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Opinions on Lathes

by jmos
posted 11-01-2018 02:15 PM


24 replies so far

View Hockey's profile

Hockey

177 posts in 972 days


#1 posted 11-01-2018 02:52 PM

Of the 3 that you are considering, I only have experience with one of them, and that is the Jet, so I cannot comment as to the others. I have had Jet 1640evs for 4.5 months now, and use it almost daily. It has plenty of power for me, and does everything I ask of it. I think it is a great lathe.

View Steve's profile

Steve

1634 posts in 1142 days


#2 posted 11-01-2018 02:59 PM

I can’t help with any reviews of those lathes, but don’t forget about all the tools and a sharpening system that you’ll also need.

View socrbent's profile

socrbent

900 posts in 2829 days


#3 posted 11-01-2018 03:35 PM

I have had no experience with the Laguna or Jet, But I have never regretted purchasing my Nova DVR XP (1624) with 20” bed extension in 2013 which is similar to the current Galaxi. No repairs needed. I really enjoy the easy at which I can change speed. NO problems with control buttons. Nova machines and jaws are high quality.

Is the Laguna or Jet reverse-able? Beside the easy speed change being reverse-able is great when sanding. That would be an factor if I were choosing.

-- socrbent Ohio

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23609 posts in 3665 days


#4 posted 11-01-2018 05:42 PM

We have two Jet lathes at school and I would not recommend them. The Reeves drive pulleys have broken on both of then and one of them twice. I just put some Harbor Freight pulley halves on the one on Tuesday. I call them White Harbor Freight lathes. Maybe the electronic version works a lot better!

I have had two Craftsman lathes with Reeves drives and had to work on the drive on both of them several times- besides their motors are junk lately! I looked at putting an Electronic speed controlled Craftsman headstock on it and the reviews were very poor.

I wanted to get way from changing belts or Reeves drives so I bought the Nova Galaxi. I was looking at the Electronic Grizzly lathe but it did not come in 120V. I really like the Nova, but I have contacted them several times about the touch switches which I think are a very bad design for a woodworking tool. Mine was a Beta Test Model so they sent me they sent me a new front switch housing because the plastic face bubbled up on mine and sawdust got into the touch switches and they would not work. Guess what…the new housing had bubbles in the vinyl already and I had to tape the perimeter to keep the dust out.
If you do any indexing, the Nova lathes are real cumbersome to use that way. They have 24 detents inside a little round window that you have to use a flashlight to see them. I redesigned the indexing with 72 holes and it is super now. Other than those issues, I love to turn on that lathe.

A better lathe would a Powermatic 3520, but I did not want to spend the bucks and the bed is shorter than the Nova ( 16-44 and I use it all! )

cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Phil32's profile

Phil32

721 posts in 463 days


#5 posted 11-01-2018 05:57 PM

Since your plans for the first lathe are short term, I suggest you look for a used one. Find a local woodturners club if possible and make your interests known. Our local club has loaner lathes, and members are often disposing of old lathes as they upgrade to new ones.

The one I use now is an old Craftsman similar to the one I started on 70 years ago.

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

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2450 posts in 2549 days


#6 posted 11-01-2018 09:22 PM

Too bad you are soured on Grizzly. Their 0766 for $2095 would be the deal. The Baileigh 18×47 for $2095 is less for the $, as are the Jet 18×40-EVS at $3100 and Laguna Revo 18×36 at $2500 for 220v. Don’t know about the northeast, but around Missouri used lathes in this class are just about impossible to find. Smaller ones a dime a dozen, but not 16” and up swing. As with most brands, the actual mfg plant for the jointer is not likely the same as a lathe, but it is your decision to make.

View DDJ's profile

DDJ

34 posts in 700 days


#7 posted 11-02-2018 12:00 AM



We have two Jet lathes at school and I would not recommend them. The Reeves drive pulleys have broken on both of then and one of them twice. I just put some Harbor Freight pulley halves on the one on Tuesday. I call them White Harbor Freight lathes. Maybe the electronic version works a lot better!

I have had two Craftsman lathes with Reeves drives and had to work on the drive on both of them several times- besides their motors are junk lately! I looked at putting an Electronic speed controlled Craftsman headstock on it and the reviews were very poor.

I wanted to get way from changing belts or Reeves drives so I bought the Nova Galaxi. I was looking at the Electronic Grizzly lathe but it did not come in 120V. I really like the Nova, but I have contacted them several times about the touch switches which I think are a very bad design for a woodworking tool. Mine was a Beta Test Model so they sent me they sent me a new front switch housing because the plastic face bubbled up on mine and sawdust got into the touch switches and they would not work. Guess what…the new housing had bubbles in the vinyl already and I had to tape the perimeter to keep the dust out.
If you do any indexing, the Nova lathes are real cumbersome to use that way. They have 24 detents inside a little round window that you have to use a flashlight to see them. I redesigned the indexing with 72 holes and it is super now. Other than those issues, I love to turn on that lathe.

