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 Post subject: Lathe
PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:27 am 
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A friend who wants to get into turning asked for info. on
a Midi Lathe .Actually recomendation between Jet and Delta.
I don't know but some of you might enlighten me. Thanks
Richard


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:25 am 
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rdc,

As a long time turner with 5 lathes The easy answer is which one can you get the cheapest.

If buying new.....
The Original Delta Midi is a good machine but has paled in ownership compared to the Jet. ~$500
Delta released a larger more featured version a few years back that is highly reviewed. I have not turned on either.

The Jet Mini is the small lathe standard. They have also released several updates to the Mini line. Also ~$500

Another contender is the Rikon. A good machine for the price. ~$350

I don't think you can go wrong with any of the $500 or less machines.

I use my little Rikon for demonstrations and portable turning work.

Your friend will eventually move up to a bigger machine if he likes turning. Having a Mini/Midi is a great place to start he won't regret buying one.

Keep an eye out for used machines there are lots out there.
Best info is to contact your local turning club.

---Nailer---

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:33 am 
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Get the one with the lowest speed capability and at least 12" swing for greatest versatility.

Delta is 1/2" larger, and 1/4 HP greater rating, FWIW.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:40 am 
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The one thing that I would add is get a variable speed. It could make the difference of continuing turning as a hobby or stopping completely.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:49 pm 
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I have been looking with extreme interest at this one:
http://www.general.ca/site_general/g_pr ... 5-114.html

It is the only midi lathe I have seen that uses a banjo with a 1" tool post so I would be able to use my existing tool rests. It also has variable speed and a 14" swing.

The thing that has always put me off of the small lathes is that 5/8" tool post. It just doesn't look substantial enough to me. :)

It is pretty new on the market so availability might be an issue right now.

Take care
Bob


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:05 pm 
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You might want to take a look at the reviews on the Rockler website. Go to http://www.rockler.com/reviews/search_r ... 7QodkSnY1g

You might also check and see if there is a bed extension available for either the Jet or the Delta to give you the capability of turning a longer spindle.

The older Delta did not have indexing capabilities. I don't know if they included this feature on the new model. I think it is available on the Jet lathes.

I have an older Delta midi and have had only a few problems with it. The belt that came with it broke within a few weeks and I had to get a new one. The replacement has lasted for quite awhile. Also the knob that tightens the belt tensioning arm is threaded into the cast body of the machine and it stripped out early on. Probably my fault, I tend to over tighten things. Other than that, it has performed fine for small projects and for pen turning. Good luck, hope this has helped a little.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 10:58 pm 
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I have this one from Harbor Freight it works very well no complaints*. I have turned well over 100 pens and many other things. Currently $220 often on sale.
http://www.harborfreight.com/5-speed-be ... 65345.html
reviews: http://www.harborfreight.com/5-speed-be ... 65345.html

It appears identical (have used parts for my HF lathe) currently $259 with shipping
http://www.grizzly.com/products/10-x-18 ... athe/H8259

the one from Rockler appears to be the same @ $250
http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=19446&rrt=1
reviews: http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=19446&Max=999

Also apparently the same as an older Jet mini

I vote buy one of the above and spent the money on good turning tools and wood.

*Runs smooth virtually no vibration, heavy cast iron construction, standard accessories fit (Quill taper: MT-2 Spindle 1" x 8 TPI, RH...)

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:35 am 
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I think Nailed said it first if not the best - more or less, any of the mini/midi lathes will serve your friend well. But like Bob mentioned, check to make sure things like head and tailstock tapers are somewhat universal (Morse 2) and the headstock threads as well. 1" x 8tpi is the most common and easily adapted to. Point being, if your friend gets sucked into the vortex this will definitely not be his/her last lathe. Both are a given once the gouge meets wood!

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:28 am 
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I have a General midi for 7 years now used a lot with no problems, it got my vote
:D :D

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:14 pm 
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I have the jet midi

but if the General is what is say it is. go for the general.
the 250 speed and REVERSE! covers all the aspects of turning and in a small profile.

YOU HAVE BEEN SUCKED INTO BLACK HOLE WHERE THERE IS NO RETURN

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:49 am 
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Mango wrote:
...and REVERSE! ...


I forget this added benefit until I turn on a lathe without a reverse. It makes sanding and finishing so much better since you can work the abrasive in both directions against the grain. And at some point you'll discover how handy it is to turn 'backwards' to hollow out a form without having to sit on the lathe bed.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:13 pm 
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I've had my Rikon for over 3 years now, and I love it. Its small enough to fit in my tiny shop, light enough to take on the road, and big enough to turn every thing from pens, to bowls. The thread size on the spendle matches the better scroll chucks and it's a machine that can be updated to grow with my skills. 8) 8) 8)

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 Post subject: Lathe
PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:41 pm 
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:-D
Thanks to all who have expressed their thoughts ,I belive
my friend is leaning toward the Delta Variable speed.
Thanks again ,you all are great.
Richard


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