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By Steve_Scott
#1263884
I'm looking to get into woodturning and it seems that everything I read say get the lathe a step above what you think you want because you'll want its features soon enough.

So, what I think I want is a lathe with variable speed and around 12" swing (Axminster craft 305/350 or RP 320) spring to mind but if I ever want to step up to larger platters (and I can find suitable wood), I'll be limited with these lathes.

The next obvious step is a big jump in price to the RP CL4 or Herald. I can see the benefit in having the capacity and not needing it, and a swivel head adds other benefits, but can anyone shed any light on why someone might buy a CL4 over the Herald, which on paper appears to be the better value lathe (other than absolute capacity, it has reverse running and a more powerful motor). Am I missing something?
By Duncan A
#1263893
For that sort of money, you can get a good second hand lathe with much greater ability than the CL4 or Herald. I've seen the Axi 1628, RP Maxi 1, Vicmarc VL175 and a few others go for around £1000 in the last 2 or 3 years; you just need to be patient and keep your eyes open on UKW and AWGB websites, turning club websites, Gumtree, eBay etc. Obviously, travel costs and time do enter the equation but you can end up with a far better lathe for your money.
By phil.p
#1263895
Try to join a club before you buy anything. A bit of experience could save you a lot of money. Don't forget there is a load of expense besides the actual lathe - chucks, tools, grinders etc. aren't cheap.
a copy of https://www.alibris.co.uk/Woodturning-A ... matches=24 is well worth the money.
By Steve_Scott
#1263898
I’ve been searching for club close to me (Huntingdon, Cambs) but there doesn’t seem to be much about. Popped along to Bedford Saw last weekend but it was very much a “come and watch” type thing rather than getting hands on.

I’d quite happily consider second hand but there doesn’t seem to be that much of interest available and patience is not my strongpoint!
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By Paul Hannaby
#1263900
The nearest clubs to you are the Ise and Nene to the west and the Cambridge club to the east. Look at the AWGB clubs page for a map https://www.awgb.co.uk/club-map/

If you're looking for a substantial lathe, how about a Union Graduate with variable speed
By Nic.Watson
#1265335
I’m only a newbie and would recommend going down the second hand route. If you can find good enough deals then you can buy them, try them and if you really don’t get on with it, sell them on for roughly the same money (more in one instance for me). I didn’t have any local clubs that I could find and it seemed to work as an option for me.
By alex_heney
#1265626
Steve_Scott wrote:I'm looking to get into woodturning and it seems that everything I read say get the lathe a step above what you think you want because you'll want its features soon enough.

So, what I think I want is a lathe with variable speed and around 12" swing (Axminster craft 305/350 or RP 320) spring to mind but if I ever want to step up to larger platters (and I can find suitable wood), I'll be limited with these lathes.

The next obvious step is a big jump in price to the RP CL4 or Herald. I can see the benefit in having the capacity and not needing it, and a swivel head adds other benefits, but can anyone shed any light on why someone might buy a CL4 over the Herald, which on paper appears to be the better value lathe (other than absolute capacity, it has reverse running and a more powerful motor). Am I missing something?


I bought my first lathe just under 3 weeks ago (60th birthday present). I was initially looking at the Axminster craft 305 or 355 like you, but then actually went for the 370. It is cheaper than the 355 because it only has stepped speeds rather than a continuously variable motor speed, but it is quite a bit bigger, and has the swiveling headstock.

So far I am very pleased with it, and surprised at just how easy I have been finding turning.