Not sure where you got the $3000 comment. The questionnaire does seem to i
ndicate Robust is working on making a mini lathe. Seems odd to me. It doe
s not fit their company. Oneway made a mini lathe. Maybe one or two peopl
e on earth own it. Maybe. I am sure it is of the highest quality mini lat
he. Problem is a mini lathe does not really need to be very high quality t
o be very functional and good. Oneway probably sold 10 or 100 times more o
f their $7000 big 2436 lathe than they did of their $2000 mini 1018 lathe.
Doubt there is even much market for Oneway's 1224 small lathe either. Its
$2500 or so. I would think Robust would be smart enough to look at their
competitor and see how it failed. Mini lathes probably outsell the big lat
hes 10 to 1 or more. But the Chinese companies have the market cornered on
mini lathes. And being cheap, there is not much profit margin on each lat
he. Volume selling is the key. And again with mini lathes, there is no re
ason to spend much money. Lathes are pretty simple tools in general. Its
pretty easy to make an acceptable lathe. Not fancy, but it works fine, for
cheap. Why spend 5 times ($1000-$2000) more for a nice mini lathe?
Not exactly comparable. But its kind of like hammers. Every kid and adult
needs a hammer of some kind. You could get a cheap Chinese one that will
fracture and put your eye out. Don't do that. But Stanley and Vaughn and
Sears all make decent 16 ounce claw hammers. Good enough for starting out
as a kid or for people who do not really need a hammer except to pound a na
il into the wall to hang a picture once a year. No need to buy one of thos
e titanium hammers. Like mini lathes. Why spend thousands on a simple sma
ll lathe when a $400 mini lathe will do fine?
On Tuesday, February 16, 2016 at 11:36:20 AM UTC-6, Electric Comet wrote:
Will be interesting to see if they come out with a different lathe. Seems
like they have a lathe for all markets now. By competitive space I assume
you mean a different product market. A different lathe category/type. All
the questions on their questionnaire seem to reflect mini midi lathes in s
ize and function. 12" swing, 24" between center, 1 HP, bench mounted, bed
extension. Sounds like a perfect description of a midi lathe to me. I am
going to stick with my previous comments. I don't see a market for a high
end, precision, wonderful small lathe. That costs $2999. I am sure it wil
l be wonderful if Robust makes it. Especially at $2999. But who would buy
it? There are many OK, good, fine, dandy small lathes now for $500 or les
s. If a turner is spending $2999, they want size, function, capability the
y cannot get on a $500 lathe. The quality cannot overcome the lack of abil
On Wednesday, February 17, 2016 at 8:28:36 PM UTC-6, Electric Comet wrote:
I think we mean the same thing by competitive space, different lathe catego
ry/type, different price range, target a different customer.
I had never paid much attention to the Robust lathe models and prices excep
t for the American Beauty. Their lathes are the following:
American Beauty $6795
Liberty with legs $5895
Sweet 16 $6195
They do not have any lower priced lathes at all. Maybe an analogy would be
there are no low cost Rolls-Royce or Ferrari cars. The Liberty is kind of
a small Beauty. But its priced almost the same. The Sweet and Independen
ce are sort of specialty lathes.
I can understand the desire to expand their market to more lathe buyers and
become a bigger manufacturer. They made an attempt at that with the AB an
d Liberty. Same lathe but smaller. But the price is hardly any smaller.
So they are going to try this again by making a MUCH smaller lathe, a mini/
midi lathe, and see if they can get the price a lot lower.
But I do not think there is any market to capture in that $3000 price range
with a small lathe. Lathe buyers seem to fall into two categories. Low c
ost mini/midi lathe owners who are happy with their cheap but highly functi
onal lathe. And big time fanatical lathe turners who want BIG and expensiv
Powermatic/Jet might have a good circle around the lathe buyer. PM makes i
ts huge 4224 lathe priced and functionally the same as the Robust AB. And
the PM3520 priced at $4000. A step down in function from the biggest, but
more than functional enough. Lower priced than any of the Robust. Jet mak
es a 1642 smaller lathe priced around $2500. Similar function but smaller.