A better lathe would a Powermatic 3520, but I did not want to spend the bucks and the bed is shorter than the Nova ( 16-44 and I use it all! )

cheers, Jim

- Jim Jakosh

I bought the Nova Saturn about 2 mos ago and I really like the lathe. Pretty much the same motor and controls as thr Galaxy. Smoothe and quiet. Everything lines up nicely. No belts to deal with and very easy and responsive speed control. But like you I do not like the plastic covered on/off switches. So far that’s my only gripe about the lathe.

Dave

View jmos's profile

jmos

916 posts in 2929 days


#8 posted 11-02-2018 10:43 AM

Thanks all. Interesting replies.

I do not believe the Jet 1640 had a Reeve drive (the 14” model does, one reason I’m not looking at it), I have seen a number of things recommending to avoid this type of set-up.

I have been looking at Craigslist for a few months, and haven’t seen anything decent come up; mostly overpriced old junk.

I get the attraction with Grizzly, but I don’t think I want to go that route again after my last experience with them.

Jim, I did see your review and really appreciated you posting it. It’s one of the reasons the Galaxi is on my list.

-- John

View Bill Commerford's profile

Bill Commerford

35 posts in 1754 days


#9 posted 11-02-2018 11:49 AM

I have had the Laguna 18/36 for almost 2 years now and happy with it. I use it daily, and it has held up well. I had a problem with a relay in first year, Laguna had a new one here in 2 days, then led me through the install.

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

5706 posts in 4223 days


#10 posted 11-02-2018 02:32 PM

FWIW, I decided on the PM 3520C with swing-away tailstock about 6 months ago … great lathe, no regrets! It was more than I wanted to spend, but IMHO, it is a lifetime purchase.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

2767 posts in 2694 days


#11 posted 11-02-2018 02:58 PM

If price alone the deciding factor would choose the Laguna-revo 18/36.

https://www.woodcraft.com/products/teknatool-nova-galaxi-dvr-1644-lathe

https://www.woodcraft.com/products/laguna-revo-18-36-lathe-110v-1-5-hp

Not sure will see much improovement between 1 ¾ or 1 ½ HP & 2 HP although bigger motor will draw less amps. If don’t have 220V service already not extra cost of lathe worth the effort.

Have the old Jet 16/42 1.5 HP lathe and love it bought mind before price got over $2,000. Mine came with 5 year warranty too and never used it.

While like Jet lathes have own two without a problem might be willing to look elsewhere today.

Would not want rely on any wood lathe manufacturers warranty most involve shipping to repair center at your expense. Optimum word is limited Warranty.

Whatever and whereever you buy check the store or web site policy concerning returns, refunds, and restocking fees.

-- Bill

View jmos's profile

jmos

916 posts in 2929 days


#12 posted 11-04-2018 02:39 PM

Thanks for the input all.

I’d love to go for the Powermatic, but that’s more than my entire budget, including tools and sharpening gear and accessories.

It might just end up depending on which of the three goes on sale for the best price. I’ve warmed up to the idea of the Galaxi; I think either of the three would work.

-- John

View Jack Lewis's profile

Jack Lewis

522 posts in 1638 days


#13 posted 11-04-2018 03:41 PM


I m taking the plunge into turning. I took a 2 day class last weekend and really liked it. So, I m looking at what lathe to buy. I used the Jet 1221 in the class, so that s the only experience I have.

I m thinking I want the ability to turn table legs, so I want at least 35” between centers. I liked the bowl turning, so I want one large enough to turn a decent sized bowl.

I don t have the budget or shop space for a really large, or expensive lathe. However, I ve gone through enough tools that I don t want to buy a cheap lather and replace it in a couple of years.

So, I seem to be falling into the 16” size, and I m mostly looking at the Laguna 18/36, the Jet 1640EVS, and the Nova Galaxi 16/44.

After my last, and only experience with Grizzly, I m steering clear. See my review on my 8” jointer; it turned out well, but the journey was painful. Not again.

The Laguna looks really nice, 2hp, 18” swing, heavy as heck. But, customer service reviews tend toward the bad, and the recent review posted in LJ makes me worried.

The Nova is also 2hp, but I m concerned that maybe they ve made a fairly simple tool too complicated with all the electronics. How reparable is it if needed? I ve also seen a number of less than favorable reviews of the bubble type buttons. However, there are no belts to change, which sounds nice.

