Journey into Woodturning #27: final review of the WEN lathe

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Blog entry by MovingChips posted 11-18-2020 03:54 PM 290 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 26: DEATH of a LATHE - (WEN 3420t) Part 27 of Journey into Woodturning series no next part

WEN 8×12 3420T Wood Lathe – 7 Months old, 39 projects in and the lathe has died. This is my final review and look at the WEN 8×12 model 3420t.

- Weak motor
- Soft Metal (tool rest and head stock)
- No replacement parts
- Tool rest lowest setting not low enough
- Not meant for bowl turning

+ Variable speed control
+ 110v house outlet (no special electrical outlet required)

I may have pushed this little lathe beyond its manufactures suggested usage. To understand this is to first realize the manufacturer suggests not turning anything greater then 5 inch diameter, although it has 8 inches of clearance.

After talking with others, it is my belief that the lathe might actually be intended for small projects (pens) and not larger projects like bowls, boxes, platters, etc. Large projects will require large tools and thus the reason the tool rest is not able to get lower. But then why provide a screw plate for larger projects? Why have an 8 inch throw?

I will confess that at this point I must have used the 8×12 lathe as I assumed it was designed. It would probably still be running fine, if I did nothing but pen projects. For this reason, I am giving the lathe two stars.

1 star for getting me into to turning and another for holding out as long as it did.

I’m taking 3 stars away for misleading me to believe I could use all 8 inches of the lathe, weak motor and lack of replacement parts.

To see the video version of this review: Death of a Lathe!


PS – I now have a Laguna Revo 1216… what a difference! Power! Solid! So excited!

2 comments so far

View Eric's profile


702 posts in 785 days

#1 posted 11-19-2020 02:59 AM

Sorry for your lost. But you have recovered. Keep up the turnings.

-- Eric, building the dream

View MovingChips's profile


57 posts in 153 days

#2 posted 11-19-2020 03:25 AM

Sorry for your lost. But you have recovered. Keep up the turnings.

- Eric

In the immortal word of Monty Python… “not dead yet!”

I might see if I can squeeze some more life out of it and turn it into a polishing station.

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