Jet Lathe buyers remorse?

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Forum topic by Dj1225 posted 12-12-2013 01:58 PM 7807 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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75 posts in 2826 days

12-12-2013 01:58 PM

I need some advise. I purchased a Jet 1221VS and bed extension recently while they were on sale with a 15% discount. So out the door was around $900 with tax.

I did not buy the stand, as by the time I paid for it and the bed extension legs it would add another $500 and I already have a good stand.

I am just wondering if I should move up to the JWL-1642 series. I have the space and the dealer said they would honor the 15% discount on the tool. So price would be about $2100 out the door.

Another option I read about is the JWL 1442 which is much less but has the Reeves drive. My dealer did not seem to be in favor of this, and recommended to 1221. It would have only been $300 more, but I do trust my Jet dealer so that is why I went in this direction.

So here is my question. I hate buying a tool and out growing it. Primarily I build furniture, and plan to use this mainly to add interest to legs, and of course to make some bowls and fun stuff.I have access to tons of turning wood, and something tells me at some point I may want to try a blank over 12 inches.

Next if I do go with the larger 1642, I would think moving to the 220 is better.

Really I guess my question is, you guys that have bought lathes in apx a 12 inch swing over bed, how many have upgraded at a later time or wished they had. I have room for one decent size lathe but not two. And although cost is dramatically different, if I spread the extra $$ over the years I plan to keep and use the machine ( not to mention I have the cash now but later when I retire might not be as easy to justify the upgrade cost), I think it is justifiable.

Any thought from you wise and seasoned wood workers would be appreciated.

And Happy Holidays

-- Dave

18 replies so far

View Tennessee's profile


2901 posts in 3120 days

#1 posted 12-12-2013 02:12 PM

Well, almost eleven years ago, my wonderful wife asked me to pick out my dream lathe. I had been working off a Rockwell four speed school lathe for years. Initially, I picked out a Nova, kind of thinking a little fiscal, and also trying to get a lifetime lathe.
Much to my surprise, she had done some research herself, and presented me with pictures of the Powermatic 3520 and a Oneway.
Needless to say, I was floored.
In the end, I picked the Powermatic 3520, since the Oneway was almost $800 more. Back then, there was no digital readout on the front, and no compartment in the tailstock, but I have moved that lathe two times, done almost everything I can imagine on it, (I bought the Oneway Stronghold Chuck), and I have never, never ever outgrown it. It has never failed to run anything short of perfect, every time.
I will admit, that in the last year I have added the small Harbor Freight lathe to my collection for really little things, like guitar knobs, but the Powermatic right now has a big bowl in it.

Buy the best and biggest swing you can get, and the longest bed you can afford. I did, and I never looked back.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View Wildwood's profile


2791 posts in 2740 days

#2 posted 12-12-2013 02:21 PM

Jet 1221 or 1440 entry to intermediate lathes. Understand might be the only lathe some people need. Know more people have upgraded their 1440 lathes than 1221. Those 1440 lathe owner have moved on to Powermatic of better lathes. 1221 too new so cannot speak about upgrading.

I have 110V version of Jet 1642 for several years now and it does everything want it to do. Only optional equipment is 6” Robust tool rest for smaller turnings. I do not see myself upgrading to better lathe soon.

Think will be happy with either 110 or 220 version lathe. If have 220V available or not much of an expense go for that model if it makes you happy.

-- Bill

View bigblockyeti's profile


6184 posts in 2326 days

#3 posted 12-12-2013 02:53 PM

I too hate outgrowing something I’ve spent a lot on, currently I have a small Craftsman that I got for a steal and could probably get my money out of if I were to sell it. When I’m ready, which won’t be for a while, I’ll be getting a Oneway. Not sure which one yet, but I’ve got plenty of time to figure that out. After seeing them in person at Highland Hardware, I know it’s the one. Go big, get what you know you won’t outgrow!

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View Underdog's profile


1437 posts in 2641 days

#4 posted 12-12-2013 03:17 PM

I think your dealer steered you right in recommending the 1642 rather than the (shudder) one with the Reeves Drive. Some people have no trouble with them (they’re maintenance heavy), but I have not had good experience with them.

I personally bought a Jet 1014, then upgraded to the 1642. I keep the 1014 for demos, since the 1642 is a little difficult to carry around…

-- Jim, Georgia, USA

View TheDane's profile


5727 posts in 4269 days

#5 posted 12-12-2013 04:42 PM

My dream lathe is a Robust American Beauty. I’ll order one as soon as I win the lottery!

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

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5242 posts in 4566 days

#6 posted 12-12-2013 04:43 PM

Maintenance on the reeves is not that big a deal. Blow out the crud and keep the shafts lubed. My Grizz has done well for over 8 years.

-- [email protected]

View moke's profile


1475 posts in 3382 days

#7 posted 12-12-2013 07:19 PM

Does your wife have a sister?

WHEN I win the lottery Sat night, I’ll buy you that lathe!

-- Mike

View RolfBe's profile


28 posts in 2420 days

#8 posted 12-12-2013 08:12 PM

I had the Jet 1236 (used) for many years with the reaves drive. It was a good lathe but the lowest speed was not low enough on occasion. I replaced all of the bearings and rebuilt the drive. I recently decided I needed a new lathe. I did not have room for a large lathe but I wanted more capacity so I bought the Nova XP DVR16-24.
Fits in my space perfectly and the head rotates so I can should I choose to turn a 22” bowl. So that was the right choice for me.

-- "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can" Hawk G4 ss, New Nova 16-24 DVR XP

View TheDane's profile


5727 posts in 4269 days

#9 posted 12-12-2013 08:57 PM

Mike … Let me know when you need the shipping address!

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

View justinwdemoss's profile


148 posts in 3501 days

#10 posted 12-12-2013 11:59 PM

1642EVS all the way. I have the 1 1/2 hp 110v. I love mine, but if I had a shop wired for 220 and the bucks, I would always say go for more power.

-- Justin in Loveland, OH

View jeff's profile


1200 posts in 4071 days

#11 posted 12-13-2013 12:05 AM

go bigger then you won’t outgrow the tool…

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View tomd's profile


2216 posts in 4376 days

#12 posted 12-13-2013 12:15 AM

You can turn small things on a big lathe but you cannot turn big things on a small lathe. Sooner or later you will want a big one.

-- Tom D

View Tennessee's profile


2901 posts in 3120 days

#13 posted 12-13-2013 01:10 PM

No, sorry, she was an only child. And she never bitches about me buying tools, as long as every so often I send a little bit of my work her way over the last ten years or so. She has numerous jewelry boxes, cookbook bookcase, couple of wine racks, morter and pestle, pepper mill, and years ago I made a nice headboard out of very old oak that matches our set and saved us $600 over the one the furniture store wanted to sell us. That stuff gets me free entry into all the good stores…..

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View moke's profile


1475 posts in 3382 days

#14 posted 12-13-2013 07:01 PM

Sounds like you have this system down….I do get to buy some good stuff, but the Christmas theme at my house is tiny and shiny….I work two jobs, one to pay to live and one to pay for toys.
Enjoy your lathe..

-- Mike

View Dj1225's profile


75 posts in 2826 days

#15 posted 12-14-2013 05:50 PM

OK returned the 1221VS and went with the 1642. Now anyone have a good way to move this around. I know lathes are best left in place but not really an option. I don’t like the idea of adding big casters to the legs as it is going to be too high to be comfortable for me. Someone I know has had the same challenge.


-- Dave

showing 1 through 15 of 18 replies

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