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Help choosing my first lathe

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speeder1987

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Hi there everyone,

Well this is my first post so I thought I would say hi, though i've been following these forums for a while now, just never posted :)

I have been thinking about getting myself a lathe, however I don't really have much to spend, my max budget is around £250. I want to start off with spindle turning (mostly I want to start making some chisel handles).

There are two lathes from axminster which I have had my eye on for a while (sorry can't post links yet),

1. firstly this one the axminster AWVSL:
2. or this one with a stand which is much more powerful he axminster AWVSL 1000

Has anyone had any experience with these? Or any other recommendations would be welcome. One consideration though is that I don't have a dedicated workshop so I will need to be able to move it when I want to use it. Thats why at the moment I am swinging towards the smaller lathe, I could easily mount it onto my workbench and then store it when not in use. I could also get the bed extension to make the lathe longer. Though will 375W be powerful enough?

There is of course also ebay, but I as I'm new to this, I never no what to look for and therefore think I will steer clear of this option :oops:

Anyway thanks in advance for any help, its much appreciated

John
 

12345Peter

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speeder1987":rr145gnd said:
Hi there everyone,

Well this is my first post so I thought I would say hi, though i've been following these forums for a while now, just never posted :)

I have been thinking about getting myself a lathe, however I don't really have much to spend, my max budget is around £250. I want to start off with spindle turning (mostly I want to start making some chisel handles).

There are two lathes from axminster which I have had my eye on for a while (sorry can't post links yet),

1. firstly this one the axminster AWVSL:
2. or this one with a stand which is much more powerful he axminster AWVSL 1000

Has anyone had any experience with these? Or any other recommendations would be welcome. One consideration though is that I don't have a dedicated workshop so I will need to be able to move it when I want to use it. Thats why at the moment I am swinging towards the smaller lathe, I could easily mount it onto my workbench and then store it when not in use. I could also get the bed extension to make the lathe longer. Though will 375W be powerful enough?

There is of course also ebay, but I as I'm new to this, I never no what to look for and therefore think I will steer clear of this option :oops:

Anyway thanks in advance for any help, its much appreciated

John
We use the AWVSL in the club I belong to and they are smooth, almost silent and more than capable. We have them bolted to a board and the board can then be clamped to a workmate and you have a nice mobile platform to work on.

I haven't used the larger lathe you mention, but I believe many people rate them positively. If you want portability then the AWVSL is probably the way to go.

Regards
 

Hesh

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Speeder1987, firstly welcome to the forum and the slippery slope. I dont know whether you've looked at the 'for sale' section of the board but I think there's one of the lathes you are looking at on there at the moment and the courier price looks good as well, might be worth a look rather than Ebay.

Steve
 

Mickfb

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Hi John

Welcome you will learn a lot from this forum. I have just started turning and this site has been valuable.
I have just bought a Record DML36SH and I am really pleased with it.

Mick
 

Jensmith

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I recently bought the Jet Mini lathe as the reviews on here were excellent. It may be a bit bigger than the Axminster lathes but it seems solid and well built and is big enough that you can do reasonable sized pieces on it so you don't outgrow it too quickly.
 

speeder1987

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12345Peter":3vot9oik said:
We use the AWVSL in the club I belong to and they are smooth, almost silent and more than capable. We have them bolted to a board and the board can then be clamped to a workmate and you have a nice mobile platform to work on.

I haven't used the larger lathe you mention, but I believe many people rate them positively. If you want portability then the AWVSL is probably the way to go.

Regards
Definitely sounds good to me I think that is exactly what i'm looking for :)

Hesh":3vot9oik said:
Speeder1987, firstly welcome to the forum and the slippery slope. I dont know whether you've looked at the 'for sale' section of the board but I think there's one of the lathes you are looking at on there at the moment and the courier price looks good as well, might be worth a look rather than Ebay.

Regards
Thanks for pointing towards post :) that's very tempting though a bit to far away, and he's sold the chuck separately now so I think if I go for it I will go for it new.

Mickfb":3vot9oik said:
Welcome you will learn a lot from this forum. I have just started turning and this site has been valuable.
I have just bought a Record DML36SH and I am really pleased with it.

