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Forum topic by Derec posted 05-17-2013 07:14 PM 19046 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Derec's profile


77 posts in 3022 days

05-17-2013 07:14 PM

I found this Craftsman 2 hp Lathe on Craigslist. The guy was asking $500 in the ad, but when I called him up he said to make him offer and that he really wanted to get rid of it to make room in his shop since he prefers his Shopsmith.

I search Google and can’t really find any reviews on it, I wanted to see what you guys on LJ had to say about it.

I also found this Carba-Tec wood lathe Model HM-IV, variable speed, 18” bed, 3” swing Lathe which the guy is asking $150.

So which do you think is a better deal?

I have one other option. I can wait till July and try and pick up a Jet Mini Lathe at an auction that I know is coming up. Only problem there is that it is two months away and no guarantee on the price because I know they will be a hot item for bidding.

-- Derec

9 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8652 posts in 4702 days

#1 posted 05-17-2013 07:37 PM

there are even more options out there…

but you are the only one that knows what you are planning on turning to really tell which is the best option – FOR YOU.

as in –
what size projects are you planning on working on ?
what space do you have to store/keep the lathe in?
how much is your budget (have you included sharpening supplies toolings etc into the final cost)?

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Derec's profile


77 posts in 3022 days

#2 posted 05-17-2013 07:58 PM

I have no experience in wood turning, all I know is what I would like to do and that is to make cups and mugs.

I do know that Jet makes good lathe and that is about it.

I was going to take wood turning classes, but the shop that was offering them closed last month, and they are the ones that are auctioning their equipment in July.

-- Derec

View shampeon's profile


2167 posts in 3237 days

#3 posted 05-17-2013 09:23 PM

Well, you’ve got two entirely different classes of lathe there. If you’re planning on only turning small items, the Carba Tec is an ok but not great deal. You’ll still need lathe tools, and might want to pick up a chuck. But it’s got a drill chuck and some basic parts.

If you’re wanting to turn bigger items, the Craftsman could be a good deal, but probably not at $500. Does it include the stand? It looks like the head turns outboard for bowl turning.

-- ian | "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."

View Wildwood's profile


2954 posts in 3188 days

#4 posted 05-17-2013 09:24 PM

Stay away from the sears lathe for $500, cannot get parts for them today. Sears got those lathes from Palm Green which also sold same lathe. Sears left people in a lurch, people ended up buying parts from Palm Green. Palm Green stood behind there lathes until they stopped selling them. Definitely not worth $500.

If you are looking for inexpensive starter lathe look here.

If have a few more bucks look at Delta or Jet mini lathes.

-- Bill

View Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 4014 days

#5 posted 05-17-2013 09:51 PM

What Wildwood said- avoid anything Craftsman these days, new or used.

View Dakkar's profile


357 posts in 2981 days

#6 posted 05-18-2013 12:59 AM

That is one weird @$$ looking Craftsman lathe. I must have missed that catalog.

A lathe is a tool to which you eventually will want to add aftermarket attachments, so it generally best to go with a model you know you can do that with. I’m not even sure the low end Harbor Freight models take things like aftermarket chucks and such. Also, with something like a Jet you can resell it one day for close to what you pay for it if you shop carefully.

View Derec's profile


77 posts in 3022 days

#7 posted 05-18-2013 01:10 AM

Thanks for the great advice everyone!

I think I will hold off and save my money until I can find something better where I know I can do what I want on and that I know will be happy with.

I will see if I can win one of those Jet Mini lathes at the auction in July.

-- Derec

View Woodknack's profile


13552 posts in 3433 days

#8 posted 05-20-2013 03:24 PM

Coincidentally I was thumbing through a 2003 issue of Wood magazine and found that Craftsman in a sub-$1,000 lathe shootout. It performed very well… 3rd in power behind the Delta and Nova and very low vibration. Some downers were the speed control knob being stiff, the indexing wheel is behind a cover, and it was among the louder lathes. Price as tested was $550, which I think included a stand.

Interesting note about power, the most powerful lathe in the test, the Delta, had a 3/4HP motor. The 2nd most powerful, the Nova, had a 1HP motor. While the Craftsman had the highest rated motor at 2HP.

-- Rick M,

View waho6o9's profile


9016 posts in 3630 days

#9 posted 05-20-2013 03:52 PM

+1 for Knothead62

Keep your powder dry

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