The Jet is a bit more expensive that the other two, only 1.5hp, and the lightest of the bunch, but the reviews are solid, and a 5 year warranty is nice. I think I m leaning in this direction.

So, please, I d love to get some input from those with these lathes, or suggestions on others to look at. I did look at the Baileigh, and it seemed to be exactly the same as the Grizzly (0733), but I m open to hearing differently.

- jmos


Too bad you are soured on Grizzly. Their 0766 for $2095 would be the deal. The Baileigh 18×47 for $2095 is less for the $, as are the Jet 18×40-EVS at $3100 and Laguna Revo 18×36 at $2500 for 220v. Don t know about the northeast, but around Missouri used lathes in this class are just about impossible to find. Smaller ones a dime a dozen, but not 16” and up swing. As with most brands, the actual mfg plant for the jointer is not likely the same as a lathe, but it is your decision to make.

- OSU55

I have upgraded from Grizzly 0462 to the Grizzly 0766 and have all good to say about it. It could use a longer bed or extension for your app but otherwise it has performed admirably. When I was making my comparisons with other lathes of same caliber, my opinion was ” they are mostly made under the same foreign conditions and factories as each other” and the only difference is the QC at this end or the service after sale. As with any model you chose there will be give and take on the bells and whistles, good and bad.

-- "PLUMBER'S BUTT! Get over it, everybody has one"

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Crooktail

3 posts in 1082 days


#14 posted 11-04-2018 03:45 PM

Komsomol,
I don’t know if this is a good enough deal for you but I found it the other day. The lathe is sold by CPO Outlet through Sears.

https://www.sears.com/nova-55214-galaxi-dvr-220v-1.75-hp-wood/p-SPM14836091728?plpSellerId=CPO%20Outlets&prdNo=3&blockNo=3&blockType=G3

Wayne

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

711 posts in 2022 days


#15 posted 11-10-2018 12:48 AM

I have a Jet 16X42 evs. Been using it for several years now. Rock solid with no issues.
I have 20 plus hours on a Laguna 24/36. Seems to be a very nice lathe with good features.
While I have no Laguna customer service experience. I too hear nothing good about it.
Sorry to hear you are turned off by Grizzly. I really knew nothing about Grizzly when I bought my jet.
But a couple friends have purchased the Grizzly lathe and love it. While my jet has been solid, I sometimes wish I had the Grizzly. I would have got more swing for less money. Bang for the buck issue.
So a couple years ago now, I bought a Grizzly 17” band saw. Been a great tool.
Maybe I am lucky on that one, cause I do hear bad things about there customer service too.
Like Jim said. Stay away from Reeves drives. My Jet is a EVS. I hear good about DVR as well.
Good Luck.

-- John

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2450 posts in 2549 days


#16 posted 11-10-2018 12:21 PM

Most Reeves drive issues are operator induced, ie not performing simple occassional maintenance and then forcing the adjustment handle. Properly cared for they work extremely well for years of service. They are usually not a good choice for lathes over 12” swing – about all have a min speed in the 650-700 rpm range which limits the size of turnings. Dont be afraid of Reeves drives for smaller cheaper lathes. Certainly not as nice as evs, but far cheaper and a good choice for a starter lathe to limit cost of entry.

View Underdog's profile

Underdog

1411 posts in 2595 days


#17 posted 11-10-2018 01:41 PM

Not a big fan of Reeves drives myself. Too much maintenance involved. And I’ve had bad experiences with them.
And by the way, the Jet 1642s are NOT reeves drives, they’re EVS.

I’ve owned these lathes:

Big Lots Special with the stamped sheet metal bed and square tubes where you have to unbolt all kinds of things to change the belts. Also the speeds are too high even on lowest setting. Also you have to use a wrench to move the tailstock and the tool rest. I DO NOT RECOMMEND. I can tell you plenty of funny stories about my first lathe, but I still don’t recommend this little monster.

Harbor Freight 12/36 w Reeves Drive and swivel head. locking handles broke off, Reeves Drive blew up, centers never lined up because the headstock swivels. ETC ETC. I don’t recommend this lathe either.

Old Delta Rockwell gap bed lathe. Never really got it running. It was missing a motor and assorted parts. Good cast iron, but these old lathes are missing the features that make turning a pleasurable experience. Like #2 morse tapers, banjo fittings for tool rest and tailstock, standard spindle size, locking handles for toolrest and quill. Don’t recommend these either.

Jet 1014. It’s a good little lathe for the money. I did have to return my first one for several reasons, but the second one is nearly bullet proof. Still have it and use it time to time. Not EVS or large capacity, but you can buy an extension and increase the length possible. And changing belts to change speeds isn’t really a big deal. And you can turn bowls and spindles on it. Decent lathe. Do recommend.

