Laguna lathe

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Forum topic by Fish30114 posted 03-01-2018 08:45 PM 1992 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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24 posts in 1774 days

03-01-2018 08:45 PM

I am considering getting a Laguna 24-36 lathe—for $7-800 less than a powermatic 3520C it has 1 more HP and I like the overall features—I’ve fooled with an 18-36 at the local Rockler dealer and the banjo is great and it seems rock solid—the Rockler guys are big fans. But….I have run across a lot of negative Laguna tools CS stories. So I am wondering if you folks would recommend some other lathe or if going with the Laguna 24-36 is currently probably an OK purchase?

Any info/feedback is appreciated.


13 replies so far

View OSU55's profile


2648 posts in 2767 days

#1 posted 03-01-2018 09:05 PM

Compare it to a Grizzly G0800.

View LesB's profile


2559 posts in 4221 days

#2 posted 03-01-2018 10:06 PM

Without knowing what sort of turning you expect to do it is difficult to recommend a specific lathe. If you expect to turn large bowl or platters you want the greater depth over the lathe bed. If you expect to turn a lot of long spindle work you need the length (they usually need extra center supports). Some lathes like the Powermatic and jet have bed extensions you can add. If you are just starting out I would look for a second hand machine to start with. That being said:

I can’t speak to the Laguna lathes but I have had a Powermatic for a number of years and I haven’t seen anything I would trade it for. It is a solid versatile machine that has given me no problems. You will get a lifetime of use and probably pass it on.
Only one time over the years have I had something too large in diameter for the 20” Powermatic. It was a bezel for a clock and I mounted it outboard by turning the power head around (or you could slide it to the other end) and used a portable stand for the tool rest.
If I were trying to get a similar product for less money I would look very closely at the Jet 1640. Jet is Powermatic’s second line.

I hope you realize the accessories for a lathe are endless and in short order you can also have a ton of $ tied up in them too. One definite need to have is a good 4 jaw chuck. Others you will find a need for over time.

-- Les B, Oregon

View Fish30114's profile


24 posts in 1774 days

#3 posted 03-01-2018 11:01 PM

I am a turner currently, I have a NOVA DVR XP and a ton of extra bits, tools of all kinds—chucks, collets etc. I am just wanting a more stable freestanding lathe-my DVR sits on a bench. I just can’t figure why the PM is worth more with a weaker motor—am thinking it’s not

View Wildwood's profile


2868 posts in 2912 days

#4 posted 03-02-2018 11:26 AM

Cannot explain the price difference, but looking at lathe spec’s you get more lathe with Laguna for less money. PM 3020B very solid lathe with good reputation. Don’t know much about that “C” model and don’t understand how that 6” riser blocks for increasing height works. Just not sure how “C.” model can compete with their 3224B model.

PM has a longler warranty than Laguna, would never want to depend on warranty service if din’t have too! Have not seen any owner reviews on either lathes.

Apparently Laguna has listen to feedback from message boards & letters from dissatisfied owners of their machnes and made some improvements in customer service.

If do a lot of large hollow forms this Grizzly lathe with swing away tailstock looks atractive.

Only review could find although is some chatter on different message boards, by people interested but not buyers.
After posting found my link on You-tube not working not sure how messed that up!


-- Bill

View Tennessee's profile


2901 posts in 3292 days

#5 posted 03-02-2018 01:15 PM

All I know is I have owned a Powermatic 3520 since 2002, and it is still the horse it has always been, including having it moved twice, both interstate moves. Just finished a segmented bowl on it, as accurate as ever, as powerful as ever.

I don’t have all the goodies that the B and C series have, but I love the lathe.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View Nubsnstubs's profile


1723 posts in 2507 days

#6 posted 03-02-2018 02:57 PM

PowerMatic lathes and all their machinery, are one time purchases, unless PM designs a newer and must have upgrade into one that you can’t resist having. That would be the only time anyone should ever have a need to part with a Pm that they’ve had for years. ............ Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View Wildwood's profile


2868 posts in 2912 days

#7 posted 03-02-2018 04:15 PM

Have nothing against any of the lathes mentioned in this thread. JMHO,
if were looking at a bigger lathe still like this model! Yes it is a steel lathe versus cast iron but okay with it!

-- Bill

View moke's profile


1558 posts in 3554 days

#8 posted 03-02-2018 06:25 PM

I have a 18/36 and have now for a couple of years. It’s definitely a great machine, I would do it again without hesitation. I heard mixed reviews about the CS when I was doing research, I personally have never had to deal with them. I had a friend and fellow WW that did some extensive research about 6 months ago. I can’t remember it all, but the basis of it was a new CEO was appointed and he had been there previously and knew that there were issues and went into CS and fixed it…...I can’t remember if it was a father-son deal or not. This guy bought a band saw, and they actually called him and asked if they could do anything for him, a month or so after the purchase. I did hear some horror stories after I got mine, since the new guy, nothing so far.

