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My HF Lathe and Duplicator

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Review by bruc101 posted 03-30-2021 06:42 PM 919 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
My HF Lathe and Duplicator No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I purchased my HF lathe about 3 years ago, added my duplicator to it, and have turned several 100 legs and spindles on it. I’m not and never have been a bowl turner so i can’t give my opinion how it works for that.

The lathe has worked flawless for me, does what I ask it to do, and has never let me down. It’s an inexpensive lathe and I’ve taken excellent care of it and never try to make it do anything it’s not built to do. I purchased our youngest daughter one about a year before I purchased mine and seeing her lathe work is what prompted me to get one and not a higher end one. I looked in her logbook this morning and she’s turned over 500 legs and spindles on it. Looks and runs as good as the day I bought it for her. (Taking excellent care of it and not abusing it) Neither lathe moves around on the floor nor vibrates. Most of the time we both turn legs on it at the number 6 speed setting. When we’re turning legs we always let the lathe do the work and not push it trying to get in a hurry, as we do all of our equipment.

My Adjustable Duplicator:

As far as I know, and I’ve done a lot of research on it, can’t be purchased anymore, so If you want one you’ll have to make you one. I love the duplicator and wouldn’t change it for anything on the market. It’s simple and works like a charm and is accurate to the template you’re using.

It has a set of full length rails that I bolted to the bed of the lathe that the duplicator slides on.

Some of my many leg templates:
I’ve enclosed an image of some of the many leg templates I’ve made to work with a duplicator and still use them. So much so we have to remake the templates sometimes.


Would I recommend this lathe?

Most definitely if you’ll use it for what it’s designed and priced to do. As I stated earlier, it’s working flawlessly for me and our youngest daughter.

-- Bruce Free Plans https://traditionalwoodworking.org




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bruc101

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4 comments so far

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RJweb

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#1 posted 03-30-2021 11:00 PM

Very nice review what are you doing with all theses legs that you and your daughter turn ?, RJ

-- Life Begins @ 190 MPH

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LittleBlackDuck

6923 posts in 1873 days


#2 posted 03-31-2021 04:24 AM

Nice review bruc, but I must ask if the review was the lathe, duplicator or both.

I have a lathe that I’m happy with so the HF was of little interest (to me), however, the duplicator got me interested… Is it a dedicated attachment of a generic “fit al”.

I have been on a quest to get a compatible duplicator, however, with adaptive modifications I might as well build another failure of my own.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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bruc101

1413 posts in 4594 days


#3 posted 03-31-2021 05:59 AM



Nice review bruc, but I must ask if the review was the lathe, duplicator or both.

I have a lathe that I m happy with so the HF was of little interest (to me), however, the duplicator got me interested… Is it a dedicated attachment of a generic “fit al”.

I have been on a quest to get a compatible duplicator, however, with adaptive modifications I might as well build another failure of my own.

- LittleBlackDuck

It was a review on the lathe. The duplicator was purchased somewhere around the early 90’s. I’ve been searching for one like it for at least 20 years and can’t find one like it so I would say it’s not being made anymore, probably not for a lot of years.

It’s adjustable to fit the size leg to the template. A good machine shop, or anyone with the knowledge, can make one almost just like it. It’s heavy steel and easy to handle and work with. I hold a hand on the base plate to move it with and use the other hand to work the cutter.

Both guides are adjustable up, down, and in and out. You set the lower guide to the template. Make sure the leg blank is level and square in the lathe. Once that is done and the lower guide is adjusted to touch the template, then move the cutter to the center of the leg blank. Then adjust the cutter in or out to contact the leg blank. You’re good to go then and take light cuts with it. I like it because you can turn the duplicator left or right and get faster and better cuts on whatever I’m turning, can’t do that with a stationary duplicator.

When you get done turning the leg and if you want to do a more distinct outline of the leg, just adjust the cutter forward a little and then turn the leg again in the parts you want more distinct.

I’ve had a Vega duplicator for years and all it’s doing is gathering dust. I use this duplicator for all of my turnings.

-- Bruce Free Plans https://traditionalwoodworking.org

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bruc101

1413 posts in 4594 days


#4 posted 03-31-2021 06:10 AM



Very nice review what are you doing with all theses legs that you and your daughter turn ?, RJ

- RJweb

Since I retired out of our architectural millwork business, I build tables and furniture. Our youngest daughter is in college now working on her architectural engineering degree to join her 4 sisters in the family business. She works with them everyday when she gets home from school and works in my much smaller shop on the weekends. She does a lot of turnings for the millwork shop. She prefers to work with me doing turnings and not in their bigger shop. She’s busy working in her office doing her part in their business and not out in the shop.

-- Bruce Free Plans https://traditionalwoodworking.org

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