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Author Topic: Wood Lathe ?  (Read 1356 times)

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Offline bama20a

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Wood Lathe ?
« on: March 27, 2016, 12:17:59 PM »
First & Foremost, I'd like to say Happy Easter to everyone.Got a ? about a wood lathe.I've been looking at one thinking about doing some trading on,But I've never used one.The trade value is around $250.00, It's a Central machinery 3/4 hp, 10 speed, also a set of pro knife,This would be for hobby only,(If I ever do get time),Can anyone tell me about it pro's & Con's,,? Thanks,,,,,,,Mark.
It is better to ask forgiveness than permission

Offline Dan_Shade

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Re: Wood Lathe ?
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2016, 12:37:49 PM »
lathes are pretty simple machines.  I'd check the centers and the bearings.
Woodmizer LT40HDG25 / Stihl 066 alaskan
lots of dull bands and chains

There's a fine line between turning firewood into beautiful things and beautiful things into firewood.

Offline ScottInCabot

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Re: Wood Lathe ?
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2016, 12:49:11 PM »
<LINK>

They sell new for $299, and I've never left Harbor Freight without using a coupon(sometimes as much as 40% off), so if it's used.....  I would never value it at that high a price.  HF lathes typically are going to have all kinds of run-out.  So if you are going to use it for small items and duck calls....they probably won't be round ::)

Not sure want a 'pro knife' is, so I'll have to let someone else get on that for ya.




Scott in Cabot
Timber framing RULES!

Offline Den-Den

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Re: Wood Lathe ?
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2016, 03:34:16 PM »
That is a decent lathe for the price (best one that HF sells), you can do quite a bit with it.  You will want to start with fairly balanced blanks or small pieces as it is not nearly heavy or strong enough for large off-balance work.  If you expect to make lots of 10 - 11 inch diameter bowls with it, you will not be satisfied.  If you are making spindles, pens and small bowls with an occasional 10+ inch bowl it is a good machine.
You may think that you can or may think you can't; either way, you are right.

Offline OffGrid973

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Re: Wood Lathe ?
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2016, 03:40:40 PM »
I started with the large lathe from HF and after a few mods it was turning straight and I could create a few bowls of decent size.  After taking a few classes on turning I realized all the pain and suffering was because of the machine and lack of power for the most part.

The misses got me a bench top Rikon for about 350 and after 30 minutes I pulled the HF lathe out to the curb and never looked back.  Great to start learning but had I known how much I hurt my motivation to keep turning I would have spent the 350 first time around.

I LOVE HF but the only tool I ever regretted was the lathe purchase.
Your Fellow Woodworker,
- Off Grid

Offline Kbeitz

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Re: Wood Lathe ?
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2016, 04:34:14 PM »
Think your better off lookin on the Cragslist for a cheap metal lathe and useing it for a wood lathe.
The bigger and heavyer the machine the better it will work. In this picture I'm useing my metal lathe
for wood. I now have a large wood lathe but the metal lathe worked just fine till I got a wood lathe.
You can pick up a metal lathe missing parts for real cheap. Most parts arnt needed for turnning wood.

 

 

 

 

 

 



Collector and builder of many things.
Love machine shop work
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Offline low_48

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Re: Wood Lathe ?
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2016, 10:01:29 PM »
Minimum speed of 600 rpm is high for that capacity if turning bowls. Down right dangerous I would say. The variable speed reeves drive is noisy, and maintenance is a must since the cheap pot metal adjustable pulley is likely to bind and often breaks when folks try to remove them. $250 is too high for a used one, LOTS of better machines out there!

Offline ryangibson0026

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Re: Wood Lathe ?
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2021, 12:17:10 PM »
I have use JET JWL-1221VS wood lathe and this is smooth forward to reverse transition. The speed control allows you to choose between 60 and 3600 RPM speed so you can tackle detailed products just as smoothly as rough ones. Simply use the speed knob to adjust the rotation frequency. Three step pulley system will help you adjust torque to suit the desired speed.

Offline kantuckid

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Re: Wood Lathe ?
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2021, 09:50:56 AM »
I'd pass unless dirt cheap and your in a hurry. Ebay, CL and FB Marketplace is where to look. Also lean toward what you'd think you might like to make later once you've got into lathe work, bowls, chairs, whatever? I have two lathes-one a Delta I bought new in 1970's, another is an old Sprunger that has a fabricated bed extension allowing over 4' chair posts. FWIW, I had a neighbor in Topeka, KS who was a contractor who rehabbed 2-3 story mansions in the Potwin historic area there and he built a lather that ran down the old neighborhood grocery store bldg side wall allowing him to turn his own replicated long porch posts.
An important note: My longer lathe sits on large wood beams built into a U beam so as to negate vibrations which are a nemeisis of wood turnings both long or large.
I also use a fabricated center support built from alu extrusions and uses skate wheels from China/ebay as support. In no other way will you make long turnings well. I still use my Delta lathe for chair rungs. It is not needed to spend thousands for a pricey new lathe-the workmanship matters far more and having a well built lathe with good beefy head & tailstocks.
Per above JET is a great value choice! eBAY JET sellers used to have good prices-google the nomenclature, and avoid the HF crap. 
 Am old PM is also VG and their are several older brands floating around. The three parts that matter are bed, head & tail stock. The rest can be fabbed or bought new. As old farts like me die off their stuff comes up on ebay sold by friends of the widow or their kids->>>patience matters to score a good power tool. 
Kan=Kansas;tuck=Kentucky;kid=what I'm not

