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thumb trimmer
22nd Jun 2010, 12:22 AM
To my fellow turned fomalites,

Which would you buy on limited resources?
1/ HAFCO WL-18 (essentially a MC900),
2/ Carbatec MC900, or
3/ HAFCO WL-20 (essentially a MC1100, given it's only a smidgen more than the Carbatec MC900).

I've currently got a cheap chinese lathe (aka Rhino), and I'm finding there's too much movement in the headstock and rails (two lengths of SHS's); in addition to the fact that I'm interested in being able to rotate or slide the headstock into an more suitable position for bowl turning.

PS - I already have tools, sharpening 'stuff', and a bunch of other turning paraphenalia(?).

regards
TT

thumb trimmer
22nd Jun 2010, 12:23 AM
... also noting the sales on at Carbatec and H&F ... both suppliers have 10% off the items mentioned in the previous post.

regards
TT

issatree
22nd Jun 2010, 07:41 AM
Hi Thumb Trimmer,
My thoughts would be, to skip to a bit better Lathe, such as the WL46. It has Variable Speed. You can slip the Headstock along to the end to do large work. Just turn the Knob for the right speed, & has a speed read out, to boot. $ 1450, not bad for an EVS.

The WL20 leaves a little to be desired, & you will more than likely out grow it, so you may as well cut to the go. Just my thoughts.
Regards,
issatree.
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artme
22nd Jun 2010, 07:45 AM
:aro-u: Wot 'e sed.

TTIT
22nd Jun 2010, 09:23 AM
If you're stepping up from a rattling Rhino, any of the 3 you mention would be a good move as long as you get one off the showroom floor that you can check for finish, alignment etc instead of an unknown quantity out of the box as there's no consistency of quality in the buggers. The WL-20 (MC1100) is the more versatile of course.

Everyone will advise you to go to a better lathe and I'm sure you would if you could but if your finances are limited, there is nothing wrong what you're looking at :shrug: - you'll still be able to produce just about anything you want on it :B

Ozkaban
22nd Jun 2010, 04:11 PM
They're a reasonable lathe and I used one for a fair while that was second hand when I bought it. There are alignment issues with them and the Reeves pulley system needs maintenance but they'll usually do what you want if you're not too demanding. I found there were some inaccuracies that turned up when making pens, but above that size you're pretty much ok.

For all of the talk about needing better lathes (which I am guilty of too :B ), the "Show us your shed" thread has an awful lot of pictures in it of members with this MC-series of lathe in it...

Earlier this year I sold mine and bought a second hand Vicmarc. I'm a lot more impressed with the quality, but it did cost about 4 times what one of the MC- series cost new... but if you are patient and prepared to hunt for a while, a good, solid second hand lathe might not be too far different from what you're looking at. Second hand quality will always beat new chinese MC- series lathe in my opinion.

Cheers,
Dave

bowl-basher
22nd Jun 2010, 07:06 PM
Check out the Cougar lathe at Trend timbers..... for not a lot more this has EVS, cast iron bed and legs, head stock rotates and has a pin locating device
I am very happy with mine
Bowl-basher

orificiam
22nd Jun 2010, 09:38 PM
I've Got a Hafco WL-18 that I've used for 8 1/2 years now, and apart for a new belt I've had no problems.
Cheers Tony.:)

hughie
22nd Jun 2010, 10:04 PM
I owned and used for several years a MC1100 and it served me well, although I made some substantial mods to it, including EVS.

While its great to have a U-beaut make and model it wont make necessarily make you a U-beaut turner. Any of the three you mentioned will do you just fine.In fact by going this route you may have more to spend on tools and accessories which will stand you in good stead well in to the future.

I agree with Vern the MC1100 is perhaps the most versatile and therefore has got a few more legs into the future before you need to upgrade again and most if all its in your budget.

colhu
22nd Jun 2010, 10:36 PM
Hi TT

I would echo a lot of what has been said above. I had a Hafco WL-18 for 7 years or so, up until earlier this year, when I picked up a second hand Technatool 3000 at a good price. Not because I needed to, but because I could - the WL-18 was still better than I was.

