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Oct 19, 2020 - 7:18:21 AM
1499 posts since 4/13/2017

I'm looking to buy a lathe for less than $1000. Actually, as low as I can go under $1000 that I can still get a quality tool.

This lathe needs to be big enough to turn banjo rims (11" rims).

Here's one I found. Is it a good one? If not, what should I get?

amazon.com/dp/B00309ZZRQ?tag=h...h=1&psc=1

Oct 19, 2020 - 8:08:19 AM
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RB3

USA

821 posts since 4/12/2004

If I were you, I would buy a used metal lathe rather that a wood lathe.

Oct 19, 2020 - 8:23:11 AM

785 posts since 11/27/2005

Yes. Get an old South Bend lathe or something like that.

Oct 19, 2020 - 8:26:40 AM

tlong

USA

165 posts since 2/5/2009

Used metal lathe is the way to go. Not less than 15 or 16 inch is best. a cone drive ,belt drive is fine for what you want to do.Four jaw chuck.

Oct 19, 2020 - 12:17:46 PM

907 posts since 2/21/2011

I agree with RB3 and tlong as a metal lathe is generally much more precision than a wood lathe. Personally, I prefer using a router mounted on the underside of a piece of plywood for anything but turning a tone ring. Any work done on a wood rim for fitting a tone ring or a flange is better, and easier, done with a router, IMHO.
Now I'm waiting to get beat up on this one BUT, I think I can defend my position.

Oct 19, 2020 - 1:15:13 PM

1499 posts since 4/13/2017

quote:
Originally posted by 1xsculler

I agree with RB3 and tlong as a metal lathe is generally much more precision than a wood lathe. Personally, I prefer using a router mounted on the underside of a piece of plywood for anything but turning a tone ring. Any work done on a wood rim for fitting a tone ring or a flange is better, and easier, done with a router, IMHO.
Now I'm waiting to get beat up on this one BUT, I think I can defend my position.


I'm not gonna beat you up, because I do the same thing currently. I find it extremely difficult, though, and VERY time consuming. That's why I want to buy a lathe.

Oct 19, 2020 - 1:30:41 PM

mbanza

USA

2261 posts since 9/16/2007

Unless you get really lucky, your 1000$ will need to be closer to 3000$ for a used metal lathe with enough throw and it still may need some repair before you can use it. Add in the cost of tooling, a phase converter, plus other needs and 4K$ may not be enough.

Better quality wood lathes also exceed your budget, though again you may get lucky.

If you want it now, and to work within your stated budget, you can get new wood lathes with plenty of throw (For example https://www.grizzly.com/products/Grizzly-14-x-20-Variable-Speed-Benchtop-Wood-Lathe/G0844 ) and have a few bucks left for accessories and tooling, otherwise you need to keep saving.

Edited by - mbanza on 10/19/2020 13:36:39

Oct 19, 2020 - 4:22 PM

Brett

USA

2396 posts since 11/29/2005

Hunter, you should read the PM I sent you regarding used lathes and prices.

Oct 19, 2020 - 4:54:02 PM

907 posts since 2/21/2011

I have used metal lathes all the way up to a 36” swing at our local Voc-Tech school. I used a smaller one in 1967 when I turned my tone ring.

Oct 19, 2020 - 4:56:14 PM

1499 posts since 4/13/2017

quote:
Originally posted by Brett

Hunter, you should read the PM I sent you regarding used lathes and prices.


I just checked my email, and I cannot find any messages from you. I even checked the spam folder, AND the trash folder, thinking i may have accidentally deleted it. Perhaps it just didn't send properly?

Oct 19, 2020 - 5:58:37 PM
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rmcdow

USA

862 posts since 11/8/2014
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I have access to both a metal lathe and a wood lathe, and have thought a bit about mounting an xy cross slide on the wood lathe, as that is one of the primary differences between the two, if the wood lathe is not a spindle lathe. It wouldn't take an extraordinary amount of tool making and modification to do this, and that would allow the type of precision you can get in a metal lathe to be accomplished in a wood lathe. I'd like to hear thoughts about this from this thread, as I will likely do this sometime this winter, and it would be nice to get it right the first time. If there are other reasons anyone has for preferring a metal lathe over a wood lathe other than the cross slide and tool holder, I'd like to hear that also.

