Lathe for 34”-35” baseball bats

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Forum topic by GabeATX posted 01-20-2021 03:48 AM 378 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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23 posts in 1681 days

01-20-2021 03:48 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question baseball lathe

I’m buying my first lathe. I want to turn 11” bowls and baseball bats with finished length of up to 35”. I’m looking at two midi models with extensions – the Laguna 1216+20” extension, or Jet 1221 with 22” extension. I theory these seem to offer 36” and 42” capacity for length, but is that realistic? The Jet seems well loved and is a bit cheaper, and the Laguna looks pretty great.

I could settle for 34 or 34.5” length, from 37” billets.

I used a lathe when I was younger, but forget how pieces were mounted and the names of everything.

Thanks everyone,

8 replies so far

View Wildwood's profile


2943 posts in 3141 days

#1 posted 01-20-2021 10:21 AM

When talking about distance & turning between centers remember using a drive center or chuck in the headstock and live center in tailstock shortens that distance some.

Also you want a little extra wood just for a waste allowance to part off each end of that baseball bat.

Guess saying would opt for the Jet even thou might not always need the extra length!

-- Bill

View mike02719's profile


290 posts in 4793 days

#2 posted 01-20-2021 01:53 PM

Bill is right, a 36 in lathe will not turn 36 in because of mounting and cut off waste and you won’t have 18 in over the banjo for the length of the lathe. You can, however work to get as much as your machine can handle or purchase the bed extension available which is your best option. After much investigation, I chose the Laguna 1836 and have been delighted with it ever since. I have owned it for two years with absolutely no trouble. Off balance loads such as bowls are non issues. Speed control is excellent. As with any lathe, a steady rest will be needed while turning a 36 in project. As everyone on this site says, you can do small projects on a full size lathe, but you can;t do large projects on a small lathe.

-- Mike, Massachusetts

View Davevand's profile


244 posts in 1843 days

#3 posted 01-20-2021 04:17 PM

I have the Jet 1221 and it will only turn 18” between centers, less if I use a chuck.

View jeff's profile


1306 posts in 4472 days

#4 posted 01-20-2021 04:43 PM

How about this lathe. Its a Jet clone I believe.

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View GabeATX's profile


23 posts in 1681 days

#5 posted 01-21-2021 02:45 AM

Thanks guys. I forgot to mention budget — I’m trying to keep this under $1,000 for the lathe. And I missed an earlier thread from another member, not sure how to link, but it’s a guy who is turning out sick bats on a Delta 46-460 with an extension. If you google TNT Bats you will find him – high school kid, buy a bat and he donates a bat to a kid in need — good stuff.

I’m also checking out an old Powermatic PM-45. Biggest problem is getting that beast home. The Delta can be picked up curbside at THD for $658 + extension, and that store has been good about returning damaged goods in the past.

It looks comparable to the Jet 1221, I think. I know Delta isn’t what it used to be, but seems low risk.

Appreciate the help here.

View Wildwood's profile


2943 posts in 3141 days

#6 posted 01-21-2021 09:39 AM

Guess Delta 46-460 lathe with extension will get 42”’s between centers, which should work for you. In this link first late looks like Delta midi so think will have no problems. You can see what am talking about waste allowance in both pictures. Several turners here have or have had that lathe and enjoy it.

Good luck with it!

-- Bill

View greenacres2's profile


357 posts in 3175 days

#7 posted 01-21-2021 11:49 AM

If you’re in the midwest, i’ve got a 46-460 with extension that i’d consider selling to help fund a 16-18” bowl lathe. Nice spindle lathe.

View GabeATX's profile


23 posts in 1681 days

#8 posted 01-21-2021 07:34 PM

Thanks gents. Bill, I actually messaged TNT/Theo yesterday, and he gave me some useful pointers. He had a thread here last year that I didn’t see until later.

Delta 46-460 with extension has been ordered. I added a steady rest, which looks like it will be very useful.

If anyone needs a PM-45 with an updated 1-phase motor and forward/reverse, there’s one on CL San Antonio waiting for you and your trailer.

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