used lathe question
#11
  
I am looking for a lathe to do some pen turning with my daughter. I have never done any turning so I am unfamiliar in what to look for in a lathe. I was looking for something in the mini-midi range. I would prefer an MT2 taper since I already have a mandrel with that taper. Variable speed would be nice but would be willing to take a multi-speed. Huge used metal lathes seem to be popular in my area but not small wood working lathes so not a lot to choose from. So when something finally pops up on craigslist what should I be looking for when I go look at the lathe?
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#12
  Re: used lathe question by Bope (I am looking for a l...)
(09-27-2018, 02:29 PM)Bope Wrote: I am looking for a lathe to do some pen turning with my daughter. I have never done any turning so I am unfamiliar in what to look for in a lathe. I was looking for something in the mini-midi range. I would prefer an MT2 taper since I already have a mandrel with that taper. Variable speed would be nice but would be willing to take a multi-speed. Huge used metal lathes seem to be popular in my area but not small wood working lathes so not a lot to choose from. So when something finally pops up on craigslist what should I be looking for when I go look at the lathe?

What area are you in? A used Jet 10-14 would be great for pen turning. The step pulley is more than sufficient for what you want to do. Two of my boys learned to turn pens on this type of lathe. Should be able to find something in the $200 - $400 range depending on condition and extras.
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#13
  Re: used lathe question by Bope (I am looking for a l...)
I am in the Rochester NY area. I am having problems finding much with reputable brand names. Most of the stuff in the size I would need are either Central Machine HF stuff or things from the 1930's. That is why I am looking for advice on what to look at and check when I find something worth looking at.
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#14
  Re: used lathe question by Bope (I am looking for a l...)
Best advice is be patient.  I just checked the Dallas Craig's List and there were 6 lathes, two were small Jets.  Often there are no lathes, it seems to go in cycles.  Probably not much different to your area.  I recently switched to a used EVS and there is no going back as they say.  I searched for about two months.

Sounds like you know what you want, so hang in there, you will be glad in the long run.
"I tried being reasonable..........I didn't like it." Clint Eastwood
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#15
  Re: used lathe question by Bope (I am looking for a l...)
No one has tried to answer some of your questions, so I will take a swing at it . Hopefully, someone better than me will come along and do better.

As others have said, a multi-speed (step pulley) drive will be all you need for pens, bottle stoppers, tap (as in beer) handles, chisel handles, and lots of fun stuff. Electronically variable speed can be a plus once you get to midi-lathe and becomes desirable as you get to larger throw lathes. Mechanically continuously variable speed (Reeve's drive) can work fine, but the level of maintenance and the shortage of replacement parts for the drive mechanism are generally not a good investment for a new turner.

There are debates about the value of being able to electronically reverse the lathe direction. Some consider it a waste some consider helpful in reducing the amount of tear out when sanding. I tend to be in the latter group for midi and larger lathes.

For my second mini lathe (my first NIB lathe), I could have readily afforded the extra cost of the electronically variable speed, but decided to stick with the multi-speed because there are simply fewer things to go wrong or to be damaged by voltage transients.

On the inspection of a candidate used lathe, there are the simple basics of any power tool: does the motor start and run smoothly (good), are the bearing smooth running (good), does the drive shaft rattle or move longitudinally when wiggled by hand (bad), does the tail stock spindle move in and out smoothly and lock down solidly (good), are the belts and the sheaves in good shape, and are there any cracks or other mechanical damage (bad).

Particular to lathes are:
- whether the ways are flat, level, and parallel (good)
- whether the point of a drive spur exactly lines up with the point of a live center in the tailstock when they are almost touching and the tailstock is locked down (both locks) (good and very important).

Are all the pieces there?
Is there a stand or bench or will you have to build one?
What accessories are included?
Why is the seller selling?

Not part of your question, but also important is a recommendation to check the AAW website to see if there are any woodturning clubs nearby. Often members will be selling there older (to them) lathes as they move up. This can be a good source of quality used lathes that never make it to Craigslist. The clubs often have beginner tutoring of various sorts and they frequently have turning demonstrations as part of club meetings. Our demo this week was on turning trivets (hot mats for the dining table).