Jet also makes a smaller lathe and its midi lathe. Jet/PM covers all lat
On Thursday, February 18, 2016 at 12:48:12 PM UTC-6, Electric Comet wrote:
Oneway sells their 1224 model for about $2500 now. Its a Big mini lathe mo
re or less. Made in Canada. Not exactly the same as Made in the USA. But
I expect many would not complain about Canadian made. Wonder if Oneway se
lls many 1224 lathes. They apparently did not sell enough 1018 lathes to k
eep making it after they came out with the slightly bigger 1224 model. The
1018 had the same capacities as the cheap mini/midi lathes but was 3-4 tim
es more expensive. And just a little cheaper than the 1224. The 1224 is j
ust a bit bigger than the mini/midi lathes in capacity. It is comparable t
o the old standard spindle lathes that turned 12" diameter and 36" between
Will be interesting to see if Robust produce another model of lathe. Looks
like Robust is going to make a lathe to compete directly with the Oneway 1
224 model. Maybe Oneway is selling a lot of the 1224 lathes and Robust wan
ts to take some of the pie from Oneway. I have never even thought about th
e Oneway 1224 lathe. But maybe there are lots of people out there who want
a small/standard size lathe of very high quality and are willing to pay a
price for it.
you know your models
i doubt they sold many of those at that price
maybe to the military
glad it costs nothing to be a spectator
would guess that it is a small market and not worth it to go after
but they do anyway so must be something that i am missing
wonder what r&d costs are for introducing a new lathe to market
it has to be in the thousands at least
i would guess at least 50 to 200 thousand in r&d
On Thursday, February 18, 2016 at 4:57:15 PM UTC-6, graham wrote:
???? ALL of the Powermatic/Jet lathes and woodworking machines are made in
China. Powermatic is a US company in name/history only.
Regarding the comments about the research and development costs of making a
small lathe for Robust. I doubt the costs would be very high at all. Rob
ust already makes its American Beauty (Big) and Liberty (Medium) lathes. S
o to create a new small lathe they would just reduce the size of all the pa
rts used on the other two lathes. I would not think that would require too
much time, money, or even skill. Just make every part half size and you h
ave the new small lathe. Costs as a concept would come in when you try to
figure out if the cost to make a part half size equals 50% less price. Not
sure about that. I doubt making all the American Beauty big parts half si
ze would equal paying half price by Robust. Thus they probably cannot make
a small, half size lathe, for half the retail price. Whether its a good b
usiness decision to make a small lathe costing $3000 is still to be determi
my guess too
for robust they have their partners lined up and ready
with cad things can be changed and iterated over very quickly
On Friday, February 19, 2016 at 12:53:58 PM UTC-6, graham wrote:
Powermatic is a US company in name only. Below is what I found on the Powe
rmatic website. Assume Tenex is a holding company. The website says there
is a large Powermatic facility in LaVergne, Tennessee. But I doubt many o
r even any Powermatic machines have been built in the USA for the past 30 y
ears or more. Powermatic "making their machines in the US from US made par
"In October of 1999 Powermatic was purchased by WMH, who already owned Jet
Tools, and Performax Products. These three companies along with the Wilton
Tool Company were grouped together to form the WMH Tool Group. In 2014, Pow
ermatic was purchased, along with its sister brands by Tenex Group and are
now grouped together to form JPW Industries Inc., as they are still known t
On 19/02/2016 12:39 PM, email@example.com wrote:
Pity! A great pity!
I once was in the market for a table saw and compared a General (a
superb machine when they were made in Quebec) with a US made PM. The
trunions on the PM made the General look light duty!
The General foundry has closed and the trademark is stuck on Taiwanese
Powermatic was sold back in '99 to machinery importer Jet Equipment &
Tools. In 2002 Jet became part of the WMH Tool Group, which includes
Powermatic, Jet, Performax and Wilton.
The McMinnville, TN, facility is long gone; a rubble-strewn vacant lot
now, and as far as I know there's nothing in the US but distribution.
My Model 66 was purchased new direct and I drove over from Oak Ridge to
McMinnville to pick it up in spring '82. At that time the foundry was
in full operation and the shops were a great tour. There were piles of
castings in the yard aging that must have been 20 feet high...
But, no longer...I've not seen the new PM 2000 or any other post-Jet PM
product to be able to make any direct comparison other than that they
aren't US-produced any longer.
lathe. Costs as a concept would come in when you try to figure out if the cost to make a part half size equals 50% less price. Not sure about that. I doubt making all the American Beauty big parts half size would equal paying half price by Robust. Thus they probably cannot make a small, half size lathe, for half the retail price. Whether its a good business decision to make a small lathe costing $3000 is still to be determined.
But they aren't.
If you want power tools made in America by Americans, try Original Saw,
Marvco, Northfield, Ellis, Robust, Vega, etc.
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