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My old Rockwell lathe can be used to turn on the outboard faceplate.  I screwed the lathe & my drill press to the same sheet of plywood then bolted the tool rest to the drill press table.  You just have to think outside the box. 

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+1 this. If I was looking for a used lathe I would get in touch with folks at a local turning club,  and in SoCal there's gonna be more than one. Once you find a club or two go to a meeting.

There is a reason they call turning the slippery slope.  The lathe is a small part of what you'll spend.  Chucks, tools, lights, rests, sharpening, gizmos and doo-dads abound. 

I originally had a 10" PSI lathe and upgraded to a 12" Jet.  I've gone as far as doing outboard turning on it by flipping the headstock around.  Pile enough weight on these midi lathes and they'll do

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4 hours ago, Brendon_t said:

This makes me think that I need to adjust my expectations or quit expecting. 

Single income, 5 mouths. Money isn't bootlace tight but not a single machine in my shop cost me $1500.  Actually my drum sander, band saw, and planer all cost me less combined. If it costs over a grand to dip your toe into the water with any expectation that you won't have to immediately upgrade from a POS, then that may just be it. Not my thing.

 

Nova prices their stuff like they're the festool of lathes.  Not trying to comment on whether they're worth that at all, just reiterating the point someone made about looking for the right brands.

Edit: I keep forgetting this thread was just a rant :) Do you actually want a lathe, or just to rant? Sometimes I think I want one, and I have the money, but have yet to pull the trigger, so...I guess not very badly.

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7 hours ago, JosephThomas said:

 

Edit: I keep forgetting this thread was just a rant :) Do you actually want a lathe, or just to rant? Sometimes I think I want one, and I have the money, but have yet to pull the trigger, so...I guess not very badly.

I have a rant. It's going decently well so far I think.

Yet I would still like a lathe, but you've seen my shop. If something comes in, I'm gonna have to lose another 70 pounds to get around unless I enjoy it so much, that something else gets kicked out. There are really only two things getting me from buying one straight out. 1. as was said above,  it's hard to bite the bullet on a one trick pony that 2) takes up floor space AND it seems now will cost at least a grand to just have one around for 6 months, make some bowls and I'm sure some fire wood too.

If I know me, and I think I do; I'd bet turning could easily be something I nerd out on.  Need another way of making a mess like I need another kid. I'm sure a lathe will show up soon, but until I either bite the bullet, or decide against it, rantings all I've got.

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My personal rant on lathes is that the machine isn't all that expensive but after you add in everything else that you need it practically doubles in price. Then you want to turn something else and realize that your equipment won't allow that. I'd love to try it as well but i don't yet have the drive to figure out what i don't know, and don't quite yet want to.

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8 hours ago, JosephThomas said:

Nova prices their stuff like they're the festool of lathes.

Currious why you say this.  They frequently have sales and I always saw Nova as a value brand like Grizzly.  Speaking of which does Grizzly have any offering of interest?

11 minutes ago, Chestnut said:

the machine isn't all that expensive but after you add in everything else that you need it practically doubles in price.

There's that.  Get a lathe and you're gonna need chisels, and a basic set is gonna cost a few hundred.  But of course sooner or later you're going to want tools that go beyond the basic.

Then there's a chuck.  You'll get a faceplate, but most people prefer to turn on a chuck.  So a chuck and a set of jaws, but that only gives you a narrow range so you'll want more than one set of jaws.  I'm up to two chucks and 8 sets of jaws.

So it's a very cool one trick pony with lots of accessories sold separately. 

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If you wanted to get started bowl turning up to about 12 inch bowls this is what you would need.

Rikon 220 VSR (or the Jet 1221) Variable speed lathe ~$600 on sale. If you wanted to go cheaper and give up variable speed you could go with the Harbor Freight lathe for about a $300 savings.

Chuck PSI Barracuda 2 $140 or Rockler has the Nova G3 on sale right now for $150.

60 degree live center ~$20

Starter chisels Benjamin's best chisel set ~$100

Sharpening stuff Wolvering Jig $90, Wolverine Varigrind $50

Grinder (if you don't have one) Rikon 8 inch ~$100 on sale

That's about $1100 including the grinder for decent middle of the line stuff, and an OK set of starter chisels.

 

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Install a CL app on your phone and have it send you alerts when a lathe pops up.  I'm in the same area and haven't been actively looking for a lathe but I have seen a couple of good deals in the last few months.  Granted many of them are mini lathes though.   If you're not in a hurry I'd say keep on looking. 75% of my shop is from CL and most of the brands are high end that I would never be able to afford if I bought them new.  Good Luck. 

Oh, and if you have time check out swapmeet at Anderson plywood this saturday.  It's definitely a long shot but people do bring large tools occassionaly.

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Agree on the app or a browser extension. So much stuff pops up and goes away before you realize.

I got a lathe for Father's Day last year and have yet to complete a project. Life sure has gotten in the way, only had the tools for it for about a month before our 2nd was born. Maybe one day....

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1 hour ago, jussi said:

Install a CL app on your phone and have it send you alerts when a lathe pops up.  I'm in the same area and haven't been actively looking for a lathe but I have seen a couple of good deals in the last few months.  Granted many of them are mini lathes though.   If you're not in a hurry I'd say keep on looking. 75% of my shop is from CL and most of the brands are high end that I would never be able to afford if I bought them new.  Good Luck. 

Oh, and if you have time check out swapmeet at Anderson plywood this saturday.  It's definitely a long shot but people do bring large tools occassionaly.

Thanks for the heads up. Im a stone's throw away from Anderson and have never been to the swap meet. Definitely need to.

Don't go bragging too much about our local CL though. Apparently the rest of the country isn't as flush with options on the regular. We are super spoiled on that.

