Turning Archive 2007

Jet JWL-1220 review -long

tek-Brunswick, Ohio
>Think of the Jet JWL-1220 as a the Jet Mini Lathe on steroids. Most people like the Jet Mini. It is accurate, smooth running, decently built, and cost effective. I always thought that the minis drawback is, its lack of power. The Jet 1220 is a bit heavier. It weighs in at 100 lbs. The Jet mini lathes are around 75 lbs. The 1220 comes with a 3/4 horsepower motor. There is a real increase in power, compared to the 1/2 horsepower motor used on the mini. I don't think the perfect lathe exists. I look at every lathe as a compromise of features and abilities' The 1220 is no exception. First, I am happy with my purchase of this lathe. It runs smooth and steady. The 3/4 horsepower motor does not bog down nearly as easily as a 1/2 horsepower motor. Jet included some handy features on this lathe. There are handles on each end to make it easier to lift and carry. There are a couple of plastic cleats on the back to wind the cord on for moving and storage. A small plastic shelf comes with the lathe. The shelf is attached to the back of the lathe bed near the headstock. It has holes in it to hold the knock out rod, and live and drive centers. They also include two tool rest with the lathe, one 6" and one 10". The lathe also has a built in light on a flexible stem so you can aim it where you need it. There is an indexing pin and 24 position indexing also. The lathe cost $329.00 at the local Woodcraft store. I think that is reasonable for what you get. It has six speeds 500, 840, 1240, 1800, 2630, and 3975. Set by manually moving the belt. It is not difficult to move the belt on the pulleys. There is an access door for the top pulley and one for the bottom pulley. There is a lever to lift and lower the motor to adjust the belt tension and a lever to lock the motor in place. As the name implies, 12" items will turn over the ways and it has 20" maximum between centers. Here is what I miss or would improve on this lathe. I do like variable speed, and would love it on this lathe, Of course that would drive up the price. The lathe does not have reverse, another feature I would like. The belt seems a little under sized for the motor. I haven't had any trouble with it though. It uses the same 5/8 diameter tool post as the Mini. I'd like to see a step up to a 1" diameter post. The built in light has a 40 watt maximum. They suggest using an appliance bulb. I found 40 watt bulbs in two packs, for ceiling fans at the hardware store. The two pack cost the same as one appliance bulb and they have vibration resistant filaments. I would have liked at least a 60 watt capacity on a work lamp. In conclusion I think it is a great lathe for mid sized and smaller projects. I plan on using it as a demo lathe and I use it in the garage or driveway, when the weather is too nice to want to turn in the basement shop.

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