Late 40s homecraft lathe $300 -- should I buy?

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Forum topic by trsnider posted 09-09-2019 12:04 PM 696 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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148 posts in 2490 days

09-09-2019 12:04 PM

I’ve been looking for a lathe for a long time. This one is on craigslist for $300. Wonder if it’s worth a look and what they’re asking.

15 replies so far

View Wildwood's profile


2718 posts in 2615 days

#1 posted 09-09-2019 12:28 PM

If it runs as claimed would make a good starter lathe if consider what today’s midi lathes cost. Of course can buy a HF reeves drive lathe new for less. Would prefer the Delta Homecraft to that if could get a better price.

If go and see a complete lathe no missing components and runs good might make an offer.

-- Bill

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148 posts in 2490 days

#2 posted 09-09-2019 12:31 PM

THanks. I’ll consider HF. I’m interested in starter lathe—then next month I’ll want a full blown fancy one. :)

View Steve's profile


1573 posts in 1063 days

#3 posted 09-09-2019 12:39 PM

I wouldn’t pay $300 for that thing. Maybe $100 tops. There’s not much of a swing on it, so you’d be limited to pens and really small bowls.

If you’re serious about getting a full blown fancy one next month, I’d just save the $300 and put it towards that.

Don’t forget that after you get a lathe, you’ll need anywhere from $50-$300 worth of tools and accessories. And that doesn’t take into account any type of sharpening setup. Unless you go carbide, but that’s a different discussion.

View ibewjon's profile


911 posts in 3274 days

#4 posted 09-09-2019 12:48 PM

Pass for that price. I only paid $450 for a powermatic 90 in great condition with a handful of chisels, faceplates, and two tool rests. If you are not in a rush, a deal will show up. Usually the day after you settle for something less.

View Wildwood's profile


2718 posts in 2615 days

#5 posted 09-09-2019 07:46 PM

When say make an offer do not know your budget or what you want to turn. If want a full blown fancy lathe would not recommend that lathe you are asking about or HF lathe because you will soon out grow it if seriously get into turning wood. Great starter lathe for not much money.

If just starting out this lathe or HF one excellent to learn basic spindle & bowl turning if price is right. Was mistaken when said HF lathe 12” x 36” only 12” & 36” and they are either a blessing or curse! Of course they go on sale often or bought with a coupon.

Went looking for a publication for lathe you are looking at and didn’t find exact match. There are a lot of these lathes & parts out there and come up for sale often.

So if get at price right for you would buy it. Looked at other lathes on you craigslist and think that’s best of lot of them. Yes folks asking too much for whats posted there. I’ll bet that lathe your looking at already gone!

-- Bill

View MrUnix's profile


7468 posts in 2679 days

#6 posted 09-09-2019 07:52 PM

Great lathe – terrible price. That is a Delta 46-110. I sold my fully restored one for $150 without a motor or stand.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View farmfromkansas's profile


120 posts in 95 days

#7 posted 09-11-2019 01:02 AM

I tried to sell an old lathe, similar to that one. Not one offer. So I offered it for free at the local woodworking club, and a guy came and got it.

View Wildwood's profile


2718 posts in 2615 days

#8 posted 09-11-2019 09:20 AM

One big problem with Crags List and other online sites selling wood lathes and other woodworking machines there is a lot of junk offered at high prices. Even local news paper and message boards selling tools.

Yes have seen some reasonable priced wood lathes for sale online at different times but still have to bargain when buying used woodworking machines. You are buying where is as is with no warranty!

Before my last post went to Wichita site and cold not find OP’s lathe so assume it sold already but many examples what talking about.

Applaud folks that don’t anything about woodturning coming here to ask about used wood lathes. That Delta Homecarft 10 X 36 lathe for anywhere between $100 to $250 a bargain if runs good and complete for a first lathe depending upon what one want to turn. While could not find a manual for it over at vintage machines can find them on line for less that $20. Could not tell if lathe pictured had a jack shaft or not but might have been an option don’t know.

