Another newbie looking for a lathe

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Phil Pascoe

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As far as variable speed is concerned of course it's not necessary .................. but try finding someone who's used to variable speed and ask if they'd go back to fixed speeds on their next lathe - I know what the answer would be and it probably wouldn't pass the censor. :LOL:
 

Democritus

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Cheers, Phil.
Looks like you got in at just the right time (TP closing).
I agree with you about variable speed. Having once had a lathe with fixed speeds , I wouldn’t now look at a lathe that didn’t have VS.
D.
 

Blister

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Variable speed is very good in my opinion , You can get the lathe to a speed where the lathe and the wood are both happy .
 

alex robinson

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As far as variable speed is concerned of course it's not necessary .................. but try finding someone who's used to variable speed and ask if they'd go back to fixed speeds on their next lathe - I know what the answer would be and it probably wouldn't pass the censor. :LOL:
I agree variable speed is great, and I would always want it if there was any option. However, it is possible to get by without it. If what you want to make is large bowls, and have a fixed head lathe, then there is a hard limit to the largest you can make.
 
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cutting42

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I am fairly new to turning and my route in was with a cheap second hand Record Power DML 24 for £125 that included a 4 way chuck from a friend. I then spent £200 on decent tools and sharpening kit (8" grinder and Sharpening guides). Then once I realised I was going to like turning and knew what was important to me I could spec and purchase what I needed. For me the ability to have digital speed control and fast adjustments to the rest and tailstock etc were the top priorities along with decent power and a swivel head for larger bowls.

I ended up with a new KS Twister from Hope Woodturning and could not be happier with it then sold the Record for what I paid for it to a friend and spent the money on another chuck ;-). A fair bit more than your budget but my point is get started on something simple and resellable from eBay or a friend/on here to work out your actual needs then once you know, you will be happier what to invest more money in.

Good luck and enjoy!
 

carry book

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I would not consider a ML8 nowadays . Single hollow bed bar with a top groove that keeps filling with shavings and dust , Look on fbook market place . Lots to chose from at all different prices
Blister is right that tube bed filling up with shavings is really annoying, has one years ago & was glad to get shot of it
 

Doug B

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Not wishing to divert others threads on this topic I'm looking for lathe buyig advice after spending hours browsing the internet and watching youtube videos.
Axminster vs Rutland vs Draper vs ?? any other makes to consider?
Wanting: good chuck, be able to turn bowls up to 12" dia, and spindles up to 20" approx.
Variable speed. Projects will be turned bowls, house ornaments, cast resin dragons eggs, gift boxes, vases, etc.
Any brands to avoid?
Thanks in advance!
if you’re looking for a good package this came up in the for sale section recently from @Mr Ed.
 

Scruples

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Not wishing to divert others threads on this topic I'm looking for lathe buyig advice after spending hours browsing the internet and watching youtube videos.
Axminster vs Rutland vs Draper vs ?? any other makes to consider?
Wanting: good chuck, be able to turn bowls up to 12" dia, and spindles up to 20" approx.
Variable speed. Projects will be turned bowls, house ornaments, cast resin dragons eggs, gift boxes, vases, etc.
Any brands to avoid?
Thanks in advance!
I have an Axminster Craft lathe and never regretted buying it. Bags of potential - room to grow, as they say.
 

gmgmgm

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Several Graduates on ebay for about £700-750, I keep being tempted. I used these a long time ago, so there is some sentiment there. Would they suit the OP?
 

okeydokey

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This is a good price for a new Axminster lathe if it suits the OP. Its an Axminster AC305WL half price at £240

 

Retired

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Hi,

I've not been on here for ages but my friend David just sent me the link so I'm nosy.

In August I'll have been around lathes for 60 years not counting the Jubilee at school which I wasn't allowed to touch. Whatever is paid for a lathe the lathe generally will hold its price well so if funds are limited then buy the lathe that can be afforded then as funds become available trade up.

I like cast iron kit; over 40 years ago my lovely wife bought me a brand new Record Power DML24 from Tabwell Tools at £200 in Bakewell; I was over the moon with this because funds were very tight indeed but my bubble was seriously burst just one week later when there was a sale on of these and now they were £100; typical of my bad luck which still hasn't changed.

Tooling can easily cost more than the lathe and this needs taking into consideration; my Sorby Patriot chuck cost around £200 collected directly from Sorby in Sheffield; back home I was amazed to see the same chuck on sale at Turners Retreat for less money including P&P; The £200 only bought the basic chuck with one set of jaws; a full set of jaws would need a second mortgage. Decent turning tools aren't cheap a single gouge from Sorby won't be cheap. Tooling can be bought secondhand saving lots of money but it's a gamble; has the tool lost it's temper whilst being overheated during grinding; engineers files are often used but I wouldn't recommend using these they are much too bittle and can prove highly dangerous.

Speaking of danger; lathes on their own are extremely safe until in the hands of a novice; a small lathe can inflict injury but an industrial sized lathe like a Wadkin or Graduate could actually kill if the work is ejected by a nasty dig in. Having reached the age of 16 I was taught on Colchester lathes at the National Coal Board training center in Crigglestone; these lathes don't stop if a hand gets pulled in so although I'm not being alarmist please play safely.

