Laguna Platinum Series 18/47 Lathe

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Review by Tim Scoville posted 04-25-2009 11:02 PM 20082 views 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Laguna Platinum Series 18/47 Lathe No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I had been looking for a bigger lathe for some time. Larger Jets, Powermatics, One-Ways, Stubbys, Nova, Grizzly, etc. I had been doing pretty well with my old (hybrid) Jet JWL-1236. I had bought it from a guy used who had bought an old head and mated it to a newer bed and tail stock then crafted his own welded steel and cast iron support for it. It was obviously something thrown together but worked pretty well for me. I didn’t have the full range of speeds (6) that I was suppoed to have and I couldn’t lock it into the two lowest speeds, so that was a problem and it wasn’t heavy or powerful enough to cut bigger stuff at lower speeds and withstand the vibration. Even so, the swiveling head allowed me to turn stuff up to 20” in diameter with some caution, but it was never intended for that.

Anyway, price and function drove me to look more closely at a new Laguna entry into the woodworking lathe genre of tools. I have no other Laguna Tools, but found this when doing one of my many on-line searches. The swing was between that of the larger Jet and the Powermatic I was looking at, yet priced about the same as the Jet. The bed was longer and the unit a bit heaver than the Jet, both good for me. After doing some soul searching, comparisons with others, and wearing down my wife a bit, I took the plunge and bought one.

Set up was pretty straightforward. Nothing was broken or amiss. Make sure you have a friend or two or some wheeled dolly to get it where it needs to go – it is heavy. The bolts holding the head and tailstock onto the bed ways are bit too long and had to be filed to achieve clearance to slide both into the slots on the bottom side of the bed. I needed to do a bit of grinding to make it fit. The cool Laguna name on the legs are cheesy decals – this was a bit disappointing. The cast iron legs have a pebbly (probably as-cast) finish and applying a transparent decal over it looks very amateurish because it only makes contact on all the highpoints. It should have been painted or a different type of decal applied.

Once ready to run, the belt squealed. I made some adjustments to the pulleys (very minor) but the squealing persists. Although it says a minimum speed of <50>t know how many Laguna has sold but I had to wait a couple of months for mine. Customer support has been good to work with but I am still dealing with a bit of a squeal with the belt. Otherwise, color me a satisfied customer. I think I paid around $1700 for it, but price on their site is at $1854 now.

More info on it can be found here.

-- Tim S, AZ

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Tim Scoville

112 posts in 4222 days

12 comments so far

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Don K.

1075 posts in 4213 days

#1 posted 04-26-2009 02:22 AM

Congrats on the new lathe, I have been kicking around the idea of upgrading my old Rockwell lathe. It’s old, but it has been a good one (HEAVY), but it does not have all the fine adjustments that newer ones have. Not to mention every time I need to change speed, I have to take off the covers and change the belt position.

Have you had much time to use it yet ? I would be very interested in what you think after you have turned a few pieces.

-- Don S.E. OK

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 4654 days

#2 posted 04-26-2009 04:05 AM

Thanks for the review.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View Tim Scoville's profile

Tim Scoville

112 posts in 4222 days

#3 posted 04-26-2009 08:00 AM


Thanks. I have been admiring your work. Saw your review on the Grizzly, whic I was also looking at. They are just up the road from me in Bellingham and theJet I could have gotten refurbed for at least $200 off list from the Jet/powermatic dealeer down in Auburn. But opted for the Laguna. So far, so good. Haven’t had much time to use it though. It should be something I can grow into, or so I hope.


Thanks. Will post some stuff after my latest remodel at home. Hoping to do some natural edge bowls, small boxes with threads, and some segmented bowls. Later, some hollow forms like Trifern does.

Best to to you both,


-- Tim S, AZ

View a1Jim's profile


118143 posts in 4464 days

#4 posted 04-28-2009 06:26 PM

Glad you got a new lathe but I have had much more positive results from grizzly including far superior customer service than my expensive laguna band saw.


View Karson's profile


35227 posts in 5287 days

#5 posted 04-28-2009 09:21 PM

Congratulations on the new Lathe.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

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Tim Scoville

112 posts in 4222 days

#6 posted 04-29-2009 03:48 AM

I like Grizzly, especially being so close to me. Even so, I would’ve preferred the Jet but mostly for look and feel. I have a bunch of reburbed Jet tools that I have been very satisfied with. I’ve gotten tremendous service there too. I love my Grizzly 14” bandsaw w/riser block, probably my most used shop power tool.

I’ve recently read some reviews of the Laguna over at and most were not very kind. Thankfully, that has not been my experience thus far.

