Has anyone had any experience with this lathe and chisel set from Harbor
36066-1VGA 14'' x 40'' Lathe WITH 6'' Sander for $99.99
47066-1VGA Windsor Design 8 PC. High Speed Steel Wood Lathe Chisel Set for
Ray, Have not used that particular model, but it looks almost the same as
the first lathe I ever purchased.
It was ok for a beginner, just to see if woodturning would interest you...
but the lack of a morse taper on the tailstock (and the headstock off
memory) was very limiting if you wanted to use aftermarket attachments.
1/2HP did bog down a little too when trying to turn a bowl. No swivelling
head either, which can be a pain in the rear if you plan on doing a bit of
I'd probably spend a bit extra and go up to the basic Jet model or
comparables which is ok for beginners-intermediate if price is a concern.
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My first set of turning tools were from Harbor Freight. I've upgraded a
couple of time since then but I've still got them, still use them for the
initial turning. They were outstanding, not to mention inexpensive, tools to
learn the ins and outs of sharpening turning tools on.
The $30 set of HF tools is a bargain. They're fair quality and
will teach you to sharpen properly. You'll upgrade them as time
goes by but they'll give you an idea of what you use and what you
don't. The ones you don't can be reground into other shapes as
The lathe is a good starter lathe, it doesn't go quite low enough
on the speeds, but for $100 what do you want. AS for the lack of
head rotation, 14" is a big bowl for a beginner, even if it turns
out to be 13" after you're finished. The lighter motor will force
you to make your cuts properly rather than horse the tools
around. The headstock is MT1 or 2, I don't remember, but the
threads aren't standard. Accessories can be bought from HF, but
they'll have to be shipped from out of country, order them
immediately so when you get done figuring out how to do spindles
your stuff for bowls will have arrived. Get LOTS of faceplates,
and a couple of toolrests.
If you ask over at rec.crafts.woodturning you'll get mixed reviews
because a lot of people will recommend spending as much as you can
the first time out rather than buying something cheap to see if
you like turning and then spending the money later. For $100, the
difference is taxes on the expensive lathes, well almost. At that
point it doesn't hurt to spend the extra $100.
Just my 2 cents,
Dave in Fairfax
reply-to doesn't work
daveldr at att dot net
I started out on that lathe with that tool set. The are elCheapo, but
not bad for determining if turning is something you really want to do.
The base of the lathe needs to be stiffened. I cut a piece of 3/4"
plywood and slid it into the sheet metal base along the entire length of
the lathe bed. The stiffening definately helped. I am going to lose
the sheet metal base and mount the lathe on a timber later this summer.
Outside of the flimsy base, the only real complaint about the lathe is
that the slowest speed is a bit high. It is a good lathe to learn on
and you will be able to sell it easily if you decide thgat turning is
more than a passing curiosity.
The main advantage of the tool set is that you can practice sharpening
the tools without worry about screwing up expensive tools. Once you get
the hang of properly sharpening the tools, you will certainly want to
upgrade to better tools. By the time you are ready to upgrade the
tools, you ought to have a much better idea about what to look for.
No BoomBoom for me! - snipped-for-privacy@BoomBoomVerizon.net
I have Harbor Freight's 12'' x 33-3/8'' WOOD LATHE WITH REVERSIBLE HEA
ITEM 34706-5VGA, and have used it for several years. I mostly tur
smaller items like pens and bottlestoppers, but I have made a numbe
of wooden mallets, tool handles and spindles for stairs/furniture.
Here's a link to the item on their website:
I'm very satisified with this lathe. When I bought it, the casting
were apparently identical to those used by Jet, although the level o
finish (cleaner castings) was actually better on the Harbor Freigh
unit. Assembly was very easy, as I just had to bolt together the stan
and screw on some knobs. I don't know if the motor is in the same clas
with its more expensive cousins, but mine has held up and I've had
number of days where I've spent a solid 6 hours in front of the lathe.
It is virtually vibration free - I can balance a nickle on edge on it'
rails while it is running. This unit has 10 different speeds, which
thought was a useful feature.
Since I saved significant $$$ going with a less expensive lathe, I wa
able to buy higher quality turning tools (Sorby). I'm by no means a
expert wood turner, but it seems to me that as long as a lathe ca
safely hold the item to be turned in place, and spin it at the righ
speed without vibration, a lathe is a lathe is a lathe. The critica
components are the skill of the turner, and the quality of the turnin
tools (mostly their ability to hold an edge).
You'll also need other accessories for your lathe like various caliber
and a Jacob's chuck - I bought these items from HF and have again bee
satisfied. When I was shopping for the Jacob's chuck, my loca
Woodcraft had one for about $30, but the one I bought at HF was onl
I haven't turned any bowls on it yet, but the headstock swivels t
accomodate outboard turning
I have no idea ;-) but I'm kinda in a similar situation. All I can
suggest is decrease your risk even more by using one of the $10 off
$100 purchase!! I get those via email about once a week.
Let us/me know.. sounds like an inexpensive education :-)
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