Milia B

Lathe suggestions

17 posts in this topic

@ Milia B

At first , welcome in the forums in here !

I am not in the USA , so I can't give you any suggestion about brand names , but your choice surely would depend on the work , that you intend to do , also on your bugdet , off course .

For instance , if you want to work with softer , lighter woods , you would not need the most powerful and rigid model , for hardwoods you'd need something stronger , with more rigid center tips , bearings , chisel rest , etc....!

Also it depends on the size of your planned workpieces , I know that in Germany there is a model available , that would not be suitable for bigger lures , since the distance between the two center tips is only about 12" , and the chisel rest is also quite narrow .

Turning longer workpieces on it would be not as convinient , since one always would have to change the position of the chisel rest along the length of the workpiece , also hardwoods might constantly take it to its limits .

So , if the budget is not such a great issue , I'd always go for something bigger and stronger , for turning down bigger musky and saltwater plugs exclusively a center tip distance maximum of 20" should be sufficient , but if you also want to also turn furniture parts , it still needs to be bigger .

There are tutorials about lathe turning in here , you may utilize the search function to find them !

good luck:yay: , diemai

Edited by diemai
text addition

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I personally like Delta brand power tools, and they have some nice lathes in the small to mid sizes. Jet also makes some nice tools, I have a Grizzly drum sander, and like it o.k. (Delta's drum sander didn't have a drum as small as Grizzly's, so that is the only reason I bought it). Stay with the reputable brands and you should be o.k.

As diemel said, get a size that suits your needs. I buy the absolute best I can afford when purchasing something, usually keeps me from having to repurchase down the road.

Welcome to this madness that some of us call a hobby.

Scott

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm doing a similar search. The stationary tools in my workshop are mostly the big brands - Delta, Rigid, and Ryobi with some of Lowes house brands tossed in. I burned up a cheap table saw once so bad I set off the smoke alarm.:pissed:

I've had a hard time finding a name brand full size lathe under $500 or a compact lathe for under $300.

I've had some luck with the Chinese-made knockoffs from Harbor Freight tools for my lower-use tools. They carry a 12" lathe with variable speed and multiple chucks and tool rests for around $120 and a full size lathe for under $200 (when on sale).

Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices

Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices

I agree with Parrothead on getting a quality tool that will last-my other tools are rock solid!!! But until I figure out just how much and how I'll be using the lathe, I'm perplexed on what to get. Perhaps if I start with the knockoff, I'll have an answer by the time I burn it out.

Gary

Edited by WannabeeFishing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a 24" lathe that I bought from a swap meet over thirty years ago.

It has a cast iron bed, and I had to make the head chuck for it, and make a table and motor mount, too.

I've turned replacement parts for furniture, lures, cheisel handles, and it's worked well. But that was thirty+ years ago. I doubt I'd want to invest that much time in making a used tool work at this point in my life.

So, going with the buy a good tool once theory, I'd shop around for one today.

I have Grizzley stationary tool, a drill press and a 16" band saw, and they've been trouble free.

But I would look local first, before I'd go to Grizzley, or some other importer.

Check out the Home Depot Rigid line.

I don't know if they even make a lathe, but, if they do, it will probably be rugged and affordable.

I have had one of their oscillating spindle/belt sanders for ten years now, and it's a workhorse.

I'm pretty sure Sears, and some of the other home improvement stores, sell a line of lathes. Check them out.

It will help you in your decision making process to figure out what's the longest/fattest lure you want to make. Length of bed, plus distance from center of chuck to lathe bed, determine how long and big a lure you can turn.

Last, any lathe that will hold the wood you want to use will work, provided you go slow, and USE SHARP TOOLS. I can't emphasize that last thing strongly enough.

Dull tools make the lathe work harder, overheat due to friction, and can grab in the wood, and flip, causing a really dangerous situation.

Be sure you have a grinder handy to touch up your lathe tools.

And wear a safety shield full face protector. You can rebuild a lure, but not your eyes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a Jet Mini Lathe that I picked up used on craigslist. I shopped around for quite awhile and checked many brands outs before opting on the Jet. Like many other comments here you have to decide what and how you plan on using this tool. Myself, I knew going into it I was primarily going to use it for bait building and the mini lathe fit the bill.

No complaints so far.

As Mark noted, sharp chisels are a must, protect the eyes, no loose clothing, a dust mask and you're in business. Play time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like that unit. I believe the Harbor Freight Tools model is a Grizzly knockoff. But really, it's not a lot cheaper.

This brings up one of my other questions... For just a few dollars more I can get a full size unit with most of the brands. Since I do woodworking also, I wonder if I'd be better to get a full size lathe. Would they be too cumbersome for lure turning?

Gary

Edited by WannabeeFishing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For what its worth, the one Coley listed is a better buy in my opinion. I like the variable speed motor on his and the the price is better too. Grizzly and Penn State stuff is hard to beat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi everyone,

Thanks for all the suggestions. I did some resaerch ontop of the info you gave me ( you guys are so helpful ) and decided to go down to Sears and buy a Craftsman lathe. Seeing how money is never a issue I opted for the big one. Hear are some of the specs. 1hp variable speed motor, cast iron bed, headstock and tailstock, it will turn up to 38 inch spindles, and turn up to 18 inch bowls. I know it's probably too big but like I allways say the bigger the tool the better!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@ MiliaB

Wow , that's a big one , put pretty much versatile , as it seems !

Do 15 feet big white sharks go for 30" lures:huh::lol::lol: ?

good luck:yay: , diemai

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you will like the craftsman. we use the proffesional model. its a good worker. we also have an older model from the 1980,s that still works great. . rember... dont cheep out on chisels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now