Looking for my first lathe

Bear Republic

Steve
Corporate Member
I'm looking to finally get into turning. I'm keeping my eyes out for Lathes but I figured if anyone had one collecting dust or looking to upgrade, I'd ask here also. I would like something in the following requirements:
  • $300-800 range
  • Open to mini/midi lathes and full size, I may go small at first and then get my wishlist lathe, Laguna Revo 1836, just depends on what I find to to start out with
  • Variable speed
  • 12" swing over bed, distance between centers not too critical
  • 110v
  • Prefer within an hour or so of Raleigh, but farther if its worth it.

Thanks in advance, If you have something shoot me a PM and we can talk.
 

SabertoothBunny

SabertoothBunny
User
I started with the Rikon 70-220vsr, great lathe with variable speeds and reverse. Honestly, in the midi range of lathes the Rikon, Jet, and Laguna are interchangeable. They are all pretty equivalent and it comes down to brand preference. I bought the Rikon as it was on sale at the price point I was in at the time.

If you are not 100% sure about how much you will like turning, I would suggest you look at the WEN midi lathes. Those are less expensive and great starter machines for turning smaller items and deciding if you like to turn or not. WEN products are surprisingly high quality considering their price point. Understand, turning requires a whole other set of tools than anything else you do in wood working. Chisels, slow speed grinder, PPE, etc. are all tools that are essential for turning. Like any wood working skill, lots of hours and practice to get used to making items and eventually mastering them.
 

Hmerkle

Hank
Corporate Member
Steve,
Did you ever get to try the goodwill lathe?
I know you had to pass on it once or twice...

I think it is up for grabs again - if you didn't get a chance and are still interested, jsut let me or @bowman (Neal) know and we can get you hookeed-up!
 

BSevier

Bryan
User
I have an Excelsior (Rockler) Lathe that is collecting dust and is in my way. I just recently upgraded and would be happy to give this one a new home.
I am in Apex area, so please contact me if you're interested.
 

BSevier

Bryan
User
Its a nice mini lathe - great to learn on, great for some pens, and doesnt take up much space.
I bought it to do some pens and see if I could get into turning. It just wasn't my thing. However, during this covid times, my wife picked up bowl turning. She had trouble changing the belt for the different speeds on this and wanted to start doing some larger bowls. So I bought her the Laguna 15 24 for her birthday and she's been going to town on that.
The only two negatives about this lathe - 1) even though the tailstock is locked in place, sometimes, when you try to crank down on the handwheel, the assembly will slide back a little. 2) the treads on the locking lever for the tailstock quill stripped out, so I had to replace it with a bolt. Other than those minor things, no complaints.
 

Bear Republic

Steve
Corporate Member
Steve,
Did you ever get to try the goodwill lathe?
I know you had to pass on it once or twice...

I think it is up for grabs again - if you didn't get a chance and are still interested, jsut let me or @bowman (Neal) know and we can get you hookeed-up!
I was able to have the Goodwill lathe a couple years ago so it should go to someone that hasn't had a chance with it. Thanks for the suggestion though.
 

J Miles

New User
Bodean
I'm looking for a lathe. I've been looking at used full size but a lot of them the parts are obsolete so not sure if I want to go that route. I would hate to spend 250.- 600. and need a part later and can't get it. Any one have any thoughts? I would like to be able to turn small projects as well as table legs or even a bowel maybe. I've been looking at the Midi TurnCrafter Commander 12" with 1hp motor. I would hate to buy and be disappointed.Would any less hp work for me .Thanks for any help you could share.
 

tvrgeek

tvrgeek
User
Also considering as I think I found room. Ran across this one:
Never heard of them, but looked nice

Initial cost of the lathe is almost irrelevant compared to all the tools that will go with it. So pick the best lathe and spend the bocks so you won't have to buy it again. The delta will be overshadowed by the chisels, Tormak, chucks and everything else.
 

J Miles

New User
Bodean
Also considering as I think I found room. Ran across this one:
Never heard of them, but looked nice

Initial cost of the lathe is almost irrelevant compared to all the tools that will go with it. So pick the best lathe and spend the bocks so you won't have to buy it again. The delta will be overshadowed by the chisels, Tormak, chucks and everything else.
That's a nice one but way over what I can spend on the lathe and the divorce on top of that. LOL!
 

old-delta

Wes
Senior User
If you haven't found a lathe yet, I'm considering selling my mini Nova. Has the sharpening attachment as well.
PM me and we can discuss.
NOVA COMET II MIDI LATHE; VARIABLE SPEED & REVERSIBLE
 

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