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Thread: upsize motor on Laguna lathe

  1. #1

    upsize motor on Laguna lathe

    Hello all,
    I am contemplating my first lathe purchase - strongly considering the Laguna 12|16 since it seems to deliver a pretty good feature set for a decent price. However, I am also thinking about going ahead and purchasing a full-size lathe to start out, rather than buying a midi then deciding soon after to sell and upsize. Once I get into the full-size lathes, I am looking at the Laguna Revo 18|36. Believe me, I'm also drooling over the Oneway and Robust offerings, but not ready to take THAT giant a leap as a beginning turner.
    Anyway... to my main question. Currently, I don't have 220V wired into my shop. It's in the plans eventually, but it means upsizing the feeder from the house, new panel, etc. - something I don't think I am going to get to immediately. So here are the options I can think of

    Option 1) Get the 18|36 in the 110V, 1 1/2 HP that I could start using with my current electrical setup. Question is, if when I want to go to the 230V, 2 HP option, Is it just a matter of purchasing and installing the larger motor and the inverter or is there a lot more to it than that.

    Option 2) Get the 18|36 in the 230V, 2 HP version now and buy a replacement 1 1/2 HP, 110V motor and swap it, then swap it back to the 230V, 2 HP motor and inverter when I get 220V in the shop? If you all are rolling your eyes at me right now, PLEASE tell me that is an idiotic thought

    Option 3) Just buy the 12|16 now, get my feet wet and start building my turning chops with it and, by the time I decide to upsize, I will have 220v in the shop. Like some, I might decide to keep both lathes... I'm guessing this is the most sane option, but hoping to learn from some of your experiences/lessons learned.

    Thanks,
    Dean

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    sykesville, maryland
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    Not that big of a deal to switch to 220V. Talk to an electrician for the easiest way for your situation. Otherwise:

    Option 3: Why go to the cost and trouble to retrofit a new machine with a weaker motor? 220v is THE way to go though. But, then there is reality......
    Option 4: Grizzly is a better value
    Option 5: Buy used
    Option 6: if not looking to turn big things consider a tabletop lathe as a first step.

    I'd look hard at used. Then go from there if nothing suitable is available.

  3. #3
    Thanks, Tom. I have been looking at Craigslist and there just isn't too much out there right now in my general area. I am attending my first local Woodturners' club meeting next week, so I will start to make some face-to-face contacts and ask some of these questions there, too. I'm guessing this is also going to be one of my best ways to find out about used tools for sale as well.
    I have looked at Grizzly, and their headquarters (in Washington State) are only a 1/2 hour drive from me. Problem is... they seem to be out of stock on most of the lathes I was looking at. Might not be an issue since I'm not in a huge hurry. I will probably swing by there in the next couple of weeks to lay eyes on what they have in the showroom and will definitely consider them if when they get re-stocked... if I haven't purchased anything yet.

    Thanks for the advice.

    Dean

  4. #4
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    sykesville, maryland
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    The local club will be a great resource for you. Also look on Facebook marketplace, and expand your range on CL. The right lathe might be worth driving for. If you can wait, I think the Grizzly 14" table top is a great starter lathe. I was going to get it, but couldn't wait and decided to just get a big lathe instead. I wanted a Powermatic, but just wasn't in the budget. Anyhow, I have 7 Grizzly tools and they have all be great for a hobbyist.

  5. #5
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    Smyrna Mills, Maine
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    The 1-1/2hp 1836 might be just fine, I have the 2hp model and it has lots of power. I have the 20" bed extension and have turned a couple 24" bowls with no lack of power. I have owned a g0766 and it is not a better value in my opinion, it is what you pay for. The 0766 claims to be 3hp but I'm not sure how that is determined, based on my own experience the 2hp 1836 has more torque and power, that's why I'm saying the 1-1/2hp might be just fine. Would be interesting to compare.

  6. #6
    Thanks, Tom and Jack. I will go to the meeting next week and see if there are any leads on used. I donít think I would quickly outgrow a 1-1/2 HP very quickly. About 5 years before I retire... trying to get most of the tools I want before then and get my shop set up, but I know some of my ďneedsĒ will change when Iím using the tools more frequently.

    thanks again

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Lilley View Post
    The 1-1/2hp 1836 might be just fine, I have the 2hp model and it has lots of power. I have the 20" bed extension and have turned a couple 24" bowls with no lack of power. I have owned a g0766 and it is not a better value in my opinion, it is what you pay for. The 0766 claims to be 3hp but I'm not sure how that is determined, based on my own experience the 2hp 1836 has more torque and power, that's why I'm saying the 1-1/2hp might be just fine. Would be interesting to compare.
    Each to their own in terms of value. But the Grizzly offers more for a little less money. 22 vs 18 swing, 42 vs 36 bed, 3 vs 2 (or 1.5) HP. Earlier G0766's had some design deficiencies (too tall, banjo, tool rest) that have since been fixed. And lately, there seems to be a number of complaints about Laguna customer service. The Laguna is prettier, with fancier knobs, a better spindle lock, but that's the only advantage I see. And if you can live with 16" swing, Grizzly offers a number of choices for much less money than Laguna.

