Full-Size Lathe for $80

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Forum topic by WTTN16 posted 08-19-2012 02:36 AM 6588 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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12 posts in 3267 days

08-19-2012 02:36 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question lathe turning

I need advice. I was at my local pawnshop today and i saw a full-size Tool Shop wood lathe. I talked to the owner and he said i could have it for $80. Now my problem is that i have used Tool Shop products before and they are generally very low-quality. thats what i get for buying Menards generic cheap tools. But passing up an $80 full-size lathe is hard. Ive never used a lathe but i really want to learn. Does anyone have this lathe or know anything about it? I would appreciate any info and advice

-- Aaron, Wisconsin (1 John 1:9)

10 replies so far

View jim C's profile

jim C

1472 posts in 3981 days

#1 posted 08-19-2012 02:46 AM

I too got burned by buying Tool Shop tools from Menards. Thank goodness they have an easy return policy. I brought them all back for a refund.
In this case, I don’t know what you mean by “full size”. Give us a hint of the swing size and bed length. How old is it, what condition visually, bench or stand alone. Then we can give you an opinion.
My first inclination is to go for it if it’s in working order, but be advised a lathe can be a very dangerous piece of equipment if it’s not up to snuff.

View stan3443's profile


301 posts in 3158 days

#2 posted 08-19-2012 03:48 AM

not worth the metal it’s made of

-- If your not supposed to have hair on your face......why does it grow their

View DylanC's profile


206 posts in 3557 days

#3 posted 08-19-2012 03:50 AM

My advice would be to let it go. I say this without knowing what it was worth brand new, but my experience with Tool Shop is not good. You don’t need top-of-the-line tools to make good projects, but they should at least be well made. My guess is the tool rest adjustments are crap, the motor is garbage and the bearings won’t make it more thane a few years with decent use. If you do buy it, and you end up using it a lot, expect to upgrade in a few years.

-- Dylan C ...Seems like all ever I make is sawdust...

View fussy's profile


980 posts in 3934 days

#4 posted 08-20-2012 02:02 AM

A lathe is a simple tool. Roy Underhill and Don Weber make them out of wood scraps and power them with their feet. If this thing makes wood go around without catching fire, it’s good for the money. More important are the turning tools you buy and even more important is how you sharpen them. This set has been generally regarded as a fine buy.

Get a 20% off coupon from many magazines and you have them for about $35. Good starter setup.


-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View winters98's profile


38 posts in 3014 days

#5 posted 11-29-2014 11:13 PM

i picked one of these up for $40 . It looks to have a center point on each end.
For simple projects like bats I would say that it should be just fine.
As for small items like pens I am not sure as I am looking for adapters for the spindle. It has a solid 20mm bolt so not able to use a tapered mandrel. Any advice would be welcomed.

View runswithscissors's profile


3118 posts in 2908 days

#6 posted 11-30-2014 02:02 AM

I’m not familiar with that lathe or that line of tools, but I would stay away from lathes that use square or round tubes for the bed. That’s because the bed will flex, which isn’t a good thing on a lathe. The bed should be cast iron, or at least steel of a very heavy gauge.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View REO's profile


929 posts in 2957 days

#7 posted 11-30-2014 03:44 AM

make sure you can compliment it with tooling, Will a four jaw chuck work on it? does it take a MT?is the tailstock MT or just a dead center. Two weeks ago I was looking for just a headstock, anything I could hang a scroll chuck on. I had to buy an Atlas 6” headstock and modify the spindle thread to get it to work for me. For just starting out any complete lathe for 80 bucks would be a good deal.

View bheckson's profile


26 posts in 2733 days

#8 posted 11-30-2014 03:49 AM

If you are looking at buying a lathe you should go on to Penn state Industries website and take a look around. They have very reasonably priced tools with good starter kits and very solidly built. Just got one of theirs this week and absolutely love it! Good luck!

-- #makedust

View DIYaholic's profile


19921 posts in 3558 days

#9 posted 11-30-2014 12:46 PM

When it comes to turning, the lathe is the cheap part.
It is all the “accessories” that get expensive.

IF, the lathe has standard headstock spindle and tailstock….
accessories would be easy to transfer, should you decide you want/need to upgrade.
I would pass on the lathe if it has non standard headstock spindle and tailstock….

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View winters98's profile


38 posts in 3014 days

#10 posted 11-30-2014 11:46 PM

here is a picture of what I have.

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