Jet JWL-1642 EVS Lathe Review
|Jet JWL-1642 EVS Lathe Review
by: Dominic Greco
Like many here, I found that I had reached the point where I could
justify upgrading from my Jet JWL-1236 Lathe. I had approached, if not
exceeded the operational limits, and found I needed a lathe with greater
capacity. After corresponding with several of you, and taking into account
your input, I arrived at (2) possible choices in my price range. The newly
released Jet JWL-1642EVS, and the Delta
46-745 16" Steel Bed Lathe.
Before I go much further with this, I'd like to take the time to thank
Frank and John from Woodworker's
Haven in Southampton PA (Tel:
215 953-1955). With their permission, I was allowed
to "operate" both the Jet and Delta lathes under controlled conditions.
These gentlemen went as far as to allow me to test each lathe by chucking
in a large out of round blank. It was after much comparison (and hand
wringing) that I finally chose the Jet.
|Swing over Tool Rest:
|Distance Between Centers:
||0-1200 & 0-3200
||1 1/4" x 8 TPI
|Drive Spindle Through Hole
|Tailstock Spindle Through Hole:
|Tailstock Spindle Travel:
|Spindle Center to Floor (approx.):
||1 1/2 HP, 3Ph, 230 V (Input Power 115V only)
|Net Weight (approx.):
|Shipping Weight (approx.):
||20" x 56 5/8"
The people at Jet really seemed to have done their homework in figuring
out what kind of features their customers would like. The features
that most impressed me were:
The design of the legs, as well as the heavy cast iron construction of
the bed. These made for a extremely smooth operating lathe.
Easily accessed controls on the head stock. Much to my surprise, I found
I liked the LED indicator.
A live center with multiple tips, and a heavy duty face plate with tommy
bar and set screws. Both very reminiscent of Oneway's version of these
The heavy duty, cast iron banjo has (3) tapped holes that can accept the
locking lever for the tool rest. This means you can switch which side the
locking lever is on (very handy when outboard turing).
Easy to use pushbutton spindle lock. IMHO, the spindle lock on the Delta's
was clumsy to use.
Innovatively designed vacuum chuck adapter that doubles as hand wheel.
Rather than being awkward to use, this fit my hand perfectly.
The cast iron bed features a series of tapped holes for attaching an extension
bed, or maybe an out board turning rig.
The under-bed wire frame tool shelf, (that can be swiveled out of the
way when not in use) and wire frame safety guard, are nice features.
But I will probably only install the tool shelf.
Packaging and Assembly:
The lathe comes in one large box (approx. 3' x 3' x 6') weighing
approximately 475 lbs. This box can be broken down into (3) somewhat smaller
ones. The (2) cast iron legs are packed in individual boxes and can be
easily handled. The bed is lag bolted to a pallet, with the Headstock,
Tailstock, and tool rest, assembled onto it. The rest of the associated
parts are loose. While it is possible for one indiviual to transport this,
I suggest bringing one other person with you to avoid the possibility of
Each of the parts were inspected upon delivery. Aside from a copious
coating of Cosmoline, (which was easily removed with mineral spirits) fit
and finish appeared to be just about perfect. The lathe manual was disappointingly
generic. The procedure for attaching the legs to the bed was totally missing
from the manual. Fortunately, this task is not impossible to reason out.
Assembly was completed within 1 hour. I have the lathe bed a coat of
T-9 Top Coat, and the body a fresh coat of paste wax (it's pretty for
such a short time. Why not spoil it a bit?).
The first thing that I noticed after assembly was the increased spindle
height of the JWL-1642 versus my old Jet JWL-1236. At 44 1/2", it seems
as if it is about 2" to 3" taller. Still, in order to bring it up to a
more comfortable height for bowl turning, I will be adding 2 1/2" of blocking
under the legs to lift it up to 47".
The operation of the Spindle is silky smooth. I really liked the 4"
of travel, and the graduated scaled embossed on the quill. The Tailstock
and Toolrest slid up and down the bed quite easily. The Headstock, being
much heavier, requires a bit (but not much) more effort to perform
this task. The levers for the Tailstock, Headstock, and Toolrest are all
hefty and fit my hands well.
I was very impressed with the Pseudo-Nova Live Center (pictured above)
that was included with the Lathe. This was of a much more substantial style
than I was used to. The center comes with a 60 deg cone that has a threaded
insert. Without the cone installed, it is a small stub center. Changing
the tips is an easy process. To install the cone center, you must insert
the Live Center Rod into a small hole located towards the #2 MT to stop
the center from spinning on it's bearing. The really nice part is that this
live center will accept all the accessories for Oneway's version. In addition,
it's easy to make your own accessories by tapping a block of wood for the
3/4"-10 threaded end.
Like the Live Center, the 6" faceplate is reminisicent of Oneway's design.
It's a nice heavy design, and features multiple holes to accomodate just
about any size larger blank. Since this lathe's controller allows you to
run in reverse, the face plate has (2) set screws. When engaged, these
set screws will help to prevent the face plate from becoming loose when
the lathe is running in reverse.
I selected a 15" diameter x 10" thick walnut blank which weighed about
35 lbs to test out this lathe (I had been saving this blank for the
moment when I finally got this lathe home). I am happy to say that
the lathe was able to handle this blank with ease. It took some adjusting
to get used to the fact that I could vary the speed so easily. But after
some time, I got used to it. While turning the unbalanced blank, I did
get some oscillation at higher speeds. So adding sand bags and /or a ballast
box will be the next thing I add on. In the end I was able to rough out
a 12" diameter x 7" deep bowl (Only some defects in the wood prevented
me from turning a larger bowl).
As you can probably guess, I am very pleased with my purchase and would
recommend this lathe to any who ask.
Thanks for viewing.
©2003 Dominic Greco.. All rights reserved.