    Now if you like the Laguna, I'm sure it's fine, but I wouldn't get the 1.5 HP and then plan to retrofit later simply because I didn't have 220 power. I'd fix the power problem first and then get the lathe I preferred. Or spend way less on a 120V lathe as a stop-gap, first lathe solution until I could fix my power problem. I was recommending the Grizzly G0844 for < $600 as a good "high value" starter lathe. Maybe a little light on HP, but certainly a whole lot cheaper and plenty for beginners. I know for my money I wouldn't spend $2400 on a 120V lathe.

  8. #8
    Dean, if it was me starting out all over again, I'd do the same as I did this time. First I purchased a table-top lathe, and I had it permanently set-up on a Black & Decker Work-mate. And a couple of years after that, I bought a larger sized lathe a 14"x 42". The only mistake I made, was that I didn't but a good quality lathe. If I knew then what I know now, I'd have bought a better quality one. One that is larger, and one that doesn't have a reeves clutch on it. Granted, I've never had any issues with the clutch so far, but I'm a bit leary of it. Whatever you decide to do, good luck with your choice. I still own my two lathes, but I haven't been able to use them since I moved. But I soon hope to rectify that, I'm going to build a new shop.

    Len

    Len

  9. #9
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    It’s easy to add a 220 line. Just run a 12 g line from the panel to an outlet. You need 2 slots in the box. An electrician can add a line easily and get the bigger motor. It will end up costing you more for the upgrade than the electrician.
    Don

  10. #10
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    Dean,

    I also want to point out that if your circuit has GFCI, a 120V lathe may constantly trip the circuit. It is my understanding that this is common when attempting to run on a GFCI.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Jarvie View Post
    It’s easy to add a 220 line. Just run a 12 g line from the panel to an outlet. You need 2 slots in the box. An electrician can add a line easily and get the bigger motor. It will end up costing you more for the upgrade than the electrician.
    And if 12 g were used for the original 120, it can be converted to 220 by changing the breaker and receptacle. However, there cannot be any (other) 120V outlets on that circuit.

  12. #12
    Thank you, Len. I thought about a mini but am afraid I will outgrow that way too quickly. I figured a good middle ground was a midi and thatís why I thought the Revo 12-16 would be a good option. That will probably do what Iím interested in learning for a while. 12Ē with a 16Ē outboard capacity should do me for a while. I donít think Iím going to do much spindle turning at first so maybe the 16Ē length will be sufficient.

    I will look at some more midi-size options. I know I want variable speed and a speed readout. I was looking at the Jet but there were some complaints about the way the tool rest clamps down in the banjo. Will have to look at some more reviews. The tool snob in me keeps taking me back to the Robust Scout but, realistically, I donít need to dump that kind of money into my first lathe...but boy it looks nice. So does the smaller Oneway, but same logic appli since itís not far away on price.

    lots of fun looking to do and discussions with the seasoned veterans at the woodturnersí club.

    thanks,

    Dean

  13. #13
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    Just donít loose sight of the fact that your lathe will be the cheap part. The chucks, jaws, tools and sharpening system will be shocking in cost once you get going. And thatís just the tip of the iceberg.

    I had a nova comet for starters but quickly moved to a laguna 18/36. Iíd suggest going larger out of the gate unless you plan to have two lathes.

  14. #14
    Thanks everybody!
    i think Iím getting more and more convinced to go with a 120V ďstarterĒ lathe. I will take a closer look at the Grizzly in person but if they donít solve their inventory problem by spring, thatís going to influence my buying decision. I think the G0766 is probably bigger than I will go at first. I will probably take a look at the G0844, but itís only 3/4 HP.

    I think I will get the upgraded power out to my barn/shop later in the spring. I actually have 220V out there for the well pump but I think itís only a 10 AWG line from a 30A breaker in the house. I need to run a large enough feeder from the house to power a proper 100 or 125A sub-panel out in the barn. Then I can run a couple of dedicated 220v branch circuits and some more 120v circuits to the shop portion of the building. This lack of proper/sufficient power is also holding me back from getting the table saw I want as well, so thereís definitely some motivation.

    Tom,
    I will keep the GFCI issue in mind. The 120v circuits in my shop are currently on GFCI and I havenít had any issues, but can see the potential with larger or certain kinds of loads. I will have some GFCI circuits for any extension cords Iím running outside, but those can be dedicated for that use once I get enough power out there to allow that flexibility.
    also... Iím sure youíre right about the $2400, 120v lathe. I donít think I would actually pull the trigger on that one, but theyve sure been fun to admire. Iím a sucker for really well-built tools

    thanks again, guys. I really appreciate all the advice.

    Dean

  15. #15
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    Dean, I found the GFCI issue in a thread about an 18-36 that kept tripping the GFCI. The thread attributed it to the Delta controller. Not sure if that is fact or not. So, other lathes (like Nova) which use a different type of speed control may not suffer the same fate. search for it and read it for yourself.

    Yeah, Grizzly stock comes and goes. I watched the G0844 out of stock for several months, most of last year. Then when they had stock I wasn't in the market. Then my lathed failed and I needed to replace it, but they were out of stock again on the G0844. Likely more coming "soon" and you should at least sign up for notifications when stock is replenished so that you have an opportunity to buy, should you chose to, when they have them. And while they don't list an extension, the extension they have for another midi looks like it would fit should you want to go longer at some point.

    I think getting your shop properly powered first is the right move. then you can get better quality tools across the board without concern for having enough power for them. I love my 220V power tools, and my 120 V tools do sometimes aggravate me with tripped breakers. 220 is the way to go.

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