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By 8squared
#1246030
Just scouting out beginner/cheap lathes... and came across this one available at Machine Mart, https://bit.ly/2yxERVi.

At my local wood club i use a Record DML320... https://bit.ly/2IPP1VL.

I've been turning pens, handles, candle holders, magic wands along with small bowls and plates.

In relation to pens and wands i haven't needed anywhere near the 13" length and as for bowls and plates the biggest bowl i've done is 7.5" wide.

So this seems ideal for me with only one drawback that i can see and that is being able to use a drill chuck with it but that's only something i've needed once or twice and my wood club.


Would like to know your thoughts on such a lathe or if you have had something similar, how was it?

Bare in mind i'm not going to be doing anything other than the above and in the same sizes
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By marcros
#1246067
I have the jet mini, which I have used for a number of things, mainly pens. I have the bed extension, which I find useful when drilling for the tubes, and sometimes to get the tailstock out of the way. When you are trying to drill an item, held in a chuck, with a 4" long drill held by a Jacobs chuck, that 13" soon disappears.
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By CHJ
#1246106
8squared wrote:Just scouting out beginner/cheap lathes... and came across this one available at Machine Mart, https://bit.ly/2yxERVi.

Personally I would steer clear, less than half the power of the Record you have been using and I suspect you would find it a disappointment in use.
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By 8squared
#1246131
I was wary of the reduce in power and that it may take a bit longer than what i'm use to in order to get things done but i feel i could compromise ... for now at least, the idea being to start making some pens and small items that i could sell in order to get some cash flow coming in to splash on some nicer luxuries.... if it turns out i don't like it then possibly return it within the money back period or sell it on.

And now a stupid question.... (if it's really dumb please excuse me as i know nothing about motors and all that jiggery pokery stuff)

At my wood club i start on the lowest setting (obviously) which is around 550rpm and for the work i've done i've not gone over or gone close to 1000rpm for anything....

So being a lower power would a higher RPM not help compensate.
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By Lons
#1246163
What the others said!

I'd save a bit longer for a Record, Jet or Axi lathe or look out for a decent s/h one, you'll regret buying the Clarke very quickly IMO, especially after being used to the Record. If buying s/h you might even get a scroll chuck and other accessories thrown in.

I bought a little Jet ( single speed ) a number of years ago and it's done everything I asked of it but I yearned for a larger VS lathe and bought a Axi model. I still have the Jet which is used mainly for drilling blanks and part finishing.

Most of my turning except some acrylics is at high speed btw, the lower speeds for sanding and finishing.

cheers
Bob
By Duncan A
#1246179
In my view, the Clarke is a waste of money. It is non-standard in many respects (1MT taper), will be made to the lowest possible price, will have virtually no spares or after-market backup and will almost certainly frustrate the hell out of you as your turning develops.
For that money you could pick up a reasonable s/h lathe or, as others have said, save your money and aim higher.
Sorry to sound negative, but those are my honest views.
Duncan
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By SVB
#1246203
As others have said, if you’re thinking of investing £200 ish to see if you like the hobby then I’d buy used every time. You’ll get a lot more machine for your money, may get some accessories included (that all add up when you buy them new), and if all else fails and you don’t like is someone has already taken the depreciation so you’ll not be that much our of pocket.

For that sort of money most of the record twin bed bar lathes are in scope, things like the axminster 900 cast iron lathe (my first lathe) and many others will be an option. You may sacrifice variable speed but you’ll be much more satisfied with your purchase I’m sure.

Simon
By phil.p
#1246205
Variable speed is brilliant for larger lathes. It's not so much the convenience of not having to stop to change speed, but the opportunity to tweak the speed continually to best suit out of balance large pieces, the ideal speed altering sometimes every couple of heavy cuts and being heavily dependent on variable intermediate speeds. This doesn't apply to small pieces (being so much lighter) and so is not so critical in a smaller machine.
By selectortone
#1246225
For just a little bit more this lathe from Axminster looks a better buy. More power and 2MT in the headstock and tailstock. Not variable speed, but I would be dubious about the variable speed on the Clarke lathe, it probably only delivers maximum power with the pot at 100% and proportionally less as the pot is turned down. Plus the Axminster is from a company with a good history with lathes.

