Awesome Bang for the Buck

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Review by DurocShark posted 09-10-2011 02:48 AM 7499 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Awesome Bang for the Buck Awesome Bang for the Buck Awesome Bang for the Buck Click the pictures to enlarge them

I’ve had several lathes over the years, starting with the cheap HF stamped steel lathe (no MT in the headstock??), then the hundred buck HF mini lathe (great for pens), a PSI TurnCrafter Pro (just OK), and then a Delta 70-700 with the Reeves drive (noisy!)

I sold the Delta recently to make space in my “shoparage”. It was a nice lathe but took a LOT of space. And since I mostly do small turnings it didn’t make sense to keep tripping over it. Once I got that sold, I found Woodcraft had this Rikon 70-050 on clearance for $200 and $5 shipping. Winner!

It arrived today. The box was pretty beat up, but the lathe inside was fine. Assembly was quick and easy. Including cleaning the oil off the bed and waxing everything (and taking pics along the way) I had a piece of mahogany chucked up and spinning in 45 minutes.

It is in the class of the TCPro lathe. Similar size and features. But it is far smoother and quieter. Speed changes are easy enough, and made even easier than the TCPro by having no knobs to unscrew to open the access doors.

The Rikon has about as much vibration as my old Delta, less than the TCPro, more than the HF mini lathe. It can (barely) be felt in the bed. I might be able to knock that down some by bolting it down to the table. Possibly with some heavy rubber bushings.

In the photos you can see that the points don’t quite line up. That was with the live and dead centers that came with the lathe. When I replaced the live center with my own, the points lined up perfectly. Well, we know where THAT live center is going!

The paint was cracked on the tab to open the rear belt access door. Like the tab was bent to shape after paint. Not a big deal, but it made me worry about the finish elsewhere. There was overspray in the bed gap at the far end. It’ll wear off quick (makes the tailstock not move as smoothly out there at the end) so I’m not worried.

The other sign of a lack of attention to detail was the Rikon badge on the side. It fell off in my hands. The stickum was still there, but nobody had applied pressure to make it stay. I reattached it and it seems like it’ll stay for a while. Not like I care, but again, I worry about the other details.

Overall I gave this 4 stars. The mechanicals seem to be first rate. It’s a heavy and solid lathe, and all the parts lined up well. It’s powerful and quiet for its size, and should make a fine replacement for my Delta until I can win the Lotto or something and get a shop bigger than a one car garage!

-- -Don

View DurocShark's profile


65 posts in 3659 days

7 comments so far

View SSMDad's profile


395 posts in 3485 days

#1 posted 09-10-2011 02:55 AM


Bought this one too but had the fortune to splurge for the Delta 46-460 variable speed when Woodcraft had a sale and the manager let me return this one. In all that I used it I was VERY impressed with this lathe too. Being my first lathe I didn’t know exactly what was right and what was wrong so I was just happy it turned wood and I had sharp tools! :)

I agree it did feel very sturdy and wasn’t too loud or vibrate too much.

Glad you got it and are enjoying it!

-- Chris ~~Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past."

View treefrogdog's profile


29 posts in 3493 days

#2 posted 09-10-2011 07:16 AM

How much did it cost?

-- Josh, Mesa Arizona

View DurocShark's profile


65 posts in 3659 days

#3 posted 09-10-2011 07:17 AM

$200 + $5 shipping.

-- -Don

View DurocShark's profile


65 posts in 3659 days

#4 posted 09-11-2011 02:19 AM

I finally got it bolted down to the table. That little bit of vibration is completely gone. If I didn’t hear the motor, and see the headstock spin, I’d think it was off.

-- -Don

View DamnYankee's profile


3320 posts in 3450 days

#5 posted 09-11-2011 02:30 AM

a lathe is way way down on must tool wish list but this review will certainly help when I get there.

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

View DurocShark's profile


65 posts in 3659 days

#6 posted 12-11-2011 06:04 PM

I didn’t see a way to edit the original post to add this…

After only 3 months and light use (I moved from CO to CA and it sat in the garage for a month unused) the belt has stretched to the point that the motor is resting on the stand instead of being supported by the belt.

This is a terribly short life for that belt.

I contacted Woodcraft (90 day support?) and they said to contact Rikon. I emailed Rikon, but haven’t yet heard back. It’s the weekend, so I don’t expect a response until Monday or Tuesday. Hopefully they’ll stand behind it.

-- -Don

View Gibbs's profile


22 posts in 3217 days

#7 posted 01-10-2012 07:15 AM

Just wonder if you migtht take the belt to the local Autozone car parts store and match it up?

-- Vern in SW Michigan look me up at my website at sometime

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