Turning Archive 2008

Lathe Choice - Continued

>I would like to thank everyone for taking the time to respond to my previous post (February 2, 2008). The information you provided was invaluable. So I have narrowed down the list a bit and I thought I would post again, discuss my reasoning and see if there is anything I am missing, and perhaps seek some feedback. For those of you that missed my previous post, I was looking for feedback on lathes in the $1500 - $2500 range.

To those that suggested that I get the best available, I understand your reasoning, and typically that is my approach. However, I must also be realistic. I have college to fund, and, accessorizing a lathe nicely is an expensive proposition. I took this into account when setting my price range. The Oneway 2000 series, Vicmarc, Robust, etc., are beautiful lathes, But I am not prepared to spend that kind of money.

I also considered the Oneway 1640, street price around $3500 delivered. Weighs in at 600 lbs or so. A nice lathe, but for bowls it is likely that I will be turning on the outboard side (leaning over the ways for long periods of time will likely cause some old back problems to show themsevles) and this required the 24" extension (another $400) and dedicated left handed chucks. Again, more than I want to spend.

So I have narrowed my list down to the Jet 1642 EVS (lots of praise), the Powermatic 3520b (lots of praise) and the Laguna 1847 (relatively unknown).

The Laguna is the cheapest at around $1900 with shipping, the powermatic the most expensive at around $2550 delivered and the jet in the middle at $2300 or so delivered.

The Laguna has 47" between centers, the jet 42", the powermatic claims 34 1/2 but others here have said it is closer to 30".

The powermatic 20" of swing over the bed, laguna 18", the jet 16".

Motors are all 2HP, speed ranges comparable, and in the weight category, the powermatic is the heaviest at around 630lbs vs the laguna at 500 lbs and the jet at 450lbs.

All have #2 morse tapers, and the spindle threads are 1 1/4 x 8 tpi.

Realistically, I think it really should be between two machines, the laguna or the powermatic.

Any comments?



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