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Bodone

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Looking at a starter lathe, simple stuff, pens, small bowls etc.

budget up to £400 for the bench lathe and leaning towards the record dml305, the Axminster Ac305 or the rutland premium lathe.




I fancy the variable speed of the Rutland and Axminster, but like the support offered by record in possibly a simpler package.

Does it make much difference at this price range, at they all much the same? Any experiences to share would be much appreciated.

thank you.
 

sneggysteve

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I started with the Axminster 305 WL and it was a great starter machine. As a novice I found the variable speed invaluable. I have gone to a bigger Record since but still wanted the variable speed.
 

timber

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I too am interested in the Rutlands lathe Has it got the hollow tailstock for long hole boring like the Axi one
 

marcros

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I wouldn't touch the Rutland's. At least axi and record have a knowledgeable technical department
 

Bodone

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Not a lot of love for Rutland then. Anything else I should consider?
 

marcros

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I would have a look at the used market, particularly for simple lathes. The warranty may be more useful on more complex electronically controlled ones. You are looking at bench top lathes, and people grow out of them. From that, I would say skip that stage and buy bigger, or take advantage of their hard luck and buy used!

I have limited experience, I have used 1 lathe for 95% of my turning (jet 1014), and a couple of others for a few hours. I dont really know enough to recommend specific brands or features. I would say to go for something with m33 threads (ideal), 1 x 8, or 3/4 x 16 (almost as good). With m33 if you upgrade, a new lathe will probably have this. WIth the other 2, chucks and fittings are easy enough to get. when you start going into odd threads it can get difficult to get things. 1 x 8 and 3/4 x 16 were very common up until a few years ago.
 

SVB

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For £400 I’d be looking used. May even get elec variable speed. Hegner, Axminster, May even pick up a vicmarc 100 evs for that used.
 

Ron Tock

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Looking at a starter lathe, simple stuff, pens, small bowls etc.

budget up to £400 for the bench lathe and leaning towards the record dml305, the Axminster Ac305 or the rutland premium lathe.




I fancy the variable speed of the Rutland and Axminster, but like the support offered by record in possibly a simpler package.

Does it make much difference at this price range, at they all much the same? Any experiences to share would be much appreciated.

thank you.
You've probably already purchased your lathe by now so this is aimed at others with the same criteria.
I have a RecordPower DML 305. It's my first lathe so I can't make informed comparisons with other models. The fact that it does not have variable speed was one of the deciding factors. The choice between variable speed and manual is very much a trade-off between ease of use and hassle-free maintenance. If you experience 'idling' or loss of torque with a maual machine, it can only be one of two things: loose grub screw in one or both of the pulley sets or a worn belt. Both are simple to fix and belts are cheap to replace.
The same issues can occur with a variable speed machine and can be down to the same simple solutions. If so, happy days. If not, however, it's a problem with the electronic circuitry and that is another ball game altogether. Variable speed control is fine when everything is working okay but, if problems occur, it's considerably more expensive to address. Furthermore, faulty variable speed control can result in racing as well as idling... not what you want when turning a heavy out-of-balance log.
 

Phil Pascoe

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That variable speed might go wrong isn't a good enough reason to avoid it. Once you've used a variable speed lathe for any time you'll not go back to a fixed speeds one. You'd just as well say you're better off walking everywhere because cars go wrong sometimes.
 

Democritus

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Spot on, Phil. I had an old Multico with fixed speeds (and all the hassle of belt and pulley changing) , before my current variable speed machine. I wouldn’t have a fixed speed lathe given me now.
D.
 

timber

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I have just ordered the Axi Craft lathe to use a a backup for my Legacy Revo ornamental lathe /mill
I will let you know what it's like Should get it by wednesday
 

Bodone

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The Axminster Craft AC370WL is pretty good, with variable speed. I've had one for a while although it was named Hobby instead of craft. It's only £77 outside your budget.

That's very nice, but i'm looking for something 'mini' that i can move to a storage shelf. I know, i'll regret not going 'big' to start, but i'm a patient person and happy to learn on smaller stuff. And if it's something i don't take to, i can sell on at a manageable loss, or likewise if i do take to it.

I know the traditional route is to visit/join a club, but under current regime, very difficult. I'll likely book some training once i've made my mind up. At least that way i can pick up on the safety aspects rather than thinking back 30 years or watching youtube. Turners Retreat is reasonably close and they are still running limited sessions.

Thanks all for insights.
 

alex_heney

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That's very nice, but i'm looking for something 'mini' that i can move to a storage shelf. I know, i'll regret not going 'big' to start, but i'm a patient person and happy to learn on smaller stuff. And if it's something i don't take to, i can sell on at a manageable loss, or likewise if i do take to it.

I know the traditional route is to visit/join a club, but under current regime, very difficult. I'll likely book some training once i've made my mind up. At least that way i can pick up on the safety aspects rather than thinking back 30 years or watching youtube. Turners Retreat is reasonably close and they are still running limited sessions.

Thanks all for insights.
I have the AC370Wl, and it is a nice lathe. It can be used as a benchtop lathe - I did for the first few months I had it, but I agree the size & weight mean you aren't going to move it single handed without dismantling it.

Though at 40Kg, even the 305 you are looking at isn't exactly easy to shift around by yourself - putting t on a shelf for storage may not really be viable.

I don't know what their lathes are like, but I got the Rutland Xact 3" chuck package with multiple jaws, and that has been absolutely fine - though they don't seem to be selling the chuck plus several jaws in an aluminium case at the moment.

But Axminster are definitely a better brand than Rutlands, and the Rutlands lathe doesn't seem to have any actual advantages over the axminster.

Record Power also have a very god reputation, but it doesn't have the electronic variable speed (though both the others still have pulley changes involved to go from one range to another - they aren't entirely electronically controlled), which is a big factor - the poster above saying to avoid because of the variable speed is going strongly against what any experienced wood turner will tell you.
 

Dave Allen

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I bought the Axi 305 earlier this year, it's a fantastic little lathe, but you'll end up buying a chuck and other accessories before you know it you'll have spent a fortune!

I found that with it being bench mounted it was at an awkward height to use comfortably for me, so I bought a mitresaw stand from lidl for £30 and mounted a plywood top to the brackets, and screwed some bits of wood down at each corner so it couldn't vibrate off.

Now when I need the lathe I just put up the stand and grab the lathe from under the bench, and it's at a good working height.
 
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Hi, I have a charnwood w824 lathe with variable speed. It's my 1st and only lathe so I carnt compare it to anything else. All I will say is that as a beginner this lathe has done all I have asked of it. The electronic speed control is brilliant and is one of the reasons I opted for it. It has given me many hours of fun, so please don't be put off buying a cheaper brand.
 
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