Turning Archive 2005

LARGE Work and BIG Lathes (Long)

JL work
>The recent discussion about a large bowl lathe got me to thinking about large bowls/platters and other large work. I have been taking a class with Nick Cook in Marietta, and he has a few (five or more) lathes in his shop. Two old Deltas, two Powermatics and a long General. I can see the need for an 8' bed when you are doing architectural work - i.e. columns for mantels, newel posts for stairs, columns for bedposts, etc. When you are spinning those, you need a lot of horsepower and a big lathe (long at least).

My questions are: What is the largest practical size for a bowl or platter? What size lathe (hp) do you need for it? How often do you sell such a piece?

I have seen a large bowl or two (large enough to contain a child) and picked it up. I don't know how much it would cost (except not cheap) or where you would put it once you bought it.

The main reason I am asking, is I see another lathe in my future. I like doing the occasional bowl or platter (10-14" max currently) and I turn chair parts and table legs (up to 30" now). I want a larger, heavier lathe with more hp to do these things.
I am currently looking at the Jet 1642 EVS. Is there enough a market out there to justify the costs of buying (or building) a larger lathe?

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