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2 hours ago, RileyD said:

If you wanted to get started bowl turning up to about 12 inch bowls this is what you would need.

Rikon 220 VSR (or the Jet 1221) Variable speed lathe ~$600 on sale. If you wanted to go cheaper and give up variable speed you could go with the Harbor Freight lathe for about a $300 savings.

Chuck PSI Barracuda 2 $140 or Rockler has the Nova G3 on sale right now for $150.

60 degree live center ~$20

Starter chisels Benjamin's best chisel set ~$100

Sharpening stuff Wolvering Jig $90, Wolverine Varigrind $50

Grinder (if you don't have one) Rikon 8 inch ~$100 on sale

That's about $1100 including the grinder for decent middle of the line stuff, and an OK set of starter chisels.

 

Thanks for putting that all together. There are a few things in there I'm not familiar with. Off to Google.

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17 hours ago, Brendon_t said:

If it costs over a grand to dip your toe into the water with any expectation that you won't have to immediately upgrade from a POS, then that may just be it. Not my thing.

Define "have to upgrade".  I've been trying to kill my little Harbor Freight mini lathe for four years and only just recently added a larger lathe to the arsenal.  The little one is still going:  I could sell it and get back a substantial amount of the pittance it cost, or just keep using it.  Haven't decided yet.  What's important is that this little thing:

  • Taught me an enormous amount about turning,
  • Gave me ample opportunities to practice freehand sharpening on the junk steel that HF calls "tools",
  • Completed dozens of projects which have been gifted to a lot of happy people.

Start small and cheap.  (Advice you'd never give with, say, a table saw.)  You may find that you never have to upgrade at all.

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Same here. I have 2 of the HF mini lathes. My girlfriend still turns on one of them the other one got turned into a dedicated buffing station.

This is probably why there are no lathes on Craigslist. Turners just hoard lathes.

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Pm on sawmill if you have a few grand. 

 

I agree, I think nova offers a ton of bang for your buck. The dvr is under 2k and gives you a 1.5-2.25hp motor with variable speed, 16” swing, outboard capability etc. I had a used one for a few months, but didn’t take to turning much. I traded it for a new in box comet II and a grand. I want more machine, but realistically, the comet has me covered for what I do and want to do. 

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As mentioned above, there are better deals at HF or grizzly than anything I can find on the used market locally. I was kind of surprised at the the grizzly prices...there are a couple lower-end well rated ones that seem to be very affordable ($360 for 12"x18", or $665 for a 16x46). Hard to pass that up unless you want to grab the HF for a while. 

 

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I found a 70 year old cheesy lathe on C-list for 150.00. Came with a cheesy duplicator. I bought it for turning table legs and the throw isn't much. Hey man, it spins and ya stick sharp steel into wood spinning really fast with your hands. GLAD I didn't spend a lot of money. Im a kind of guy who can't stay in one place for very long.  Standing in front of a lathe for most of the night catching edges and shit exploding makes my armpits sweat. :P

 

-Ace-

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5 hours ago, JosephThomas said:

As mentioned above, there are better deals at HF or grizzly than anything I can find on the used market locally. I was kind of surprised at the the grizzly prices...there are a couple lower-end well rated ones that seem to be very affordable ($360 for 12"x18", or $665 for a 16x46). Hard to pass that up unless you want to grab the HF for a while. 

 

Been burned by hf a few too many times. I have a hard rule of nothing from there with any electronics.

Aanndddd grizzly will not get another dime from me ever. Machines are on the eh side of useable but the company is predatory and dishonest.

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3 hours ago, Brendon_t said:

Machines are on the eh side of useable but the company is predatory and dishonest.

I have been buying tools from Grizzly since 1987, yea some of them are on the lower end of  quality, but I still have every single one.  I have never had a predatory or dishonest experience when dealing with them.   Actually I have found their customer service to be outstanding.   General statements like that serve no purpose,  but if you have examples I would really like hear them.

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8 hours ago, Just Bob said:

I have been buying tools from Grizzly since 1987, yea some of them are on the lower end of  quality, but I still have every single one.  I have never had a predatory or dishonest experience when dealing with them.   Actually I have found their customer service to be outstanding.   General statements like that serve no purpose,  but if you have examples I would really like hear them.

Feel free to dig up any number of threads on the topic on pretty much every forum about wood working including mine from here. They have a long history of misconduct that is easy to find if you would really like to read them. 

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All the mini 10"x18" lathes appear to be the same.There are probably some differences between the electronics and or mechanical bits, but if you look closely the Harbor Freight, Grizzly, Wen, etc. ones all look the same with different paint jobs.

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4 minutes ago, Mark J said:

Legend has it that there is one factory in Taiwan that makes all the power tool in the world:  The Factory of Everything.

Of course that's just a myth.

Myth or not just because they are made in the same factory doesn't mean anything. Material prep/handling, quality control, casting age all probably have an impact on the outcome. Maybe the inexpensive brand uses the castings after the expensive brand has determined they are worn out? Maybe the inexpensive brand is made from the material and pieces that doesn't meet the expensive brand metallurgy or quality specs?

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2 hours ago, Chestnut said:

Myth or not just because they are made in the same factory doesn't mean anything. Material prep/handling, quality control, casting age all probably have an impact on the outcome. Maybe the inexpensive brand uses the castings after the expensive brand has determined they are worn out? Maybe the inexpensive brand is made from the material and pieces that doesn't meet the expensive brand metallurgy or quality specs?

Agreed. But if you're trying to sell something that looks the same and its twice the cost, you better clarify what's better about it. When you add in shipping the Grizzly is almost twice as much as the Harbor Freight.

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