Turning Archive 2004

Jet 1236 Users Unite !!!

Brad Vietje
>OK, Folks, I've officially had it. I must admit, I own a 1236, and have learned a lot with this machine. A lot about turning, and also that I would NEVER buy one again ! I've been careful not to hurt the feelings of all the hundreds of happy 1236 users out there, but I've crossed over to the dark side -- I really don't care if you're offended or not.

While I completely understand the notion of keeping the retail price at or below $ 500.00, which puts the lathe within reach of many turners, there are so many short cuts that have been taken to keep the price down, that the end result is a mere shadow of what the 1236 could be.

I won't rant on forever here, but I'm suggesting that the only way to get the attention of the Jet folks is for the turning community to band together and demand something better. There are many, many improvements that could be made to the 1236 that would make it a fine mid-sized lathe. I suspect the retail cost would be closer to $ 750.00 - $ 800.00 if thse improvements were made, however.

I'd like to see an on-line committee or even a 1236 users group formed that would first document the good and bad points of the 1236 based on actual turning experience, not sales gimmicks, and then come up with suggested improvements. Then if a manufacturing engineer type(or types) could make estimates of the costs involved, we could take this information to Jet, and see what they're willing to do.

Perhaps they could offer a 1236 premier, with some of the problems worked out, and still keep a low-priced entry level lathe for the unsuspecting. I'm guessing their answer would be to look at the 1442 or 1642, and admittedly, I have not turned on these. I'd like to hear from the happy and frustrated 1236 users out there, and see if there is enough political will to approach the company and ask for a better 12" lathe that still costs 1/2 what you'd spend on a Oneway 1224. Basically, my interest is to help create a better lathe for the future -- I'm certain to upgrade to a better lathe as soon as $$$ allows, and I sincerely doubt it will be a Jet (though ironically, I've liked the Powermatics I've turned on).

Safe Spinning,

Brad Vietje
Thetford, VT

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