View Full Version : Carba-Tec Micro Lathe

1st Mar 2005, 08:25 AM
I was thinking of getting into a little bit of turning. I dont have a lot of space for this and was really only interested in doing pens and keyrings etc and was looking at the following Lathe from Carba-Tec.


Would this be a suitable lathe for this purpose? I know there are better ones out there if you want to spend the money, but this one seems ok unless I should really steer clear of it.

Also looking at the Hamlet HCT-168 Turning Set to go with the Lathe


Your thoughts are appreciated.

1st Mar 2005, 10:59 AM
Hei Brett,
Can't comment on the lathe because I've never even seen one in the flesh but you can't buy better chisels than Hamlet - I've got a couple of Hamlet chisels and they are great.

1st Mar 2005, 01:36 PM
I was just in GasWeld at Tuggerah, and they've got a lathe that looks just like that one (apart from colour and stickers).

It's $219 (I think)


1st Mar 2005, 01:42 PM
Nothing wrong with that lathe. Bear in mind though that it is small and you may want to turn some slightly larger stuff once the bug bites. Have a look at the Delta midi lathe, the footprint is not much bigger but the capabilities are huge compared. It also has a 3/4 hp motor and the option to ad a bed extension, which gives about 975 mm between centers. The swing on it is 250 mm.

You cannot go wrong with any of the Hamlet tools.


1st Mar 2005, 02:28 PM
... or the Jet, which I think is substantially cheaper than the Delta, but with similar quality http://store.yahoo.com/gpwoodturning/gpwkcml.html

I don't know much about turning, but I do know that it doesn't take long for tools and accessories to total far more than the inital purchase price, so don't save $100 now and be sorry!



1st Mar 2005, 06:37 PM
The MC-300 and a cheap set of chisels were my introduction to wood turning. The cheap chisels were a mistake all though I did learn about sharpening with them.

Then came (over 12 months) the Hamlet HTC-168 chisel set, a schroll chuck, a 1/2 inch Hamlet Spindle Maker (a must) and recently a Hamlet 5/16 inch Continental Spindle Gouge that I reground as a roughing gouge because the Hamlet 1/2 inch roughing gouge was too big.

At present I am making pens, keyrings, needle holders and lace bobbins.

Go for it.


2nd Mar 2005, 02:35 PM
I always forget about Gasweld, will have a look this weekend what they have. Also thinking about getting a spindle sander.

The Jet lathe looks good aswell, so have that option aswell.

Thanks all.

2nd Mar 2005, 05:56 PM
Brett I have the sherwood (timbercons version) they are pretty well identical and I love it elec var speed No 1 mt on both ends and I find it to be the go for pens and mini turnings tho I think it has a 120mm swing so goblets arent out of the question. If you check the ww pictures I think I posted a pic of the lathe on its new stand . basically contains the ubeaut finishes and sandpapers in 1 drawer chucks mandrels ect in the other and my pen turning chisels in the 3rd drawer.
If the pic isnt there email me and Ill send it. size is 680mm Lx 310mm W x 120 H
not a power house but it does what you need as long as tools are sharp and you dont rush it. As I said I love it it gets more use than the symtec lathe and it dont get rusty either :D
hope it helps
(mmmmmm maybe my day hrs are longer ...checks addy...nope not on Jupiter)

4th Mar 2005, 02:25 PM

just reading the December 2004 issue of "The Australian Woodworker" (courtesy LakeHaven library), and noted two things:

1) Jet make a "Wooden Pen Lathe". Woodman Group are advertising it for $185 (Part JPL-358) - it looks even smaller than the mini lathe.

2) There's a user review of the Jet Mini Lathe by Neil Scobie.
Basically he liked it enough he bought a couple for his workshop for classes he runs.


4th Mar 2005, 02:48 PM
Yeah a member of my scrollsaw group brought Jet pen lathe to our last meeting, thats what got me to thinking of getting one for myself. That one did seem too small and could only do pens on it.

The bigger Jet one seems the go, as I would like to do little things other than pens, and yeah maybe one day do bowls and such, so having the option of expanding the bed sounds wise.

Just have to see what the bank manager thinks.

Another question, would it be easier to do pens and smaller things with the 'mini' chisels or can they be done with the regular sized chisels?

4th Mar 2005, 06:15 PM
I use the "mini's" plus the smaller size regular chisels - nothing larger than 1/2 inch. After you select your lathe mount a pen blank on it, then stand in front with the different size chisels and placing them on the tool rest see what would sit on the job and be at the best angle for cutting.


14th Mar 2005, 08:09 AM
The smaller sizes of regular tools are fine.

(Actually, I rough out and virtually finish turn straight-sided pens with my 3/4" roughing gouge - rubbing on the bevel and cutting at 45 degrees for the last pass or two. Then use a square end scraper with a fine burr before sanding).