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Old 08-14-2011, 10:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Glenville, NY
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Default time to upgrade the lathe

I started turning pens and wine toppers about 4-5 months ago on a Harbor freight mini-lathe 8" ($120). It really does a fine job and I am happy with the results, but I know there much better products out there. I would like to experiment with turning small bowls at some point and I know that the 1/4 hp I have now will not do the trick.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I might want to look at? I have looked at PSI but a friend highly recommends the Delta midi-lathe (12" I think). It's about $600. I need to be budget conscience, but want the money well spent. Certainly $600 would be the highest I could justify at this point.

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Old 08-14-2011, 10:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: Manhattan, KS 66502
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Mike, I started with the same lathe, and like you thought it was great for what I intended it to do. I finally, like you, decided to switch up to a larger lathe earlier this summer so that I could do bowls and other item too. After quite a bit of research, I ended up with the Delta 46-460 and could not be happier with it. Here is a full review done by John Carlisle and it is an excellent overview of the lathe.

Delta Lathe Model 46-460

Best of luck with your decision.
Kevin Roberts
Flint Hills Latheworks
Manhattan, Kansas
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Jet 1014 VS is great. Delta 46-460 is greater. I have 'em both sitting side by side, using the Jet mostly for finishing. You will like the Delta much more when you get around to doing bowls and/or vases. The Jet is a little under powered for the larger items, but fully good for pens.
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: San Francisco, CA, USA.
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I have heard that the Delta is a nice lathe. I have a Rikon midi lathe that is now on sale and I turn bowls up to 10" without any problem. You should check it out. If you have a Woodcraft near you, you should go and try out the different lathes that they have. I have tried out many lathes at my local Woodcraft and it helped me make my decision.
You transform all those who are touched by you.~ Rumi
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: Iowa
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I just upgraded this summer too. I had a PSI Turncrafter of some later model before the Turncrafter commander. I bought the Delta 460 from Amazon and didn't have to pay for shipping (worth looking into). A huge upgrade for finishing. It always seemed like the Turncrafter just couldn't go slow enough for applying CA. One other feature the 460 boasts is that it spins both directions. I've heard that is great for finishing larger items like bowls, but I haven't tried it yet, so I can't comment on that feature. It also runs much quieter than the Turncrafter, but that doesn't mean much when the DC right next to it is going. Good luck with whichever machine you choose!
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Old 08-15-2011, 10:00 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Adamsville, TN, USA.
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The Delta 46-460 is a great machine, we have one at our club and it's fantastic.
Ken Ferrell
Maker of the world famous Woodchuck Pen Pro
"Sharper-Faster- Easier
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Old 08-17-2011, 06:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Location: Merrimack, New Hampshire
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I have the delta 46 455 which is non vs and it's a workhorse I turn firewood on it for play with a home made hollow jig. The 46 460 is even better
Blessings! Craig

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Old 08-17-2011, 06:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Location: Medfield, MA
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I have a Jet 12x20 VS and love it. It does a great job and hasn't let me down once. I looked at a bunch of different ones and decided to go with the Jet. I bought it through Amazon and got free shipping.
Rick McKinney
Medfield, MA

Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist --George Carlin
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Old 08-17-2011, 07:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I have the delta midi lathe and I love it.
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Old 08-17-2011, 09:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW Georgia (USA)
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Delta 46-460 is a great lathe. I bought mine in Jan.2010 and turned alot of nice bowls,pens and never had a problem with it. My shop burned in Sept. 2010 but after some intense cleanning it runs like new again. It is discolored but a great machine. If it can withstand a fire it's got to be a good machine. The 1hp and VS is a big plus. It also has reverse. For the money get you the 46-460 and you will not be dissappointed.
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