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Lathe for chairmaking & more - Envoy, Herald, Axi 406

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CaptainBarnacles

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I've been looking for a new lathe and thought I'd settled on the Herald but the lack of mass and the short-ish bed started to concern me. The more I looked around the more I realised that my £1000 budget just wasn't going to buy me the lathe I desire (not new anyway). I began to look at the RP Envoy and the Axi 406, both of which have my wife starting to call around divorce lawyers! On the plus side I am now getting the silent treatment :roll:

Does anyone here own an Envoy (or even a Regent as they're very similar) and perhaps can compare to the Axi lathe? I don't want to buy another lathe that I outgrow in a year or two. My previous lathe was a Jet 1221VS and while I liked it the fixed headstock gave me backache when hollowing bowls etc and the relatively light weight became a restriction when turning bigger pieces.

I'm pitching this question at chairmakers, do you consider 24" between centres long enough for most work that you do or do I still need to be looking at a longer bed? I know that depends on the type of chairs that you want to make but as a chairmaker, if you had to buy a new lathe tomorrow what would you be looking at? (assuming a sensible budget!)

Whilst chairmaking will be the main focus of the lathe I'm also keen to explore other aspects of turning so it must be versatile enough to handle bowls, platters, hollow forms etc as well. I am not averse to buying a used machine but I am looking to buy a lathe that I can put straight to work, I don't want to spend countless hours tinkering with it and sourcing spares.

I'd be grateful for any input as lathes and turning really isn't my area of expertise.
 

Phil Pascoe

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Just an observation. Between centres really doesn't mean much by the time you allow for a chuck (possibly) and also live centres or a Jacobs chuck (plus drill bit?) in the tailstock.
Don't presume "this is all I'll ever want to do" - that way madness lies. :D
 

Duncan A

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You would perhaps be better off putting this query in the Woodturning forum.

I am not a chair maker, but it sounds to me as if you would like a larger lathe and have found that the shorter models much in vogue at present can actually be too short. Some, such as the Axminster models have a bed extension which can be bought separately if you need more length at a later date.

As pointed out by PP, you will lose some of the theoretical distance between centres to work holding arrangements. Allow 100mm at least. I would regard a between centres length of 24" as a minimum size ; probably better to have 28 to 30" - or more, if you have the space.

There's a lathe on the AWGB website that may suit you, and is not too far off your budget - but it's near Liverpool.

Duncan
 

timber

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Have you thought about a Legacy Ornamental Mill/lathe
I have two and only need one now ,so one for sale at £400 complete with Triton Router
Richard
 

CaptainBarnacles

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Duncan A":30m70b5w said:
You would perhaps be better off putting this query in the Woodturning forum.

I am not a chair maker, but it sounds to me as if you would like a larger lathe and have found that the shorter models much in vogue at present can actually be too short. Some, such as the Axminster models have a bed extension which can be bought separately if you need more length at a later date.

As pointed out by PP, you will lose some of the theoretical distance between centres to work holding arrangements. Allow 100mm at least. I would regard a between centres length of 24" as a minimum size ; probably better to have 28 to 30" - or more, if you have the space.

There's a lathe on the AWGB website that may suit you, and is not too far off your budget - but it's near Liverpool.

Duncan
Thanks for that Duncan, I've just had a look at that lathe on AWGB and it looks almost ideal. At the risk of sounding very picky it seems that the only drawback for me is that It looks like the headstock doesn't rotate on that model (I may well be wrong) but rather it slides to the opposite end of the bed. I just can't make that work in the space that I have for it. Otherwise it looks like the ideal machine for turning spindles.

I am kicking myself that I missed out on a couple of machines on ebay. One was a Maxi 2 and the other was a Vicmarc VL175. I was too slow on the first one and not quite deep-pocketed enough for the second (although knowing what I know now I may have bid a bit higher for the Vicmarc had I realised just how few truly good lathes are out there for sale).
 

CaptainBarnacles

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timber":1bfxvzws said:
Have you thought about a Legacy Ornamental Mill/lathe
I have two and only need one now ,so one for sale at £400 complete with Triton Router
Richard
The short answer is no, I haven't. I have no idea what one is - I'll have a search and find out more about them...

OK, I am now wiser. I have never seen one of those before, they look incredibly versatile but I think I'll still persue the traditional lathe. Noise is a bit of a concern for me too and running the router for long periods won't go down well.
 

CaptainBarnacles

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Duncan A":1zsqytvl said:
You would perhaps be better off putting this query in the Woodturning forum.
Duncan
Is it possible to move this thread over to the woodturning forum or should I just repost over there and link to it from here?
 

timber

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I am quite surprised that the Legacy does not suit spindle making. It can round a 2x2 in one pass and dead accurate and then put any sort of spiral,flute etc.etc.etc
and with any taper or curve using the template follower

It can even make a table top using the Rotary Table 3 or 4 foot dia if wanted.
Using the Template follower it can even do the chair backs
Richard
 
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