Sorry, I accidentally posted this in binaries
I see that HF has a lathe on sale for 79 bucks. Its made by Central
I was wondering how this would hold up to hobbyist use, Would it be worth
I have what appears to be the same lathe minus the sanding attachment. I
bought it years ago from an outfit called Post Tools. If you compare it to
a quality lathe you'll find it kind of crude. But, that being said, I've
had a lot of fun with mine. I've made thimbles, bowls, boxes, tops, and
tool handles. At any rate, that's a good price and you could probably sell
it later for about the same amount if you want to upgrade.
If you get it, you might want to look at their $39 set of lathe tools. Some
guys here have reported that they are pretty good. You do have a grinder
Sorry for the double post here, if it ever shows up, but I accidently
hit the return key for the last one as I was still composing.
Note that the two models you cite are slightly different: one has a
more powerful motor. Also, note that neither has the base included (and
the one they sell for it is rather flimsy). This is an important part
of a lathe, you need to have it firmly attached to a solid base.
If you ever get into turning, you will get rid of those HF units pretty
soon. However, there is one they sell that you'll find among members of
turning clubs occasionally. The snobs look down on it of course, but I
don't see much difference between it and its cloned mother (Delta if
I'm not mistaken). Check out item #34706, which is regularly on sale
for $180. It has a solid base, variable speed (lever actuated, not
pulley-change dance), pivoting headstock, decent motor, and fairly
solid bed. At that price, it's still $400-500 cheaper than the models
So, if you can swing the extra $100, it may be a better entry model to
For anyone who might be interested, I just bought a Delta 46-700
lathe; possibly the one you talk about being cloned. It came with the
steel leg base. I have a different base I'm going to mount it on. If
anyone would like this base (Amazon price was $59), I'll sell it for
$30 + shipping (breaks down into several fairly flat pieces of steel,
plus a bag 'o bolts) from 32174.
Not to urinate in your Cheerios, but you might want to weigh/measure that
stand. I've offered shipping plus five bucks on a couple of my Delta
stands, only to find that shipping was outrageous. Local delivery/pickup is
about all that's worthwhile.
I bought my first lathe cheap from Harbor Freight. Hadn't turned
before & wasn't sure if I'd like it. Turned out (pardon the pun) that
I loved it. I hated the lathe, but it taught me what to look for in a
new one a year later.
The one I bought had a #1 Morse taper - bad move, get a #2 or you can't
find a lot accessories. The thread size was an odd metric. Same
problem. The bed was a tube - horrible!
All that said, it was a good, cheap way to learn. I found I'm more
into bowls than spindles, so a long bed wasn't my main concern. Low
speed is more important to me because I like turning green wood. I
still don't have exactly what I want, but I'm a lot closer.
I wound up spending as much on 2 good self centering chucks as I did on
the lathe itself. I am glad I did, too. They're worth every penny.
The cheap lathe tools are also something you'll want to replace ASAP.
Find what you like the best & replace them as quickly as you can afford
with good ones. Makes all the difference in the world. You don't have
to spend a ton - one of my favorite roughing goughes is a 3/4" from
Craftsman - $25.
That's my opinion, anyway. I think turning is about as personal as
your toothbrush, though. There are a lot less firm rules than in most
other woodworking disciplines. - Jim
I bought the same lathe on sale for $75. Hated it for two years
(although I did *attempt* several projects on it). Finally sold it for
$100, so by those standards it was a good deal. By any other standard
it was a monument to frustration.
I now have a Jet lathe that I'm quite happy with.
-Steve in Banks, OR
The HF lathe you ask about is a very good $79 lathe. Remember that! Yes
you can do bowls, spindle work boxes etc with it.
I have the same lathe and have enjoyed it for several years now. As
purchased it is good for spindle work.
You'll most likely want a scroll chuck and smaller face plate to do bowls
and boxes and stuff. I found a good chuck at Grizzly G1194 with a 3/4' X 10
insert G3159 http://www.grizzly.com/catalog/2005/main/096.cfm?
and found home made face plates made by William noble at a reasonable price.
The set of turning tools from HF 47066-2VGA it's a set of 8 in a wood
box. http://order.harborfreight.com These are a great set of HSS tools. DO
NOT get any of their other sets. They are not worth your time. I have
these and I purchased a separate bowl gouge. The only other tools I would
like now are a bigger scrapper and some specialty tools. But the set of 8 is
a great start. The also have a nice steady rest for $20 (4092-1VGA).
The draw back to this lathe is the 3/4" X 10 treads. Not a standard size.
When doing spindle work do not over tighten the piece in the lathe. The head
can flex away from the tail stock if you are overly aggressive.
When everyone else talks about their more expensive lathes, remember
turning has been around for centuries and the HF is much better that what
our "forefathers" turned on.
But with all that said, I would love to get a Nova 3000 DVR someday. I
have turned on it and it was very nice with it's digitally controlled speeds
it rotating head stock. But I have done just as nice work with the HF $79
lathe as I did on the Nova $2000 lathe. Just ease of operation and
availability of some accessories.
Bottom line for $300 or so you can get set up with the HF lathe, Grizzly
chuck, the HF tools, a bowl gouge and some extra faceplates. Can the others
Good luck in your search and don't let the lathe snobs get to you.
Research, find what you like and go with that.
I've got those - they are a great bargain. And the OP can practice
turning by making a new set of handles :-).
I've been thinking of getting another set just to experiment with
grinding different edge profiles.
I bought their $10 set (sale price, of course) to hang on the wall over the belt
sander, as a guide for my wife... sort of a "this is about what my chisels
looked like when I got them" kinda thing..
I actually used the roughing gouge a few times.. not good tools, but damn sure
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