Deal or No Deal on Bowl Lathe?

Bear Republic

Steve
Corporate Member
Wood Bowl Lathe

came across this posting on CL. Seems like a good deal to be able to turn bowls and the such. Opinions greatly appreciated.

I'm in the market for a lathe and i think I'll be don't mostly bowls and small projects. I like the idea of being able to turn larger things in the future. I really don't see myself turning spindles. I think I will be looking at a lathe that the headstock can swing out for larger turning radius.
 
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Sam Knight

Sam Knight
Sam
Hmmm. I'm not sure about that lathe. Looks like it only has a few speeds with the step pulleys. I'd want to know how slow it would go so I could mount a large bowl blank and not have it walk all over the shop. It looks pretty light weight as well. For $900, I'd pass and wait on a used powermatic or save for a large grizzly or laguna. That is just my opinion tho.
 

Henry W

HenryW
Senior User
Wood Bowl Lathe

came across this posting on CL. Seems like a good deal to be able to turn bowls and the such. Opinions greatly appreciated.

I'm in the market for a lathe and i think I'll be don't mostly bowls and small projects. I like the idea of being able to turn larger things in the future. I really don't see myself turning spindles. I think I will be looking at a lathe that the headstock can swing out for larger turning radius.
Also a hmmm from me.
Here's what i see - it looks like a shop made lathe, which if I had the talent, I would put together. But....
- all the drive belts are uncovered - not something I like to see
- as Sam pointed out it is a step pulley system (which I use on my Nova and I am NOT unhappy with for the occasional turning I do, but it is certainly less convenient)
- no tailstock. I am not a big tailstock user, except early on in the bowl turning process. I like to use the tailstock as a backup holding system when doing the 'rough turning' on a new unbalanced blank. I don't see one, so I assume there is not one. I certainly could be wrong.
- I second Sam's view that it likely needs more mass (or to be bolted down) in order to be stable with larger unbalanced pieces
- 16" swing - listed as >16" - My $600 used Nova lathe has a 16" swing, and a swivel head which I have used for larger pieces (not something I want to do a lot of, but do-able). For what I consider big bowls, 16" is not 'very large' (can do a nice salad bowl though).
- Does state 6" chuck, but I think I see a faceplate - a 6" chuck can easily be a $200+ commodity, a 6" faceplate a less than $50 item.

Price is OK, and certain inexpensive compared to large Powermatic or Oneway lathes, or other large bowl lathes; these all tend to keep their value and don't come down much in price from new - certainly not the '50% for used machinery' rule of thumb that many use.

If you are an inexperienced turner, I would think that you are not likely to be able to judge well if the down sides of this lathe, especially the no tailstock, will work for you.
 

pcooper

Phillip Cooper
Corporate Member
I have a Nova lathe that has a headstock that will swing around to make a bowl lathe, and also accessories that will allow for the tool rest position in the bowl set up. My lathe new cost what they're asking for as what I also see as a shop made tool. I'm like the others, I'd want to wait and find a machine that will do more for the same money.
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
Geometry is wrong for safe turning, tool rest would get in the way and doesn't seem to be very adjustable.
I would not want that in my shop.
 

Roy G

Roy
Senior User
The picture shows the owner used a Delta headstock which has a 1" diameter spindle. Definitely not big enough for a large bowl blank. I would pass on this.

Roy G
 

Bear Republic

Steve
Corporate Member
Thanks all, I had several of those reservations and its nice to hear them confirmed. Going to pass on homegrown solutions for rapidly spinning objects of death, except for my own design of course. :cool:
 

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