Worth a look?


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Just wondering if this is worth the look? They are asking $400



Craftsman variable speed wood lathe

38" inch Spindle Turning
15" Inboard Bowl Turning
20" Outboard Bowl Turning
2 HP (maximum developed)
Variable Speed 400-2000 RPM

A cast iron and fully functional, well-maintained woodturning lathe with mobile base and extras (see below).
Moving and do not have room for my lathe any longer.

Comes with:
Tail Stock/Spindle Attachment
Two Faceplates
Tool Rest w/ Two Attachments (short & long)
6 Piece Woodturning Tool Set w/ Case




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I have seen the new model of that lathe sell as low as $200. Never used one but read some reviews and they didn't fare particularly well against the competition. That's not to say there is anything wrong with them but from what I remember the motor was weak, performing roughly on par with a 3/4HP motor. There is no way I would pay $400 for one.


Edit: I realized that is an older model of the lathe I was talking about and changed my comments.

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It's worth a bit, but even with the included accessories $400 seems a little on the high end.  I would probably go talk to them about it & check it out, but I think my absolute top number would be $300.  200-250 sounds more reasonable.  Other than that, I think it's a fine starter lathe & wouldn't try compare it to anything else that sells in a higher price range.

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Thanks Oz! I'll see what I can do to check it out! This was on Craigslist and there was another one same type for $50 less and it was in worse shape and didn't have extras. I have no idea what lathes go for and even if they are worth spending the money on. Finding that affordable to quality balance...

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Like McQ said, lathes really haven't changed since they were invented.  I think the 2 biggest changes in the last thousand years were putting a motor on one & electronic speed control.  Other than that they are about as simple as a machine gets.  Make sure the head/tail lines up (or is adjustable, which I don't think that Craftsman is), make sure the motor runs and, at that price, has good bearings.  On that moveable cart, she's probably going to vibrate a bit, but that's a simple fix by getting rid of the casters & adding some weight to it (but also maybe something you can use to get them to come down on price - lathes shouldn't vibrate).  As for the extras, the 2nd tool rest is nice, but also cheap to add on afterwards, faceplates are nice for bowls, but again not all that expensive to just buy another one & those chisels will work but they're no prize by any means.  At least they give you something to stick into the wood without having to buy a brand new set - you can sharpen them up & practice with them, not only can you upgrade to a nicer chisel one at a time depending on what you use the most (I did the same thing with a starter HF HSS set) but you also won't cringe when you mess up the bevel & have to regrind it.

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That is much better than the older Craftsman pipe bed lathes, at least it is cast iron and all one piece. Varri speed is nice, changing belts can be a PITA. The tools can be worth a few dollars depending on who made them. Face plates tail stock etc should come with the lathe, well tail stock at least! Everything can be adjusted but it depends on how much work you want to do and the ability and skills to do it. Put a center in the head stock and a center in the tail stock then slide them together, they should match up point to point.

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  • 6 years later...

Yes I would recommend  the craftsman variable speed wood lathe   


I own one and it’s  great for turning all kinds of projects it’s got power some of the other lathe don’t.


It it works great for bowls and lamps and other stuff    


I recommend for it your looking for a good lathe   Buy a older craftsman variable speed  


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  • 2 years later...

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