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akirk

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I am hoping to get a lathe later this year (present) and am slightly uncertain as to best option...
2 contenders are:
Axminster AC370
RP Coronet Herald

the Axminster has a longer spindle length at 1100mm but the Herald is over 900mm with the extension and I don’t foresee that being an issue...
the Herald has digital speed and a much wider range, able to go from 95-3980, where the Axminster only does 500-2000 in 10 intervals, it also has reverse...
both have similar height at c. 350mm for bowls etc.
both seem well made and get good reviews, but the Herald is over twice the price (with extension and stand to be comparable) at over £1,000 v. under £500

both have swivelling headstock and cast iron bed - required

I don’t want to buy secondhand (the present giver(s) want it to be new), and I don’t want to have to upgrade in the future... what else should I be considering, what other options are there?

I will be making a wide variety of things from wide platters to long thin spindle type things!
 

marcros

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The axi seems slow, my jet mini has a top speed of 3500 I think. It is a speed I use often for pens and the like, less so for bigger lumps.
 

Sachakins

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If i remember right, when I was looking for new lathe, a couple of features I use regularly like a lockable and indexed spindle facility together with option to run in reverse are not available on that ac370wl.

After a lot of searching and spec reading I bought the Herald about 9-10 months ago and find it a great lathe.

I opted to buy with bench feet rather than legs, as I wanted to ensure I got spindle height to suit me, and made a bench to suit, the leg height would not have suited me.
 

Sachakins

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Also my previous lathe had a 4 pulley system, with slowest speed of 500 and top speed of 2000rpm.
This was so annoying, as 500 was to fast for drill boring and using forstners bits over 20mm, often leading to overheating and burning the wood. I also found 500 to fast for sanding, especially bowls over 8" diameter.
The 2000 rpm top speed was also a pain when turing small stuff, like pens, rings bottle stoppers, it was not fast enough.

Seeing as you want to turn large and small stuff id recommend the Herald any day.
Plus 5 year Record Power warranty too.


You may need too check the motor specs closer too. The herald is 1000w input power and 750wat output power.
Think the axi lathe is 750w motor power, but likely only around 500w output power.

Manufacturers tend to only highlight the motor power, this is mostly the motor peak input wattage. Its more important to find and compare the output wattage, as it is that which governs the ability of the lathes power.

Also you could have two 750w motors! But that doesn't mean they exert the same torque (force) .I know the herald has a high torque moderm motor design. I think the axi is an older motor design.


Good luck in hunting down a lathe you like, I was at the hunting stage for 3 months before finally choosing the Herald.
But whatever you get, enjoy it and have plenty of fun with it.
 
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gregmcateer

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I'd say you wasn't to try before you buy, preferably worth a real user rather than seller - no pressure, but little things might show up that would bother you, or you really like.
Oh, and as heavy as possible and or ability to add weight or bolt it to the earth's core, whichever is easier.
Don't rush the decision, IMHO.
Cheers
Greg
 

akirk

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thank you - interesting thoughts - and thank you Sachakins for your views on owning the Herald...
I have tried the Axminster as a friend who lives opposite owns it, and it is a very good lathe - but it does seem to be slightly one step behind the Herald in terms of adopting some of the options...

No urgency in that this is timed for September, but it would be good to understand the value of spending the extra £5-600 on the Herald, or indeed to understand if there is a competitor lathe which is better / better value for money - without going really above £1k
 

Chris152

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It's a few years since I searched around the £1k mark and found there was very little to choose from.

I've used neither lathe but have fiddled with both, if money's not the issue I'd definitely go with the Herald - they feel well made and much better speed control which makes a big difference imo.
 

akirk

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I've also heard good reports about the Laguna lathes, and the KS lathes Simon Hope sells - remarkable feature set for the price
both brands look good, but neither has a swivelling headstock in the same price range, the Laguna can run off the other side of the headstock, but that doesn’t seem as flexible... the KS is 50% more to get that bigger capacity...

so far the herald is looking good...
 

scooby

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I've also heard good reports about the Laguna lathes, and the KS lathes Simon Hope sells - remarkable feature set for the price
I'd go for the Herald. Woodturning is more addictive than crack...and Pringles. If you go for the Axminster, its likely you'll get something more expensive not long after.
I used to look at woodturning and think 'looks boring'...totally wrong. I feel a bit sad now when I'm doing bench work and can't use my lathe.:D I was going to get a Herald when I upgraded this year but everywhere was out of stock so I got a KS from Simon Hope. Its not as long as the Herald and the headstock doesn't swivel but I love it.
 

Chris152

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Another issue with the Axi model is that the lowest speed is still quite high if you're planning to swivel the head and turn larger things, especially if they're at all off balance. You could easily find yourself starting initial roughing at 250/ 300 rpm, even with a balanced blank over 15", and smaller diameter off-balance pieces (live edge etc).
 

akirk

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Thank you Chris - yes the quite high lowest speed for the Axminster lathe is one of the biggest concerns...
 

Bob Chapman

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I've never used either lathe, so bear that in mind when judging my comment.

Looking at the Axminster lathe I think that the variable speed is achieved by a split pully mechanism. Someone will correct me if I'm wrong but I've been told that this method of changing speed causes undue wear on the drive belt and can be a bit clunky. Also the lathe must be running in order to change speed which might be a problem if you last stopped it a high speed. You then have to start it at the same high speed which may not suit the workpiece you've just put on it.

The Herald has electronic variable speed which is more expensive but much smoother and problem free. The speed can be dialled down even when the lathe is off and it will start at the chosen speed when switched on. From my enviable position of complete ignorance, I'd go for the Herald every time.

Bob
 

Phil Pascoe

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You do get used to a reeves speed change - I never switch mine off at high speed because it'll launch the chuck, but I always check the speed before mounting anything of any size. I've not noticed the slightest wear on the belt in the ten years I've had mine.
 

akirk

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yes, I think that is right, I have used the Axminster and it isn’t a huge issue other than having to remember to do it before loading up the piece... but the lack of a speed below 500 could be more of an issue...
 

dickm

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Not in the market for a lathe (the Mystro will outlast me and another generation!) but would be interested to know where the castings for the Herald are made. Would be nice to know it's in the UK, but.......
 

Dalboy

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Not in the market for a lathe (the Mystro will outlast me and another generation!) but would be interested to know where the castings for the Herald are made. Would be nice to know it's in the UK, but.......
Like when it says made in England, does not mean much as many parts are produced overseas and then assembled in the UK giving them the right to put made in England where it should really be Assembled in England
 

Fergie 307

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Metal rather than wood turning is my thing but I would have to agree with those who have mentioned the high minimum speeds of the Ax as an issue. I think you mentioned an 18inch diameter capacity. Anything like that at 500rpm will give you a pretty scary feed rate in feet per minute across the face of the tool. If it was a piece for roughing out I'd probably rather leave the immediate vicinity before you turned it on !
 

Fergie 307

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2355 feet per minute to be exact ! Don't know what the recommended feed rates are for different types of wood, but that is a scary figure.
 

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