Turning Archive 2006

Time to upgrade?

Edward in Vancouver
>Been lurking here and on the handtools site for a while, but I guess it's time to come out and say Hi.

Anyways after my last turning project which was a "cannister" of about 4"diameter and about 10"tall, made of laminated teak, I "assesed" my handiwork and my lathe, and being the first to blame my tools figured it's time for a decent lathe... Current lathe is one I bought almost 30 yrs ago with money earned as a dishwasher, a Craftsman 12" with tubular steel bed. It's the bed that bugs me, have to customize accesories (spindle steady, extra tool rest, sanding platform) for it, and they don't work very well. Neither does the tool rest base either, for no matter how much I tune and file, fiddle and fit, I still can't get a rock-solid base which means the tool rest moves slightly all the time. Ironically enough I've seen "new and improved" versions of this lathe (CDN Tire, Rigid) which are virtual carbon copies, but with cast iron tool rest bases. Once bitten, twice shy I guess.

I've scouted around and looked at some new models: Nova, and other brands, but am still struggling to accept the $3,000 + price tag. I've also seen some ones made in Tiawan going for around $600, and while they look good,i.e, rotating headstock, variable motor drive, cast iron construction; I am reluctant to consider because I have no feedback on the quality.

Any suggestions where to start out on a quest for a good lathe, or is a $3,000 price justified?

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