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Turncrafter or Rikon

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Forum topic by dataz722 posted 11-23-2018 01:59 PM 1062 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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dataz722

28 posts in 968 days


11-23-2018 01:59 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hi, I am looking to get started in turning (mostly small stuff like pens and whatnot at least at first) and was pretty much set on the 10” Turncrafter advanced set, but I was in Woodcraft last weekend and saw they had the 12” Rikon VS for Black Friday for $450. For just the lathes it is only $50 more for the Rikon, but the bundle of the turncrafter would still work out to be quite a bit cheaper. I think I could even get the 12” turncrafter bundle for cheaper than the Rikon and buying everything separately. I am a big fan of Rikon tools and already own a few, but is it worth it over the Turncrafter?

https://www.pennstateind.com/store/KWL-10SSA.html
https://www.pennstateind.com/store/KWL-12SSA.html
https://www.woodcraft.com/products/12-x-18-vs-midi-lathe-rikon

Thanks.


20 replies so far

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

2672 posts in 2553 days


#1 posted 11-23-2018 03:02 PM

JMHO would go for the Rikon lathe. PSI, starter sets not really a bargain. PSI Benjamin’s Best full size tools not that expensive and better buy. If have a Harbor freight store near by either one of these spindle tuning tools set will get you started.

https://www.harborfreight.com/professional-high-speed-steel-wood-turning-set-8-pc-61794.html

https://www.harborfreight.com/professional-high-speed-steel-wood-lathe-chisel-set-8-pc-69723.html

These PSI resellers that often have lower prices.

http://www.packardwoodworks.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=packard&Product_Code=153058K2&Category_Code=pm-stakit

http://www.packardwoodworks.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=packard&Product_Code=153058K2&Category_Code=pm-stakit

http://www.woodturningz.com/
https://www.woodnwhimsies.com/

Might want to hang out here lots of good advice.
http://www.penturners.org/forum/

-- Bill

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dataz722

28 posts in 968 days


#2 posted 11-23-2018 03:26 PM

Thank you!!!! I hadn’t come across those other suppliers yet so I will certainly take a look at them. I had also just assumed that the HF sets would be junk and wouldn’t hold an edge. As a general rule I don’t buy anything from harbor freight that has a blade or requires and precision, so I hadn’t even considered it.

View LeeMills's profile

LeeMills

670 posts in 1720 days


#3 posted 11-23-2018 03:29 PM

I agree with Bill. The PSI seems to include a lot, but quite a bit of fluff IMHO.
A local club also has 12+ Rikons with no problems that I have heard of.
You may have already ruled it out but if not you may also want to also consider the Nova Comet 2. I bought one for my daughter 5+ years ago. $445 https://www.amazon.com/46300-Comet-Variable-12-Inch-2-Inch/dp/B00C2ASVNY/ref=sr_1_1?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1542986794&sr=1-1&keywords=nova+46300

With any you will probably want a chuck right off the bat… another $100-150.

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

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dataz722

28 posts in 968 days


#4 posted 11-23-2018 04:07 PM

I looked at the Nova, but at practically the same price I would prefer the Rikon from what I have seen…. unless there is something I am missing.

And I was planning on getting a chuck eventually, but since I plan to start off just doing pens, pepper mills, and other small gift things I figured I could hold off on it. Knowing me though I will probably buy one within a week.

View Mattg43's profile

Mattg43

24 posts in 525 days


#5 posted 11-23-2018 05:42 PM

Keep in mind that the Rikon is not the 70-220VSR that is often recommended, it is a new model with 3/4hp, shorter length, no reverse, less speed range, and less weight.

Not to say it is not a good lathe, only that this is a new model with less features than the one you usually see recommended. Are you sure it will meet your needs?

Also, where are you located? I may have a Turncrafter 10” available soon. I am in the DFW, TX area.

View dataz722's profile

dataz722

28 posts in 968 days


#6 posted 11-23-2018 08:04 PM

I would prefer something more, but my budget is extremely limited, as in getting anything really is out of my budget, but it is still a slightly larger motor than the 10” Turncrafter. Is the reverse really that important? Granted, I don’t know a whole hell of a lot about turning, but from everything I have watched and read I haven’t really seen it used much. And that wasn’t meant to be smart-assed or rhetorical, it really is an honest question, just to be clear.

Also something that I have to keep in mind is that I don’t have the available floor space to have it permanently mounted to a stand so if needs to be light enough that it can realistically be moved. I know just like with all stationary tools heavier is better, but I would like to try to keep it under 100 lbs.

I am in Delaware. I am actually only about an hour or so from PSI so I would avoid shipping if I do decide to go that route, but I doubt I will at this point.

