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  • #16
    Marcus,

    I enjoyed reading your post. I use my lathe relatively little compared to most of the other tools in my shop, but in the past 4 months, I've built 2 tables and a dresser with turned legs. Part of my enjoyment of using the lathe has been making a matched set of 4 WITHOUT a duplicator. It's not that I think of a duplicator as cheating, but I think of my work as an art and taking the extra time with the calipers the odd time that it's necessary gives me a small amount of pleasure. I also would rather hand-cut my dove-tails (for a project that matters) rather than use a jig.

    Others out there may like the precision and speed of duplicators and dovetail jigs, some may need speedier production than I do, but in my opinion the extra time spent is worth the satisfaction.

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    • #17
      I was warned off the Ridgid Lathe right here on this forum a year ago. Low power, M1 taper, light weight stand, etc...etc...
      Didn't know about the "high" speed low, low speed is 875 rpm. What is a good,low speed? Guess if it really bugged me I could change the pulley set.
      I'd like to,someday, replace the wooden top of the stand with 3/4" milled steel plate. That should add some weight to the lathe.
      I've also up-graded almost every tool I own. To me,it's part of the fun of woodworking.
      Rob Johnson
      Orange,CA.
      Just tilt your head a little and it will look straight!

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      • #18
        Originally posted by dusthead:
        Marcus,

        I enjoyed reading your post. I use my lathe relatively little compared to most of the other tools in my shop, but in the past 4 months, I've built 2 tables and a dresser with turned legs. Part of my enjoyment of using the lathe has been making a matched set of 4 WITHOUT a duplicator. It's not that I think of a duplicator as cheating, but I think of my work as an art and taking the extra time with the calipers the odd time that it's necessary gives me a small amount of pleasure. I also would rather hand-cut my dove-tails (for a project that matters) rather than use a jig.

        Others out there may like the precision and speed of duplicators and dovetail jigs, some may need speedier production than I do, but in my opinion the extra time spent is worth the satisfaction.
        Thanks [img]smile.gif[/img]

        I am not an avid lathe user either, and that's probably who it's marketed towards. The same could be said for any lathe out there for under a grand.

        Sounds like you did nice work on the legs. It's a good feeling when you can do something without mechanical assistance. I can't imagine how proud I'd be if I whittled a set of legs


        ssg57,
        Whichever lathe you choose I'm sure you'll enjoy it. I just wanted to make sure you knew what I thought of the Ridgid lathe.


        Dave,
        I guess this means we're not friends. Darn Now who's going to tell me that all my tools (that he's only read about) are inferior?

        Marcus

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Backyard Woodworker:
          I'd like to,someday, replace the wooden top of the stand with 3/4" milled steel plate. That should add some weight to the lathe.
          The MDF top? Yeah buddy! You upgrade that and you'll have a serious weight addition

          Marcus

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          • #20
            well now, back to the lathe. MT1 taper for the centers. Nice to be able to take a lathe capable of handling a 37-1/2" long piece of stock, fit pen turning hardware (normally MT1) and make a few pens. Put back in the centers, and turn a nice pedistal for a table. Granted, it's light, but back to proper set up and sharp tools, I have no problems. You dial in the table saw; fence trunion, miter gauge, etc. Same with the lathe. Take the time.

            You have all seen large chunks of green wood of ungodly shapes mounted to lathes in magazines, true enough. Ever see a photo's of one turning? Turners use band saws and jointers to somewhat balance stock before mounting. Just makes perfect sense. Don't be fooled by a sales pitch or propaganda.

            I'll admit all I've done on the Ridgid is spindles and the like. But for the heck of it, I'll glue up a cluster _ _ _ _ of scrap wood and turn a frisbie when I get to take some vacation time.

            As far as adding weight, you have several options. Remove the leg set and mount it to a bench or make one specific for the lathe, which I intend to do. Storage will include finish materials of all sorts. Add a shelf and weight of coarse. Or, remove the adjustable rubber feet, and anchor the darn thing to the floor. Solidly mounted to the floor (spread the legs a touch) and I'll bet you it will be as solid as adding 1/2 a ton.

            It's a $300 lathe. Please don't pick at it like it's more than what it is. For the occasional turning, it's low cost and effective. Put you money in the tools to carve on the wood with. If you going to be turning tons of bowls and large diameters, then investigate other options. It's not ment for that. But if your going to make your own mallots (like I do) small decrotive things, make pedistal tables or stands, it's a low cost investment that gets the job done adiquitly. And like all your other machines, you'll want to fine tune it to suit your own needs. I have not seen one machine that was "perfect" for me out of the box. And I'll bet I never will.

            So if you want to try turning to find out if it's worth a major investment, jump on the sale and give it a whirl. Set it up correctly and glue up some scrap and practice your techniques. Just be prepared to vacuum out your shirt pocket a 6 foot radius around the lathe. They's all on the messy side.
            John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"http://www.woodys-workshop.com\" target=\"_blank\">www.woodys-workshop.com</a>

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            • #21
              Have only used the Rigid once in a store demo and seemed to be fine value for what it is aimed marketwise at.

