PSI 12" VS Turncrafter - Review

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Forum topic by BArnold posted 08-27-2014 06:34 PM 1276 views 0 times favorited 0 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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175 posts in 3289 days

08-27-2014 06:34 PM

Topic tags/keywords: resource lathe turning

To preface this posting, I’ll give a little background. I’ve had a Jet 1236 since about 2002. Never did a lot of turning mainly because of large flatwork projects I was committed to – like furniture for our home. As I started doing more turning in recent months – primarily pens, bottle stoppers and small practice pieces – I really had issue with the speed adjustment on the Jet. It works as designed but I wanted something better – like a VS machine. After looking at some options and wanting to be conservative with my spending, I chose the PSI TCLCVS 12” Turncrafter.

I received my new lathe via UPS last Thursday night (8/21). I opened the boxes mainly to check that the contents were OK, then called it a day.

Overall, everything was packed well, as you can see below. It’s a good thing there’s plenty of styrofoam and other padding. Box one, on the left below, held the main section of the bed which was supposed to have the motor mounted to it. As I started to lift the bed out, I noticed the motor was loose under it so I pulled the plastic bag away from it. The motor could hardly move due to the packing material. I unplugged the motor cables going to the control box, removed the bed from the box, then lifted the motor out and placed it on my bench. There were no damages. Box two, in the center below, held the head stock, tail stock and some other items, all of which were fine. The third box contained the extension bed. The only casualty from box three was the small plastic zip lock bag holding the hardware to attach the extension to the main bed was torn open – one of two flat washers were missing, but I had plenty in stock.

After spending a few hours on Friday assembling the lathe, this is what it looks like. I checked both speed ranges with no load, except my hand, and everything seemed in order. Further checking showed the speeds to be different from what is published on the PSI web page for the product. I was getting 300-1800 on the low pulley setting and 1000-3800 on the high. The published speeds are 150-1900 and 300-3900 in the online manual and 150-4100 on the specification section of the web page. Not that it will make a lot of difference, but I wanted a response about the difference. I sent an email Monday, then called PSI this morning. The CS desk put me through to the technical manager, Joe Roberts, who told me the speeds could be set to pretty much whatever I wanted. He had me open the control box, tweak two controls and in less than a minute, I had the speeds set to the lower low end. One adjustment covers both speed ranges.

As a little better test of the speeds under more load, I grabbed a section of a dogwood log. I centered a drive spur on one end and the tail stock live spur on the other. There was a little vibration at the low speed due to the log, of course. I roughed it out until it was fairly round, then ran the speed up to the high end of around 1800rpm with the pulleys on the low range. The lathe ran very smooth and showed little loading, even when I held my hand on the log.

Now, I’m not much of a turner, but I’m working on it! So far, I couldn’t be more pleased with the decision I made to buy this lathe.

-- Bill, Thomasville, GA

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