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Old 06-28-2010, 12:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Indianapolis, IN
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Default Lathe decision help needed

We are new to turning pens and plan to buy our first lathe this week. My wife and I are very excited to begin our new hobby. We have narrowed our search down to these; Used Delta 46-250 or a new Excelsior from Rockler. Both about the same price. Delta comes as is, Excelsior would come with warranty and $150 worth of tools. So, which one should I get? Both have good reviews. Thanks for any assistance
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Old 06-28-2010, 01:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
hilltopper46's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: East Troy, Wisconsin, USA.
Posts: 2,327
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I'd get the Delta 46-250. Morse Taper #2 is worth the difference. I have that lathe and have been quite happy with it.
Tony Rozendaal
East Troy, WI

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Old 06-28-2010, 05:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: Louisville, KY
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Indychips, There's a meeting Saturday if you and your wife look like to make the drive. The info is in another thread in this category. Always look forward to meeting new turners.
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Old 06-28-2010, 06:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Crosby, Texas, USA.
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I'm firmly in the Delta camp on this one. Warranty is nice and all, but really, with a lathe that is not variable speed, There are few components beyond the switch that are very failure prone, especially if the lathe has already been used without problems for a while. The morse taper 2 and 1x8tpi arbor are far and away easier get accessories for than the smaller versions, and the larger tailstock ram is probably more stable as well. As for the free tools, I'm not sure what they are, but would be willing to bet that within 6 months, 75 to 90 percent of them will not be used. Better to buy a few tools at first, and learn to work with them, then buy a few more later, that way you will know what you need for the way YOU want to turn. Letting somebody else pick tools for you (by buying a set) to turn with usually is a recipe for stuff you don't need or use after a while.
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Old 06-28-2010, 08:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: Searsport, Maine
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If you should go with the used Delta, be sure to check for alignment between the headstock and tailstock.
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Atlanta
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I have had the excelsior since thanksgiving of last year, I've turned about 70 pens on it but the quality is quickly declining.. It's a good starter lathe but you'll switch out down the road if you really like the hobby (my jet 1220vs arrives today woot!).

That said I'd just go with the Delta if it's in new condition.
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Old 07-10-2010, 04:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Location: Milwaukee, Wi, USA.
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Forget the Rockler lathe. I had one and got rid of it within a year.

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