07-08-2011 10:28 PM
Tried to look up reviews for the following lathe, but no luck. Has anyone heard good or bad news regarding this lathe. Thinking of purchasing (used) , but wanted some input if possible.
07-09-2011 04:02 AM
It's difficult to find. It was not a good seller apparently because I almost never run into anyone who has one. I did however this weekend. I friend had helped another guy buy one and move it to his shop. My friend just stepped up to a Powermatic 3520B from a Nova 16" He said he thouht it was a decent lathe. The biggest problem would be support for parts. It was discontinued a while ago. Of course you can easily get aftermarket motor, controller and bearings so that's not a big problem. Just don't expect to be able to call Delta up and get them.
07-09-2011 06:04 AM
I have a similar model, 46-756, that I bought at the Delta reconditioned warehouse sale. The lathe was a reconditioned model with a 1 year warranty. The VFD did not work right out of the crate. Delta service did not have any parts nor would offer any support for the lathe. They did offer to chip in with me to purchase an aftermarket VFD or they would refund my money. I only gave $150.00 for the lathe. I took their offer for half the purchase price of an aftermarket VFD, so for less than $300.00 I have a new lathe.
All that said I am pretty happy with the lathe. It is not as heavy as most lathes of comparable size. When I set it up everything aligned fine. I put it in a temporary location so I didn't fill the stand with sand. It is hollow just for that reason. Because I didn't fill with sand the lathe sings to me at certain speeds. I will eventually get the lathe in its place and add the ballast it needs.
From all the research I did AFTER I had the lathe in my shop it seems that Delta had major problems with the electronics. The first lathes came with a grey VFD and the breaking resistor burned them out at a high rate. Later they switched to a black VFD and sorta solved the problem. The lathes were evidently not very popular so they discontinued them. The concentrated instead on the midis and have done very well with them. Delta does not support this late anymore, but parts are available from aftermarket suppliers.
07-09-2011 11:04 AM
Thank you for your response. Like I said to John I may wait and look into a Nova lathe. I have not really heard any bad reviews so far. I currentl have a Craftsman lathe and always looking to upgrade.
07-16-2011 11:31 AM
I almost bought one, but after looking it over very carefully in the store, I backed out of the the deal and got a refund before it was delivered. I don't remember all of the details, but basically it was the construction of the lathe that turned me off. The stainless steel ways are not welded directly to the frame which is understandable, but they didn't have sufficient stiffness and needed a better method of attachment to the frame than the bent tabs that were tack welded. The Marathon motor that was being used was not designed for inverter duty (which could have something to do with the inverter electronics failing).
BTW, it is a "braking" resistor and not a "breaking" resistor -- except in this case, it could be considered a "breaking" resistor since it was always failing. It is called a braking resistor because it performs the same function as the brakes on your car -- it is used to stop the lathe from turning rather than simply letting it slowly coast to a stop. When the motor is slowing down, it acts as a generator and has a lot of stored energy in the inertia of the spinning wood, chuck, spindle, and motor rotor. If it is able to "dump" the electrical energy into a resistor where it gets converted into heat, the motor can be rapidly stopped. However, if the inverter is not properly programmed, this energy may be dumped into the resistor too rapidly and cause it to "fry". Frying a resistor causes it to release its magic smoke.
07-16-2011 01:42 PM
I have used one for about 5 years and turned hundreds of bowls mostly with it. Its the only lathe I have used other than a mini so I can't compare it, but it has been a good lathe and has taked lots of abuse, have never had any problems with it what soever.
07-17-2011 04:34 AM
I thought it could have been a great lathe and some probably are. What turned me off was they brought it to the Southern States Symposium to introduce it. The lathe spindle wasn't running true and it sat in the corner not running. That didn't speak well for an intro product from a good company. I tried to keep track of them to see how the lathe was doing because I wanted one. For whatever reason they simply didn't sell as good as they could have. Don't know whether it was marketing, the quality of the lathe, price, or all of the above.
07-25-2011 12:20 AM
One of the first problems that I saw was that the "floating" ways were not mechanically locked together so things like locking down the tailstock, toolrest base, or headstock had a tendency to cause the ways to spread apart slightly. That was the deal breaker when I noticed that. With the ways of the bed being able to spread apart, it meant that there was a greater chance of angular misalignment between the headstock and tailstock spin axes.