Many years ago I drooled over a brand new Graduate on display at Boddy's it then I think costing over £3,000 but I could only dream on. I still have the DML and will never part with it but over the years I've enjoyed some wonderful lathes including owning lathes like the huge Dominion for wood turning and a lovely Colchester Triumph metal turning lathe. My current lathes are the DML 24; Graduate and a very rare indeed Lorch Schmidt German floor standing precision lathe. Both the Graduate and Lorch I submitted to a comprehensive rebuild but both I also heavily modified.

Being a mechanical engineer I've no problems at all restoring old cast itron machinery and often once restored the machine will easily outlast modern tinny machines that are built down to a price not built up to high quality.

It's easy to get drawn into elitismn where so many fall into the trap of thinking they must have every conceivable tool/attachment because an "expert" has just spent £500 on the latest all singing all dancing sharpening kit; the expert isn't going to say once it's been used there are much cheaper options available; before retiring at work I was subjected to an intensive "Kaizen" training course; the core of this was to do with anything at all in life; why make a Rolls Royce when a Mini will do; suits me because I'm a tight Yorkshireman.

Ask a dozen woodturners who own a different brand of lathe which lathe they would recommend? Decide what you want to use the lathe for then do the homework. A brand new lathe will be plug and play and these days with lots of electronics to eventually fail; variable speed is handy and I use both belt change and electronic speed changing; variable speed is handy but I do most of my turning without bothering too much about speed.

A fully rebuilt Graduate is still available from L.R.E. Their Variturn starts at just under £2,200 but this is just for the lathe it's useless without tooling;

L.R.E Machinery & Equipment Co. Price List

A used Gradute is a very good choice but it's big and very heavy so transporting could cost quite a bit; my Graduate was collected in a 7 seater Ford car but it meant stripping the lathe into three parts which is easy but care is needed a Graduate lathe bed across a foot is sure to hurt. A 240V Graduate is always more expensive but if a very nice cheap 3 phase Graduate is available then the motor and controls can easily be changed if you know someone who can help who has the experience for such work.

I mentioned to my friend David I'm dithering at the moment whether to finally sell my Graduate; I'll be 75 in August and although I don't want to sound morbid if anything untowards happen to me the equipment I have would be a big liabilty to my wife who hasn't a clues as to what my machinery does or what it's worth. At the moment I'm only dithering but unfortunately my Graduate would be well out of the range of anyone on a tight budget; it's well worth £2,250 because not only is it in wonderfu;l condition with 1.5hp top quality Brook inverter rated motor and VFD drive it has an enormous amount of tooling; I even do metal spinning on my Graduate but this is highly dangerous to a novice; I managed to fracture a rib due to the amount of pressure needed on the spinning tool handle and the tool was 42" long. I'm not trying to sell my Graduate yet only thinking about it.

One thing I would do is to encourage anyone who has the slightest interest is to buy a lathe and enjoy it; I've never tired of lathework and if I do decide to finally let my Graduate go it's going to be painful to me.

Please don't get drawn in to watching lots of YouTube videos thinking the tooling used is a must have; a fool and money are soon parted; have a look at this as an example of basic tooling and what it can do;



Just rambling on as usual.

Kind regards, Colin.
 
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Terry - Somerset

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When I started woodturning as a hobby 10 years ago I was similarly not sure what to buy.

My views then have not really changed. With a budget of £500-750 you will need to find a lathe for £300-450, the balance for gouges, chuck, faceplate, sharpening.

Traditional cast iron will normally be more robust, stable, hold its value etc. Buying one with variable speed and in good order will likely far exceed your budget. Spares and tooling are available but be prepared to fettle and fix yourself, and deal with odd thread sizes not easily available etc.

Traditional will likely need more space, heavier. Buying needs some informed input. The machine may last several decades - but is over-engineered for starter hobby use.

Personally I would go with a new or fairly new machine from a credible manufacturer - eg: Axminster or Record. Spares and advice will be readily available. Resale value will be reasonable if you find woodturning is not for you.
 

Phil Pascoe

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I agree about the cost of tooling etc. If I were to add up the cost of my chucks, jaws, centres, drill bits, tools and abrasives I'd lucky if it were under £2000. Thinking about the grinder, it would be more than that. A huge amount bought second hand and a lot not absolutely necessary, but collected over fifty years.
The Graduate is a fine lathe, but times move on - if I were to spend over £2000 it wouldn't be my first choice.
 

Sprool

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THanks all for your views and opinions, very useful information for me. Rutlands are offering a 2000 lathe with chuck and set of tools for £719 which looks to me like it ticks many of my bixes in terms of size, power and cost. I think this could open me up to a very enjoyable and immersive crafting hobby unless there is any negativity or bad experiences from these, or a better option at similar price/performance level?
 

Phil Pascoe

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It's still there.
 

clogs

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just looked on eBay...
there's an Arundal wood lathe for £200 buy it now
or several double tubed lathes around the £2-300 some with tools.....
and lots of Record.......
tools n chucks will cost as much as a lathe...go for a lathe with included tools....
1/2 a decent car will get one in the boot but the bench they come on might be hard...
 

clogs

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just seen ur post....
Rutlands lathe will almost cert be a Chinese clone...check around for other suppliers....cheaper...
there's nothing wrong with Chinese stuff it just the made to a price gear that needs to be avoided...
 
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