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Lumo
2nd Oct 2017, 10:20 PM
Hi All

I'm in the market for a new lathe and am looking for some advice regarding what features you think are important to consider. What are your thoughts about;
Electronic Variable Speed
Reversing Capability
Sliding/Rotating Headstock
Most popular spindle thread
Australian or foreign
New or second hand
Views on Vicmark Lathes
And is there anything else I should be considering? I'm mainly a bowl turner, but quite new to turning.

Pat
3rd Oct 2017, 07:25 AM
Budget? Yes you do get what you pay for.

I am on to my 3rd lathe in 12 years, as I gain more experience.

Spindle thread: M30x3.5, with No.2 Morse Taper in both the head and tail stock.

EVS, for bowl turning is a safer way to turn. You can turn with the belt change, but you have to be careful of the speeds and prepare the blanks to minimise the danger of turning out of balance blanks at inappropriate speeds.

Vicmarc Lathes are good. Second hand Australian cast and made lathes do appear from time to time and are worth the extra to purchase them. Vicmarc chucks set the standard internationally.

Go find a Woodturning club or ask a local member if you can try out their lathe.

Cheaper lathes are still good, but it is the work arounds and the acceptance of the foibles of the lathes that take the shine of them.

Tools, Accessories and PPE.

NeilS
3rd Oct 2017, 09:19 AM
Electronic Variable Speed - Yes, if you can afford it


Reversing Capability - I had it on one lathe and never used it


Sliding/Rotating Headstock - I do 95% of my turning 'outboard', I mostly turn bowls... I wouldn't buy a lathe that didn't have a rotating HS


Most popular spindle thread 30mmx3.5

Australian or foreign - Vicmarc or Woodfast, which are Oz designed but components are manufactured OS and then assembled and tested here. There are also a few other older Oz made lathes that come up for sale 2nd hand from time to time... all better than cheaper imported lathes, IMO.

New or second hand - lucky you if you can find a 2nd hand Vicmarc or Woodfast. You may need some help with checking out a 2nd hand lathe from someone with experience.

Views on Vicmarc Lathes - Very good and you won't go wrong if you can afford to go that way, but also consider Woodfast, which are good value for the $s IMO, eg I use their CX1000 with outboard 'table' and am v. happy with it.

hughie
3rd Oct 2017, 08:13 PM
[QUOTE=Lumo;2049014]Hi All

I'm in the market for a new lathe and am looking for some advice regarding what features you think are important to consider. What are your thoughts about;
Electronic Variable Speed
Yes if you can afford one

Reversing Capability
Never had much use for it

Sliding/Rotating Headstock
Had one, for me its not essential. As all my lathes are dedicated bowl lathes

Most popular spindle thread
as they mentioned above

Australian or foreign
A reputable make of any origin is fine

Views on Vicmark Lathes
Very good

And is there anything else I should be considering? I'm mainly a bowl turner, but quite new to turning.
Your new lathe will be dictated by what you want to turn and there is no 'worlds best lathe', Its horses for courses .

Luke Maddux
4th Oct 2017, 12:56 PM
Hi All

I'm in the market for a new lathe and am looking for some advice regarding what features you think are important to consider. What are your thoughts about;
Electronic Variable Speed
Reversing Capability
Sliding/Rotating Headstock
Most popular spindle thread
Australian or foreign
New or second hand
Views on Vicmark Lathes
And is there anything else I should be considering? I'm mainly a bowl turner, but quite new to turning.

Electronic Variable speed is the single most important upgrade you can get on a lathe aside from, maybe, more horsepower.

Australian made and Vicmarc are synonymous. No one else is actually manufacturing lathes in Aus. And since Vicmarcs are awesome, then so is Australian made. But, with that said, I'll drop some blasphemy here that has potential to derail your thread when people start yelling at me... Vicmarcs cost a ton more money and you don't necessarily get anything for it, you just pay for far more expensive labor. Your money will go to Australians who make a livable wage instead of Taiwanese people who probably live pretty poorly. Is one person more or less skilled than the other? There's no way to answer that question, so don't waste your time. Vicmarc makes phenomenal, world class lathes. That doesn't mean you can't make all of the same bowls on a Laguna at 2/3 or less the price. So a lot of it boils down to whether or not you just want your money to go to Brisbane and not Taipei.

If you're thinking about spending Vicmarc money, just buy a new lathe. Don't go second hand unless it happens to be exactly what you want.

