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Old 05-23-2018, 12:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Default Shopping for a new lathe

Iíve been thinking about upgrading my mini lathe to something else. I bought my Ryobi mini lathe to make pens on and it is a very nice little lathe to do that however it does have some limitations.
So Iím looking for one that is a tabletop model, variable speed, MT#2. I want to be able to drill blanks using the tail stock which is something that I cannot do now.
Iíve really not shopped around yet but I know there are many to choose from. Jet, Delta, Rikon, Nova, Grizzly.
Does anyone here have any strong feelings for or against any particular brand & model?



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Old 05-23-2018, 12:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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The Jet 1221 is a larger table top model with 1 HP motor, variable speed and is large enough for drilling without any problems. It is also big enough to turn decent size bowls and other items if you want. I do not own one but I have used one and I thought it was an extremely nice lathe. If I was in the market for a new bench top lathe it would be my first choice.
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Old 05-23-2018, 12:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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I have a Jet 1221VS that I can't imagine my pen life without. It's pricey at around $800 but after daily use for over a year and more than $60k of pens ran through it, a worthwhile investment.
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Old 05-23-2018, 12:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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I am retired and we live n 2 places so I have 2 shops, one at home and another at our New Mexico place, I needed a lathe and bought a Rikon lathe. I was more than satisfied, so I bought a Rikon drill press, it has served me well, so when I upgraded my bandsaw, I chose Rikon, again it has done it's job. This is from a former Delta fan, I have Delta tools that are over 50 years old, their corporate leadership is sinking the company.
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Old 05-25-2018, 09:08 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Of midi lathes you listed, the Jet and Rikon would be my first and second choices.
In case you havenít set it, the Bosch Colt lathe sold by Arizona Silhouette seems to be a good solid lathe. 1hp, 14Ē swing with an inverter style controller. I read a lathe review recently which put this lathe at the top of the pack. Normally a little more expensive but I now see it listed on sale for $750 at Arizona Silhouette. That knocks the price down in line with the Jet.
I recommend calling Barry Gross and getting more info. Also, I didnít see the distance between centers listed. I think it was in the 20Ē-22Ē range as I recall. Barry usually has one at shows for his demos.
Good luck with your choices.
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Old 05-25-2018, 12:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogcatcher View Post
I am retired and we live n 2 places so I have 2 shops, one at home and another at our New Mexico place, I needed a lathe and bought a Rikon lathe. I was more than satisfied, so I bought a Rikon drill press, it has served me well, so when I upgraded my bandsaw, I chose Rikon, again it has done it's job. This is from a former Delta fan, I have Delta tools that are over 50 years old, their corporate leadership is sinking the company.
Delta Power Equipment Corp. is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Taiwan-based Chang Type Industrial Co., Ltd. It is not the Wisconsin based company we grew with.

Rikon and Jet are both good tools with five year warranties and both have very good customer service backing up their products. I think Rikon gives you more bang for the buck, especially when you catch it on sale.
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Old 05-25-2018, 03:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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For what it's worth, I upgraded from an older Delta Midi to the 46-460 Delta variable speed model. I love it and have used it for over a year with no problems. At $650, it is $200 less than the Jet VS which was a huge factor for me. I don't have experience with the Jet or Rikon lathes mentioned, but my Delta experience has been good.
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Old 05-25-2018, 11:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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I have a Rikon and wish I would’ve spent the extra money for a Jet. I’ve drilled 10mm holes that a 10.5mm tube fits in. The handle for tightening the belts stripped, and when using the high speed pulleys the belt likes to jump off by 1 “track”. The live center/quill moves a tiny bit when tightening the quill down too, which causes a lot of vibration. These inaccuracies aren’t a problem for boxes, bowls, and the like, but they make penturning a real pain, which is the main reason I bought it and also why I haven’t made many in the last several months. I contacted customer support and while friendly, none of the help has solved any of the issues. I’m thinking of just buying a new tailstock to see if that helps with the drilling & live center issues but I hate the thought of putting any money into it. I haven’t beat it at all and in fact it hasn’t really had a whole lot of use. Maybe I just got a lemon but while I loved it at first, I don’t recommend it. FWIW my Rikon grinder started giving me pains after 2-3 months. I’m done with their products.
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Old 05-28-2018, 11:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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I've only used Jet (have 3) and will stop here. Would by another Jet without hesitating. I bought 2 on Black Fri less 15%. I paid retail for a 1015VS last August as I wanted it now instead of waiting for sale. You will not go wrong with a Jet 1015 or 1221....do get variable speed regardless of which lathe you choose.
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Old 05-29-2018, 12:00 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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I started with a Jet 1014, couldn't get the centers lined properly, even with professional help. Bought a Delta 46-460 and have loved it for the last 7ish years. Have turned on a Nova Comet - hated it, Rikon mini - felt less substantial, Jet 1221 is a solid lathe, the variable speed control is cool.

I'd go with a Delta again, the Jet would be #2.
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