Another newbie looking for a lathe

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alex robinson

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"...check around for other suppliers...." What are your views on Axminster, Sealey, Record, Draper?
I have a cheap second hand Axminster and think it is great. I think the same machine often turns up under lots of badges, but the spares etc are all the same. I think to some extent you just have to take a chance and hope you don't get one made on a Friday afternoon.

If the budget stretches, I would really recommend a swivel head. It gives a lot of extra capacity without having to spend a fortune on something massive.
 

alex robinson

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One brand I would start clear of is Clarke, and avoid anything that looks like this like the plague
 

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Duncan A

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Personally, I wouldn't buy the Rutlands lathe unless you are sure you'll never want to upgrade. It's quite a decent package, standard clone basically, but has a 1" spindle (standard nowadays is M33), the toolrest looks awful (but may be OK), the motor looks to me as if it's DC, not induction as stated - that's fine in itself, but 3-phase induction is better. I suspect the non-variable speed model has a single phase induction motor, hence the mis-description.
The chuck is fine but may be limited in terms of jaws and thread size in the future.
I would have said the Axi model mentioned previously, but that seems to have sold out. Join a club and be patient. Something 2nd hand will turn up in due course - a member of our club just recently bought a very nice Wivamac c/w chuck etc for not much more than you're prepared to spend.
Duncan
 

Retired

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Hi,

I'll happily agree with avoiding anything with the name Clarke on it.

New servo motor fully installed (6).JPG


I suffered a nasty run in with my Clarke metal lathe. it expired in a cloud of smoke taking out both it's toy motor and highly flimsy circuit board; I believe a new circuit board alone would have cost over £100. I bought an industrial sewing machine sevo motor and installed a countershaft in order to attach it as seen in the picture; the control lever I connected up to a throw over link allowing start/stop from the lathe front then I sold it to a very delighted guy who paid a decent price but then it was now unique and capable of working without throwing its rattle out of the pram; Horrible lathe as bought which was second hand from a friend; I had just sold my big Colchester and this thing was a stopgap; pity I ever saw it.

Kind regards, Colin.
 

sawtooth-9

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It's a bit like buying a computer.
The first question, is what do you want to do with it ?
The second question, is what might you want to do in the future - always go a step ahead.
 
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Jameshow

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It's a bit like buying a computer.
The first question, is what do you want to do with it ?
The second question, is what might you want to do in the future - always go a step ahead.
However excerpt for the rubbish mentioned above the lathe will be in advance of your skills for many years to come....
 

sawtooth-9

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However excerpt for the rubbish mentioned above the lathe will be in advance of your skills for many years to come....
Rubbish ?
Judging someone skills in the years to come ? Now, that's what I call "smart"
Personally, I would assume that people learn quickly and soon outgrow poor decisions.
Always take a step beyond what you think you need now - it's cheaper and less hassle
 

Jameshow

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Rubbish ?
Judging someone skills in the years to come ? Now, that's what I call "smart"
Personally, I would assume that people learn quickly and soon outgrow poor decisions.
Always take a step beyond what you think you need now - it's cheaper and less hassle
I was taking of the Clarke lathe which I'm happy to describe as rubbish!🤣🤣🤣
 

alex robinson

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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?
Back to the original question, £719 seems a bit steep for this lot. Axminster have this for £ 350:


30 cm over the bed, swivel head to give capacity for larger items, and a variable speed (cone based rather than electronic). Whenever I have spoken to them, the customer service has been superb.
 

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Looks reasonable, add £220 for the chuck and £200 for a set of tools and you aer soon back to my £750 budget ;) The feeling I'm getting is that for a budget starter lathe people would prefer the Axminster over the Rutlands, and Clarke is nto even worth considering. As previously mentioned I am cautious about buying 2nd hand due to my own inexperience not knowing what may be worn out or about to break.
The first question, "What do you want to do with it?" is covered in my initial post - learn to turn bowls, vases, boxes, interesting pieces of wood for clock faces, anything else that sparks my curiosity and creativity!
 

Phil Pascoe

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Do yourself a favour and get the 8" Trade grinder (if not the lathe).
 

alex robinson

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Looks reasonable, add £220 for the chuck and £200 for a set of tools and you aer soon back to my £750 budget ;) The feeling I'm getting is that for a budget starter lathe people would prefer the Axminster over the Rutlands, and Clarke is nto even worth considering. As previously mentioned I am cautious about buying 2nd hand due to my own inexperience not knowing what may be worn out or about to break.
The first question, "What do you want to do with it?" is covered in my initial post - learn to turn bowls, vases, boxes, interesting pieces of wood for clock faces, anything else that sparks my curiosity and creativity!
Yes - the machines probably came from the same factory and so are much of a muchness price wise. With the rutlands v the axminster I suggested the cost is almost identical, just a trade off of features. Personally I would go for the swivel head and mechanical variable speed over the electronic speed control, but you could make an argument for the other way round.

As others have said, customer service is something else to consider. I have no experience of Rutlands, but Axminster have been great for me. To be honest, I expect most reputable suppliers will be pretty good.
 

Sprool

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I agree re customer service and support, one of the other factors putting me off looking secondhand.

Another quick Q: Are all these lathes able to fit a drill or forstner bit in the end to help hollow out stuff? Or would I need a separate chuck for that?
(just noticed the Rutlands kit now reduced to £699)
 
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alex robinson

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I agree re customer service and support, one of the other factors putting me off looking secondhand.

Another quick Q: Are all these lathes able to fit a drill or forstner bit in the end to help hollow out stuff? Or would I need a separate chuck for that?
(just noticed the Rutlands kit now reduced to £699)
To fit a normal drill, all will need a Jacobs chuck. For long hollowing like lamp stands, they need a special tailstock with a hole in and a hand held auger bit. Very expensive unless you are really into lamps!
 
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