Question about a Lathe

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Forum topic by clieb91 posted 03-19-2008 03:40 AM 1201 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View clieb91's profile


3700 posts in 4541 days

03-19-2008 03:40 AM

Topic tags/keywords: lathe tool purchase

Evening All, I just noticed a Craftsman 1/2 HP lathe on Craigs List rather inexpensive. I was wondering if anyone might have some input?


I have been wanting to get into pen turning and perhaps a few other smaller items such as tool handles.Money is a bit, but maybe this is a good start? Any input would be much appreciated.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

6 replies so far

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 4329 days

#1 posted 03-19-2008 03:51 AM


A cheap lathe can be a dual edged sword. It could cause problems or create bad habits that a good would other wise prevent. My first lathe I bought for 1 dollar at a local auction. Yeah it worked fine, but the “bed” was a 1 1/4” square tube that allowed far too much flex when turning a mallet head measuring 3” long by 1 1/2” think. If all you are planning on turning is pens, it should be more than enough, but the lathe bug can be very contagious. You will start with pens and the next thing you know, you’ll be turning bowls and you will find your lathes inadequacies. Just my thought, but you will not regret spending a little bit more to get a better tool.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 4627 days

#2 posted 03-19-2008 04:06 AM

Buy it and give turning a try. If you get the bug move up and let somebody else learn on you old machine.




-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View sharad's profile


1119 posts in 4410 days

#3 posted 03-19-2008 06:51 PM

You have posed a very good question. I am also on the look out for a suitable lathe. Let us learn from experinced wood workers

-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View runngt's profile


120 posts in 4345 days

#4 posted 03-19-2008 07:14 PM

Let me tell you that this little machine will lead you into wanting more and more. I picked up a jet vs for a great price with the mind set to just turn pens…....(side note..pens are one item I have found that with as little as 30 min. built time can get you some huge “WOWS” from your friends and family) well a hundrend pens later I felt I needed more room and picked up the bed extension for long items. I find myself in the shop with nothing to do so I throw a block of wood on the machine (with out a plan mind you) and just see where it takes me. A lathe is one machine that will hook you from the first turn and let you create where ever your mind takes you. If the price is right I would pick it up…..but go ahead and start a saving jar because in a short time you will be looking to upgrade!

good luck and happy turnings!!


-- It seem's I just make scrap wood and saw dust most of the time !

View MikeyG's profile


42 posts in 4325 days

#5 posted 03-21-2008 05:52 AM

i recently just got a lathe about 7 months ago and its been treating me great except for the lack of a chuck which i’m on the lookout for. Its a Maxi- Lathe and its been great for things up to around 10 inches in diameter. and if you’re looking to do some pens, it seems like a logical, inexpensive place to start. Cheers!

-- "Measure twice, curse once"

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4905 days

#6 posted 03-21-2008 01:10 PM

Buy it, & try it.

You’ll be off to a good start in turning.

You’ll be able to get your money back with no problem.

If it happens to need new bearings, which is all that can wear out,

you can replace them yourself for about $20.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

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