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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2013, 06:51 AM Thread Starter
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Default Novice considering a lathe...

Is it possible that I would be making a horrible mistake buying a HF lathe (the 12x33 with reversible head)...? http://www.harborfreight.com/12-inch...ead-34706.html

I am a complete novice...never owned a lathe...have worked with metal lathe and I know high quality means high bucks means high capabilities. I also know it may be easy to outgrow certain tools but am thinking not likely to outgrow turning too quickly as I also don't have enough time to spend turning with all my other interests...

The HF unit seems to have enough features to keep me going for a while...I've read posts where much more experienced woodworkers have used this for many years before they went bigger...

Not sure when I would get to the point of exceeding a much smaller investment than what other lathes are going for with what appears to be same features...

Did I just talk myself into buying the HF...?

Anybody out there have one (or had one) that could share their thoughts...?

Thanks in advance...Nick

Last edited by Nickp; 02-15-2013 at 08:36 AM. Reason: added URL for lathe
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2013, 08:23 AM
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How about this one? Same money, much better warranty and support(You can actually get parts if needed)!

G8688 7" x 12" Mini Metal Lathe

I assume, since you didn't specify, that you were looking at the 7x12!

I have found that hand tools are the best choice when I want to make mistakes at a slower rate of speed.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2013, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
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How about this one? Same money, much better warranty and support(You can actually get parts if needed)!

G8688 7" x 12" Mini Metal Lathe

I assume, since you didn't specify, that you were looking at the 7x12!
Sorry...I am actually looking for wood lathe...and to be able to do small stuff (bowls, pens, etc...) and longer stuff like newels, table legs, balusters...

I guess I wasn't clear...so something that will handle the longer pieces...

I did mention the metal lathe but only to describe some experiences with lathe...sorry...

Thanks,

Nick
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2013, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Nickp View Post
Sorry...I am actually looking for wood lathe...and to be able to do small stuff (bowls, pens, etc...) and longer stuff like newels, table legs, balusters...

I guess I wasn't clear...so something that will handle the longer pieces...

I did mention the metal lathe but only to describe some experiences with lathe...sorry...

Thanks,

Nick
Nick, I am sorry.. not sure how I got the idea you were looking for a metal lathe. I agree, for the money, the one you are looking at is hard to beat! Don't own one, but I have had good use from the HF machines that I have. It looks like it should serve you well, except maybe for really large bowls!

I have found that hand tools are the best choice when I want to make mistakes at a slower rate of speed.

I don't suffer from insanity. I enjoy every minute of it.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2013, 09:55 AM
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Hi Nick:
There is one problem with that lathe (I have one) and that is the position of the motor.
It protrudes forward and prevents you from making anything bigger than a 6 inch bowl.
It happens when you want to turn it around and finish the bottom. Even though you can rotate the headstock, the motor turns with it. otherwise it is a good lathe.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2013, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Nick:
There is one problem with that lathe (I have one) and that is the position of the motor.
It protrudes forward and prevents you from making anything bigger than a 6 inch bowl.
It happens when you want to turn it around and finish the bottom. Even though you can rotate the headstock, the motor turns with it. otherwise it is a good lathe.
Would i avoid that if i finished the bottom before turning the inside...? With the head still reversed or to the side...?
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2013, 07:39 PM
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No because you use the bottom foot to hold the piece in the chuck to hollow the bowl
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2013, 07:41 PM
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This one is much better because the motor is not in the way.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2013, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
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No because you use the bottom foot to hold the piece in the chuck to hollow the bowl
...got it...thanks
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-15-2013, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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This one is much better because the motor is not in the way.
...which one...? Was there supposed to be a link...?
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