Wood Lathe Recommendation

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Forum topic by LSUTiger posted 02-05-2008 03:42 AM 9511 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 4729 days

02-05-2008 03:42 AM

Topic tags/keywords: wood lathe wood lathe pen turning bowl turning peppermill turning turning

In advance, sorry if this is a duplicate thread. If so, please send the link to a previous discussion.

I am new to wood turning and would like to purchase a decent lathe. My price range will be $1000 or under, preferably in the $700 range. From what I know, I believe I want a swivel lathe to accomodate bowls as I would like to attempt that challenge. Also, I think that the bed should be able to accomodate a 36” piece of material. From what I envision at the moment, I want to turn pens, bowls, and pepper/salt mills (up to 24”).

From my research, the Delta 46-715 looks like a decent choice. Any feedback on the lathe and accessories will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks In Advance!

12 replies so far

View mike02719's profile


279 posts in 4751 days

#1 posted 02-06-2008 04:11 AM

Woodturning is probably the most fun you can have in the workshop on one machine. Don’t forget to include some of the accessories for your lathe in your budget. You should consider purchasing tools of good quality. I am refering to turning tools, chucks, live and dead centers, rests, mandrels, drills,etc. The list goes on forever. You also mentioned pens,s &p mills which sounds like a mini lathe. Also a machine capable of a 36” capacity between centers. I have upgraded my lathe by looking for used. There are many around. It is a buyers’ market for lathes out there. Try to find a pair of heavy legs (cast iron) for your lathe. The heavier the better. The most expensive lathes are usually very heavy.

-- Mike, Massachusetts

View gunner's profile


11 posts in 4730 days

#2 posted 02-06-2008 05:03 AM

I paid as much for my Oneway Talon chuck as I did for my Jet mini lathe, and it was worth it. Price out your accessories.

View LSUTiger's profile


4 posts in 4729 days

#3 posted 02-06-2008 06:43 AM

Thanks for your comments! Although I am new at this challenge, I do have a lathe that was given to me. I am wanting to upgrade to a sturdier, better machine. I also have some tools that I have been using.

Mike … can you show me a direction to look at the used market? Although I generally steer away from that, I would like to consider it.


View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4840 days

#4 posted 02-06-2008 11:38 AM

I have always thought a place like Woodcraft could give you a lathe if you promised to buy all accessories from them. As Mike says, be sure to figure those costs into your decision.

View mike02719's profile


279 posts in 4751 days

#5 posted 02-08-2008 04:41 AM

The usual used tool market would be Ebay or Craig’s List, flea markets and yard sales, be sure to ask the owners they may not want to haul a lathe out to the sidewalk. Try to Google in “used wood lathes”. Put a classified ad in your local paper, ask the carpentry instructor at a vocational high school, check the people at your local sawmills.

A friend of mine once found found some fishing equipment advertised at the senior center. This process can itself be a lot of fun. I would also try to make some of your chisels youirself. Some of my favorites were made by me from files, bearing scrapers, old woodworking chisels, etc.

-- Mike, Massachusetts

View LSUTiger's profile


4 posts in 4729 days

#6 posted 02-08-2008 04:59 AM

Ok … for those interested … I caved. I am spending about $2000 on a Laguna lathe. That price is delivered to Louisiana and with their self centering chuck. Unfortuantely they are out of stock until late this month/early next but I put a deposit down on one. Now I am tool shopping!

I will check out eBay and Craig’s List Mike … thanks for the tip.

View mike02719's profile


279 posts in 4751 days

#7 posted 02-09-2008 05:35 AM

Tiger, if you are spending that much on a lathe, check out products by Oneway. The professional and wealthy turners I know praise the Oneway lathes. Before you do though, look at the lathes that the authers in magazine articles are using. They are all over the price range. The last one I saw an old Sears lathe that Rigid was still selling a few years ago. He modified the bed from a stock 36” to 44” to turn chair parts. I have one of these and it will do anything most people need. You also said the Lagune was out of stock, that is not suprising, considering the value of the American dollar against other currencies. Last night, I saw a nice Rockwell lathe on the Boston area Craig’s List. Good Luck…

-- Mike, Massachusetts

View MinnesotaMick's profile


15 posts in 4725 days

#8 posted 02-09-2008 05:29 PM

The 44’” requirement will be the bugaboo…Nova with an extension bed???

View LSUTiger's profile


4 posts in 4729 days

#9 posted 06-11-2008 05:33 AM

Here is the latest if anyone is interested …

I put a deposit down on the Lagna lathe. They offered a chuck to offset the cost. After a month or so my lathe arrived sans chuck. I called and the chuck was “backordered”. My salesman had left the company so I spoke to several people who were attempting to handle my account. After a few months I bought a Oneway chuck thinking the backorder gig was just a ploy. I made a post on Laguna’s site … ... and what do you know … the next day a Laguna rep called and left a message that my chuck had been sent. You can find the story at the above link.

At this time I am out $300 with a spare chuck. At this time I can’t say that I would recommend Laguna to a single person … that is unless they don’t care how they are treated!


View Grumpy's profile


26793 posts in 4816 days

#10 posted 06-16-2008 04:37 AM

tiger, a large lathe will do small work as well so it would pay to go for the bigger option. You will need a good set of chisels. I don’t recommend the short handled cheaper options as they are more likely to lead to trouble with safety. The high speed steel chisels are the better material.
You will need a pen mandrel to turn pens, they are not expensive.
There are a wide variety of good chucks on the market, some you can hand modify. The Nova chuck is a great option & has a lot of versality.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View JoeyB's profile


3 posts in 4703 days

#11 posted 06-17-2008 11:41 PM

Hi, been reading all of this and want to say I picked up the general maxi 200 with extension and could not be happier. Swivel headstock, machined well and runs great with variable speed. General staff are real good to deal with also. JB

-- Joey B, Maine

View navtalk's profile


27 posts in 3471 days

#12 posted 10-05-2011 08:46 PM

Hi folks. I have been perusing the thread and am in need of some advice myself. I am also starting into wood turning. My lathe is an old Craftsman 2 rail 12 inch open headstock 4sheave cone pulley 35 inch bed. Until a few minutes ago I was not aware of the vintage of this lathe. I could not find any plate or number on the lathe. I stumbled onto a UK site with pictures, this is a 1933 Craftsman. I purchased several components , live center, star center. I had centers but were very badly used. I also have a 6 inch faceplate, mandrel with chuck. I had to install a motor and the only one I had available was a 1HP 2 speed cap start cooler motor. I put a two speed switch in line and now have 8 speeds. From about 450 RPM TO 3550 RPM. I need advice on turning chisels. I have a very poor quality sears set of tools, of course they have been knocking around my shop for 20 years or more, the parting tool which I thought was one piece wasn’t as the tip broke off while I was using it. I made a new parting tool out of a lawn edger blade. These are light weight spindle tools and I want to do bowls as well. At my age, 74, I don’t want to invest in pro grade tools but still want tools that will do the job. In reading I find that to start several sizes of gouges an skews should be considered. If I find I like turning and have somewhat of an aptitude I will certainly consider upgrading my equipment. Even now I am thinking of a new Mimi lathe but will wait till see how I actually fair. Thanks Navtalk

-- My G-Kids call me Grumpy

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