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Jake, I love the Ridgid line of tools, recently purching a jointer and thickness planer. These are quality products, well thought out, well priced, and backed by the best guarantee in the buisness. The table saws, drill press, all top notch.
So what happened to the Lathe? It has the appearance and feel of a cheap made-in-Taiwan entry level power tool, for the occasional user.
For my money, I want a heavy duty, heavy weight. Cast iron/steel mounts and solid base, separate motor with belt drive, and the ability to turn bed posts en-mass. Like the wide selection of table saws, maybe Ridgid should consider a heavy duty version of lathe, as well as a benchtop version of the drill press.
I would like to see a swiveling head stock or the ability to turn larger items outside the confines of the bed. A review of all manufacturers accessories that can be incorporated into your product. Also, when you have accessories, the retail outlet needs to support those items.
My first (and so far, only) lathe was a surprise from the wife last Chrstmas. While it has served me well, when I took a turning class at the local Woodcraft store, I realized the improvements I'd like to see in a new lathe from Ridgid.
First, Cast iron- put the "ridgid" into the tool. Add easy-to-adjust variable speed. Swivel head wood permit larger Bowl turning.
BTW- I found a duplicator on sale at my local Sears- fit like it was made for my Ridgid [img]smile.gif[/img]. Also purchased the Ridgid caster set and it makes cleaning around it much better. So far turned legs for a coffee/presentation table and two matching end tables,lots of candle sticks and twenty (or so) turned bases for wine glasses.