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Which is the best Wood midi lathe ?

Posted By on September 29, 2013

Iam looking for a woodworking midi lathe which offers the best value for money. Any ideas?


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One Response to “Which is the best Wood midi lathe ?”

  1. elhigh says:

    I have a Delta midi lathe, it’ll turn stuff a little over 16 inches long. The tool rests are sturdy, the motor is quiet, and the stock belt is kind of fragile. Mine started cracking pretty young, so get a couple of belts early and have them on hand; in the middle of a fun project is a pain in the butt time to have to shut down and go shopping for a new belt.

    I looked at and tried out the JET model in the same size. For all that extra money, you don’t get much more in the way of lathe. So I skipped it. And to save money going to a lesser-known brand, you get a LOT less lathe: castings were poor or badly stress relieved so there was visible warpage, holdfasts didn’t hold fast, and the toolrest wobbled.

    The coolest bit about the Delta is by turning a couple of bolts, I can add on the bed extension and do full-length turnings. That’s neat. Most of the time I just turn little things and even the little lathe takes up a fair amount of workbench space; going full length it gets pretty damned big.

    But – and I haven’t tried this yet, but I’m going to one of these days – you could take the tailstock loose and bolt it to the workbench _anywhere_. Need to turn a seven-foot bedpost? Well – the motor is going to have one hell of a tough job doing that, but if you’re not in a hurry it could probably do it. Might want to fab up a center steady to keep the middle from bowing out and whipping around.

    If you can find a midi size but have an option between a smaller and a bigger motor, get the bigger motor. Asking a big motor to do less is nothing, asking a little motor to work harder just burns it out.

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