Two other key points:
(1) unless you are using carbide tools, you will need a good sharpening system. many of us use 8" slow-speed bench grinders with the Oneway Wolverine system (skip the skew attachment - you do not need it), and
(2) even for pen turning, you want a good quality face shield that the turner is going to wear (always) when turning. many of us use the Bionics shield with the impact-rated face plate.

Welcome to the vortex. Winkgrin

Edited to add the it looks like the Finger Lakes Woodturners are in Rochester
http://www.fingerlakeswoodturners.org/
and they have a shared shop for members with multiple mini-lathes.
AAW lists Kurt Hertzog as the serving president of the Genessee club a bit south of you.
"the most important safety feature on any tool is the one between your ears." - Ken Vick

A wish for you all:  May you keep buying green bananas.
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#16
  Re: used lathe question by Bope (I am looking for a l...)
Others have said have you wait to find a good used lathe but might have to travel to where that lathe is located too! Also need to know cost of new wood lathes. Jet 1014 was the most popular and best mini lathe and now can find it cloned in different brands and prices. Jet has replaced it with newer 1015 model.

Jet wood lathe - $200 https://erie.craigslist.org/tls/d/jet-wo...34524.html

https://www.woodcraft.com/search?q=mini+...ton=search

Want stay with brand name mini-midi lathes, Delta, Jet, Nova, & Rikon or buy a new Jet clone. Just remember lathes like General 25-200 with EVS (electronic variable speed) cannot find parts for GI out of business. Parts may not be available for older mini-midi lathes as well even if company still in business.

Old lathes could be a blessing too if complete and can handle changing belt, bearing, or motor.

http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/p/how-t...e.html?m=1

Today a popular mod is adding a treadmill motor to old lathes for those that can handle that.

https://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/2014/1...cheap.html

Treadmill motor lathe:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxeJyIHcjLk
Bill
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#17
  Re: used lathe question by Bope (I am looking for a l...)
I have a Jet 1014 multi-speed, with a bed extension.  I originally got it to assist with some furniture restoration tasks, and got into pen-turning almost by accident.

The Jet is still the only lathe I have. 

Some thoughts about what to look for:

- If I could do it over, I'd get the electronically controlled variable speed.  It may not be an absolute necessity, but it is very nice and convenient to have.

- My 1014 does not have an indexing feature; I wish it did.  That's not needed for pen turning, but it would help with other work I do on the lathe.

- I really like having the bed extension for longer spindle work.

I tend to agree with you about the low cost Harbor Freight machines.  I buy stuff at HF, but the biggest thing I've got from them is a drill press that I'm looking to replace with better; there's too much runout in that press.  I think their lathes would have similar issues.  

In my area, good woodworking machines rarely show up on Craigslist.  I rarely even look there anymore.
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#18
  Re: used lathe question by Bope (I am looking for a l...)
Some good advice about what to look for in a lathe already in this thread, so let me add you can use a site like https://www.searchtempest.com/ to look in a little larger area.  Personally, I've never found a decent lathe down here in the Southern Tier of NY, but it's good to be vigilant.

One thing I'd avoid are the tube bed lathes.  The warp something fierce when you try and use them, at least in my experience.

Good luck.
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#19
  Re: used lathe question by Bope (I am looking for a l...)
Thank you for all the good suggestions. I have looked at the local guild and at their October meeting they are doing pen turning. My daughter and I are planning to attend. I was thinking about a 12" Craftsman that I found on Craigslist. It has been there for a bout a week so it might not be available anymore. I noticed it is probably what you call a tube bed. It is a head stock with a single tube attached. The tail stock and tool rest attach to this tube. Are the Turncrafters from Penn State or the Grizzlys any good? They look very similar to the HF models.
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#20
  Re: RE: used lathe question by Bope (Thank you for all th...)
(09-28-2018, 01:16 PM)Bope Wrote: Thank you for all the good suggestions. I have looked at the local guild and at their October meeting they are doing pen turning. My daughter and I are planning to attend. I was thinking about a 12" Craftsman that I found on Craigslist. It has been there for a bout a week so it might not be available anymore. I noticed it is probably what you call a tube bed. It is a head stock with a single tube attached. The tail stock and tool rest attach to this tube. Are the Turncrafters from Penn State or the Grizzlys any good? They look very similar to the HF models.

I can't speak to the Penn State or Grizzly, but a lot of people like Rikon.
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