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New Non-chinese Lathe Recommendation Please

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mudman

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Hello everyone.

Quite a while since I posted here. Due to one thing and another, but especially the fact that I have been working away from home for quite a while now, I haven't had the time for woodworking or turning and so it all sort of fell by the wayside.

Anyway, some of you may recall my trials and tribulations with my Axminster M950. I finally came to the conclusion that it just wasn't up to scratch with its various faults and it sort of took the joy out of woodturning for me. Finances meant that I had no chance of replacing it and this meant that it has sat in the workshop for quite some time now unused and definitely unloved.

Life seems to be dealing me a better hand recently and I'm starting a new job next week that will bring me back home, also I've come into an inheritance that means that I can now afford to replace the aforementioned hunk of junk with something much better. This time I want to buy a lathe that will last me for a very long time and as I want to remember the loved one that made this possible whilst I use it, it has to be the best that I can afford. So, I now have a strong aversion to buying anything manufactured in China and if possible I will avoid the results of their poor quality control and my luck that seems to divert the ones that slip through after being dropped straight to my workshop.

I'm leaning towards buying the Hegner HDB which is in my price range of up to approx. £3,000 but I wanted to ask if there are any limitations to the machine. I would always trust decent German engineering but I want to be sure that it will provide me with the facility to undertake a wide range of turning and allow me to go off into various woodturning directions as the whim takes me.

Also, are any other lathes I should be considering that are not sourced from China that are decent machines that will give me many years of trouble-free enjoyable turning?

Or, to put it simply. If you have a budget up to £3,000, what non-chinese lathe would you buy?

Many thanks in advance and hopefully I'll soon be participating in next years challenges.
 

mudman

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Blister":1sqik70b said:
Hi Barry

Good to see you back

Have you seen these lathes ?

German made

http://www.philirons.co.uk/index.php?op ... Itemid=119

I believe Phil has one in his workshop for " Try before you buy "

I have seen the lathes and they do look to be good quality

:wink:
Thanks Blister, they do look the business.

I've fired off an e-mail to Phil to check the provenance.
 

Aled Dafis

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+1 for the Wivamac lathes, they'd be very high on my list if I had that sort of money to burn.

You lucky, lucky pipper!!
 

mudman

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Thanks all for you suggestions.
I contacted Phil Irons who made the very sensible point that it is quite likely that components within the machine have been sourced from China. However I have more confidence in German QA than the Chinese that seem to just pick up a dropped component and stick it in the box. (I had a grinder with a chip out of the wheel thay I used for a while before a friend told me of the dangers of grinders :shock: ) I may take up his offer of a try-out as he isn't more than a couple of hours drive from me.

The Wivamac looks good and I found a complimentary review of the lathe so that is another into the list for consideration.

I shall have to enquire about the Jet lathes and find out where they are manufactured. They've always had good press but I want to be sure.

I guess my requirements do seem a tad stringent but I've had so much trouble in the paste with Chinese produced items that I really do want to avoid them. The following quote from the Toolpost Wivamac page says it all for me:
We have spent many years researching the lathes available in the marketplace because we believe that in order to offer lathes to our clients, we needed to have total faith in the product being delivered. With very few lathes now being manufactured outside Asia, it is today very difficult to achieve that level of confidence.
I know that there will be very good products being produced there but anyone that remembers my posts from a few years ago may recall that I seem to attract all the dud ones so I really want to avoid the disappointments that I've had in the past.

So, so far I have:
  • Hegner
    Killinger
    Wivamac
    Maybe Jet

Are there any other manufacturers outside of China still building quality lathes?

I suppose as well, that I could look at old Graduates etc. is that a good road to go down?
 

Blister

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I suppose as well, that I could look at old Graduates etc. is that a good road to go down?
I would advise against this :(

They have no great capacity and are fairly low spindle height , most adult turners have them mounted on either steel or cement blocks
I think the reason for lack of height is because most were intended for school use in the good old days before HSE :wink:

Much better machines available with more modern functions :wink:
 

wallace

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How about going old with a Wadkin RS, with huge capacity and then put a frequency inverter for variable speed.
Mark
 

Spindle

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Hi

i suppose it's horses for courses, I've owned a Chinese lathe, (Clarke), which I replaced with a Record CL3 which I have upgraded to CL4+ :wink: . Great lathe for spindle turning and offset bowls but if your interest is in large bowls this isn't for you. Don't know where the Record is currently manufactured but I've nothing but praise for mine.

Regards Mick
 

myturn

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I have the Killinger 1400SE floor mounted on its stand and am extremely happy with it. I doubt I'll ever buy another lathe as it does all I want and has a fairly compact footprint (which was one of my main criteria as it has to share my garage with loads of other things).

It is extremely well made and smooth and quite in operation. You wouldn't be disappointed by the quality of engineering and finish. The head swivels 360° and locks in any position, speed is variable down to 0rpm. I've fitted the Vicmarc VL175 Outboard Bowl Rest to it as I didn't like the Killinger one which is fixed in position, the Vicmarc just swings out of the way behind the headstock.

I only have one minor niggle with it and that is the spindle lock which is a steel rod you insert into a hole in the headstock. It would have been much better if they'd put a proper index plunger in there.

If you have the space then consider the 1500SE which has a larger swing over the bed, more powerful motor and being heavier will cope better with out of balance loads. I believe, but only from the picture I've seen, that it has an index plunger for the spindle lock but I can't be sure, Phil could confirm.
 

TheTiddles

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Spindle":6n4vuc9s said:
Hi

i suppose it's horses for courses, I've owned a Chinese lathe, (Clarke), which I replaced with a Record CL3 which I have upgraded to CL4+ :wink: . Great lathe for spindle turning and offset bowls but if your interest is in large bowls this isn't for you. Don't know where the Record is currently manufactured but I've nothing but praise for mine.

Regards Mick
Record power are based in China.

No matter which lathe you buy, the motor will almost certainly be made in China, or Taiwan, in rare cases Japan, but much less so these days.

For £3k you'll get a great lathe, country of origin is irrelavent, cost is everything.

Aidan
 

kirkpoore1

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Oneway lathes are made in Canada, and have a very good reputation. (No, I don't have and haven't used one.) You get what you pay for with them. I don't know whether you can get one over there, though.

Kirk
 

dennisk

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The Vicmarc are pretty nice. I am looking at a new lathe and it is between a Vicmarc VL300 and the Robust American Beauty. The big Powermatic is nice as well but that is the same as the Jet. I don't think you would get Powermatic or Robust over there.
 

melvyne

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I have a Hegner lathe which I have had for about two years. Its great, is well constructed and I have found no fault with it other than it is a little under powered for my liking when turning any thing over 12" in diameter.
If you are in the area you will be welcome to come and try it out before making a firm decision.
Melvyn
 

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