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Ridgid lathe???

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  • Ridgid lathe???

    Anyone used the Ridgid lathe? I've heard many other turners say to "stay away from the tube type lathes". Can anyone that has used this one let me know your opinions.
    TIA, Doug

  • #2
    I asked this question some time ago and was told the Lathe was fine for light weight turning, but as your skills developed, you'd out grow it.
    Many thought the Delta or Jet might be the better way to go.
    The new WL 1200 retains the 1/2 HP motor and the #1 Morse taper head.
    Do a search of this forum of WL 1200, there's alot there.
    I still haven't bought a lathe yet.
    Rob Johnson

    [ 09-19-2003, 11:33 PM: Message edited by: Backyard Woodworker ]
    Just tilt your head a little and it will look straight!


    • #3
      It was such a bad seller that they offered it at a closeout, couple of years ago---so I also asked the same question. No one recommended it and many warned me not to consider it---being a single tube design, it's easy for it to get out of alignment----not great power. I'm really sorry this wasn't one of the tools they tried to change.


      • #4
        I have it, used it some. I make my own wooden mallots with it. I've also turned some things for my son on it, and made some decrotive knobs for my neighbor. Beyond that, I have not had time to try anything complex.
        John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a>


        • #5
          The HD in my area has the "old" Rigid line on sale. The lathe is $197. For that price, it is a good starter lathe to find out if you really want to get into turning wood. The lathe is really only the start of your purchase. Turning tools, chucks etc are what really cost you!

          I use a Delta Midi my self. I've been turning for less than a year, and have already "out grown" it so to speak. I've found that bowls are what I really want to make. So, I am limited to the size bowl I can make. I don't have a problem with weight, as I have it on a very heavy shop built cabinet stand. Wieght is an issue with a lathe. The heavier the better is the basic idea. Less vibration.

          So, if you can get the Rigid lathe on sale at a low price, then by all means get it. If you find that turning isn't for you, then you call always sel it for a small loss. If you do get hooked (it is adictive I think) then you can always upgrade to a better lathe.

          [ 09-20-2003, 08:53 AM: Message edited by: K.M. Delano ]
          Support Our Troops!


          • #6
            Over the past 6-8 months whenever a question on the Ridgid Lathe has been asked on this and on the WoodNet forum, the overwhelming majority of responses have been negative towards its purchase, and other single tube designs. Low power and 1MT have been other criticisms.

            Even if it's cheap at $197 and you're just determining if you'd like to do turning, you don't want to be put off by poor/inferior tools.

            For $179 you can get the cast bed, 3/4HP, variable speed, 2MT, Harbor Freight 34706. It's from the same production line as the Grizzly G5979 and Wilke Yorkcraft YC-900WL, both of which have only 1/2HP motors. A clone of the Jet, I think it's an ideal beginning/intermediate tool IMHO.

            The $29 set of 8 HSS Turning Tools from HF (47066) will offer a good start also. They'll sit happily alongside Sorbys without being that much out of place!



            • #7
              Agree with Cutbuff. If you're going on the criteria of a beginner's lathe, it offers the chance of being a better choice than the Ridgid, since, at least it's a more traditional design. You do have to be aware that HF doesn't put the best motors in their tools, but so far haven't heard anyone with specific motor problems on the lathes----beware, however, that they carry a cheaper version, with similar appearance, that uses steal square tube stock instead of cast iron----not a good choice.


              • #8
                What code are you using to get the $179.00 price on the HF Lathe?
                I'm getting $269.99 from there web site.
                Rob Johnson
                Just tilt your head a little and it will look straight!


                • #9
                  Hi Rob,

                  The 34706 is on sale about every 6-8 weeks at $179 from their stores, and published in the flyer that accompanies every sale. If you wish to purchase outside of the sale time just take along a copy of the flyer and the store will honor the sale price.

                  Presently they have out a 10% off everything coupon which expires September 25. You might even be able to apply that to the $179 price!

