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Which lathe!? (Read 813 times)
 
Bethanie Lyall
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Which lathe!?
Mar 2nd, 2017 at 9:26pm
 
Hello all,

I am very new to woodturning, and this is my first post Smiley my name is Bethanie, and I live in Peterborough, Ontario. I am currently using a Busy Bee wood copy lathe, and it's in a bit of rough shape. The motor jumps around ALOT when something larger than a spindle is on it, unless you wedge some shims and bolts in. So, I have come across a 37inch (master craft I believe) lathe model 55-4507-2. Should I jump in and buy this one, or stick to my old busy bee lathe? I can't find too much on the web about either of these lathes. Thank you all so much in advance!
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Len Mullin
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Re: Which lathe!?
Reply #1 - Mar 2nd, 2017 at 11:23pm
 
Hello Bethanie, welcome to the site. Don't jump, it's not worth it. You will be buying something that works as poorly, as the one you are already using. Neither lathe is worth much, and I don't think you would be stepping up in quality. You would be better off, to just use the one you now own. And while you're using it, start saving up your money for a good quality lathe.
Len
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« Last Edit: Mar 2nd, 2017 at 11:24pm by Len Mullin »  
 
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Bethanie Lyall
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Re: Which lathe!?
Reply #2 - Mar 3rd, 2017 at 6:52am
 
Hi Len, thank you so much for the welcome and for the reply. I really appreciate it. At this point, I don't know too much about types of lathes, and I feel as though each turner has their favourite. Are there a few lathes that I should keep my eye out for? Thank you again!
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Glenn Matthies
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Re: Which lathe!?
Reply #3 - Mar 3rd, 2017 at 7:51am
 
Much of your decision depends on budget.  Cheap lathes are cheap for a reason.  Cheap lathes are not much fun to turn on due to the extra challenges you encounter on a poorly constructed lathe.  Lots of folks start with a mini lathe (Jet or other).  Jet is a quality lathe and 'affordable' but the 12" is small.  As your skill level rises, you will want to turn bigger things.  That means a bigger, quality lathe and a whole bunch more $$$.  There are lots of quality lathes and everyone has their own preference.      I have a Jet 1642 E-EVS.  I dropped $2500 (US) for it.  My father has a Oneway (Stratford, ON) that cost more.  I think his is closer to $3800 (US) today and that is one of their smaller ones.  Lots of folks like their Nova DVR, which can be found for $2000 (US).  Lots of choices and much depends on your budget.  And it probably hurts a bit being Canadian right now with your dollar as low as it is.  I live near Buffalo and the numbers of Canadian cross border shoppers has dropped significantly since the Canadian dollar took a plunge.
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John Grace
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Re: Which lathe!?
Reply #4 - Mar 4th, 2017 at 7:59pm
 
Bethanie Lyall wrote on Mar 2nd, 2017 at 9:26pm:
Should I jump in and buy this one, or stick to my old busy bee lathe?


Welcome Bethanie...

You've asked a loaded question that will surely have many answers, but in some ways, you already know the answer.

First and foremost...what do you envision turning both now and for the next several years?  Turning lends itself to purchasing every tool, gadget, and gizmo under the stars and we frequently end up using the same gouge over and over.  Ponder that question carefully and then re-post as to what size lathe will handle those projects with some room to spare.

Second...what is your budget?  There are a number of solid lathes that come in modest prices all the way up to what I affectionately refer to as 'silly money' purchases.

Third...consider finding and visiting a local turning club.  There you're likely to meet many who have gone through this question and answer exercise already and have mis-spent their money already so that you don't have to.

Fourth...are you comfortable purchasing a solid 'used' lathe as opposed to sticking with brand new?  There's always a chance someone in the aforesaid club will have something for sale or know someone who does.

