Which Lathe

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Thread: Which Lathe

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Which Lathe

    Hi all, I am stuck I do not know which lathe I should buy, what with so many out there I am stuck. I have my eye on a Trade AT150PPL Precision Pro Lathe which is for pen turning and other small bowls, or an Axminster Craft AC305WL Woodturning Lathe, or Axminster Craft AC355WL Woodturning Lathe. Which one do you think, I keep getting drawn to the Trade lathe, at end of the day all I really want to do is try and make some pens.


     
     
  2. #2
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    Buy the biggest lathe you can afford. You can turn small stuff on a big lathe. Make sure it is variable speed with reverse.
    Stop trying to make everyone happy, you're not beer.

     
     
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  4. #3
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    Joseph
    I've been trying to contact you for several days via 'phone, text and message, can you give me a ring or text my mob with best time to ring you
    Bob
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  5. #4
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    I'd consider very carefully before you buy the precision pro Joseph. A solid little lathe from what I can see and great for pens but it's almost certain that once you get the bug you're likely to try turning other items.

    Biggest drawback is lack of compatibility with other accessories especially chucks drive centres and pan mandrels with a morse taper as there isn't as far as I know a headstock taper just a collet chuck also the headstock thread isn't a common size.
    Walter did a review of the precision pro a few years ago for a magazine and I can't remember if he posted on here as well, maybe do a search on the forum.

    I have a little Jet lathe which I hung on to and still use alongside my bigger Axminster machine so you can come and see what they are like.
    Bob

    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better. (Samuel Beckett)

     
     
  6. #5
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    I agree with Bob - particularly about the fact that in time you will inevitably feel you want to turn other things in addition to pens. By all accounts the Precision Pro is a great little lathe, but it's going to severely limit you in the future if you want to diversify.

    Someone was asking a similar question a short while ago - this is more or less what I said to him:

    Turning can be a pretty deep rabbit hole, so you need to make sure you're buying the right things for the right reasons. The best lathe is going to be dependent on what you see yourself needing from it, therefore what suits one person may not necessarily suit another. To help decide on a lathe, I would say though that you ought to set yourself a brief of things that it simply must have, which for me would have to include electronic variable speed control, and hollow quills in the tail and head stock. The best advice I can give you though would be to see if there is a local woodturning club that you can pop along to. The members there will be able to help you make sense of all the different aspects of a lathe, so you can more easily work out what features you'd like it to have, and which ones are just gimmicks.
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    My advice is to get a lathe with at least a 12” swing. Variable speed is incredibly useful and makes things very much easier.

    I bought the biggest lathe I could afford for my first lathe and it spent much of its life in bits as I didn’t have the space to have it permanently set up. I sold it and replaced it with a much more compact Axminster AT1416VS which works well for me. It’s on wheels so easily moved out the way when needed.

     
     
  9. #7
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    First the budget,2nd the comparisons and so here you are. Have va friend or more on your side by joining a Wood Group,free advice and an oportunity to use various lathes.Take note of Bob,s efforts to help great offer IMHO.

    Peter.
    Nil Desperandum

     
     
  10. #8
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    I would advise against the pro machine for the reasons given above. Try looking for one that has the 33m thread as that seems to be the normal size that is about meaning lots of accessories can be brought as and when you need them.
    "The only people who never fail are those that never try"


    DL Woodart

     
     
  11. #9
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    Hi all, thank you for all your input, it has made it more easy to cut my choices down. I am now looking at a Axminster Craft AC355WL Lathe. What do you think of the choice, is a good lathe and will I be able to buy extra items for it.


     
     
  12. #10
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    I've looked closely at one of those last time I was in the shop Joe and was quite impressed though haven't seen it in use. It feels solid and heavy, got morse2 tapers and m33 thread so all the usual accessories will fit. It's not a cheap lathe even with the discount currently offered and has plenty of competition from other brands in that price range so make sure you do your homework.

    If buying from the N/S shop you can often talk them into chucking in a couple of extras, maybe a pen mandrel?
    Bob

    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better. (Samuel Beckett)

     
     

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