Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 25

Thread: Lathe choice for beginner

  1. #1

    Lathe choice for beginner

    All, I'd appreciate a little wisdom please:

    I'm in the market for my first lathe. I'd like to buy new for my first lathe, the conventional wisdom seems to have been buy something like a Delta 1460 used, but I am not nearly proficient enough at changing bearings and the like to take that route yet. Also, the odd one that comes up on CL tends to be much further north than where I am in GA. Like PA!

    So, I think I want a mini/midi lathe to get going with, which can be inexpensively extended to do things like table legs. Bowls interest me, but less so smaller items like pens.

    The two models I have seen are both Jets, the 1014 and the 1220. The 1014 can be had with VS, for almost the same money as the 1220. However, the 1220 can turn bigger bowls, and is more substantial. I think if I got the 1220, I would be Ok with that for a number of years, with a bed extension a year or so down the road. However, the VS model of the 1220 would run me about $250 more, and that makes it unaffordable. The 1014 can be had for $350, the 1220 for $379. The $29 difference is immaterial, but I do not know which way to judge the VS feature on the 1014 vs the extra capacity & weight of the 1220.

    Or is there a different approach I could take for the same kind of outlay?

    Many thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Western Maryland
    Posts
    5,548
    I've got a 1460 that doesn't need any work and I'm a LOT closer to you than PA...I'm in northwest Maryland!

    Mark there are some recent threads about the same subject. Rather than rewriting my thoughts on it, see what I wrote...it was only a couple days ago. Good luck with your lathe purchase. And welcome!
    I drink, therefore I am.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Glenelg, MD
    Posts
    12,261
    Blog Entries
    1
    If a $250 increase in price puts it out of your price range, I have to ask... have you budgeted turning tools, chucks, etc.? If not, that $250 is gone in a heartbeat when you add that stuff in. You can't turn with a screwdriver as a gouge (though I think Mike tried once... tennis elbow... phsaw! )
    Hi-Tec Designs, LLC -- Owner (and self-proclaimed LED guru )

    Trotec 80W Speedy 300 laser w/everything
    CAMaster Stinger CNC (25" x 36" x 5")
    USCutter 24" LaserPoint Vinyl Cutter
    Jet JWBS-18QT-3 18", 3HP bandsaw
    Robust Beauty 25"x52" wood lathe w/everything
    Jet BD-920W 9"x20" metal lathe
    Delta 18-900L 18" drill press

    Flame Polisher (ooooh, FIRE!)
    Freeware: InkScape, Paint.NET, DoubleCAD XT
    Paidware: Wacom Intuos4 (Large), CorelDRAW X5

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Stow, OH
    Posts
    1,023
    Don't overlook the major advantage of the 1220VS (not the 1014 VS) is its minimum rpm of 200 instead of 500 on the manual speed model. The slower rpm would allow you to safely turn slightly unbalanced blanks, off center turning. At that price range, you may also want to look at the new Delta 12.5 inch VS.
    With the slower rpm, I think it would serve you well till you want larger capacity.
    Gordon

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Western Maryland
    Posts
    5,548
    Dan is right (about burning through $250 EASILY after getting your lathe) but wrong about be using a screwdriver as a gouge...I used it as a skew! Just kidding, I never used a screwdriver as a lathe tool...don't try it!
    I drink, therefore I am.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Goodland, Kansas
    Posts
    22,605
    If you are looking at the Jet I would look at the Jet 1220 VS. It has a little more heft to it and the lower speed is better for turning out of balance blanks for bowls. I would also look at the Delta 46-460 VS with a bigger motor (1 hp) reverse for sanding. It is a nice smooth machine.
    Bernie

    Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.



  7. #7
    Thanks all.

    I'm not quite that naive.. the $250 difference between the 1220 and the 1220VS IS the tools and chucks etc! If I were to go with the 1220VS and add the tools, then it becomes unaffordable.

    I see this as a $5-600 exercise to initially get into turning. I don't want it to be a $1000 mistake

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Stow, OH
    Posts
    1,023
    Don't rush into buying the chuck yet. It is a convenience item. Even you have several chucks and jaws, you still need to use the alternate methods, such as glue blocks, jam chucks. Learn to use the faceplate etc. first.
    Spend as much money you can afford on the lathe. If the lathe is vibrating, you won't enjoy turning. I believe that may be the reason why turners upgrade so often. Each time you upgrade your lathe, you will lose a lot of money.
    I am not saying you can make a living from turning. You may want to consider making some easy projects from kits, and sell them to friends and co-workers to augment your tool fund in the future.
    The Jet and the new Delta have 5 years warranty. Even they don't have large swings, but they are enjoyable to use. Unlike the older Reeves drive variable speed lathes, they are low maintenance and run much smoother.
    Gordon

  9. #9
    I bought a Jet 1220VS last February with part of my tax refund from last year. So far I've been very happy with it and haven't wanted to do anything with it it couldn't do... I don't have a lot to compare it to - my turning experience to that point consisted of making a small finial on my brother's antique Craftsman lathe and the ones I used in Junior High School woodshop class. The only thing I really remember about those is that they either didn't have live centers in the tailstock, or they were frozen; each lathe had an oil can next to it and you had to keep applying oil to where the spinning piece met the tailstock.

