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  • WOOD LATHE

    I'm a Dewalt man, BUT, since they dont make a wood lathe I'm looking for input on all the pro and con of RIDGID'S lathe -------HELP------

  • #2
    in a word, the pro would be price. American Woodworker just did a review of lathes in their Jan 2003 issue. Here's what they had to say:

    "Lathe too fast for bowl turning. Hollow tube style bed, tailstock, and tool rest are subpar. Akward tailstock Small (MT #1) spindle bore. (standard is usually MT #2)6" faceplate."

    In addition, they say that the motor is fairly small (1/2 hp), and it is too light for a full size lathe.

    While I own a Ridgid table saw, band saw, and a recently aquired jointer, I would stay away from the lathe. If you want a decent full size lathe, you'll ned to go at least $400 or more. (Their best buy was a Jet at $750, but we all can't afford that.) If you only plan on doing things like table legs, a mini-lathe with extension may be the way to go. (I have a Delta Midi-Lathe that I picked up for $300 with a free bed extension. [can turn 37" spindles]) Whatever you do, just make sure you have a stable base and add lots of weight to get a clean cut.

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    • #3
      I have to agree with Mike.
      I own the Ridgid lathe but I do little turning at this point in time. It's a light duty model and I usually semi-round the stock first on the band saw or jointer before mounting it to the lathe.
      If you are going to turn large bowls as the article Mike talked about (12") you would be pushing the limits of the Ridgid and the safety aspect of things.
      I've made a few tool handles and some mallot heads and a good sized lamp on it. It's light so you get ALOT of vibration.
      John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"http://www.woodys-workshop.com\" target=\"_blank\">www.woodys-workshop.com</a>

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      • #4
        It has served its purpose so far for me (pens, bowls up to 8-10" in diameter, and some legs for a desk), but I have to agree, if you are going to do any serious turning, I would hold out for something bigger. Can't make recommendation, since this is the only one I have owned.

        On the bright side, the Ridgid table saw, jointer, planer, band saw, sander, miter saw and drill press have been great.

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        • #5
          I'm still looking at lathes, but based on recommendations of others, passed on the Rigid, even though HD had it marked down to $200. Have an Emerson-made table saw, and am planning on getting the OSS---they also have a great jointer/planner---the lathe, IMO, is just not up to par.

          I would say much depends on what you want to do---but I've learned that serious bowl turning or very large spindle (column?) turning requires a different breed of lathe than your typical entry level model. But, if you want to do small bowls (salad or candy dish size), the entry level models are adequate. Agree with Am. WW'rs review of the Jet---also think the new Delta (about the same price) is worth looking at. However, if space is a problem, like my shop, the mini/midi's are worth a look.
          Dave

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          • #6
            I want to thank you guys for the input, like i said i am a dewalt man, so it's not the price, but i'm looking for quality, and i want to do heavy sculpting, pool table legs,(4 X 4 or greater, and i needed other input. i want a solid, sound, no vibrate lathe so in your opinion where is there a comparison i can red about?

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            • #7
              If your budget can hack a mid $600s pricetag, Delta's new 46-715 Iron Bed looks to be done pretty right. The banjo lock is a little tweaky, like on pretty much all low cost lathes. Capacity is 14x42 over the bed.

              Dave

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              • #8
                If your talking about 4x4 solid hardwood, as Dave A. suggested, the new Delta could be a starting point. I personally have found great advice at our local Woodcraft store--they also have a variety of lathes---if you have one near you, it's worth a trip.
                Dave

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                • #9
                  I would agree to try the new Delta. They put a huge cast iron bed on it. According to the woodcraft catalog, the Delta model comes shipped at 400 lbs, while the jet is somewhere around 200+. The extra weight makes a big difference in cut smoothness. BTW, if checking out lathes at woodcraft, they may try to get you into a Nova. Personally, I would stick with the two models mentioned in the post.

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                  • #10
                    Mike, 400 pounds is likely an error.

                    The Delta 46-715 iron bed weighs 300 pounds and ships in cardboard. What you cite sounds like the ship weight for a 46-745 steel bed, which weighs 354 pounds and ships in a wood and OSB crate.

                    Still, a much heavier machine than the JWL1236 at 183.

                    Dave

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