Entry Level Wood Lathe

Pop Golden

Pop
Corporate Member
I have 3 lathes. I started with a Delta mini-lathe. I then bought a full size Delta. We had it at Klingspore in Charlotte were I worked. This machine was the last of the lot out the factory door. It was under warranty, but it took 3 tries to get a headstock spindle that was straight. It was under powered 3/4 hp. on a full sized machine. The bottom line was it was a disappointing piece of junk. I sold it to a guy who had one like it and needed parts ($100). Then I bought a Nova Saturn with the DVR motor. I also got a large selection of chuck jaws. I already had my tools. This is a VERY EXPENSIVE machine. Wonderful but you pay for it. I still have my little Delta mini, and I also have a Shopsmith which can be a lathe in a pinch. Not a great lathe, but a lathe. For a 1st lathe a used mini is a good place to start.

Pop
 

Robert166

robert166
Senior User
I agree, was hoping someone on the forum would have one for sale. I trust I wouldnt get a lemon from a regular here. Buying used from Craigslist is a gamble, buying new is expensive. So the search continues.
 

Robert166

robert166
Senior User
Highland has this one on sale for $350.00
Rikon 12 inch VS Midi Lathe 70-1218VS
Anyone have any experiance with this lathe? Wonder if Klingspor will pricematch it? I will ask them.
191340t.jpg
 

Berta

Berta
Corporate Member
My son wanted to learn to turn. My husband taught him with the easy wood tools.
He bought the small Rikon lathe and Rikon interchangeable carbide tool set.
He likes it.
1587485824840.jpeg
 
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bowman

Board of Directors, Events Director
Neal
Staff member
Corporate Member
The NCWW Outreach trailer has 3 of the Rikon 70-220VSR lathes. These are a little larger than the 1218, with a 1HP motor in place of the 3/4HP motor on the 1218. Also different is a variable speed instead of moving belts to different pulleys, and a reverse option.

I've used the 220VSR on several occasions and am thouroughly pleased with how it runs compared to other small lathes that have been used in the past.

Another option to look at in that price range is the Nova Comet II, I have one of these myself. It is about the same specs as the 1218, the bed length is shorter on the Nova. It also has the pulleys, but has the same digital speed control knob, plus it has the reversing option. I got mine through Klingspors a couple of years ago.
 

Robert166

robert166
Senior User
Highland tech replied to my questions about the 1218, they suggested the 220VSR if I planned on turning anything bigger than a pen or wine stoppers. And I am planning on going bigger. So the 220 is on my radar.
 

sawman101

Bruce Swanson
Corporate Member
A few years ago we had a couple from Asheville that enjoyed demonstrating at the Extravaganza. They turned items, mainly chess pieces, with homemade tools. They turned on a mini Harbor Freight lathe, and made turning tools from various things, beginning with screwdrivers. As I recall he went by Chessppy, but her name doesn't come up in my recall right now. The point of their demonstrations was you can be a wood turner and not spend very much money to do so. It can be done, and is really easy and cheap to get into the dark side of turning wood.
 

Mauser44

John
User
If you can lay your hands on a OLD used Delta say 1940s to middle 50s buy it. It's almost indestructible and what shop classes of that time used to train students.

Pop
That is what I have. Less than a hundred off Craigslist.
Spent ten times more on chucks and tools. A work horse
 

Robert166

robert166
Senior User
Things are starting to clear up a bit for me, I have been seriously considering a Laguna 1216. It is a bit pricey, but the standard features it has really moves this lathe into the lead. I was leaning towards the Rikon 220 VSR, but the Laguna is tempting me. Price not that different. Actually I can get the 1216 from Klingspor $719.00 and the Rikon from Highland $699.00 and have to pay shipping. I would rather buy from Klingspor. For all of the obivious reasons.
 

beloitdavisja

James
Corporate Member
The Laguna 1216 is a new lathe, a little over a year since release, and I’ve heard a lot of people rave about this lathe. It’s beefy, and you can reverse the headstock and do outboard turning. Lots of nice accessories should you decide to do some upgrades down the line. If it’s in your price range, I agree that it’s a great option over the Rikon.
 

Pop Golden

Pop
Corporate Member
For the price difference go with the Luguna! I agree with James. I think it is a much better lathe.

Pop
 

Robert166

robert166
Senior User
Laguna 1216, the more I research this lathe the better I like it.
I called Klingspor in Cary and they have one in Hickory and are possibly expected to get one in by the weekend. Maybe the so-called stimulation money will show up soon, and I can sweet talk the wife, might ease up there and slide it in the truck. But there are many variables to this devious plan.
 

tvrgeek

tvrgeek
User
Keep watching Craigslist. Just missed one with a full set of tools. Contacting on another. Actually, I don't know why as I have never actually felt the need for one except what woodshop does not have a lathe? Did a couple chisel handles on the drill press with a flap wheel in an angle grinder. My taste in furniture does not have spindles.

Robert, US made consumer level tools? Good luck for anything post 1980 or so. Almost all of the cast iron comes from just a couple Chinese suppliers. Quality is what was spec'd from mixed scrap to the best of the best. Can't tell by looking unfortunately. About four companies build almost everything even if some assembly is in the US. That has NOTHING to do with quality. Delta assembles here and is the worst of the worst. I expect my Harvey band saw tomorrow. I liked the guides better than the Rikon or Laguna and for only a little more, got a 3 HP motor and a foot brake.
 

TBoomz

Ron
User
I am interested in an entry level wood lathe, any suggestions or know of a decent one for sale?
Thanks
What? no one recommended a "spring pole lathe"? Can't get more 'entry level' than that. ..and talk about cheap $$$. Plenty of youtube vids on it. My Dad turned the finials for his first, two, grandfather clocks without a motor-driven lathe; eventually got a Sears craftsman lathe for his third clock.
 

DTBoss

New User
Dan
If you haven't really bought anything yet - give the Goodwill Lathe a try before you buy. That way you know whether you really want to make the financial plunge.

BTW - where is the Goodwill Lathe? Who has it? How many are on the list?
Hello there! I've currently got the Goodwill Lathe. Not sure about the list. Sorry for the delayed reply. I've been busier than ever with my kids at home and can't check the forum often. Been harder than ever to get shop time!
 

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