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Old 08-09-2017, 12:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Next step in Lathes?

First...I did a search but came up with nothing...

I purchased a harbor freight lathe about a year ago when I first learned to turn. I'd like to get something a little nicer. Digital RPM screen and variable speed (via a dial). I'm going to get a buffing setup for the HF lathe.

I ONLY turn pens.

What would everyone suggest. 2 answers.... #1 - budget not an issue #2 - $400 max budget.

Thanks guys!
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Old 08-09-2017, 08:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Budget no issue....The Jet 1015VS is perfect....buying a more expensive lathe for pens will not serve you better.

Best bet for under/around $400 is the Turncrafter 10VS. I do not see any other VS lathes in the $400 range.

Good luck, Frank
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Old 08-09-2017, 08:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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For answer #1, I would recommend either the Jet 1221vs or the Rikon 70-220 vsr. In either case, wait for Woodcraft or another local dealer to have a sale.

For #2, Rikon makes a mini for around $300, but it's not variable speed. Same thing for Jet, but you'll pay closer to $400.

For pens, I don't change speeds for turning or sanding/finishing. I have the Jet 1221vs and find the variable speed comes in handy when starting to turn a bowl or other item that is out of round and requires a slow speed for the first portion of the turning. Although you say you only want to turn pens, you may find that your interests change over time, so you might want to consider one of the #1 options. You'll probably have your lathe for many years.

Good luck!
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Old 08-09-2017, 08:37 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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If the budget is not an issue, I would recommend either the Rikon 7020vs or the Jet 1221vs.

They are both solid machines and have variable speed. You can get the Rikon for 15% off until the 14th of this month at Woodcraft.

The Jet 12221vs has better variable speed control since you can set the belt to one setting and go from 60 rpm to 3600 rpm with the digital speed control. The Rikon forces you to change belt settings to get those speeds.

The Rikon has a 2 1/2 inch throw on the tail stock, while the Jet only has 2 inch.
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Old 08-09-2017, 09:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Is weight/size a factor? I'm finding they range from 75-125lbs. The Rikon is wide at 40"and heavy. Same with the Jet 1221...around 125lbs.
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Current set up:
a pair of Jet 1015VS
Jet 1221VS
MidAmericaPool Taig professional pool cue repair lathe....that somehow gets involved with pen blanks.

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Old 08-09-2017, 09:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WriteON View Post
Is weight/size a factor? I'm finding they range from 75-125lbs. The Rikon is wide at 40"and heavy. Same with the Jet 1221...around 125lbs.
Weight isn't a factor but I don't want a large lathe. I prefer a table top....maybe 18"
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Old 08-09-2017, 10:09 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mischief1273 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by WriteON View Post
Is weight/size a factor? I'm finding they range from 75-125lbs. The Rikon is wide at 40"and heavy. Same with the Jet 1221...around 125lbs.
Weight isn't a factor but I don't want a large lathe. I prefer a table top....maybe 18"
The lathes that members are suggesting are bench tops. Enjoy what ever you purchase. As someone mentioned Woodcraft has 15% of on Rikons. Try to see one. The RikonVS lathe looks like a great lathe that will do everything and more for you. And for less 15% it runs better.
And thumbs up to the Jet 1221VS.
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Current set up:
a pair of Jet 1015VS
Jet 1221VS
MidAmericaPool Taig professional pool cue repair lathe....that somehow gets involved with pen blanks.

Last edited by WriteON; 08-09-2017 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 09-05-2017, 11:31 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Have you considered the Nova Comet II? Amazon Prime has it for $411 right now. I bought one and feel, for pens etc, it is very nice. For larger items like bowls.. it may be a bit underpowered.. I can't say that yet.
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Old 09-05-2017, 12:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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I like the Shop Fox
https://www.amazon.com/Shop-Fox-W183...shop+fox+lathe
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Old 09-05-2017, 12:31 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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I have a Rikon 70-050VS which was replaced by the 70-220VS. I like it and it does everything I need right now- pens and small turnings as ornaments.
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