lathe, you
can do on a big lathe. But, you sure can't do big stuff on a small
MY HF lathe doesn't have any funny threads, and the finish isn't
bad. The "quality" of it is at least at good as a lot of way higher
priced lathes. Ran me around $150 tops, lathe, tools, and plywood to
make the stand. Plus, it's now painted yellow.
A rolling stone gathers no moss...unless it's a hobby he does on the
I saw the Grizzly midi in their Springfield store and it looked pretty
good - similar to the Jet. However, their 14" machine didn't quite stand up
to the 14" Jets and Deltas in personal inspection or a couple of magazine
reviews of a couple years ago. I went with the Jet 1442 but it has
increased in price substantially since I bought mine.
The Grizzly prices are most certainly true.
Although I own an older Delta that I inherited from my dad, a couple of
neighbors have Grizzlys and they turn some very nice things with them.
(There is no HF in my vicinity so I cannot speak about them.) IMO the
skill of the craftsman counts more than the price of the tool he uses.
But since you're just starting out I don't think you can go wrong with
any 20th Century lathe that you can afford and which will fit in
whatever nook of your shop that you have set aside for it. That said, go
for the largest turning diameter that you can afford, and don't overlook
the gap-bed lathe for this purpose, so that you can turn bowls --
because everybody turns bowls at some point -- and diameter is more
important than length when it comes to bowls.
I wouldn't purchase a Grizzly lathe for one reason. The 1x12TPI
headstock they use. Rather then the more standard 1X8TPI or 1-1/4x8TPI.
This makes face-plates and chucks harder to get
Other then that.... Grizzly is generally worth the price (and I do
own other Grizzly tools)
Personal e-mail is the n7bsn but at amsat.org
I have one of the 1x12 headstocks, and have no problem getting chucks
and faceplates for it. *Sharing* chucks and headstocks is a different
story, and it's always interesting to set up for the craft fairs and
All else being equal, yeah, a 1x8 thread is preferred. That's also a
common pipe fitting, so if you're into making your own faceplates and
such, it's the way to go.
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