LumberJocks

Newbie needs lathe advice

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodturning forum

Forum topic by Ksquared posted 05-08-2018 04:36 PM 908 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Ksquared's profile

Ksquared

2 posts in 439 days


05-08-2018 04:36 PM

Hi all,

I am new to turning and think it is an amazing craft that I would like to get into. I have never turned a thing. My husband has been researching lathes and found three that look good and I would like your advice as to which is the best, or if there is an option we haven’t seen. One is a Nova 16 by 24 inch machine with 8 speeds. One is a Delta 21.5 by 34.5 variable speed. And one is a Jet 12 by 21 variable speed. My husband says the Jet is the nicest machine, but is concerned by the small, 12 inch size. What was your first machine and what should we look for in a machine?

Thanks for your help in advance,

Kay in Florida


13 replies so far

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1880 posts in 582 days


#1 posted 05-08-2018 05:20 PM

I have had two harbor freight 12×33 lathes and have been very satisfied with them.
even the turning tools kit is okay for the beginner at a decent price.
you just need to learn how to sharpen them – and keep them sharp.

,

,

-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

View JollyGreen67's profile

JollyGreen67

1676 posts in 3182 days


#2 posted 05-08-2018 05:35 PM

First recommendation is to find a woodturning club in your area. You will get expert advice on turning, sharpening, equipment, and what type/kind of lathe for a beginner. Welcome to our world, and have a good time.

-- When I was a kid I wanted to be older . . . . . this CRAP is not what I expected ! RIP 09/08/2018

View LesB's profile

LesB

2126 posts in 3862 days


#3 posted 05-08-2018 06:56 PM

Turning can become addictive so don’t start unless you can control your addictions….LOL

I think any of those three machines will get you started. As you progress you may find the 12” Jet on the small side if you want to turn large plates or bowls and the 16” Nova is a good mid size that should keep you going for a long time. On most lathes (not the Jet 12×21) if you turn something larger than the bed size allows you can always work outside the bed with a portable tool support.
Don’t forget you will need a band saw to prepare most blanks for turning and a lathe chuck will greatly enhance your experience and productivity.

-- Les B, Oregon

View RobHannon's profile

RobHannon

276 posts in 950 days


#4 posted 05-08-2018 07:20 PM

I second finding a woodturning club and maybe a class if they offer it. The lathe can be a pretty big rabbet hole of tools and accessories.

For what it is worth, I am using the same HF Lathe that John Smith mentioned and for the price I am very happy with it. It is a clone of an older model Jet lathe at a much lower price point.

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

2672 posts in 2554 days


#5 posted 05-08-2018 07:48 PM

Think might help if knew what kind of woodturnng would like to try. Those Midi lathes Delta & Jet with electronic vairable speed with bed extensions will serve you well. Same goes for the NOVA 1624 II without EVS, you move the belt over the pulleys manually. At one time could upgrade to DVR headstock on Nova not sure if that’s still possible or worth the expense.

Another consideration is size of the wood you have access too. Will you harvest your own or buying wood. In any event a lathe with 12” swing will allow you to turn a lot of different projects. You measure swing on a lathe taking a ruler set on the lathe bed to center of spindle in the headstock. Depending upon the lathe may only turn something little smaller than 12 inches. Have to account for your tool rest base (banjo) might get in the way.

On any size lathes actual distance between centers often less than stated in spec’s. Once you account for what you mount on or in the headstock, chuck, drive center or face plate and live center in the tailstock may not get what spec’s quoted. That’s why mention bed extension for midi lathes.

Of the lathes mentioned like the Jet too!

My first lathe was 14” x 40”(junk), then 12”by 36” also a Jet 10”x 14” now have a Jet 16” x 42”. I try to keep my bowls any where from 12” to 14” in diameter because larger bowls hard to fit on shelves in cabinets.

Good luck with it!

-- Bill

View LeeMills's profile

LeeMills

670 posts in 1721 days


#6 posted 05-08-2018 09:31 PM

Is the Delta the 46-460? If so then the swing is 12.5 not 21.5; 21.5 would be huge lathe. I could not find the length between centers but most midi lathes are 16-21. The 45.5 is about the overall length. There was a problem with the switch but I think they have that straightened out. At 8 amps it falls in acceptable parameters to be a full 1 HP.

The Jet 1221 gets very good reviews. I have never used one but the specs state 6 amp and 1 HP. I think it is closer to 3/4 hp probably, to be rated at 1 HP it would have be over 100% efficiency, a little hard to do as far as I know.

I have had the Nova 1624 for over ten years. Yes you have to move the belt occasionally but I would never want to give up my 1.5 HP and swivel head.