Yes a new 12” midi lathe with EVS & bed extension would be great without knowing OP’s budget hard to say. Others have already talked about price of tools and accessories. Cost of those items can put someone on a budget in a bind.

-- Bill

View WoodenDreams's profile


707 posts in 391 days

#9 posted 09-11-2019 09:48 AM

doesn’t say what size the motor is. I’d be inclined to get the HF lathe with a 25% off coupon. would have some sort of warranty. maybe offer $100 to $150. I have walked away from a $200.00 1952 Shopsmith ER10 that had a 1/2 hp motor, it had a lot of extra goodies. I probably should have got it, because all the extra stuff made it worth it (8” disc sander, 2 mortising bits, table saw table, 3” jointer with a cracked jointer table, drill chuck, lathe stand and some other extras). I think I just talked myself into calling him back on the Shopsmith ER10

View Robert's profile


3516 posts in 1961 days

#10 posted 09-11-2019 02:16 PM

THanks. I ll consider HF. I m interested in starter lathe—then next month I ll want a full blown fancy one. :)

- trsnider

Make sure you buy the replacement warranty.

Personally I stay away from the ww’ing machines.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View WoodenDreams's profile


707 posts in 391 days

#11 posted 09-12-2019 06:57 AM

For a starter lathe, the HF does offer a affordable start to see if you’ll like the hobby. What type of turning did you have in mind… pen making, gift items, bowls, spindles for chairs, etc. Check to see if there’s a wood turning club in your area. One of the members may have a lathe to sell. Also set aside a budget for some of the extra options in accessories. I’m waiting on a additional lathe a friend of mine was supposed to drop off. I have at one time considered the Grizzly G0844 benchtop Midi lathe. options I liked was benchtop, 14”x20”, 3/4 hp, variable 300-3300 rpm, forward and reverse, and digital read out. for $570.

View Gentile's profile


346 posts in 2299 days

#12 posted 09-12-2019 04:11 PM

Several years ago, I picked up a similar lathe. A Delta Double Duty for $100. I refurbished it, cleaning and painting
I’m not a lathe guy, but I’ve used it a few times…

-- "I cut it twice and it's still too short"

View waho6o9's profile


8749 posts in 3057 days

#13 posted 09-12-2019 04:18 PM

View Andybb's profile


2029 posts in 1084 days

#14 posted 09-13-2019 08:07 PM

I had a very similar opportunity and love the outcome and have used it with great results. But $300 is waaay too much for that.

Check out my post from a few years ago. , but it was $25.

I love this lathe and have had a lot of fun with it. I added a free treadmill motor for variable speed. If it’s like mine it has an MT1 head and tail stock where most everything these days is an MT2.

In short, if you can get it for $100 or less then it would be a fun starter.

But if you are going to buy a nicer one in a month then don’t buy it!

Otherwise, for $300-$400 bucks you could get a MUCH nicer machine. Current Craigslist postings below..

You will want something that is variable speed, of which there are 2 varieties. Variable speed motor or variable speed by changing pulleys. Having a true variable speed motor is the way to go IMHO.

Pass for that price. I only paid $450 for a powermatic 90 in great condition with a handful of chisels, faceplates, and two tool rests. If you are not in a rush, a deal will show up. Usually the day after you settle for something less.

- ibewjon

+1 Absolutely!

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View Underdog's profile


1389 posts in 2516 days

#15 posted 09-14-2019 01:00 AM

My advice is to buy a much more current lathe.

Don’t buy anything that is:
1) not solid cast iron (no tubes!),
2) doesn’t have a standard threaded spindle size (1”x 8tpi or 1-1/4”x 8 tpi)
3) doesn’t have a #2 morse taper in the spindle and tailstock,
4) and doesn’t have a locking banjo toolrest and tailstock mechanism.

Bonus points if you get a variable speed drive on top of that. I prefer an electronic variable speed over a Reeves drive any day of the week. I’d use a standard manual pulley over the Reeves drive in fact. Your mileage may vary.

And no that lathe is not worth $300. If they’d take $50 for it, maybe. But I’d save my money for something a little newer so as to have a better turning experience because of the nicer features.

-- Jim, Georgia, USA

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