Central Machinery 95607 - worth it?

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Bigolac

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May 26, 2022
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11
Location
Wisconsin
Hello - I've been a restoration carpenter for the last thirty some odd years, and finally caught the turning bug. I'm mainly interested in simple stuff like pens and the like, although it would appear that this could be a rabbit hole I won't be able to dig myself out of.....

In that pursuit, I found a Central Machinery 95607 on Craigslist for $30, and snagged it. Seems to work fine, and the headstock and tailstock line up well. The tailstock was missing the hardware that tightens it to the rails, but I took an old 3/8" carriage bolt and modified it to work with a nylon nut and washer. It's not perfect, but it holds down tight.

My question is was it worth the thirty bucks, or will I regret going the cheap route? I have ordered a mandrel and some pen kits which haven't come in yet, so I haven't had a chance to try it out yet. Any advice or tips with this machine would be appreciated.

Thanks!
 
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randyrls

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Feb 2, 2006
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4,654
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Harrisburg, PA 17112
Adam; Welcome! If you have done carpentry, you know the importance of protecting your lungs from wood dust. Also if you turn anything on the lathe face protection is important too. I sometimes wear my face shield when using the table saw. AND I don't stand in line with the blade! A good one is made by Bionic https://www.woodcraft.com/products/bionic-face-shield this shield is impact rated, some shields ARE NOT.
 

monophoto

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Mar 13, 2010
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Saratoga Springs, NY
Adam

That lathe, or something very much like it, is about where most of us started. If my experience is any indication, you will outgrow it rather quickly, but you spent a bunch less than I did so I suppose that's OK. And besides, if you do eventually upgrade to something bigger, a small lathe like that can easily be repurposed as a buffing station.

That lathe will be fine for pens, bottle stoppers, razors, duck calls, and possibly small boxes and bowls. The major shortcomings will be that the fixings (MT1 and 3/4"x16tpi) are a bit harder to find, and the selection is more limited, the 8" throw limits the size bowls you can turn, and the low motor horsepower will make turning larger diameter items and end-grain drilling a bit challenging. But its still a great machine to learn on.
 

Humongous

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Feb 20, 2019
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322
Location
Canandaigua, NY
For $30 that's a great starter. Besides if you upgrade you can use it as a dedicated buffer or squaring sander or finisher. Still a good tool for the price.
 

Bigolac

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Joined
May 26, 2022
Messages
11
Location
Wisconsin
Thanks for your responses - I appreciate it. Had some time today to get some oak drops milled up for blanks and had a go. Worked pretty well! My son and I made some chess pieces with it and had a blast all afternoon watching each other's technique and learning what not to do...

I got a small set of chisels with the lathe, and I probably spent an hour grinding away with the belt sander to get them somewhat sharp (they were beat to hell). I think I'll have to focus a bit on technique for sharpening - feels like the chisels can get dull pretty quick.


PXL_20220529_013356678.PORTRAIT.jpg
 

Bigolac

Member
Joined
May 26, 2022
Messages
11
Location
Wisconsin
Well thanks to all the great advice on this forum, I was able to put three pens together this afternoon. Had a blast! I found some oak scraps from my shop at work and had some maple at the house. I think the hardest part for me will be finishing - I tried ca glue, but I don't think I waited long enough between coats for it to cure. When I started polishing the ca, it must have been a pretty thin buildup, because I was basically back to bare wood.

All in all a great way to spend a beautiful afternoon in Southwest Wisconsin!
 
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