My first really decent Heavy Duty lathe was a Jet 1642 EVS 2HP.
Pros: Decent lathe. Enough power and capacity to do anything I really wanted. Standard tapers and spindle sizes. Can buy accessories easily. EVS is WONDERFUL! Cast iron is good. Jet has a good warranty (5 years) and good service. I enjoyed this lathe for many years.
Cons: I couldn’t turn anything over 16”, so I had to borrow a friends Powermatic. Also, never could get the centers to line up exactly despite Jet sending me several tailstocks, adjusting the legs/feet, and shimming, filing etc. Also beware the motor. Back then many people had trouble with the motor shaft bending and causing a “knock” in the head stock. Unfortunately mine started just before it went out of warranty, and I didn’t realize what it was until a month or two after. Jet and the local motor man said that tightening the belts too tight would cause this. I don’t remember doing that…
Keep in mind that the Powermatic is made by the same company and the motors and EVS are essentially the same- but just enough different shaft configuration so that you can’t interchange….

I sold that lathe after I got a Stratos from Colt/Riss. I was supposed to write a review on it, but never finished it.
It’s decent though – especially for the price.

I’ve got friends who’ve purchased the Nova EVS and are happy with it. Their only complaint was it’s light weight. You can always add more weight with a box of sand though.

My friend with the PM is happy with his lathe. And he uses the dog crap out of it.

Good luck with your search. Hope this helps.

And above all, HAVE FUN!

-- Jim, Georgia, USA

View jmos's profile

jmos

916 posts in 2929 days


#18 posted 11-11-2018 02:25 PM

Thanks again for all the input. I do appreciate it.

I only saw the Reeves drive on the 14” Jet, and it also wasn’t reversible, so I eliminated it.

The Nova lists at 450#, and the Jet at 350#, so if weight is an issue, it should be for both. The Laguna lists at 570#.

I do like the idea I can use the Nova on 110V or 220V. I don’t have a 220 outlet in the right place in my shop; I can easily run one, but if I don’t have to, that’s not a bad thing. I can us it at 1.75hp and run 220 if I feel I need the extra 0.25hp.

I’m warming up to the Nova idea, and have cooled off a tad on the Jet. I think it may just come down to what goes on sale first.

-- John

View Hockey's profile

Hockey

177 posts in 972 days


#19 posted 11-11-2018 04:04 PM

Jmos, something to consider when looking at the weights. One needs to compare actual weight vs. shipping weight. For example, my manual for my Jet says the net weight is 375 lbs. with a shipping weight of 440 lbs.

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

711 posts in 2022 days


#20 posted 11-11-2018 04:14 PM

Watch for a jet sale at the end of the month, Black Friday sale. Tends to be about 4 days or so long, and for 15% off.
While I now have 220v in my shop. I did not have it at the time I bought my lathe. Went with the Jet 16X42evs, If I remember it is a 1-1/2hp on my 110v model. I think the 220v is 2hp? cannot remember for sure, but it has never been and issue. I have turned max diameter pieces on both my jet, and on a 220v machine in Jimmy Clewes shop. Both where live edge, really out of balance. Never saw a difference in performance.
good luck. Other brands may very well be on sale at the end of the month too.
quick add. The Jet seems heavy enough. can’t say that it moves more or less than any other lathe I have used.

-- John

View LeeMills's profile

LeeMills

685 posts in 1861 days


#21 posted 11-13-2018 02:27 AM

I have had the cheap Nova (1624 belt) for 10+ years with no problem.
A main feature to me is the swivel headstock. I turn it out about 22.5° for all bowl, platter, box interiors. Saves a lot of reaching and the supplied tool rest is long enough without an outrigger.
I was going to check the price at Sears (linked above) but you have to go through all the “set up an account” c-rap to see the shipping. ToolsPlus is the same price with free shipping.
https://www.tools-plus.com/nova-lathes-55214.html

-- We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

View jmos's profile

jmos

916 posts in 2929 days


#22 posted 11-13-2018 12:26 PM

Thanks Lee, that’s the model I’m considering. Amazon also has it for a few buck less. I’m hoping to see some sales around the holidays and pull the trigger on the Nova or Jet.

-- John

View Hockey's profile

Hockey

177 posts in 972 days


#23 posted 11-15-2018 10:32 PM



... I m hoping to see some sales around the holidays and pull the trigger on the Nova or Jet.

- jmos

Jmos, just got my Woodcraft Black Friday Sale flyer. The Jet woodworking machines will be on sale at 15% off “November 24-26”. Some exclusions. Good luck.

View jmos's profile

jmos

916 posts in 2929 days


#24 posted 11-15-2018 10:36 PM

Thanks Hockey, I’ll take a look!

-- John

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