January 24, 2018 at 12:19 pm #10568
I’ve been turning for a year now and only recently discovered this wonderful site, its time to move on, equipment wise.
I’m currently using a draper wtl90 which is getting on in years, so my debate is do I get it serviced and keep on trucking or do I change it. I don’t necessarily need length between centres as I don’t do spindle work (I plan to keep the draper anyway). my wish list is electronic variable speed and cast iron bed (I’m put off by bars for some reason). I was considering a record dml320 but any suggestions would be gratefully received!
January 24, 2018 at 2:10 pm #10571
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This is a good and timely question because I’m in exactly the same boat, having also been turning for a year, and I’m not sure where to go either. My lathe is a donated Rexon WL-12a which is quickly becoming (so says my father-in-law) “time-expired” so I need to know where to go next.
I do a little bit of spindle work, but not long pieces, and most of my work is bowls and boxes using a RP SC4 chuck. I’d also like a variable speed – single phase – lathe with the ability to do larger bowls over the back. I’m told that the Myford ML8 and Union Graduate lathes are good choices, but I really don’t know about the alternatives.
January 24, 2018 at 8:31 pm #10575
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This is such a tricky question to answer because personal needs and preferences play such an important part in your decision. As a general rule I’d suggest that you do your best to upgrade to a more robust lathe than the Draper. The modern trend towards the Record/Jet/Axminster lathes with short beds and robust, cast iron construction is an excellent way to go, as long as the capacity suits you. many of these smaller lathes are capable of accepting bed extensions, so they need not limit you on length.
The Myford ML8 was used extensively, especially in schools, but is avoided by many these days because it does not have much capacity over the bed, for bowls etc, whereas the Union machines are bigger, more robust workhorses, but just be sure if you’re buying an older machine, that its condition suits you. Spares are fairly readily available, but not cheap.
January 25, 2018 at 10:27 am #10580
Thanks, I have been leaning towards a number of lathes, a record dml320, a coronet herald or an axminster AT1416VS.
The dml320 looks compact yet sturdy, I like the cast iron bed, record is a trusted maker, although the headstock doesn’t swivel (ill still have draper for that) and I don’t like the motor below the bed for dust and shavings to gather up on it.
The Axminster is pretty much the same.
the coronet herald looks like it would do everything I need
All different machines I know and seem to do similar yet different things. its just incredibly difficult for novice turners, there is so much choice out there and I personally don’t have enough knowledge.
January 29, 2018 at 7:34 am #10602
The question of which lathe is down to what you are looking to do with it, space and budget on my opinion.
You can pick up some great value second hand lathes, most woodturners are hobbyist, so they buy a nice new lathe and turn very little no more than a few hours a week during the colder darker months.
Then you start to look at the mini, midi and full size lathes so this the space factor.
I would look to get at electronic variable speed, this saves having to stop the lathe and change the belt to another pulley. Rotating head stock this makes bowl turning and hollow forming easier as you don’t need to lean over the bed. Also you have options should you want to try your hand at something larger as you progress in wood turning.
For new lathes Record Power seem to have a good name. The Axminster range offers their hobby series, theses are the same as many other makes just different colours they come from the same factory. So people like Charnwood, Draper, Clarke, Sealey and many more. You will be looking to pay from about 250.00 for a mini lathe up to 600.00 for a full size lathe.
The Axminster trade series lathe are a different machine altogether, these are design to be used. I have had AT1628VS from day one it’s a little over 4 years old now and is still used most days. My guess is that it’s seen over 7000 hours of use since I purchased it. I now have two of these in the workshop (as I teach up to two people at a time). These machines today will set you back 2k with leg stand. But again the mini and midi lathes are cheaper. I think these start around 500.00.
The Axminster trade series are on par with makers like Killinger, Stratos (from Simon Hope) and a few others but here you are now getting in to the 2k plus woodturning lathes.
If you would like to come up with a budget, size and what your aiming to turn I’ll try and give you some links at things to look at.
All the best
January 29, 2018 at 9:36 am #10606
I’m going to have to purchase a new lathe sooner than I thought. the pulleys exploded on my draper lathe yesterday.
I like the functions of the draper, I want to have electronic variable speed now and still keep a rotating headstock because I’m a leftie.
size isn’t an issue although I bench mount my lathe. I could possibly squeeze one on a stand in somewhere.
budget wise £1,000
and I’m really enjoying turning bowls at the minute, was turning a beautiful ash blank I got from you when my pulley went (not the blanks fault! I tweeted you a pic of the blank mounted on the lathe, its a corker)
would love an AT1628VS however its beyond my budget unless there is somewhere for second hand lathes, limited market in NI
thanks as always
January 30, 2018 at 8:04 am #10619
I’ve had a look on ebay for you but there’s nothing much second hand at the moment.
Looking at the other lathes on the market, with your budget and for what you want to turn the Record CL4 would work for you. They do this without stand or on offer with a stand the link is without stand I think.
Hope this helps
All the best
January 30, 2018 at 3:52 pm #10624
what’s your opinion on the steel bars on the CL4, I prefer cast iron bed for some reason and was looking at the coronet herald, have you any views on it thanks?
January 31, 2018 at 7:39 am #10626
I’m a fan of the flat bed and have never used a round bar lathe. But many do.
Looking at the Coronet it looks every bit as good. you would be able to turn larger bowl blanks over the bed, but the length of spindle is a bit less.
I don’t know anything about them in use, I don’t know anyone who owns one but it’s back by the Record warranty so why not.
January 31, 2018 at 1:02 pm #10632
im off to look at a nearly new AT1416S this evening
I will see how it looks.
youre very good with your replies, it really is appreciated!
February 1, 2018 at 8:34 pm #10645
Hope you get on ok that a good lathe but the head stock does not rota. Not the end of the world
February 2, 2018 at 11:43 am #10651
thankyou, I bought it with a chuck, 4 sets of jaws, a drill chuck and a pen mandrel so im back on the turn again!
I finished the ash blank I bought from you, it turned out beautifully, fantastic grain in it, thankyou for all your advices. speak to you soon when I need a few things!
October 19, 2019 at 5:42 am #16067
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I misunderstood the original question.
If I could change one thing besides 9/11/01, I would have not partied so much within the last year. That put a BIG toll on my grades. Ohter than that, this year went by smooth.
February 17, 2020 at 7:52 am #17388
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