Wanted, used or refurbished lathe. Recommendations?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Wanted, used or refurbished lathe. Recommendations?

    Hello! My dad is retired and really getting into his wood working again. He's been talking about getting a wood lathe but is getting caught up on the cost of it all. I'd like to help him find an affordable midi lathe. Ideally something that can be upgraded if he finds he's really into it. What brands are the best choice? Any good sources for used or refurbished lathes?

    Cheers!

  • #2
    On the smaller end of lathes (midi) the best overall is the Jet. Rikon is a nice lathe that is less expensive. And one brand that is popular with entry level - offers several from PSI industries as can be seen here:
    http://www.pennstateind.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?

    Will your father be interested in pens or bowls? The Jet midi is 10 inches but they do have a 12 at a little more expense. The Rikon is a 12 inch. Not sure about the different models of the PSI.

    Also, Welcome and glad to have you here. It would be helpful if you would give us a name or at least a handle to call you by. And a general location would be helpful too - if you could update your profile. Might be someone close by that could be helpful. There are always people here looking at "deals" on craiglist or other places, and if they know the general area of where you live, they could and would post it.
    Last edited by leehljp; 12-27-2008, 06:43 PM.
    Hank Lee

    Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks Hank, my name is Brian. Dad is definitely interested in pens and bowls. Initially he started looking into this as a way of turning pieces for wall clocks some of which would be a little too long for a mini lathe. I'm in the Denver Colorado area - i'll make sure to update my profile with that information...

      Comment


      • #4
        Also remember that the lathe is just the beginning, and often the cost of all the other things needed surpasses the cost of the lathe. At the very least you need some chisels (quality pays here) and a slow-speed grinder or similar to keep them sharp. And then depending on the projects one or more chucks, face plates etc.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by gerti View Post
          Also remember that the lathe is just the beginning, and often the cost of all the other things needed surpasses the cost of the lathe. At the very least you need some chisels (quality pays here) and a slow-speed grinder or similar to keep them sharp. And then depending on the projects one or more chucks, face plates etc.
          Don't scare him off! But better to be prepared! I never will forget my first forey into turning and the unpreparedness of keeping chisels sharp as I turned. Great advice.
          Last edited by leehljp; 12-27-2008, 11:20 PM.
          Hank Lee

          Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted!

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks gerti, I appreciate the advice. We'll want to take it slow and buy the bare essentials at first i'm sure then work up from there.

            BTW, I've tried craigslist.org to see what's available and not had much luck. Are there any online "tool trader" sites or anything similar where I might be able to find used lathes?

            Comment


            • #7
              Shopsmith as a Lathe

              This may seem like a strange suggestion, but I picked up a barely used Shopsmith for under $300 - less than the cost of most midi-lathes. They aren't a perfect lathe, but I have been impressed with it overall.

              The Good:
              Better than 12" swing
              34" spindle capacity
              true variable speed
              1 1/8 HP motor

              The Bad:
              lowest speed 700 RPM (without optional reducer)
              light for a lathe

              Because of the above, just because you CAN mount a 12", off-balance chunk of green wood doesn't mean you should.


              The other Good:
              Oh yeah, it is also a drill press, horizontal boring machine, 12" disk sander and yeah, even a table saw. The table saw is the weakest function, so I will never use it. All the rest of the functions are definite pluses though.

              I also added the bandsaw and am deliriously happy with that.

              I've ended up spending a fair bit on parts that were missing. Spending more on a complete SS would have been wiser.
              Doug Kerfoot
              "Sacrificial fence? Aren't they all?"

              Smaller, Smarter Hardware Keyloggers
              "BT310" coupon code = 10% for forum members
              KeyLlama.com

              Comment


              • #8
                From what I have seen, the midi's seem to go fairly high on Craigslist. Some of the older Rockwell's go cheaper and many just have cosmetic issues.

                A lot of the used lathes that come up have pipe for the 'bed'. Most folks will tell you to steer clear of these because of flex problems and lack of mass (weight).
                Don, aka Pappy,

                Wise men talk because they have something to say,
                Fools because they have to say something.
                Plato

                Comment

                Working...
                X