A couple of comments, though - I chose the WL-18 over the Carba-tec at the time because it came with a 1 HP motor instead of 3/4 HP, but sometimes the 1 horse was more like a pony - it was reasonably easy to stall, especially at higher speeds. I had to service the Reeves pulley system a couple of times, and I ended up running the lathe with the belt cover removed to reduce the amount of dust that got trapped inside it.

On the other hand, the Carba-tec had (has?) an M30 x 3.5 headstock thread, against the Hafco's 1 inch x 10tpi. The M30 seems to be more standard these days.

One of the recurring problems with the WL-18 / MC-900 / WL-20 is that the lowest speed (about 500 rpm) is too fast for bigger blanks that are a bit out of balance - with workpieces like that it can be interesting until you get them reasonably round. It also tends to be a bit fast for bigger Forstner bits.

On the plus side, being able to change speeds while the job is spinning, instead of having to stop and fiddle with belts, is very convenient.

I was lucky when I bought my gear - without really knowing what I was getting, I managed to buy an excellent Vicmark VL100 scroll chuck. I also bought some good quality tools - P&N, Henry Taylor, Hycut - and a set of shark jaws for the chuck - they are brilliant and I have never taken them off. So I had a cheap lathe with a good chuck and good tools. That formula worked out well for me most of the time.

I might have also been lucky to get a lathe where the head and tailstocks lined up pretty well straight out of the box. I like the suggestion one of the forumites made above - buy one you can see set up to check alignment etc.

On balance I would say that for the normal run of spindle work and bowls etc up to 250 - 300 mm diameter, a WL-18 / MC-900 / MC 1100 with a good scroll chuck will last you quite a while. As usual, if you spend more you will get more, but whether you think the extra capability or accuracy or motor power or weight is worth the extra money - only you can decide.

I hope I have added to the knowledge on this question rather than confused.

Enjoy whatever you end up with.

cheers, Colin

thumb trimmer
22nd Jun 2010, 10:47 PM
Thanks to all the comments to date ... any more that are still coming are still more than welcome.

I think that I will go with the HAFCO WL-20 (MC1100). :think: I've just got to get down to the store to check the floor model (as a couple of you have said).

If I do go with the MC1100 ... what mods have people done or should I do? I vaguely remember reading something about mods ... but not sure where. If anybody is able to point me in the right direction (ie. they have the link) ... that'd be great.

Thanks again

TT

thumb trimmer
24th Jun 2010, 09:00 PM
Just an update.

So I ended up buying the HAFCO WL-20 (essentially a MC1100)

I'll be 'unboxing' it tonight, hoping that its mostly aligned :roll: ... we'll see.

And yes I did get into do do for not getting the purchase order signed by SWMBO ... :shrug: ... lesson learnt ... (kinda)

Anyhowz ... thanks to all for your feedback/comments.

TT

Avery
24th Jun 2010, 09:11 PM
They're a reasonable lathe and I used one for a fair while that was second hand when I bought it. There are alignment issues with them and the Reeves pulley system needs maintenance but they'll usually do what you want if you're not too demanding. I found there were some inaccuracies that turned up when making pens, but above that size you're pretty much ok.

For all of the talk about needing better lathes (which I am guilty of too :B ), the "Show us your shed" thread has an awful lot of pictures in it of members with this MC-series of lathe in it...

Earlier this year I sold mine and bought a second hand Vicmarc. I'm a lot more impressed with the quality, but it did cost about 4 times what one of the MC- series cost new... but if you are patient and prepared to hunt for a while, a good, solid second hand lathe might not be too far different from what you're looking at. Second hand quality will always beat new chinese MC- series lathe in my opinion.

Cheers,
Dave


and that old lathe that Dave sold is now doing stirling service at The Hills Mens Shed, and yes , the pulley system does need attention from time to time.

Ozkaban
24th Jun 2010, 09:48 PM
And yes I did get into do do for not getting the purchase order signed by SWMBO ... :shrug: ... lesson learnt ... (kinda)


Congrats, and enjoy your purchase. You really will have a lot of fun with it.

You get away with the purchase order a few times before it really bites (dont ask me how I know!). Somebody on this forum has the sig line "My biggest fear is that after I'm gone, my wife will sell everything for what I said I paid for it" :whatonearth:


and that old lathe that Dave sold is now doing stirling service at The Hills Mens Shed, and yes , the pulley system does need attention from time to time.

Good to hear it's still giving good service :2tsup:

Cheers,
Dave