I'd be more keen to get a sliding headstock over a rotating. At least with a sliding stock you keep the axis of rotation in the same direction. I've never actually seen it go south, but I've always been wary of spinning heavy blocks of wood cocked out at 90deg to the bed ways.

Hope that helps,
Luke

DaveTTC
4th Oct 2017, 01:26 PM
I have the Laguna Revo 1836 and love it.

I'll try and do a review on YouTube at some point. Not sure where you are but you are welcome to come and get hands on with mine

DaveTTC
The Turning Cowboy
Turning Wood Into Art

NeilS
4th Oct 2017, 06:58 PM
I'd be more keen to get a sliding headstock over a rotating. At least with a sliding stock you keep the axis of rotation in the same direction. I've never actually seen it go south, but I've always been wary of spinning heavy blocks of wood cocked out at 90deg to the bed ways.



Luke, my experience has been different.

I have found that turning outboard at 90deg is best for spinning large heavy out of balance lumps of wood, like the following, which was green and weighed about 40kg...


421491

In that orientation the end feet of the lathe are spread apart in the direction of momentum and the cast iron ways provide an additional counterbalancing weight.

For other purposes, like giving your back a rest, the sliding head may work well.

brendan stemp
9th Oct 2017, 01:42 PM
I agree with everything Neil S has said.

artful bodger
9th Oct 2017, 08:04 PM
What about this Aussie one?
It's in Adelaide.
Does not look like it has had a hard life and looks quite similar to a woodfast.
You may even be able to haggle if it attracts no bids.
Anyway just saw it advertised and throwing it out there. It is not me selling it.
Hyco Machine Tools Wood lathe 3 phase ADELAIDE | eBay (http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Hyco-Machine-Tools-Wood-lathe-3-phase-ADELAIDE-/122630962186?hash=item1c8d5ffc0a:g:Sl4AAOSwhURZhAJi)

Treecycle
10th Oct 2017, 10:11 PM
That's lot of money for a 3 ph lathe and no camlocks on the tailstock or the tool rest banjo.

Xanthorrhoeas
18th Oct 2017, 11:23 AM
I'm only a relative newbie at this myself, but for what it worth, my turning journey started with a Woodfast with easy belt speed changes. A really well-made lathe that performed well. But, as I stretched my wings I moved up to a second-hand Vicmarc VL300 long bed. The variable speed is absolutely essential for a lot of what I do now, and unlike others here, I have found the reversing great for sanding tricky figure in some timbers - I don't use it often but it has certainly helped at times. I think most VFD variable drives come with reverse anyway.

So, it depends on how long you can wait but you can certainly find a secondhand Vicmarc if you give it time - I know one other person here in Brisbane who has bought a second hand VL300 in the past year and there have been at least 4 other Vicmarc models sold secondhand locally in that time. Also in the last year there have been a number of variable speed Woodfast lathes secondhand in the Marketplace and they were not expensive (though I didn't see them in the flesh at least one was describes as fully rebuilt).

Another option is buy a cheap Woodfast secondhand and fit a 3 phase motor and VFD to run it on single phase with variable speed. You would need to have an electrician mate or be qualified yourself though.

I hope this helps

David

DaveTTC
18th Oct 2017, 12:25 PM
Check with NCArcher. He had a few for sale

DaveTTC
The Turning Cowboy
Turning Wood Into Art

Regdop
20th Aug 2018, 10:14 AM
I have the Laguna Revo 1836 and love it.

I'll try and do a review on YouTube at some point. Not sure where you are but you are welcome to come and get hands on with mine

DaveTTC
The Turning Cowboy
Turning Wood Into Art

Hi Dave,
Old thread I know... did you end up doing a review? I am contemplating buying one?...cheers Gary

Brett Hammond
20th Aug 2018, 06:26 PM
I agree with all stated above. Been wood turning for about 30 years and gone through about 4 lathes in that time.

I have a Stubby S100 at the moment and cannot fault it. I should have brought one 2 lathes ago but hesitated at the cost. I now consider that a mistake. They are not cheap and are made in Oz but as said above you get what you pay for. Be sitting down when you see the price but they are worth every cent. Google Omega Stubby they have a few different models.

They do come up secondhand from time to time.

Suppose it will all come down to how much you want to spend.

Brett

DaveTTC
21st Aug 2018, 07:53 AM
Hi Gary,

Sorry I have not done a review yet ... life, you know, it gets in the way of things sometimes.

Still love it when I get to use it. You are welcome here anytime to have a ‘turn’. Not sure where you are based but I am meant to be demonstrating at Finley show Sunday 2nd Sept.

Regards

Dave