    I started out thinking I would get the Jet 1014VS until I noticed that the non-vs 1220 was almost the same price. Kicked it around for a few days trying to decide between vs and the bigger lathe and finally my wife told me to spend the extra $250 and get the 1220VS. I haven't regretted it...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    N. Olmsted, Ohio
    Posts
    355
    I just got a 1220VS a month ago and was totally surprised how well it ran for a "mini". Right now Jet/Powermatic has a sale going on... Email me if you want to know where to get the best price... I can't say it online.

    Doug
    440-241-6360

  11. #11
    When I started out I bought the Jet 1014 used at an auction. Then, I bought a set of turning tools for $85.00 (the brand name was Steel, I think), still got them and they are good tools. Later I picked up a used chuck off ebay ($45.00). So, I got started for cheap to see if turning was for me.

    Well, it was and three months later I picked up a new Jet 1236 at the same auction. Then a year latter the Delta 46-460, and then sold the Jet 1014 for the same price that I had bought it for. Last month I bought a Delta 46-755X used off ebay. No telling how much money I have tied up on tools and chucks and I have only been turning for two years.

    It's a good thing to start this hobby with caution. Lathes and tools cost a lot of money, and turning is not for everyone. The guy that I bought the Delta 45-755X from had paid $2300.00 for it, only to use it about 10 times before he found out that turning was not for him. He sold the lathe for $800.00. That was an expensive learning experience for him.

    I recommend that you check on Craigslist and try to find a used lathe to start out with. I checked Craigslist for Georgia and the surrounding states last month when I was looking for a used lathe and found over 50 Craftmen Lathes for sale for between $40 and $300 -- a lot in the $100.00 -- $200.00 range. These are not the best lathes you can buy, but a 2HP, 15" swing lathe is a nice lathe to start out with. Some members in out turning club have been turning on them for years.
    Last edited by Bill Bulloch; 11-10-2010 at 3:08 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Stow, OH
    Posts
    1,023
    [QUOTE=Bill Bulloch;1555335] 50 Craftmen Lathes for sale ... but a 2HP, 15" swing lathe is a nice lathe to start out with. [QUOTE]


    Be careful. Ask Bernie. You don't want the model private labeled by Palmgren. They have tons of trouble brand new.
    Gordon

  13. #13
    if you are looking a mini/midi lathes and money is pretty tight you should at least check out the Rikon VS on sale at Woodcraft right now for $279

    i have the manual Rikon and its been a great little lathe have made a 10" bowl on it and no problems at all though i do round my blanks on the bandsaw before i turn them to get them alot closer to balanced

    also turned a pretty heavy unbalanced blank of oak burl approx 9" dia and 8" tall also worked well

    my lathe is mounted on a workbench that i made out of an oak commercial door ( read HEAVY) bench is fastend to the walls in 1 corner of my shop and screwed to the floor as well anything that fits on the lathe can be turned without the lathe bouncing around with this setup

    as Dan said theres no point having a more expensive lathe and having to try to turn with a screwdriver

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Hintz View Post
    If a $250 increase in price puts it out of your price range, I have to ask... have you budgeted turning tools, chucks, etc.? If not, that $250 is gone in a heartbeat when you add that stuff in. You can't turn with a screwdriver as a gouge (though I think Mike tried once... tennis elbow... phsaw! )
    A screwdriver won't make a gouge, but I use them as scrapers pretty much every time I turn. If it's harder than the wood and you can get an edge on it, you can turn with it... Not that I advise it, but you can.

    I have a PM3520 (Mustard Monster)... I'm going to get a Delta 46-460 as my demo lathe. If that lathe had been my first lathe, I might never have gotten a bigger one. If you can spare the coin, that would be MY strongest recommendation.
    Change One Thing

  15. #15
    Mark, If I had to choose between VS and larger turning dia. I will take VS every time. My first lathe, a Jet 1442, was a great lathe but the absence of VS presented a number of challenges that had to be overcome. I believe a new lathe like you are looking at is the way to go. Some folks try used and sacrifice features and quality only to end up discouraged and leave the hobby frustrated. While there are considerable other costs, wood should never be one of those costs, especially for a new turner. Wood can be had for free almost everywhere but the desert and even in the desert there are limited resources. Just my experience. I hope it helps you.
    Last edited by Christopher K. Hartley; 11-11-2010 at 8:12 AM.
    Success is the sum of Failure and Learning

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •