Author Topic: What is the recommended lathe?  (Read 9163 times)

Offline David Dalley

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What is the recommended lathe?
« on: March 04, 2009, 09:54:14 pm »
Jeff, I noticed in your video you use the NOVA lathe.  Just curious if this is your  lathe of choice or what do you recommend?  or anything one else out here.

I currently have a Jet 1220VS mini and have been looking at the NOVA since it is on sale at Woodcraft.  So give me your input.

Offline Jeff Farris

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Re: What is the recommended lathe?
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2009, 02:50:25 am »
The Nova is a nice lathe.  They loaned it to me for the video.  My personal lathe would generate more questions than answers (it's hand-built from engine blocks), so we decided not to use it.  Good bearings, a smooth motor, and accurate alignment between the head and tail stock are all that matters in a lathe.
Jeff Farris

Offline DanCostigan

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Re: What is the recommended lathe?
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2009, 08:28:32 pm »
After using a VB 36, The VB36
Master Bowlturner Lathe,
manufactured someplace in England, designed and developed by a gifted mechanic, there is really few machines better. Realizing this may cause controversy, I apologize. It is very similar to the Tormek sharpening system none better. So far. Sometimes controversial from a few who have never used the Tormek machine or calculated the real cost of sharpening improperly without it.

Not sure British engineering is always the very best, this is a very effective Bowlturner Lathe that is fun and a real joy to use. Developed and accumulated my experience traveling around the world in the military and had the opportunity of using many different and varred equipment found, sometimes  home built and modified equipment is found to be very good also. Unfortunately, have not found any US-made wood lathe as well thought out with features and benefits like this one. Where extreme load carrying capability is called for, especially at low rotational speeds both forward and backwards, plain bearings are the natural choice because they effectively eliminate metal-to-metal contact at the bearing interface. If you can find one that has many of the features and benefits that this lathe has you will be pleased. In truth though the key to cutting beautiful products from raw wood is sharp tools, if your tool is properly sharpened you will experience incredible joy producing wonderful results with not as much effort as before properly sharp tools and, very little resistance experienced and less time spent finishing the products. You will properly cut and almost perfectly finish, ready to share with others. It is difficult to express because it is almost unbelievable. If we had not experienced it we would say it is too good to be true.

Offline aunsell

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Re: What is the recommended lathe?
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2009, 01:24:54 pm »
What a question ! You do realize a question of what is the best lathe is like askinh what is the best Puckup Truck, or something like that, it is all opinion based.

Ok.... That being sed, here is my opinion.

1. First look at the company.
 There are some great lathes out there, but will they be there in 10yrs when you need parts, ex..  Robusto, Serious, VB, Vicmark etc..
These are great lathe makers but are they a great enough lathe and company to make it with todays economy. Paying 10k for a lathe and not being able to find parts or service makes it junk!
  Jet, Powermatic, Oneway, Delta, Grizzley, General etc.. are all companies that will probbably be around for a while because they have other things to sell besides lathes. Not everyone can afford a 10k Vb36, or Robusto, Serious, Lathe.

2. What is your price range?   $200-$10,00+

3. What kind of turning do you want to be doing?
 I work at a Woodcraft and I am a lathe instructor and one of the first things I tell people on the size issue is, you can do evenything a small lathe can do on a big lathe, a small lathe can't do evenything a big lathe can do. You can turn pens just as good or better on a huge lathe as a small lathe, you can't turn a tree into a vase on a mini lathe  :)
A lathe is an investment, a cheep lathe will only frustrate you and make you not like woodturning.

4. Bigger is better  (In Wood Lathes )  :)
If you have the space, Bigger translates into more stability, more weight and less vibration, and more virsatility.   You get the idea !

Ok so here is the part that I give my top 2 picks  
Top of the line will have to be Oneway. They are made in Canada. A secure company that is well established and has great customer support, and they don't just make lathes. Look at moste Professional turners and they all have a Oneway Lathe. You hardly ever see them for sale, and if you do they are usually selling for close to full price, even after years of use. Thay are an investment that holds there value.

My next choice is Jet.
They are a great company that makes really quality products. They are well established and that means you will always be able to find parts.  We use jet lathes at Woodcraft and I have one and they are reel "Tanks".

5.Lathes not to get.
I Do not like the VB36 or the Robert Sorby lathes because of their tubular bed desigs. It makes using modern turning asessories like a bowl steady or a Deep Hollowing rig imposssible.
They are both good lathes but I would never buy one, or any lathe with the tube beds, because their virsitality is limited.

So my favorite lathe that is in the price range of most people wanting to upgrade from a mini is the Jet 1442. It has a semi variable speed drive, it is all cast Iron making it resist vibration and it is all backed by a Great company that will be there in 10yrs...............I Pray  :)

I could go on and on.....Sorry

Offline ronee

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Re: What is the recommended lathe?
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2009, 06:46:52 pm »
I bought the NOVA dpx on sale at Woodcraft last month.  Great price for the lathe.  I have used it for a month now, and love it.  No vibration, easy to change speeds, good torque, etc.  I also bought the outrigger for reversing the head.  Haven't used it yet.  The only issue I have with it is when my AM radio is on, there is a buzzing (static?) on all stations.  I can even hear it in my house, nearly 100 ft away.  So it is an indicator that I forgot to turn it off.  I looked at the Jet but deceided on the NOVA for ease of changing speeds, and its over all weight, and quietness.

Offline Bernie Weishapl

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Re: What is the recommended lathe?
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2009, 04:40:46 am »
I also have the Nova DVR XP. It is a great lathe, smooth and has handled some big stuff 15 1/2" x 10" deep. I have also cored on it with no problems.