-- Tim S, AZ

View MosesLakeDennis's profile


23 posts in 4129 days

#7 posted 07-11-2009 07:51 AM

Might anyone have an opinion on the Laguna 18/47 wood lathe? Or on Laguna regarding costomer satisfaction record. Thinking of buying one and gathering data. Dennis

View Don K.'s profile

Don K.

1075 posts in 4213 days

#8 posted 07-11-2009 08:11 AM

I can not say a thing about Laguna as I do not own any of their tools and have had no dealings with them. But here lately there have been a few reviews and topics covering their customer service…and none have been very flattering.

I would do some research here and at other sites to confirm this for yourself.

-- Don S.E. OK

View Sawmillnc's profile


150 posts in 3941 days

#9 posted 02-15-2011 09:04 PM

Pass..Customer service= horrible

-- Kyle Edwards,, Iron Station , NC (near Charlotte)

View Paperep's profile


1 post in 3456 days

#10 posted 05-15-2011 07:54 AM

I purchased a Laguna 18/47 a couple of months ago. I came across an ad of theirs on craigslist where they were selling some floor models for $1495. The showroom is close to my home so I went for a look. The representative told me they were also running a special for the month on the lathe for $1550 for a brand new one in the crate. I took him up on this offer.

The lathe was easy to set up. I have been turning on it for a few months now and am pretty satisfied. It is nice and heavy. It holds heavier logs with relative ease. I had a minor issue with the faceplate not being true. I took it back and they happily gave me a new one. The unit does just what it is supposed to and the price is right. The units are made in China.

The only issue I have is that the micro speed adjustment is touchy. The knob has very little tension so it is difficult to turn it slightly. If you have a heavier piece it is a little difficult to dial the speed just right on the first try. It seems like they could make that knob function a little better.

View pcswoodchick's profile


5 posts in 3111 days

#11 posted 06-02-2012 09:47 PM

I will tell you a little something about Laguna Tools. My BF and I bought a wood lathe off of them and before we even ordered it we had some questions that we needed answered. Well to say the least they will tell you anything you want to hear. One of the main questions was about whether or not the centers were true. We were told that they were perfect and when we received the lathe the centers were off by 1/4”. When we ordered it we were told that it would ship in 2 days but it took 2 weeks for them to ship it and it took another 2 weeks for it to get here. When I called in they made an excuse that they had to do inventory. Once we discovered the problem with the centers we noticed even more. The headstock just flopped around and wouldn’t stay locked(according to laguna that is the way it is supposed to be), the tool rest and tail stock never stayed locked either. The bed wasn’t machined right and had high and low points. We had contacted Laguna several times and all we were told was that they lathes they had there didn’t do what the one we had done. We had to demand for our money back and finally after three weeks they had contacted us to make arrangements to have it shipped back to them. Thus another nightmare. They had sent a bill of laden to us for the truck driver and after waiting 2 weeks to hear from them I made a phone call. I was told that the company that was supposed to pick it up didn’t have the type of truck to haul it so they sent it to another company, then that company said the same and sent it to yet another company. Well at this point I was fed up so I called Laguna again and was hung up on. So I of course called back and was told that they would have it picked up that day. I was late for work because of waiting for the truck to pick it up. Finally, Three days later a truck did show up for the piece of crap this only after I threatened to cut it up into tiny pieces and send it back through the us mail. It took yet another 2 weeks for them to get it back. They even tried to sells us another(not even in their dreams!) After calling for the past few weeks did we get our money back. So after my experience with Laguna tools I wouldn’t even recommend them to my worst enemy. It took 3 months for them to make things right after fighting with them! You will not find many reviews for them but when Googled there are a few and they are not good. So everybody please save yourself a nightmare and a headache and pay the extra and get a good lathe or any other tool!

View Tim Scoville's profile

Tim Scoville

112 posts in 4222 days

#12 posted 08-25-2020 04:00 PM

An update. This lathe hasn’t been running for years after probably a total less than ten hours of run time. I never got it looked at since there was always something(s) hotter to deal with and I had another, smaller lathe to help me through. Phone calls to Laguna attempting to troubleshoot was unsatisfactory. It made the move with me from WA to AZ but still not working. A local tool service declined to take this on due to Laguna’s reputation for horrible service and replacement parts. He shared a couple of examples. Not sure where to go from here but space in my garage/shop is valuable here and keeping a large, non-working tool around to collect dust isn’t going to cut it for long. Laguna has discontinued this years ago so I’ll have to research my options further. Any constructive comments are welcome.

-- Tim S, AZ

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