Grizzly or Pennstate Var speed lathes

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Anthonym

Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
7
Location
Port Chester ny
Hello
I,am looking for a small variable speed mini lathe to to do mostly pens.
I have a nova 1624-44 for my bigger turnings,I was thinking of
up grading to there var speed add on but to expensive. I like the grizzly
10x18 and pennstates 10x18.Here is the question,Whats speeds are best
for pens?sanding i know is low 500 or lower,but the grizzly lowest speed
is 650 and pennstate 500 I have sanded at 600 with no problem on my
nova.There are so many opinions.Also what is the best speed for finish
cuts? 1450,2000 etc?Thanks Anthony
 
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mark james

IAP Collection, Curator
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Sep 6, 2012
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Medina, Ohio
I agree with Chris, basic turning at a comfortable high speed. But I'll go a bit slower for sanding than Chris, but the difference with your quoted speeds is not significant - either is fine and I doubt you would notice a difference.

For me, I'll turn at 2900 RPM, and sand at 360. I have room to go faster or slower, but I'm lazy. In practice, I usually keep my 1624-44 at 2900 and don't bother to adjust it, and sand at 500 on my Jet Mini with a sanding block.

Play around, and you will find what works for you.
 

dogcatcher

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Joined
Jul 4, 2007
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Location
TX, NM or on the road
650 is slow enough, I like slower, but Grizzly has the better customer service. Sanding too fast doesn't allow the sanding grit time to work. It also heats up both the wood and the sandpaper, if sandpaper gets too hot the glue lets go of the sanding grits and the paper wears out prematurely. Also if you are sanding too fast you can burnish the wood and the sandpaper has to work harder.
 

Anthonym

Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
7
Location
Port Chester ny
Thanks everyone for your help, I,am leaning toward the grizzly but that one speed
range the 650 -1450 is 1450 fast enough for the finishing cuts?The reason I ask this
is because I wanted variable speed with out changing belts,I want to be able to go from
fast to slow.The pennstate is from 500 -2000 Thanks again.
 
Joined
Oct 15, 2016
Messages
493
Location
Davis Oklahoma
There is a way to adjust the low end and high end speed ranges on the Turncrafters. It involves taking the control box off, opening it and adjusting two of the potentiometers. The tech guys at PSI will even walk you through it. I've heard of people turning the low end adjustment down to where it's only running at 1-2 rpm and the high end adjustment to almost 5000rpm.:eek:
 
Last edited:

JimB

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Mar 18, 2008
Messages
4,668
Location
West Henrietta, NY, USA.
Why don't you try doing your finish cuts at the speeds you are asking about on your Nova? Just get as close to the speed you can. That will answer your question.

Personally, I use a Jet 1014vs for pens and other small turnings. I almost always leave it on the middle belt setting. I think the high on that is around 3000 so that is what I turn at. It doesn't matter if it is a roughing cut or a finish cut. The low, I think, is around 1000 so that is what I sand at. If there is a reason I will move the belt, higher or lower.
 

KenV

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Joined
Oct 28, 2005
Messages
4,721
Location
Juneau, Alaska.
I have turned an a treadle lathe with a top speed of 100 rpm. Sharp tools and not forcing the tool wins. Ride the bevel and the world is yours. 1000 rpm works just fine with a sharp tool.

Turner style and personal preference are the big differences with rpms. There are no speed police or wrong answers. Use your experience with the nova to guide you.
 

Woodchipper

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Joined
Mar 15, 2017
Messages
3,292
Location
Cleveland, TN
Thanks Everyone
Does anyone have a 8x12 mini lathe sold by HF or other outlets?
I have heard some people like and some don,t
Just like anything on the market- some like it and some don't. My first lathe was a HF 37406. Bought a Rikon 70-050 on sale due to being replaced by an updated model. Rikon has a 5 year warranty.
 

Anthonym

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Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
7
Location
Port Chester ny
Guys Does anyone out there own the pennstate penpal lathe?and what do you think
of it.I was thinking it would be used only for pens.
 

Rifleman1776

Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2004
Messages
7,334
Location
Mountain Home, Arkansas, USA.
Hello
I,am looking for a small variable speed mini lathe to to do mostly pens.
I have a nova 1624-44 for my bigger turnings,I was thinking of
up grading to there var speed add on but to expensive. I like the grizzly
10x18 and pennstates 10x18.Here is the question,Whats speeds are best
for pens?sanding i know is low 500 or lower,but the grizzly lowest speed
is 650 and pennstate 500 I have sanded at 600 with no problem on my
nova.There are so many opinions.Also what is the best speed for finish
cuts? 1450,2000 etc?Thanks Anthony

With experience you will learn faster speeds are more desirable.
I have a lot of Grizzly tools, including my lathe. I have never been disappointed with Grizzly products or service. PSI quality and service can be an iffy thing. I've experienced good and lousy with them.
 

skypilot444

Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2019
Messages
14
Location
Florida
I use the HF lathe and for the price it can’t be beat. It’s my first lathe so I don’t have anything to compare it to but so far it’s been a pleasure to use. Wish I had variable speed but I’m used to switching the belts and it only takes a few seconds. With a coupon and a small gift card it cost me about $170. Hard to beat that.
 

monophoto

Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2010
Messages
1,931
Location
Saratoga Springs, NY
I have the 12x18 Turncrafter and have been very happy with it. As ScissortailPens noted, it is a very simple matter to tweak the control settings to tailor the speed range to whatever you want - I have mine set to go down to 100 r/min on the slow belt setting, and about 3800 r/min on the top setting.

One of the things to keep in mind is that while you might start out doing only pens, turning is addictive, and eventually you will want to do other things. If your lathe is designed to limit what you can do, you will become frustrated. In particular, I would be concerned that the PSI PenPal lathe is designed to do only one thing - turn pens. I understand that some people have been successful expanding into bottle stoppers, but I think that's about as far as it will go.
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2017
Messages
2,595
Location
Wolf Creek Montana
I bought the Penpal lathe from PSI when I first started this adventure. It will handle pen blanks and smaller projects like coffee scoop handles but that's about it. I had zero success with doing bottle stoppers, just not enough power behind it. For everything else I use my large lathe with a mandrel and mandrel saver. Nice thing about the Penpal is the small footprint. If you have limited space and just want to do pens, coffee scoops, seam rippers and smaller items it will work, but don't plan on doing anything big with it, it just doesn't have the power behind it. I can't speak for the HF or Grizzly lathe's
 
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