              I do own the $179 sale priced HF and it's a very good low end machine - all I will ever need for what I do.I have no reason to think the Rigid would be anything less.

              Regardless of what machine you buy I will say that HF has some of the better inexpensive tools for them on market. Widely used and liked.

              Good luck

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              • #22
                If still on the lathe issue, there are plenty out ther that are more capable than teh Ridgid. First, it is not heavy enough to produce a vibration free cut. Second, it lacks the HP of the big boys and has about the same as a Midi lathe. the midi lathes are just as cheap now and some even come with free bed extensions. good deal there. Also, the Ridgid takes #1 MT, which is not the standard. #2 is and is also much easier to find parts for. (centers and things)

                also, every magazine review I've seen had the Ridgid at the bottom of the list, mainly for things that I posted above.

                Those who say that they get a good cut from the Ridgid have never likely spent any time on a better lathe. if they had, I don't think they'd be so gracious when talking about it.

                -edited for spelling

                [ 02-17-2004, 08:58 AM: Message edited by: Mike3206 ]

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Mike3206:
                  If still on the lathe issue, there are plenty out ther that are more capable than teh Ridgid. First, it is not heavy enough to produce a vibration free cut. Second, it lacks the HP of the big boys and has about the same as a Midi lathe. the midi lathes are just as cheap now and some even come with free bed extensions. good deal there. Also, the Ridgid takes #1 MT, which is not the standard. #2 is and is also much easier to find parts for. (centers and things)

                  also, every magazine review I've seen had the Ridgid at the bottom of the list, mainly for things that I posted above.

                  Those who say that they get a good cut from the Ridgid have never likely spent any time on a better lathe. if they had, I don't think they'd be so gracious when talking about it.

                  -edited for spelling
                  I've spent time on other machines. Woodcraft classes let you try out many different models. While that does not qualify me as an expert on each, I feel pretty comfortable in my opinions.

                  Again, yes there are heavier machines out there. But at twice the price, doesn't that seem a little crazy? My money will be spent better elsewhere. I'll take the $300 saved and use it on tools. And, maybe that metal table top Backyard Woodworker mentioned.

                  The power thing. Again, it's not the most powerful out there. So what? It works fine and I'm not going to double the price for 1/4 HP. Do you really think you could tell the difference in 1/4 HP? I doubt it. Someone who is a professional lathe user might, but not a more casual user. So, why double the price?

                  The Midi. It's still a fine lathe, but just as you want to show that the Ridgid doesn't match up against a $600 machine, I can show that the Midi doesn't match up against the Ridgid. There's swing over the bed, lack of stand, and the need for a table extension to name just three.

                  The MT1 vs. MT2. Yup, there are more tools designed for the MT2 than the MT1. I haven't been unable to find what I need yet, but if I ever run into a problem I'm sure I could find an adapter.

                  While I do like magazine articles I always take them with a huge grain of salt. Who knows if there's a little influencing going on there, it's happened in car magazines for years.

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                  • #24
                    I too bought one of these for the $149 clearout. I don't intend to be a master woodturner. I thought this would be good for the occasional woodturning. It sounds like most people who don't recommend this lathe haven't used it but have read the reviews. Those who recommend it take it for what it is, a low end lathe. I have no opinion yet because I have not used it. I am in the transition of getting ready to move. I look forward to using this for some small turning projects.

                    I didn't have much trouble finding MT #1 centers or additional chucks. They are available at amazon and PSI. The money I saved getting this lathe for $149, I was able to purchase some chucks, chisels, and sharpening stones and still keep the package under $350.

                    I agree with the weight issue. It is too light. I have read reviews and articles that recommend any lathe under $1000 should be ballasted with several bags of sand or some other weight to dampen vibration. I am sure this is true for the midi/mini lathes unless they are directly mounted to a concrete floor. I was thinking about mounting this to something more solid foundation or doing the steel plate thing. Steel is expensive these days. $0.50 a pound in large quantities. I don't know what it is in small quantities.

                    Anyway, I will let you know what I think when get to use this machine. It will probably be a few months.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by woodypa:
                      I agree with the weight issue. It is too light. I have read reviews and articles that recommend any lathe under $1000 should be ballasted with several bags of sand or some other weight to dampen vibration. I am sure this is true for the midi/mini lathes unless they are directly mounted to a concrete floor. I was thinking about mounting this to something more solid foundation or doing the steel plate thing. Steel is expensive these days. $0.50 a pound in large quantities. I don't know what it is in small quantities.
                      I've switched from concrete blocks to four 5 Gallon buckets of water (with a lid) for weight. They've definitely improved things, but the plywood shelf they're sitting on is going to need some help now.

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