I don't do bowls (at least not yet) and I don't use a lathe all that
much anymore (lots of craftsman furniture), but I still do turnings
now and then. I have done many turnings over the years that vary from
1/2 inch to 6 inches or so in diameter to over 3 ft in length.
Sometimes I had to splice two together to get the length I needed. I
have done all this with (ugh!) a 40 year old Sears Craftsman "tube"
lathe that I bought NEW. I tried a friend's Delta 46-715 and liked
it. I also know that Delta has a new midi 46-460 lathe that appears
to be very nice. The 46-715 has been discontinued, so I would
probably have to buy it used.
I don't want to spend over $600 or $700 (would prefer less) because I
don't use the lathe a lot, but I would like the smoothness and chatter
freedom that I can expect from a quality lathe. Although I know it
would be nice, I don't want a used 400 lb. behemoth. I have read
about the Grizzly and Shop Fox lathes, but I also heard the mixed
results. The Sears has made a smooth cut hard to do (possible, but
With these facts in mind, I would like to ask you-all what you would
If your turnings (for now) are 10" diameter or less and 24" long, you can't go
wrong with a Jet Mini, IMO..
Wonderful little lathe that's got sufficient power, is very smooth and stable
and easy to get parts and accessories for..
Hard to find one used, though, as most turners still have ours along with larger
lathes because their just too nice a tool to give up.. YMWV
On Fri, 19 Jun 2009 18:23:42 -0700, eganders wrote:
I bought one of the General mini-lathes with electronic variable speed
and a swiveling and sliding head, as well as outboard turning off one
end. I've been happy with mine. It weighs about 100 pounds.
They did have a problem early on with the electronics, but that seems to
have been fixed now. And they give a lifetime warranty. But I would
stay away from a used one unless it's quite recent. Here's a pointer:
It's about $50 over your limit, but it does go on sale from time to
time. Woodcraft carries it.
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw
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