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Vicmarc VL300 EVS Lathe (Read 166 times)
 
Ed Weber
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Vicmarc VL300 EVS Lathe
Nov 7th, 2019 at 12:05pm
 
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So, I just got an email for this lathe.
Now I know Vicmarc makes very good, high quality tools BUT.
Personally I think the price ($6259.95) is crazy, JMO
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robo_hippy
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Re: Vicmarc VL300 EVS Lathe
Reply #1 - Nov 9th, 2019 at 11:26am
 
If you ever get a chance to turn on one, take it. I bought a Vic 240, which is the one with the pivoting headstock, and love it. A very high quality machine, and one made for extensive use and abuse. Only really strange things about it are the red 'stop' bar, which you bump into when getting used to the lathe, especially if you are used to leaning on your lathe as you turn. The other thing is the variable speed knob turns in the opposite direction as my other Northern Hemisphere lathes.... Not sure if it is now my favorite or not. The Vic is the preferred lathe of turners like Stuart Batty, Mike Mahoney, Glenn Lusas, and others... Interesting that now Craft Supplies is carrying them.

robo hippy
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Ed Weber
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Re: Vicmarc VL300 EVS Lathe
Reply #2 - Nov 9th, 2019 at 1:39pm
 
Nothing against the quality or build of the lathe.
At it's heart, a lathe is a pretty simple machine, to me $6200 is too steep, no matter who's name is on it.

At that price, you would have to make a living using it everyday.
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John Grace
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Re: Vicmarc VL300 EVS Lathe
Reply #3 - Nov 10th, 2019 at 8:14am
 
Ed Weber wrote on Nov 7th, 2019 at 12:05pm:
Now I know Vicmarc makes very good, high quality tools BUT.
Personally I think the price ($6259.95) is crazy, JMO


I completely agree Ed.  When I first got back into turning there seemed like a number of quite affordable hobbyist lathes from Jet/Delta up to what I refer to as the high-end hobbyist in the Teknatool brand.  After Teknatool it seemed like a significant jump in both quality and pricing to Powermatic, Oneway, and ultimately the Robust line.  In recent years we've now seen the introduction of beefier offerings from the Grizzlys and Lagunas of the world but at a much more competitive price range.  Several years ago I had an opportunity to 'test drive' and purchase a used VL300 for $3k.  Well, economics being what they were at that time I couldn't swing the deal.  The bigger point in recalling that anecdote was when I was putting that machine through it's paces, it 'felt' like I was on a machine well 'worth' up into the high $3k range...$6k plus though just seems too much regardless of the quality.  Which leads to another question...if Laguna and Grizzly continue refining their product line with respects to fit, finish, and functionality...will their be enough of a market to keep the high-end of companies going?
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Ed Weber
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Re: Vicmarc VL300 EVS Lathe
Reply #4 - Nov 10th, 2019 at 10:57am
 
There will always be high end companies.
Think about cars, most people buy from a company that produces large numbers of cars, Ford, Chevy, Toyota, etc...
Not many people can afford a Ferrari, which are made in much smaller numbers although technologically superior to your everyday car.

The problem, in whichever field your looking in, is the middle ground.
There will always be beginner or entry level offerings and there will always be the high end for everyone to ooo and aaa at, which are only used by the 'pro's"
The middle it what always suffers, when you've outgrown the entry level but either can't or don't want to shell out for the high end unit.
Unfortunately, there just isn't enough profit to be made in the middle unless you sell a very high number of units.
IMO, $6200 is starting to dip into the custom made range
After you purchase the motor, bearings/pulleys, VFD and control switches, you're basically left with a stand and the machining for the head, tail and ways.
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robo_hippy
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Re: Vicmarc VL300 EVS Lathe
Reply #5 - Nov 10th, 2019 at 12:54pm
 
Taking a step up for me was going from an Atlas 12 by 4 speed/pulley lathe to a PM3520A. Since I was selling my wares at the local Saturday Market (started off selling hacky sacks and juggle balls), the PM paid for itself 3 times the first year I had it. It is made for production work and all the stresses on the tool that go with it. The requirements for lathes are, I guess, some thing like cars. Some are fine for going back and forth through town. Some are better for hauling long distance heavy loads. Not sure about where Laguna and Grizzly will end up. I would expect that if they ever do get to the overall quality of Robust, Oneway, and Vicmarc, the prices will reflect that. For many, the hobby level tools are fine. I would never have a Harbor Freight lathe in my shop. Just scrap metal to me. I want my tools to last as long or longer than me...

robo hippy
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Ed Weber
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Re: Vicmarc VL300 EVS Lathe
Reply #6 - Nov 10th, 2019 at 1:51pm
 
robo_hippy wrote on Nov 10th, 2019 at 12:54pm:
Taking a step up for me was going from an Atlas 12 by 4 speed/pulley lathe to a PM3520A.


I would say you skipped a couple steps in the middle  Grin
Like I said, lot's of entry level and plenty of pro, the hobbyist in the middle suffers.
You either need to bite the bullet and effectively turn pro by spending more than you want/need to, or you have to be content with less than optimal equipment that is more affordable.
It's individual, A Vicmarc is great but is it worth $2500 more than a similar capacity Laguna? Some will say yes and some will say no.
I personally think most all lathers are over priced but that's just me.
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John Grace
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Re: Vicmarc VL300 EVS Lathe
Reply #7 - Nov 11th, 2019 at 10:36am
 
robo_hippy wrote on Nov 10th, 2019 at 12:54pm:
Not sure about where Laguna and Grizzly will end up. I would expect that if they ever do get to the overall quality of Robust, Oneway, and Vicmarc, the prices will reflect that.


I suspect you'd be correct about the pricing but I don't believe that's their goal.  The three you mentioned are the accepted 'premium' machines at their premium prices.  But let's say, hypothetically, Laguna and Grizzly eventually offer a machine that's ~90% or so percent of what a premium machine cost then how many turners looking to go premium would choose otherwise?  Assuming the 'others' continue to improve, the current premium machines will still be better made...but will they be $3k dollars 'better made'?  As Ed has said...at the end of the day a lathe is a fairly simple machine but turning is a hobby with a significant costs in supporting tools.  Someone looking to get their 'forever machine' ten to fifteen years from now may have a much harder decision on their hands.
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John Grace
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Re: Vicmarc VL300 EVS Lathe
Reply #8 - Nov 11th, 2019 at 10:41am
 
Oh and BTW...I will openly admit that my own future 'forever lathe' I hope will be the Vicmarc VL300.  Still if and hopefully when that day happens...I'll almost assuredly be getting a used machine.  Even a used one will be too much money when compared to others but that's the 'little compromise' I'll be willing to make with myself when the time comes.  Fortunately for me and similar to what Reed said previously, my NOVA DVR XP has already paid for itself though it took me several years of farmer's markets to get there.  Someday...
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