I find that on occasion I have the need for a turned item - a leg, a
candleholder, etc. I'm not into pens or turning bowls or general turning for
that matter. I had a full size lathe years ago and dabble a bit and still
have the cutting tools. I do not have room for a full size lathe in my
Shop/garage and have been looking at the Jet mini lathe. The size is about
right, the $$ is in the ballpark. Can anyone comment on this product for
occasional use or recommend another. Again, a full size lathe is not an
option - just do not have the room.
There are 10 kinds of people - those who understand binary and those who
I have the Jet mini and it works great. With the bed extension, it
will do some decent size spindles. Good price, decent performance,
good features. Another choice is the Rinkon from Woodcraft. It is a
little larger, 12 " swing and 14" bed for about the same price.
Along the same line, the General Maxi lathes are just slightly larger
then the Jet (http://www.general.ca/pagetitre/ang/lathes.html ). Even
larger (but still not full size) are the Teknatools 1624-44 and Nova
DVR-XP http://teknatool.com /
Personal e-mail is the n7bsn but at amsat.org
I have the Jet. Very good machine. It has the option of the bed extension if
you ever find the center distance limiting. Mine is belt drive. I have used
the variable speed one and it suffered from a loss of torque at low speeds.
On a lathe this size, very little speed changing is needed and, when you do,
it takes about thirty seconds to change a belt.
JET VS mini. Variable speed is handy when starting with
unbalanced chunk of wood. Start at lowest rpm and dial it
up 'til things start to wobble then dial it down slowly 'til
the wobble drops to acceptable level. As the piece is roughed
to round just dial the speed back up. The reality is, without
variable speed, you don't change speeds back and forth
because it takes time. Not difficult to change speeds, just
interrupts the turning process.
I like it.
I have a Jet 1442 lathe, and have found their service and trouble shooting
to be good. The lathe was sturdy and well built.
I've used it twice on WoodCraft classes, and been pleased with it.
I understand that the electronic variable speed is pretty wimpy with torque
at low speeds, and I've confirmed that in my classes.
I bought my son one as a birthday present.
The Jet mini lathe works just fine. I prefer it for bowls because you can
get around it better than a big lathe.
But really, it is not that much smaller than a 12" Craftsman lathe, and you
can find those for under $100.
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