Regards
Looking at this it looks like it may be a bit to expensive for me

Jensmith":3vot9oik said:
I recently bought the Jet Mini lathe as the reviews on here were excellent. It may be a bit bigger than the Axminster lathes but it seems solid and well built and is big enough that you can do reasonable sized pieces on it so you don't outgrow it too quickly.

Regards
I'd read positive things about jet lathes, but i'd missed that model, also looks tempting. One of the things which I find tempting about the AWVSL is that you can buy the bed extension for it. But then the Jet has a greater diameter to the bed. Which is more important the distance between centres, or the diameter of stock to be turned? My guess would be, it depends what you intend to use it for :D

Last question, will the power difference between the AWVLS (375W) or the AWVSL1000 (750W) make a big difference? Or is it a case of for a turning newbie that lower power is better (and safer?)?

At the moment I'm swinging towards the AWVSL due to its lower cost but the Jet is also tempting as i've heard very good things about them

Thanks for all the swift responses :) It really is nice to see such a friendly and welcoming forum :)

Cheers
John
 

Noggsy

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Hi John and welcome to the forum. It very much depends on what you want to turn as to what features are needed. I learned on the Axi AWVSL (it's me that has it for sale in fact) and its great for the money, but it obviously has limitations. For its size and price, its a cracking lathe and the variable speed is great. That would be an absolute must for me when getting a lathe, especially for the first time. I've had a play with the Axi1000 and it seems ok, but the variable speed is mechanical, meaning that it is not as easy to change and i dont like the legs on the stand - they dont feel substantial enough to me. If you've got a decent, solid bench already though, then the Axi1000 can be de-mounted from the legs. Whatever lathe you buy needs to be solidly mounted or you can get chatter when you're turning which can knock your confidence at the beginning.

If you can get over to the Axminster store in Devon tomorrow, I think they still have the 10% off. If you can wait a bit (I usually can't, but your impulse control might be better than mine!), then the best advice I can give you is to go to a turning club a few times and try different lathes out. Or get chatting to some of the guys on here local to you - turners tend to be a friendly lot and I'm sure people will let you try out their lathes to see how you get on. If you buy a decent make, then lathes tend to hold their value reasonably, meaning that it isn't that big a deal to upgrade, although that's obviously less true when you buy new.

Whatever you buy, enjoy turning, but beware, it's very addictive!
 

speeder1987

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I think that i'm going to for the AWVSL, I havent heard a bad word about it here and its the cheapest lathe here, gives me more money to spend on the tools :)

Thanks for all the really useful advice, I can't wait to get it, shame I couldn't head over to axminster today if there is a 20% sale on :(my better half needed the car for work .......... priorities eh :p

I'll let you know when I've got one and given it a spin (forgive the pun)

cheers
John
 

Jensmith

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The Jet mini also has a bed extension available so the distance between centres doesn't need to be an issue with either lathe.

The Jet does have a manual speed change - you have to move the pulleys yourself, but it's pretty easy to do.

I looked at it at an Axminster store first before buying and compared to the Axminster lathes I preferred the Jet - it seemed more solid and I preferred the bigger size.

It's generally better to go for the best you can afford. It's up to you which lathe you think best fits the bill but I would reccomed seeing them in the flesh if you can.
 

speeder1987

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Jensmith":lwqjn8ob said:
The Jet mini also has a bed extension available so the distance between centres doesn't need to be an issue with either lathe.

The Jet does have a manual speed change - you have to move the pulleys yourself, but it's pretty easy to do.

I looked at it at an Axminster store first before buying and compared to the Axminster lathes I preferred the Jet - it seemed more solid and I preferred the bigger size.

It's generally better to go for the best you can afford. It's up to you which lathe you think best fits the bill but I would reccomed seeing them in the flesh if you can.
Damn,I'd just made my mind up too, now i'm not sure again :p. I din't realise the jet had a bed extension. I think I'll have to go and have a look at axminster.

Thanks for the advice

John
 

speeder1987

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In the end I plucked for the jet mini, i just thought it might be a slightly better long term investment can't wait for it to arrive :) ....... now all I need to do is decide what to turn :)

John

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