My daughter has the Nova Comet2 (about 3 years) and it has been no problem. It is rated at 3/4 hp continious duty. https://www.cpooutlets.com/nova-46300-comet-ii-bench-lathe/nvan46300,default,pd.html?ref=pla&zmam=31282435&zmas=47&zmac=722&zmap=nvan46300&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI_c2k1YP32gIVSVqGCh2VLQ5WEAQYBSABEgI15vD_BwE
Even though it has been fine I still would hate to turn on it all the time.

Except for the Nova 1624 all are electronic speed but I would give that up for the ummph of cutting through the wood.

-- We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

View DDJ's profile

DDJ

34 posts in 560 days


#7 posted 05-08-2018 09:59 PM

Is the Delta the 46-460? If so then the swing is 12.5 not 21.5; 21.5 would be huge lathe. I could not find the length between centers but most midi lathes are 16-21. The 45.5 is about the overall length. There was a problem with the switch but I think they have that straightened out. At 8 amps it falls in acceptable parameters to be a full 1 HP.

The Jet 1221 gets very good reviews. I have never used one but the specs state 6 amp and 1 HP. I think it is closer to 3/4 hp probably, to be rated at 1 HP it would have be over 100% efficiency, a little hard to do as far as I know.

I have had the Nova 1624 for over ten years. Yes you have to move the belt occasionally but I would never want to give up my 1.5 HP and swivel head.

My daughter has the Nova Comet2 (about 3 years) and it has been no problem. It is rated at 3/4 hp continious duty. https://www.cpooutlets.com/nova-46300-comet-ii-bench-lathe/nvan46300,default,pd.html?ref=pla&zmam=31282435&zmas=47&zmac=722&zmap=nvan46300&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI_c2k1YP32gIVSVqGCh2VLQ5WEAQYBSABEgI15vD_BwE
Even though it has been fine I still would hate to turn on it all the time.

Except for the Nova 1624 all are electronic speed but I would give that up for the ummph of cutting through the wood.

- LeeMills

Also the Nova has the motor variable speed upgrade kit available for it

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

632 posts in 1881 days


#8 posted 05-08-2018 10:40 PM

I totally agree with finding a woodturning club before you buy anything.
This web site has a lot of good info, free project tutorials.
https://www.woodturningonline.com/

Same web site link to clubs in Florida. 17 total, hopefully some close enough to your home to be useful.
https://www.woodturningonline.com/community/clubs.php#USFL

Local clubs will have good advise, sometimes good used equipment to get started on.
As for the lathes you have listed. I like the jet. 12” swing is good to start out with, and for me variable speed is a must. The jet also has a bed extension option if you decide to do spindle work.
good luck.

-- John

View derosa's profile

derosa

1597 posts in 3255 days


#9 posted 05-09-2018 02:41 AM

It really is a tough question to answer when you’re not the user, but I would be inclined towards the Delta. Although I would love the Nova for its clearance my work can vary a lot and has previously included making table legs for which only the Delta would work. I hope in the nearish future to make a table to put behind the couch and again only the Delta would work. I have dabbled some in turning and in this the Delta can be a bit limiting though as someone else mentioned I can do outboard turning, though the communion sets, rosettes, rolling pins and pens had no trouble fitting a 12” center. If I were to go towards just turning and being as artistic as I could I’d want a bigger center but for now length has mattered just slightly more.

-- A posse ad esse

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12842 posts in 2799 days


#10 posted 05-09-2018 03:22 AM

Yeah Delta only has one, the midi, and it’s a hella good lathe.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View mel52's profile

mel52

865 posts in 684 days


#11 posted 05-09-2018 05:18 AM

I happen to have the Rikon lathe ( 70-100 ). Not variable speed but easy to change the belt. It’s very solid and I haven’t had any problems yet.

-- MEL, Kansas

View Ksquared's profile

Ksquared

2 posts in 439 days


#12 posted 05-10-2018 02:14 AM

Thank you for the input. I did find a place nearby that has all the supplies and classes! I am looking forward to getting started and creating. You have been very helpful!

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2359 posts in 2409 days


#13 posted 05-10-2018 12:38 PM

A lot depends on your budget and what you think you want to turn, just spindle or faceplate as well (bowls, platters). As for bgt include a sharpening method, cutting tools (huge $ variation), type of work holding – drive spurs, faceplates, chucks, tap your own glue block, a few tool rests.

In many cases there are several to many ways to do something. Classes are good to get started and get basic info, but you are limited to the knowledge/opinion of the teacher. I encourage you to also spend a lot of time learning on the internet to get different opinions. Stuart Batty, Lyle Jamieson, Brendan Stemp are very good, and there are many others.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com