View Full Version : Purchasing a Lathe

18th Nov 2004, 04:51 PM
Hi, I am just starting wood turning and am looking at a Fisher Discount Lathe.

I am not sure of the model, but is has variable speed ~560 to 3500 ,but does not have a swivel head. However you can turn wood on the outboard side of the head stock. The thing that appealed to me about this one is the motor is down under the bed, where as a lot of lathes have the motor right behind where you are turning your work and thus sucking a lot of dust. It has an attachment on the opposite side of head stock for sanding.

If anyonw has the above Fisher disocunt lathe, I would love to hear from them on how verstile this is. My concern is that it does not have a swivel head, but then I am not sure how much I would use this (given that you can turn larger bits on the back of the head stock). Any advise would be greatly apprecicated.

18th Nov 2004, 10:35 PM
Don't forget the outboard end of the headstock spindle will have a left hand thread and you will need to have a face plate, chuck or whatever with LH threaded boss or insert, as well as the RH setup for the inboard end of the headstock. You might also need LH tools as well, depending on what you are doing.

Also likely to mean you need to keep your shop clean and clear around the back of the headstock end of the lathe so you have room to stand there and work - not jam an extra bit of gear in there as I do.



Cliff Rogers
18th Nov 2004, 11:21 PM
G'day grub,

I suspect the reason you aren't getting any replies is that you've picked
something no one has heard of.

Try asking for comments on a Vicmac, Jet, Teknatool, Vermec, or Omega.

I have a Jet mini & a BIG Vicmarc short bead. Both do the job well.
My Jet Mini is just over 3 years old now & if I didn't have it, I'd get the
variable speed version of it instead.

Have a look at some pictures of Jets & see if they look the same or similar
to the Fisher Discount that you are looking at.


19th Nov 2004, 01:33 AM
Never hear of it. Can you post a picture?


19th Nov 2004, 10:49 AM
Thanks all for your feedback.

Chunter, this lathe does come with the face plate for the outbaord, plus another faceplate and chuck for the RHS. Good point about keeping room for when using the outbaord.. THanks

Cliff, thanks for sending this through, but these are a bit out of my league (I am looking to spend $600 for the 1m bed Fisher Discount lathe 560-3500 including face plates, Nova Chuck, 13 x tools, oils, stand, sanding plate etc).

Thanks Again

4th Jan 2005, 10:48 AM
Are you sure the lathe you are considering is properly called a "Fisher discount lathe"?

There is a "Fischer Turning Center". This is a midi lathe similar to the Delta, General and Jet midi lathes; however it is heavier and has easier access to the belts for changing the speeds. It is a very good lathe and has received accolades from several woodworking magazines.

Hope this helps.

4th Jan 2005, 07:07 PM
Well, I did a google search and I found absolutely nothing.

Grub, on this forum there is collectively several hundred years worth of woodturning experience and knowledge (one gent I will not name because he's paid me well not to reveal his age has been turning for 50 years) so the fact that no one's heard of it should tell you all you need to know about this Fisher Lathe.

If $600 is what you have to spend then the beast for you is the MC900 - 3/4 hp motor, swivel head, mechanical variable speed, cast iron bed and components, 900mm between centres, stand, standard threads, # 2 morse taper head/tail stocks and comes complete with faceplate, spur drive and live centre.

Carbatec are doing this lathe for $379 at the moment and they do a set of basic but good chisels for $99 - you will be slightly over budget if get the Nova chuck straight away but Carbatec were (if they're not now squeeze em for it if they want the sale) throwing in a chinese chuck (cheap but great for a beginner) for an extra $20.
With that rig you have all that you need, the chisels are good enough to do some great work on but cheap enough to learn to sharpen on (an important part of this game) and you upgrade with the name brand stuff as you decide what you want to do. The chuck is a cheapie but more than adequate for a first chuck - I bought a Vicmarc chuck but still use the chinese one for small stuff.

Do a search here on the MC900 and you will find all the info you need.

PS, I am not an MC900 salesman just a very happy user.