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LATHE ADVICE

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Blog entry by McNamar posted 10-02-2019 02:05 AM 430 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I am a fairly novice woodworker. I have done some pens, 2 bowls, a tool handle, and a wine bottle holder. I am drying some wood for turning bowls and am trying to determine a decent lathe to get that I won’t outgrow in very short fashion. Price is a factor, but I don’t want to go cheap and outgrow it too soon either. I’ve been looking at the RIKON 70-220 and the Laguna 12-16. There is about a $200 difference which is still within my price range ($1,000 limit). Any advice I should take into account before pulling the trigger? Are there any opinions on a good lathe within that price limitation? Thanks

Brad



8 comments so far

View WoodenDreams's profile

WoodenDreams

749 posts in 423 days


#1 posted 10-02-2019 05:32 AM

Have you consider a good used Shopsmith Mark V. Probably more lathe than you need. Both lathes you mentioned are good lathes. I’m sure you’ll be happy with either choice. Both are rated at 1hp and have the reverse option. Several things to consider are the extra costs of attachments (drill chuck, chucks, chuck sets, bed extensions, steady rest). Depends on the type of turning you plan on, do compare the low end speed range. laguna low range speed is 50rpm vs Rikon low range speed is 250rpm. this does make a difference to turning odd or rough shaped stock. Buy locally if possible, higher chance of customer satisfaction if you have questions or problems. plus saves on shipping.

View Sawdust2012's profile

Sawdust2012

178 posts in 2225 days


#2 posted 10-02-2019 10:17 AM

I bought the Laguna about 6 months ago, and it is a fantastic lathe. It has outboard turning capability, which differentiates it from the. Rikon. I’m no expert, but Laguna’s variable speed mechanism seems to be superior to anything I have seen in a midi. It produces great low end torque. Towards your concern about outgrowing too quickly, the Laguna has a lot of features of a full size lathe, but the bed is pretty short. The extension helps but doesn’t add a lot. The extras for the Laguna are well worth the price in my opinion. All said and all done, I’d go with the Laguna.

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

683 posts in 1975 days


#3 posted 10-02-2019 10:46 PM

+1 on the Laguna. I have used the larger 24/36 Laguna lathe. Very nice lathe. Only 15.5” between centers on the one you are looking at. I would definitely get the bed extension for it right away. Plus the Laguna has the out board turning option. So that gives you a 16” swing for a bowl or platter.

-- John

View DDWW's profile

DDWW

105 posts in 1139 days


#4 posted 10-03-2019 12:32 AM

If you have time keep looking on Craigslist to see if you can find a good deal. It takes time there are more 1/2 to 1 hp lathes for sale but every few months someone comes up with something great for under 1000. I like the idea of the shop smith as it looks like it would make a good drill press.

View Phil32's profile

Phil32

635 posts in 416 days


#5 posted 10-03-2019 01:03 AM

Find a local woodturners club and make your interests known. Members of our local group often have lathes and related equipment for sale. They even have loaner lathes for beginners to try out. Don’t spend your limit on the basic machine. You can easily spend $1000 on accessories and tools.

-- Phil Allin - There are mountain climbers and people who talk about climbing mountains. The climbers have "selfies" at the summit!

View McNamar's profile

McNamar

6 posts in 40 days


#6 posted 10-03-2019 03:56 PM

Thanks, everyone. I appreciate the input so far. I have a very old ShopSmith 10ER (1953) and it is about impossible to do very small work. I did some pens and the tool rest won’t fit short enough to go level across because it hits the tail stock. Because of that, I am hesitant to getting another ShopSmith. Plus, it takes up a LOT of space and that is a consideration.

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

683 posts in 1975 days


#7 posted 10-04-2019 06:02 PM

So I do totally agree with finding a turning club
https://www.woodturningonline.com/ is a good web site. Lots of good info.
Under the community tab at the top, is a list of clubs. Both U.S. and international.
Also, the email ad from Rockler this morning shows Laguna tools with a 10% off sale this month.

-- John

View McNamar's profile

McNamar

6 posts in 40 days


#8 posted 10-05-2019 02:36 AM



So I do totally agree with finding a turning club
https://www.woodturningonline.com/ is a good web site. Lots of good info.
Under the community tab at the top, is a list of clubs. Both U.S. and international.
Also, the email ad from Rockler this morning shows Laguna tools with a 10% off sale this month.

- bigJohninvegas

Thanks for the advice and the website. The web site is fantastic and a load of information!!

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