Midi Lathe Duplicator Vega 8500 - Worth the price? maybe

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Review by Nick_R posted 10-25-2012 09:50 PM 14113 views 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Midi Lathe Duplicator Vega 8500 - Worth the price? maybe Midi Lathe Duplicator Vega 8500 - Worth the price? maybe Midi Lathe Duplicator Vega 8500 - Worth the price? maybe Click the pictures to enlarge them

I have a delta midi lathe and have been using it for over a year now. I can get things done pretty quickly and have done quite a bit of turning, but one consistent problem has been duplication of pieces that is accurate…

I have wanted to build a chess set and a duplicator is necessary.

After much research I went with the Vega duplicator because it looked the most complete and easy to use. Not many knocks against it and most actually seems more than satisfied..

I ordered mine from and spent $249.00. It arrived yesterday and this morning (10/25/12) I opened the box ready to work!

The vega website said all duplicators come with a DVD… no luck here, but I had the instructions so no big problem…

Until you open the instructions… Hand drawn diagrams.. no not pen and ink or engineering drawings.. HAND DRAWN and not very well..

OK… I can still do this just read the instructions and off you go!

After the usual amount of screwing around I got it put together. I was not impressed with the construction or the welds.. they were a bit sloppy but who cares right? The cover is held on with a screw and an offset washer which is very cheapo….. but not a functioning part.. right? Most of the nuts and adjustments were loose, but hey ya gotta set it up… right? OH.. AND the instructions do not detail how to install the template tracing portion so you have to figure it out for yourself…

Right…. so I get it mounted using the included bolt and plates (the plates barely cover the gap in the lathe bottom so it was difficult to get the plates situated—-remember this for later). This is where things get hairy…. The duplicator NEEDS to be parallel to the lathe stock or else the duplicator does not duplicate it screws up your wood. THERE ARE NO ADJUSTMENTS OR FINE ADJUSTMENTS TO THIS EQUIPMENT.

You have to loosen and tighten the mounting bolts (which get crooked every time you loosen them because of the smaller attachment plates). The instructions suggest you use a piece of scrap to turn and measure the difference from one end to the other and this will be good enough… After you figure this out… WHICH TAkES LOTS OF TIME… you can adjust the cutter for reach to the stock.. The problem here is the set screw for the cutter is some odd size and they do not include a tool. I found an a-wrench that worked but what a PITA.

Ok.. I know I am whining but it really bothered me it was so cheap and no fine adjustments and it took a long time to set up etc etc etc etc…

On to How did it work? It worked OK… Not easy.. but OK.. Then the bolts starting to rattle loose, the thumb screws all vibrated out… The posts loosen up… It would be OK if it didn’t take so long to readjust… Yes I duplicated something.. But I wanted to scream. not fun..

If I had a dedicated lathe to keep this duplicator on that would probably work.. maybe.

I also bought this because it was MADE IN THE USA… It looked like it was made in China but worse…

I will still use it and I might even start to like it and if I do I will adjust my review but I might return it instead.. Not sure…

If your going to make something in the USA.. make it right! damnit

-- Hope for the best but plan for the worst.

View Nick_R's profile


154 posts in 2953 days

4 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118080 posts in 4380 days

#1 posted 10-25-2012 09:58 PM

Wow sounds like a real pain,to bad. It’s always disappointing when you invest in a tool and it doesn’t work well.


View lumberjockey's profile


14 posts in 3567 days

#2 posted 10-27-2012 08:03 AM

I bought this pos 3 years ago to try and make chess pieces. When I opened the box it came in, there were pieces everywhere. Nothing was in small plastic bags like screws, washers, springs etc…... When I was finally able to decipher the hieroglyphics that it came with, I was able to mount it on my lathe. I attempted to try to duplicate a piece…’d assume that it would be a very simple operation. Mount the original piece and just duplicate it. No such luck. For a piece of machinery that is so over engineered it certainly is a POS! After using it once. I never used it again. I buried it in my garden. Later on when the archeologists unearth it, they will also say, ” what a POS!

-- Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.

View Nick_R's profile


154 posts in 2953 days

#3 posted 10-27-2012 10:04 PM

Lumberjocky…. Your right! Don’t know if I will return it to Tools-plus but I will try it again and see how it goes with a clear head.. If I want to stomp on it I will try to return it…

Thanks for the reply

-- Hope for the best but plan for the worst.

View Nick_R's profile


154 posts in 2953 days

#4 posted 11-05-2012 10:16 PM

I have worked with the duplicator now about 5 times. I am getting the hang of things, but it is still very time consuming. The making of templates is not easy and I am not using lexan or plexiglass like the instructions say, instead I am using luann, the stuff used to cover interior doors to try out templates.

I tried using the holder for the copy feature, which is where you put a piece that is already turned in place to copy it. Even the instructions say this is hard… And it is.. almost impossible truthfully.. You cannot get the piece in tight enough and parallel to make it work.

Still very disappointed but becoming hopeful. I cannot return it because tools-plus only takes unused merchandise back.. SO I will keep trying.

-- Hope for the best but plan for the worst.

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