Turning Archive 2005

Lathe Advice Needed

Michael Wangler in Rochester, NY
I am from the land of flat stock. I have a spot in the shop which I have allocated for the lathe I will buy someday...

I received a call from a friend's wife. This friend is also from the land of flat stock. She wants to buy him a lathe for his upcoming 40th birthday. She is asking for my advice. I am not sure I can give her proper advice without input.

The needs are probably pretty basic. I suspect something like the Jet 1236 or Grizzly 14 x 40 lathe would fit his initial needs. However I don't want to under equip him. His flat stock equipment is currently considered 'upgradeable' (6" jointer, contractor table saw, shop vac...) He would like to upgrade all of these tools some day. I would not want his initial turning tool to fall into this catagory after a year.

I understand that the lathe tools and accessories really make the lathe package complete. Would it be better to buy some really good turning tools and purchase a 'cheaper' lathe or buy a good lathe and a few tools?

The other limitation is the money. I suspect $500 may be the limit.

Any suggestion you could provide would be most appreciated.
Thanks much,

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