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Old 03-04-2017, 09:23 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Sterling, VA USA
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Just as a measure of pricing, check out the OneWay 12/24 lathe and then look at the Robust Scout lathe. Then you won't feel like a Jet or Rikon are high priced.
Both the OneWay and Robust are North American made! Robust in the USA and the OneWay in Canada.
Charlie W.
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Old 03-04-2017, 10:37 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Here's a thought, but it is a very limited one given my experience with only a handful of lathes (all under $800); I am also lazy when it comes to changing chucks, belts, etc.
You may want to start with a 2MT harbor freight...and see how you like it. If you do, you found your lathe and you are done. If you don't like it or get curious, try a EVS with or without reverse like Jet 1221 or 1015 (no reverse option) or similar Rikon ( you can save money by building your own stand). The HF lathe with not go to can use it as a dedicated something else (buffer, sander, CA applier, etc.) or have a another lathe for you or a guest. I have the HF, but only for applying CA (but have made a pen on it for someone who had the equipment and I wanted to teach her with what she owned. The pen came out fine!), the Rikon 70 - 100 (which is my dedicated buffer..but can turn a pen on it without a problem except I don't like changing belts), a Jet VS 1015 (I bought for a guest to use or I will us if the 1221 EVS is doing something else), and the Jet 1221 EVS with reverse..which I love and almost bought another one today. I have seen folks turn beautiful pens with HF and the like equipment. If I turned more than pens, I would buy a Powermatic or a small Robust...but after 3 years, I haven't had the desire.
I like Jet over Rikon because I like to change speeds often and Jets' has a pulley configuration that allows one to vary rpms between 180 and 3500. The last time I checked (about 6 months ago when I bought my Rikon) Rikon's answer to the 1221 did not allow the same range of rpms without changing the belts...but turners change belts all of the time or turn without the need to vary the speed to the degree that I do.

You have lots of choices...what I presented are the only lathes that I have used. More will chime-in with sage advice. I didn't get the another 1221 because I wanted 15% off not 10%...I didn't need another lathe, but I like a bargain.

Remember, this is just my limited experience. Only you will what suits your style of turning and budget. It's a fun process. Much success with your decision.
Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them? Abraham Lincoln



Member of Local IAP Georgia Chapter meets quarterly in Roswell, GA

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Old 03-05-2017, 11:22 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I stumbled over this while looking for something else. It might help.
Chuck Hutchings
Indianapolis, In.
You can see some pens at
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Old 03-05-2017, 01:45 PM   #14 (permalink)
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The Nova Comet II is very impressive. I don't own one, but have a friend who bought one of the G3 included sets last fall and he loves it. I have inspected a number of Nova lathes and have been thoroughly impressed by all of them.
Quality parts and they seem better thought out than the Rikon or Jet IMO.
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Old 03-05-2017, 06:32 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by oldtoolsniper View Post
Here is what transpired with my lathe purchasing adventure. This is not a bashing or rant about Amazon, UPS or anyone, it's just what I went through.
A 125lb lathe does not ship well in a cardboard box. It is impossible to ship without damage. Went through this with a 1221. BTW...excellent lathe. Buy right the 1st time you're good for a long stretch.

Current set up:
a pair of Jet 1015VS
Jet 1221VS
MidAmericaPool professional pool cue repair lathe
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Old 03-05-2017, 09:29 PM   #16 (permalink)
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One lathe I have been looking at recently is a shopfox
I have been looking around a little for a small lathe, and this particular one looks nice , but I really don't know anybody that has one for real feedback. I own one other shopfox machine, and am happy with it.
** is there anywhere to locate a G3 included Comet II lathe currently,at an uninflated price, or was that a special promo deal, as that is appealing!

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Old 03-05-2017, 10:55 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I have the Jet 1221VS, and I would buy another in a heartbeat. It's heavy enough for slightly larger turnings. My favorite feature is the speed range. I never realized how amazing that was until doing a demo on my local club's Delta 46-460. I had to change belt positions for everything. It may as well have been multi speed. I have zero desire to turn anything big anymore (i had a bowl blow up, so I'm a little gun shy). And, when I bought that lathe, I spent a long time going over lathes and features because $800 sounded like a lot of money for one tool. Looking back through this hobby, $800 is nothing for what that lathe has allowed me to do.

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Clark Miles
Aransas Pass, TX 78336
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Old 03-06-2017, 01:18 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Lathes

Originally Posted by Parkerthread93 View Post
Hello, all!

My name is Parker, and I am new in the world of turning. I have been turning for a couple of months and have turned roughly 20-25 pens. I specifically like maple burl and deer antler. I also enjoy turning Olive Wood from Jerusalem because it gives me the opportunity to talk about Jesus, which I enjoy.

I have been using a friends lathe, but am interested in purchasing my own. I am willing to put money towards a quality product, but don't want to break the bank. My fiancee would not like that too much.

Anyone have any suggestions on what to buy?
I did a Craigs list search in your area On Lathe , I wished I was there I would be buying this lathe ...
There are several lathes in your area that seem reasonable enough in price .
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Old 03-07-2017, 01:10 AM   #19 (permalink)
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So, this is where my naivety shows, but why would I need reverse or variable speed? To be honest I've never changed the speed while turning.
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Old 03-07-2017, 08:00 AM   #20 (permalink)
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It depends on what all you do on the lathe. If you're drilling, you'll want to be around 750 rpm (depending on hole size and material being drilled). Turning pen blanks down: speed is your friend. I turn pens at 3600 rpm. Buffing with the Beall setup? 2000 rpm. Sanding? 1000 rpm. Tapping threads? 60 rpm.
Many people turn great things without variable speed, but it is a very nice feature.

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