Offline Tom King

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Re: Wood Lathe ?
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2021, 07:13:36 PM »
If I'd had a metal lathe handy, I would have made this clutch alignment tool out of metal, but since the wood lathe was closest, I just made it out of wood.  Didn't have anything to sharpen the dull lathe tools handy, but still made a clutch alignment tool that worked like a charm.  

The 1979 John Deere, with reverser, had some really oddball sized openings in the pilot bearing, and clutch disk.  John Deere wanted some number of hundreds of dollars, and at least a month's wait to get one made.

The split tractor went right back together.






 

 

Offline kantuckid

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Re: Wood Lathe ?
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2021, 08:27:40 AM »
I've made them on my wood lathe too. At this time my tractor is needing a clutch and even though I've given the job to a local mechanic, I doubt he'll have an alignment tool.
I took him my Kioti shop manual which is a VG resource and written in the USA, not Korea so quite understandable as well. It has a dimensional drawing of the clutch alignment tool in it! I need to ask him if he want's me to turn him one? I'd probably use hard maple. 
Last few days have been rain outs so I went back to stripping house paint off of some old bark bottom chairs I've had waiting for me to get jazzed up enough to strip them. Of the three there are several broken rungs which after stripping I turned on the lathe from WO. To replicate a rived rung I turned a square partially then drug them across a sander to look like draw knife cuts as I'm using glued, dried rungs. 
The wood lathe is a must for any serious woodworker and perhaps the most therapy any wood job can offer? 
Kan=Kansas;tuck=Kentucky;kid=what I'm not

Offline aigheadish

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Re: Wood Lathe ?
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2021, 08:31:24 AM »
I was in a similar lathing spot. I'd spent a few hours here and there on a lathe and when I bought a house with a lot of free wood I was really excited to see HF's big lathe was affordable, so I got one. 

Are they perfect? No. 

The base is weak, but can be improved with a board and some bags of concrete or something else heavy. I didn't really do this but I know it would help things shake a bit less. For my use, normally smallish bowls or platters, it hasn't been too bad.

The banjo (tool rest) is garbage and my biggest issue with the machine. It does not like to adjust very easily in any direction, the lock and cam to hold it in place don't work well, and the screws to tighten things down aren't good. This has caused me to turn significantly less than I'd like. When it's not fast or good to adjust the tool rest it made it a drag, for me, to use. It looks like you can buy an after market tool rest/banjo, I think from One Way (who makes good stuff), but it costs as much or more than the lathe, and I'm not positive it fits, so I didn't buy one.

The centers aren't centered that well. It's easy, once the machine is put together and ready to go to run the tailstock center up to the headstock center and see how far off it is. The points on both sides should touch each other on the pointiest parts. Mine was off. I shimmed the tailstock a bit and that helped but it's not as good as it should be. This means you will pretty much never get your projects as smooth, prior to sanding, as you want, because rather than turning and removing all parts of a circular piece of wood in one pass you have some parts that are closer or farther from you at any given time. You can get close but not great, this part is also pretty frustrating. 

All that being said, if you are aware of some particular frustrations (like you can find with many HF products), I think it's a fine purchase to determine if you like turning and it doesn't set you back a couple grand, like the Laguna I'd like. There are also several videos of how to make the HF lathe better. 

More than that beware that it's an expensive(!) hobby. There are different chucks to buy, a slow speed grinder, a sharpening system is nice (the One Way, I think is what I have and it's pretty nice), tons of different gouges (the HF ones aren't great, beware the one shaped like a V broke mid-project on me, and could have been dangerous!) and they are expensive, a polishing system is nice (I have the Beall 3 buffer wheel system and it's pretty incredible), polishes, waxes, oils, sandpapers... 

You can check out my gallery to see stuff that I've made on mine. Turning is pretty fun and it's really great to see what neat stuff can come out of the wood, if you expect some issues while you learn on a cheap lathe, I think if you determine you like it you'd really appreciate a good lathe. 
New Holland LB75b, Husqvarna 455 Rancher, Husqvarna GTH52XLS, Hammerhead 250, Honda VTX1300 for now and probably for sale (let me know if you are interested!)


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