Welcome to turning and I hope the above helps in some small way...cheers, John
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Bob Mezzatesta
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Re: Which lathe!?
Reply #5 - Mar 5th, 2017 at 8:25am
 
Hi Bethanie. Good to see another Canadian here. I live a couple of hours east of you. I strongly suggest looking into a local club. The Kawartha woodturners guild is in Pboro. Clubs offer training/mentoring and a helpful friendly environment for new turners. They have a website (the next meeting might be Tuesday) and there is usually no charge for your first visit. And some clubs offer basic courses which will save time, frustration and bloodshed.
There are good, sometimes vintage, lathes around which will serve you well for many years for a reasonable price. For example, I have a Delta 1460, which is the same as the lathe I use every day, that I have refurbished and will sell for $275. It will need a stand built which may be beyond your present skill set. Talk to the folks at the club. You'll be surprised what may be available. Good luck and stay safe.
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Len Mullin
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Re: Which lathe!?
Reply #6 - Mar 7th, 2017 at 1:59am
 
Bethanie, you are going to be hard pressed to find a good quality lathe in Canada, there just doesn't seem to be any around. Believe me, I've checked everywhere. I've been shopping for a new lathe for a couple of years now, I haven't been able to find a good quality one. There's a few used ones, but they all look as if they are on their last leg. I quit looking for one just recently, my wife decided she wasn't happy and wanted to split after forty years. This means that I will no longer have a shop to work in, because I wanted her to keep the house. So now instead of looking for a new lathe, I'm looking to sell two shops worth of newer woodworking tools. OK, enough on that. I had made up my mind to buy a small One-Way lathe, the 1224 model. Presently, they are about $2500.00 plus taxes. Another one is the 1236, it's about $500.00 more then the 1224. A bit steep in price, but you'll never find better quality anywhere. They aren't much good if you're looking to turn large stock, because of the swing. But, if your not going to be turning anything over eleven inches or so, it's all the lathe you'll ever need. A nice thing about these lathes, is that they hold their value. So if you were to buy one, you could probably sell it for about what you paid for it if you lost interest in turning. As if that could happen, right?
Len
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David Meade
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Re: Which lathe!?
Reply #7 - Mar 12th, 2017 at 1:33pm
 
Can you post the model of Busy Bee lathe that you have. As far as the motor jumping around that is not right, if you are using wedges and sticks that can be fixed. I have a completely different opinion than most that have been stated, Busy Bee has had a line of reasonable tools that serve many skilled crafts persons very well. Many of their tools are the same as a lot of other companies just different colour. A person starting out does not need and in most cases does not have the resources to purchase $2-$5000 lathes. I would think with some help and guidance you should be able to advance your skills rapidly with what you have.
If you have the resources state the spending limits and it is no problem finding a quality lathe in Canada, if you expect to see it at Home Depot or Canadian tire you are shopping in the wrong places. If you are not at the OneWay level Canada's own Busy Bee Tools can supply a lathe comparable to most on the market.
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This is a good price and the lathe is a good value.
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Grant Wilkinson
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Re: Which lathe!?
Reply #8 - Mar 17th, 2017 at 5:55pm
 
As others have said, Bethanie, your choice will largely depend on what you see yourself turning and what your budget is.

I have to respectfully disagree with Len when he says that "you are going to hard pressed to find a good quality lathe in Canada". I'm in Ottawa, so it's likely that there is more choice here than in Peterborough, but I can buy Oneway and Powermatic, both good quality lathes. Perhaps a little lower down, but still very good are Rikon, King, and Craftex.

If you are looking for used, your selection may be more limited, but ask at your local club and look at Kijiji.
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« Last Edit: Mar 17th, 2017 at 5:55pm by Grant Wilkinson »  

Grant Wilkinson
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Len Mullin
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Re: Which lathe!?
Reply #9 - Mar 22nd, 2017 at 10:48pm
 
Grant, it doesn't bother me when someone disagrees with a statement that I might have made, I know I'm not always right. I have to disagree with your statement also, I could never recommend a King lathe to anyone. They are junk in my opinion, and I'm speaking from experience. I had one, I owned it for three weeks and that was to long. I returned the one I bought to the store I bought it from. They didn't want to take it back, but, because I had charged it to my account they had no choice. Thankfully, they have a rule that if you charge something to your account, you have thirty days to return the item. They are poorly made with what I suspect is the lowest quality material available. They hold no value if you ever decide to sell one, because people know what the King quality is like. The reason for mentioning the One-Way, was because I know they are a quality lathe that hold their value. The only drawback to the model I mentioned, is the limited size of bowl you can turn.
Len
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Arlin Eastman
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Re: Which lathe!?
Reply #10 - Mar 23rd, 2017 at 3:17pm
 
Lots of Great Canadian advise and hope you can get with some of them and also find a club.  There are people in clubs who buy and sell lathes and tools all the time so it would be great to find a club.n
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