Reply by David Kirtley

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Posted on DELTA WINs -- RIKON Mini Lathe Model 70-100 or the DELTA 46-460 ????

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David Kirtley

1286 posts in 3532 days

#1 posted 12-10-2012 08:35 PM

The spindle in the lathe headstock that the lathe comes with is not changeable. It has a thread on the outside (1”x 8 threads per inch) and a tapered hole down the middle (Morse Taper #2). The one on that lathe is the same size as mine (HF 12×33.) I don’t have a chuck for mine either and don’t feel like I am missing anything. If you get a larger lathe in the future, it will most likely have a different size thread and taper. A good chuck is a major investment and a cheap one is not worth having. Wait until you are sure you are going to live with this lathe long term before investing.

Since the spindle has a thread on the end like a bolt, you can screw things onto it. That is where you would screw on a chuck. You can also just thread a piece of wood and screw it on directly. If you want to turn a bowl for example, you can have a piece of wood that is a bit longer and just drill a small hole and thread it and bolt it directly to the spindle rather than hold the wood in a chuck. You can also mount things like sanding disks and buffing wheels on it. Yes, you can even use it to sharpen your lathe tools. If you wanted to, you can also make attachments to do other things. This is how a Shopsmith works. It is just a lathe with bolt on attachments.

You can put something small in the headstock on the drill chuck but more importantly, you can put it in the tailstock with a drill bit and drill holes in or through the workpiece. If you want to drill a round mortise or open up a piece to turn something hollow, you can just stick a drill bit there and have at it. Another way to drill through is to use a hollow center (a turning center with a hole in the middle) and pass the drill bit through the tailstock. This is how you can drill through like for passing a wire through a lamp.

The collet holder is a nice addition but down on the list. It is nice that you can grip small things (like up to 3/4 in) but more importantly, you can turn a small 3/4 tenon on something and hold it (and take it off and put it back on without it getting too off center much more easily than any other way (including a chuck)

The small tools are nice but a luxury. You can do some pretty detailed turning with normal size tools. (Please note I took the high road and didn’t expand on this with an analogy) :)

More power is nice but if you don’t have enough power, take lighter cuts. Human powered lathes put out much less power and turn some pretty big things.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

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