Tool advise about Lathes...

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Blog entry by JockChris posted 12-17-2011 01:50 AM 1236 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hello Jocks I am looking for advise on Lathes . I want to get into turning as I did some turning in school and loved it. But my shop is a basement shop so I must be able to carry / drag down to the basement. I am not counting out used lathes I just don’t know whats decent. I want to be about to turn pens, bowls ,bats. So from small projects to mid sized is what I am thinking. Now is 1/2 big enough for 11” ~12” bowls. The lathe I used in the past was 3 hp delta / Rockwell. It was a beast compared to what I am looking at now…

I really like the delta 46-445 midi 5 speed and the rikon 70-100 but I don’t know if they will handle large bowls as these seem to be small lathe that you can extend the beds with.

I also have my eye on a delta 46-700 variable speed he’s asking 375.00 seems high to me for used lathe.

I think I would enjoy the 46-445 a bit more, But I need something that will last a long time, and if it breaks I can get it fixed.

I want to keep this affordable if possible…lol

3 comments so far

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 3544 days

#1 posted 12-17-2011 03:30 PM

Iv’e seen a lot of people using the small lathes that will do 12inch turning. Most of them also have bed ext. for them. I don’t use a midi lathe. Hopefully some of the other turners can help you. You might see if there a woodcraft near you they may be able to help you out.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View Kerry Drake's profile

Kerry Drake

169 posts in 3500 days

#2 posted 12-17-2011 03:46 PM

I suggest you take a look at the Harbor Freight 12×42 lathe. You can almost always get it for under $200.00 and it is a pretty nice tool.

-- Kerry Drake, Loudon NH,

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 3477 days

#3 posted 12-17-2011 05:26 PM

If you want to bats, you need something a bit longer. I am happy with my HF lathe for the price point. The head will turn to make it easier to do larger work.

You really don’t want to mess with pulley changes for speed change.Variable speed is a nice feature.

I don’t think you will get a substantially nicer lathe without going quite a bit higher on the price scale. Catch the coupons at the right time and it can be as low as $200.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

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