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

2672 posts in 2553 days


#7 posted 11-23-2018 08:45 PM

Both HF & PSI tools at the bottom of the ladder in quality and yes will have to sharpen little bit more often. There is a learning curve to sharpening turning tools and better with inexpensive tools than higher price tools.

Today almost every turning vendor carry PSI some PSI kits, accessories, & tools.

The difference between 12” Rikon & Turncrafter pretty slight not sure will see much difference turning. Over at IAP couple folk upgraded their Turncrafter lathes to Rikons. Think customer service had something to do with that. Also know few folks that have upgraded their Rikon min/midi lathes for much bigger lathes too.

Reverse is nice to have but not totally necessary.

-- Bill

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

22878 posts in 3524 days


#8 posted 11-23-2018 10:25 PM

I would go with the Rikon over the Turncrafter. We have a Turncrafter at school and I avoid it.

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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Mattg43

24 posts in 525 days


#9 posted 11-24-2018 12:43 AM

I have a Turncrafter 10” variable speed, and moved to a Rikon 70-220VSR. The Rikon is a nicer lather, but it also costs quite a bit more. I used the Turncrafter for many pens, small things, and a few 4-6” bowls. I thought it lacked in power, but I think that was at least partly due to my own ignorance and heavy handedness with a few tools.

In practical use, I dont think the things you describe will have you seeing any shortfalls with any of the lathes. The Turncrafter is in use in a lot of small shops for the exact things you describe. A few people had issues with the control board on the first generation of them, but that seems to be worked through. Add in the proximety, budget, and need to keep it mobile, and I would think that it would be fairly high on my list.

With that said, I would expect to spend a couple hundred more than that kit on things like sharpening stuff.

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Woodmaster1

1180 posts in 3006 days


#10 posted 11-24-2018 03:59 AM

I have the Rikon 70-220 vs and love it. The tool post is 1” unlike the smaller tool post on other 12” models and mine has a 1 hp motor. You will get better quality tools even if you star with the cheaper ones. A chuck is a must Oneway or nova seems to be the best at the club they started with pennstates chuck but they went bad quickl

View dataz722's profile

dataz722

28 posts in 968 days


#11 posted 11-24-2018 03:22 PM

I do already have a slow speed grinder and the wolverine jig, I just need to get the vari grind for it so I already have sharpening taken care of…. just need to learn how to actually do it.

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

2672 posts in 2553 days


#12 posted 11-24-2018 07:48 PM

Could careless what lathe you buy but really down PSI package deal. For example 40 slimline pens and other reasons too. Unless keep a supply of cross refills bought from your kit vendor they are throw away pens when run out of ink. Just check your local stores for cross refills and prices to see what talking about. That’s why linked basic pen making starter kit from Packard Wood Works with only 5 slim line kits.

Would rather see you buy a lathe & tools so can learn to turn with just scrap wood. That wolverine system will come in handy. If get into turning pens will need other supplies like universal barrel trimming kit for more than 7 MM kits. Have turned more than 1,000 pen in different styles and never used a pen press for assembly, never needed one use either bench vice or c-clamp.

Yes, lot of folks start out turning slim line pens but soon graduate to different style kits.
http://www.penturners.org/forum/f13/

Most turners look at other things to turn than just pen.
http://www.penturners.org/forum/f45/

-- Bill

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dataz722

28 posts in 968 days


#13 posted 11-25-2018 03:19 PM

I don’t really understand what you’re saying about the ink. Are the ones that come with it junk and run out almost immediately?

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

5654 posts in 4082 days


#14 posted 11-25-2018 05:19 PM

I don t really understand what you re saying about the ink. Are the ones that come with it junk and run out almost immediately?

- dataz722

No, but eventually the person using the pen is going to need a refill and when they do, finding the right one is a real challenge. Would be much better if the kits required a refill that you get at Walmart, OfficeMax, etc.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

2672 posts in 2553 days


#15 posted 11-25-2018 08:33 PM

There are a lot of other 7mm style pen kit besides slim lines would like to make but don’t because hard for I and customers or gift recipients to find. Required special ordering from Office Max or Staples at $6.95 for just two.

So ended up ordering extra cross refills to sell or give to customers and friends. Vendor refills not the best buy so some turners seek other refill suppliers.

https://www.bereahardwoods.com/pen-kit/sets/cross-style-black-pack-of-five.html

http://www.penturners.org/forum/search.php?searchid=9845874&photoplog_searchinfo=1&photoplog_searchquery=cross+refills

People don’t have a problem finding Parker style refills any where.

If sell to friends or co-workers you’ll get asked when re-fills go dry. I kept a supply at shows for customers or people that bought their pens for someone else. Didn’t charge much never more than $1.00 or free in some cases. Just part of customer service, in some cases made additional sales from previous customers or people that bought from other turners.

-- Bill

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