I find that the chucks used for wood lathes, at least the kind I am using on the lathe I have access to, are much more suited to holding wood than the chucks used on metal lathes.  Metal lathes typically have single point contact for three and four jaw chucks.  The wood lathe chucks I have use four (more for larger, ie 12" chucks) jaws that have a curvature on the jaw that fits within a range that that particular chuck is designed for.  The larger chucks I use have adjustable jaws, with four sides, two concave and two convex, for the outside or the inside, of two different radiuses.  I find that these chucks work much better on wood, and don't crush the wood like a single point jaw does.  

Edited by - rmcdow on 10/19/2020 18:04:16

Oct 19, 2020 - 8:21:21 PM

12277 posts since 4/15/2012

If you go with a wood lathe, you'll find that a good one with a large enough swing for a banjo head will be very expensive and take up a lot of room in your shop. On the other hand, either a bowl lathe or a spindle lathe with a reversible head should be able to handle a banjo head if you don't mind standing on the other side of the lathe wile turning. I turn outboard using a drilled-out faceplate with a reverse thread to replace the handwheel, and have had no problems with it; you just need to mount the tool rest to use it ( I use a roller stand with a standard rest mounted to it in place of the roller ).

You might also consider the bowl lathe sold by Record, if you don't intend to do any spindle turning.

Edited by - Meles_Meles on 10/19/2020 20:24:28

Oct 19, 2020 - 9:11:06 PM

389 posts since 5/29/2015

Does anyone know if the Nova Comet 14 lathe would work for Hunter? Around $600. I have no experience with it. Features variable speed and a 14 inch swing for $600. Again, I have no experience with it.

Oct 20, 2020 - 5:05:29 AM

Brett

USA

2396 posts since 11/29/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Lemon Banjos
quote:
Originally posted by Brett

Hunter, you should read the PM I sent you regarding used lathes and prices.


I just checked my email, and I cannot find any messages from you. I even checked the spam folder, AND the trash folder, thinking i may have accidentally deleted it. Perhaps it just didn't send properly?


Hunter, don’t know what happened to the PM I sent you.  But I did send one.  Might merit checking into if you plan on running business.  first time I’ve not had one go through, to my knowledge. 

But, my PM said same thing I’ve said on here prior.  Because I take into context you’re young and money isn’t plentiful.  I’m not talking down to you, only thinking of my son, and how I’d advise him, as he’s about in your same stage of life.  

 I see lathes, planers, etc well under $500 around here.  Like $200 and up.  There are bargains for the taking on craigslist pertaining to old men’s hobbies when they’re gone.  A detached garage full of planer, bandsaw, joiner, wood and dust is something many folks inherit and want gone at bargain prices.  I’d recommend you save for used, if you’re only considering new so you can do payments.  You can buy heavy older quality Made wood working power tools cheap on craigslist.

Oct 20, 2020 - 5:36:26 AM

Brett

USA

2396 posts since 11/29/2005

I want to eat crow. In another thread pertaining to bandsaw, I mentioned you could get by with a cheap portable bandsaw. I had one that was from Northern tools many decades ago that was great handy bandsaw for cheap. So, that’s how I advised, because I quit working on instruments at all for over 20 years.

So, my suggestion to you led to my buying a new cheap bandsaw like that, because I just wanted to leave n upper garage shelf most of the time. Let’s pretend it’s brand name is Wendy. Impossible to track straight, got me into trouble fast. Junk. So, I eat crow and admit how wrong I was in “the little cheap portable bandsaws are ok”".

Oct 20, 2020 - 6:59:29 AM
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mbanza

USA

2261 posts since 9/16/2007

rmcdow

Your idea will work fine. I have been using an old Sprunger wood lathe for decades. I installed riser blocks to raise the spindle so the throw is now 16 inches over the gap. I opted for simply mounting an XY table on which to place a shop made from junk tool/boring bar holder. I changed out the drive sheaves to allow slower drive speeds for use with large diameters. A four jaw scroll chuck and expanded jaws pretty much completes it. Rigidity is the main difference between lathes like mine and the better wood lathes, or metal lathes.


Oct 20, 2020 - 10:31:51 AM

1589 posts since 10/12/2011

Hunter, I feel your pain. I've been trying to find a metal lathe that I could use but they are way more than I can afford. I've made a set up like Verne's with a scroll chuck with extensions jaws, on my shopsmith. I was able to find a x&y slide, that i rigged to the shopsmith rails. Its ideal for me but it works.


Oct 20, 2020 - 12:25:34 PM

Helix

USA

13072 posts since 8/30/2006

As I recall a friend of mine made you an offer of a shop smith

Did you ever follow up

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