If I was buying a small lathe for pen turning etc, I would pay a little more and go for the Record Power DML250. It has the rapidly becoming industry standard M33x3.5 spindle thread and 2MT headstock and tailstock. And RP is another reputable wood turning lathe supplier.
By sneggysteve
#1246322
I've got the variable speed version of the Axi - https://www.axminster.co.uk/axminster-h ... the-505021
I bought this as my first lathe and the variable speed has been invaluable when mounting out of balance blanks taking away the guesswork for me as a nervous starter. It has been excellent.

I have also sent you a pm

Steve
User avatar
By SVB
#1246340
SVB wrote:For that sort of money most of the record twin bed bar lathes are in scope, things like the axminster 900 cast iron lathe (my first lathe) and many others will be an option. You may sacrifice variable speed but you’ll be much more satisfied with your purchase I’m sure.

Simon


Not suggesting you buy this or it is even near you but I think this is the sort of ‘used but good’ lathe / type package you may like to consider.

Lathe package for sale on well know site here
User avatar
By 8squared
#1246421
SVB wrote:Not suggesting you buy this or it is even near you but I think this is the sort of ‘used but good’ lathe / type package you may like to consider.

Lathe package for sale on well know site here


It's close enough to me but there is one major problem.

It's too big, i don't have the workbench space for it... even if i mounted it on a wheeled stand it still wouldn't fit in my workshed.
User avatar
By 8squared
#1246436
Well i've decided to go ahead and buy one new rather than second hand for the reason that i'm no good with electrical stuff so if i bought second hand and it had problems then i'm out of pocket by a fair amount... so having a guarantee wins.

Yesterday (Friday) i was feeling much better so today (Saturday) i felt well enough to get out of my pyjamas get dressed and leave the house for the first time in three weeks (read my kidney stones post if you need to know more).......

So i headed to Machine Mart to check out the Clarke lathe... it's a good bit of kit, small but heavy... yes it may have power problems but for the price if doing small work i can't see it being a problem to use.

Next i went to Axminster to check out their cheap non VS lathe priced at £200, straight away it seems a much more usable lathe (with common tapers and many accessories easily available).

Then i weighed up the pros and cons of having VS or not... i mostly use a low speed when working and a higher speed when sanding and that's it (i don't find myself fine tuning speeds)... so having VS i don't feel is really essential to me and as others have pointed out VS is very useable for larger pieces but as i'm turning no more than 6.5" i 'm not too sure i actually need it or that i would benefit from the next lathe in the range... the £330 VS version (which is out of my price range at this time of the year with many kids Christmas presents needing to be bought and a big family trip)


Back at home (Saturday night till now... 1:36am Sunday technically... yes it's a little sad staying up reading reviews and numbers i know)... i've done some research on the Record Power DML250 (as my nearest dealer was shut today).

Between Axminster and Record there isn't much variation in terms of LxWxH, weight, max turning diameter or distance between centres... the only difference is in relation to power...

If google translation (KW and Ws to HP) is right the Record is 0.2HP and the Axminster is 0.5HP.



So i'm thinking of going with the Axminster and as for a chuck i think i'll order the Record chuck as it comes with jaws i use for £100 whereas the Axminster version is £115 without jaws... jaws being an extra £25 option.


And my view is... if i like it then keep it... and if i do feel VS would be useful for me as i progress with my turning then i'll upgrade to VS and sell the non VS.


P.s- For the last few years i've made christmas presents for my childrens school teachers but ran out of ideas until i thought of a few turned gifts which is the reason i'm after a cheap usable lathe now rather than later.