I'm trying to identify a good wood lathe so I can put it on my birthday wish
list. Just looking over the reviews on various lathes on Amazon.com I thought
the JET JWL-1236 / 708352 12" Variable Speed model for $399 looked good, but an
experienced woodturner told me it's nowhere near as good as a Jet mini lathe.
Amazon.com lists a model 708351B/JWL-1014 14" Mini Lathe, which sells for $199
plus another $50 for the bed extension so it can handle objects up to 40" long.
There's also a variable speed mini version that sells for $299.
Not knowing anything about this subject I thought I'd turn to the knowledgeable
folks here for some help. I'd like to try turning some bowls or other wide
"vessels" some day, so I'm concerned that a mini lathe might not be big enough
for wider objects like that. I'm sure it's fine for table legs, spindles, and
other narrow objects, but you never know what I'll want to try eventually.