03-18-2011 06:08 PM
I have a 6" Atlas metal lathe with a compound crosslide that I have used many time to turn wood objects under 6" in diameter.
Now I would like to get a simple 12" to 14" wood lathe for turning larger objects. Yes.. cost is an issue, so are there any low-cost, belt driven lathes you would recommend?
03-19-2011 04:39 AM
Larry, I believe you're accustomed to doing precision work. I don't know anything about your metal lathe, but I would be willing to bet that it's a precision tool. I wouldn't buy any "cheap" lathe unless you can find someone who owns, or has owned, one and can vouch for the quality. There is some real junk out there.
I agree with Dan on checking Craig's list. I can't for the life of understand why, but there are those out there who buy lathes and don't become hooked.
I don't know your budget, but Jet is currently conducting a 15% off sale. It's only good through this weekend, but they runs sales regularly throughout the year. Take a look at this. It's a good deal if you're don't plan to turn over 20" lengths.
03-19-2011 08:18 AM
I agree with Randy. With your back ground I am pretty sure you are not going to be happy with "Cheap" and low cost is relative. I also agree with Randy that Craiglist is a good source for quality machines at a discount. I now have 2 that came from craiglist. I cleaned the cosmolene of both. That said there are some lemons out there. Your background is also of benefit here. You will know a lemon before you drop any cash on it.
If I were to buy new I would shop for the Jet 1643EVS, Nova DVR-XP, or the Delta 46-460. All of these feature electronic variable speed. In my opinion that is worth the extra cost. All are good quality and get good reviews. Of course I want a Serious, Robust, or a Oneway. Sadly my pocketbook won't support my wanter.
03-19-2011 09:35 AM
Look for the Jet mini or Rikon Mini lathes. They are better quality than the cheapies by far and don't cost much more. They are solid and good machines to work with. If your in Tennessee I have a Rikon 12" mini I would let go but not dirt cheap. I have only used it a few times and the previous owner only used it a little so it's practically new.