                  The codes using 34709-3vga only get you down to $239.99 for web/phone purchase.(using the order from printed catalog menu on the left side of screen)For those people unable to make it to a store, since they offer free shipping for orders over $50 this still works out better than Griz or other companies where the shipping charge comes out at about $55.(A coupon for $5 off and free attache case takes care of their usual handling charge! Coupon #780-058-596)


                  [ 09-20-2003, 05:06 PM: Message edited by: Cutbuff ]


                  • #10
                    I just found a WL1200 on clearance for $149, it was the last one, so I bought it quickly as it seemed a very good deal. I came home and looked up this site and found this negative thread.

                    I have not turned before but am interested in it.

                    Here is the question - should I return the lathe? Or stick with it and get some good accessories to go with it?


                    • #11
                      Flojo----all I can add is that for $30 more, the HF is a better design. I also remember reading that at one time, there was a problem with the screws or whatever attached the tailstock to the tube----not what you want on a single tube design. It's been over a year and a half since the HDs by me even carried the lathe----they closed them out. If you want to do some searching, in the past few months, one of the ww'ing mags. did a review of entry level lathes.


                      • #12
                        I would say for $150 bucks you did darn good!

                        If you decide you don't like lathe work, or you will do limited amounts, you aren't out much.

                        If you outgrow it, I would still keep it. If you get into complex turnings where your glueing up as you turn, this takes alot of time. If you want to turn something else during this complex turning, you have a back up lathe to do it on.

                        It won't handle a 12" cube to start with, but it will handle many other things very well. I've never had a problem with stock coming loose or slipping during turning.

                        With it's light weight base, I will add that it's best to semi round your stock with the jointer before starting your turning, to better balance the stock to the centers. But, that's just safe practice anyways, no mater what lathe you use.

                        Photo's of huge cubes, odd shapes, green blocks, and what not shown mounted to a lathe for turning is dramatic. Every turner I've had the pleasure to speak with will always prepare the stock prior to mounting it to the lathe. "Wood Explodes", as I know first hand, and as any experienced turner will tell you.

                        As cabinet makers look at wood grain for movement and asthetics, turners look at it in a different way. Doesn't do any good to get 1/2 way through a project to have it split off the centers and become propelled spears.

                        Ridgid's lathe manual is fully illustrated to teach the beginner the basics of turning, and turning tools. For $150, you won't regret it. You just have to remember, Ridgid's line is explained by them to be "Entry Level", or "Portable", meaning moved to job site to job site. We all know the abuse that is associated with that! We all must not forget that fact.
                        John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a>


                        • #13
                          I'd like to thank everyone who replied and who will reply to this thread. You have succesfully talked me out of what sounds like a big mistake, had I bought the lathe. I think I'll shop around some more or wait for the HF code that gets me a good lathe at $179.

                          Thanks again, Doug


                          • #14
                            Geez, now I can't decide if I will keep it or not, Dave and Woody both make excellent points. It was a great deal and may suit me fine, however I would be unhappy if I had to replace it within a year or so. Maybe I can make a profit for it on Ebay

                            Woody, you seem to be one of the few who have been happy with yours, what kind of turnings to you do on yours, and have you had any trouble with it?

                            Thank you for the help
                            another DAVE (aka Flojo Rojo)


                            • #15
                              I make my own mallots, made some things for my son, and some decrative knobs for my neighbor. Nothing of real serious complex nature.

                              When I purchased the lathe, it was for the intention of turning things when needed. Not as a profession, or dedicated hobby.

                              I have had no problems with it, it has plenty of power for what I need. I generally use 2 speeds. The slowest for roughing, and fastest for sanding.

                              I have plans on making a mobile cabinet base for it to store finishing products.

                              The only thing I have to say is that because of the light weight leg set, it has a large foot print, and the legs are angled outward in all directions. In a small shop, you catch your feet on the legs. But, that makes it quite stable in my opinion. I'm not sure how stable it will be with a smaller foot print cabinet under it. Time will tell when I build it.
                              John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a>