I bought mine from a local tool store (Acme tools) that has delivery and great CS, so I wasn’t worried, I knew they would help me if I needed anything.

I looked at the 24/36 at a store recently….it is a larger version of mine….kind of….the ways are the same, just a taller head and tail stock. There are some other new features too, not the least of which is the controller on the tail stock. I am really not sure how useful that is, as it is literally a foot or two from the main one, but not having used it, it might be cool. I am sure you will be broke after you get it, but if you can scrape together another 300.00, get two of their lights…one for the tail and one for the head stock. They are totally worth it…..I had another light and it was not even close to being as handy and these are so easy to install and they are bolted down, not a magnet…...that is a major thing, in my opinion.

I only have two complaints about the machine, the placement of the speed dial, is easy to bump…maybe it is my “turning” style…but I have bumped it a bunch. I have a metal lathe and I think I may turn a cover to go over it, and attached it with earth magnets. The other thing you MUST check is the allen screw on the tail stock hand wheel. Mine came loose and others have mentioned it too….it is tight enough to work but loose enough to cause a failure… guy here had it break the casting….

I have another friend in the turning club that has a PM….he let me turn on it both before and after my purchase. I would say they are very commensurate. That is truly a great machine too…..I need mine to move occasionally and I liked the wheels on the Revo better so that is why I bought it instead…( they are on a gas strut to raise and lower on the Revo), if that is not a concern it would be a toss up in my mind and maybe the PM might be a touch better because of the better speed knob placement. But not sure if that is 800 to 1000 dollar deal though.

Good Luck, keep us posted and oh…find a couple of your strongest friends for set up or use an engine hoist.
Just my .02

-- Mike

View yvrdennis's profile


50 posts in 1855 days

#9 posted 03-03-2018 12:19 AM

Have nothing against any of the lathes mentioned in this thread. JMHO,
if were looking at a bigger lathe still like this model! Yes it is a steel lathe versus cast iron but okay with it!

- Wildwood

Yup, been turning on a Oneway 2436 for 10 years and it is still awesome. The pricing of $5,300 is in Canadian dollars, so this would be about $4,000 US. It’s an extremely solid lathe, built in Canada. I would suggest spending a few extra bucks to get the upgrade to 3hp.

View alittleoff's profile


548 posts in 2054 days

#10 posted 03-03-2018 02:22 AM

I don’t own one but I’ve thought about getting a laguna lathe a couple of times. Due to health reasons I haven’t bought one yet.i really like there lathes, how they look, all the accessories they have for them and the price is right. I’ve not had any real dealings with Laguna’s Customer Service yet, but have talked to them before I bought my dust collector and found them very nice to talk to. They answered all my questions and we’re very polite. As of now I’d not worry about the CS, lots of people get ticked off at a company and will say anything about them. With any luck you may never need service anyway. JMO

View Bill Commerford's profile

Bill Commerford

35 posts in 1972 days

#11 posted 03-03-2018 02:37 PM

Laguna has a 24/36 on craigslist. Looks like a reduced price with all extras. This is at their factory location in Irvine, ca.
Might be worthwhile looking at.

View Fish30114's profile


24 posts in 1774 days

#12 posted 03-04-2018 01:43 AM

Well first of all, cj5, thanks for that lead it was just a little late, I pulled the trigger on the 24-36 yesterday morning and I hadn’t seen your post—but thank you. I went around and around and one of my early mentors and idols is Nick Cook and he has powermatic running through his veins—so I thought hard about a PM 3520C—but in the end I prefered the banjo on the Laguna and a few other little bitty things, and I just couldn’t justify the extra 7-800 bucks to get the PM, in fact it was more than that since Packard Woodworks had the Laguna’s for 10% off—and yeah I factored in that I could catch the PM on one of their semi-annual sales and get the same 10% off most likely.

I feel that Laguna has addressed their CS issues of late and hopefully won’t need them—although never say never…and I really hope this is my best/last lathe purchase—but like I said NSN…

View bigJohninvegas's profile


776 posts in 2239 days

#13 posted 03-10-2018 10:40 PM

I think you will really like your choice.
I personally own a Jet 16X42, but frequently get to turn with Jimmy Clewes.
He has several new PM lathes, and a few months back picked up a Laguna.
My last three visits I have been on that new Laguna lathe. Very nice lathe.
I really like the taper on the head stock, and the control panel layout.
My Jet is laid out just like the PM. I am 6’-5” tall and pretty much need to take a step back to read the digital
speed display on my Jet and the PM lathes.
The layout on the Laguna is just more user friendly.
I also like the on/off buttons that Laguna added.
That tapered head also makes for very easy tool access on the drive side.

-- John

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