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Lathe Pros and Cons

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  • Lathe Pros and Cons

    I am interested in getting a lathe and at my local HD they have the Ridgid marked down to $197 along with a $30 accessory kit.

    I would like to get some feedback on the Ridgid Lathe! Good, Bad or Otherwise.

  • #2
    i went through the same process almost 2years ago hate to say it on this forum but their are much better designs out there, the single tube design is rather unstable and keep true between centers , its difficult or impossible to get accessories for. the banjo wont lock down tight, its underpowered, for bowls and larger turning, and the low speed is way fast for bowl work, its marginal for spindles due to vibration, if your looking inexpensive go grizz or hf. if you want a nice starter that wont break the bank look at a jet midi or delta they also have good resale or look for a good used lathe they are out there i ended up with a delta 16" for 500.00 and love it


    • #3
      Have to agree. Asked the same question a couple of years ago, when our local HD was closing out the Ridgid lathes for the same price. Have yet to hear of a satisfied owner nor have I seen any positive tool reviews. If price is a limited factor, I'd recommend one of the mini-lathes (Jet's has been on sale for $199) or the Harbor Freight that has the cast iron bed and goes on sale once a quarter for $179. Have heard good reports on this---it's a good learning lathe.


      • #4
        I am absolutely amazed that Dave has something bad to say about a Ridgid tool

        Anyway, the Ridgid lathe does have its shortcomings, but for the money, you get a large lathe with decent power. I'd build my own before I bought a mini.


        • #5
          Marcus---maybe, before you open your yap, you should read other comments I've made. The lathe was never one of Ridgid's better tools----even when they were still made by Emerson.


          • #6
            Bare with me a minute. The Ridgid Lathe is no 7th wonder to the world, but neither is most other lathes. It's a machine, and it requires maintanence and proper set up. It's light stand makes for difficult circumstances. Your comparing a precission tube lathe costing $300 to a 12 to 15 hundred dollar Cast Iron Lathe.

            Now, I'm pretter proud of my Ridgid lathe, and I'm no turner by any means. I make my own mallots, and a few decroative things here and there. The past week I have accepeted a contract with a taxidermist for all his needs. Below you will see the first project in process for him which maxed out the lathe's length with solid oak. I would have to say vibration is a direct factor relating to sharp tools. Dull tools will "bounch" instead of cut, thus your vibration.

            I spent a whole day last year with the lathe, and made it as best as it gets. And by the photo's, I hope you'll agree, it served me well.

            For $200, BUY IT! Also, buy the 2 speed or variable speed grinder by delta, and the norton stone recommended for turner's tools sharpening. Keep the HSS tools sharp, and you'll be a happy turner if you use your wits about turning.

            John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a>


            • #7
              Looks nice, if I'm not being too nosey what do you charge for a peice like that?


              • #8
                Part I don't have made yet is a solid oak 8x10 picture frame that mounts to the center section of the spindle,to the large flat areas at both ends of the beads. Bear skull being mounted to the top, photo of the hunter and the kill at the time of the kill in the frame, will be beside the standing stuffed bear.

                $150 to answer your question.
                John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a>


                • #9
                  Hope you can show us the finished product


                  • #10
                    Woody---don't know who you think was comparing the Ridgid lathe to one for $12-15 hundred dollars----"Your comparing a precission tube lathe costing $300 to a 12 to 15 hundred dollar Cast Iron Lathe."

                    Just for the record, I suggested the HF one at $179. Have been eying it myself and have heard many good reports. FYI


                    • #11
                      I just bought a used Ridgid Lathe from someone on this forum. Have been having a blast with it.
                      Got it with tools and assorted rests. Have not noticed any vibration with it, but then the tools are sharp and I'm not a full time turner.
                      Plan to add a couple shelves to the stand to store tools and supplies.
                      Rob Johnson
                      Just tilt your head a little and it will look straight!


                      • #12
                        I originally had some vibration problems with my Ridgid lathe as well, but after reading 'The Lathe Book" by Ernie Conover, I built a new stand for the lathe with a shelf about 10" above the ground that I set 2 concrete blocks in for weight. That stopped all of my vibration and has also really helped keep my tools sharp longer (an unexpected benefit!) About a month ago I perforated the shelf with 1" holes to allow the shavings to fall to the floor. I opted not to go with a grinder, Norton stone and jig system, and have my tools sharpened by a local shop. They charge me $5 for one tool, or $3 each if I bring in more than 3...for as often as I use the lathe, the sevice does a better job than I can and leaves me the bench-top space for other things (anyone got a mortiser for sale?)


                        • #13
                          as usual post an honest opinion and get trashed fyi vibration has one hell of a lot to do with WEIGHT and thats one shortcomming of the ridgid, Iput 500 lbs of lead shot on a shelf under my delta u wana talk steady with a 15lb green wood blank chuck that in a ridgid!! also the tapers are mt1 not the more standard mt2 even the jet and delta MIDIs(not minis) use mt2 and i notice no one even commented on the WAY FAST low speed. IF you have to spend more time f***ing with something to MAKE-do why bother and we havent even discussed the 3/4x16 spindle and the cluster F you need to do to mount any sort of duplicator or bowl coring set up. Just my humble opinion


                          • #14
                            You really should just leave this forum or buy the tool that you're going to review. Doing it your way (no actual use combined with a deep hatred for all things Ridgid) will always cause friction.

                            First, your post is extremely hard to read. Please use some punctuation or some form of editing software. Not trying to be harsh, but this is a forum for discussion and you have a point to make so why not make it so that it's easily understood [img]smile.gif[/img]

                            Now, an honest opinion is worth what exactly? Dave's posting about something he knows nothing about (as is the norm for him); he doesn't even own a lathe and has only read about it (supposedly). Dave's just here to stir up trouble, he's not here to help as you seem to be.

                            You've put 500 lbs of lead under your lathe? Ok, so what does that have to do with the merits of the Ridgid? Most lathes could use more weight, and the Ridgid is a little lighter than most so it could use more than most. But, it doesn't sound like you'd be too happy with your Delta's weight without the lead so that arguement would be a wash.

                            As to the tapers, you failed to mention why you think the MT1 isn't good enough. Is it because they break? If so please post an actual example. Is it because there are not as many accessories available? If so, I haven't noticed that.

                            I did call it a Mini, I guess that's what I consider it unless you spend the extra dough and expand the bed. Even if you do, you still are limited to 10" with the Midi. And then you also must build or find something to stand the Midi on unless you enjoy sitting on the floor. What was that you said about "f***ing with something to MAKE-do"? Doesn't having to make a stand or else eating up valuable benchspace count for anything? I guess that's another plus for the Ridgid.

                            The slow speed is too fast for certain projects. Oh well. I guess that's a limiting factor in those situations.

                            If I ever have to duplicate something I guess I'll just have to resort to being an actual woodworker. Darn.

                            You seem much better informed on the product than Dave and I give you credit since it's due. I think the Ridgid Lathe is great for what you get, and I know that it has a few shortcomings. But, for what you get it's a great value IMHO.



                            • #15
                              Marcus----I take the opinions and advise of people I respect, not blowhards who don't allow someone to post a contrary opinion. You see, I had asked the exact same question a couple of years ago, on Woodnet and got honest answers from people I respect. People who know something about lathes and were helping out someone asking about them. This forum has done very well of late without your attitude.