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aak
21st Nov 2008, 05:35 PM
Hi All,

I am new to woodturning. The festive seasons are nearly here and my wife asked what I would like for a present. I was thinking of getting a Vicmarc. The VL100 without the motor. However, I have some issues. Here are my thoughts:

- I want a small lathe as I am not sure how far I will take this,
- I want to start out with a few simple things I can use like tool handles that I am always short of and MDF cirles for sharmening/honing and some items as presents for friends and relatrives,
- hence I thought a small lathe would do and the smaller the items I make the more accurate the lathe would need to be,
- light construction is unlikely to have the quality/workmanship, after all generally we get what we pay for. This is not to say that if something is not expensive it is rubbish.
- my inexperience in wood turning and turning tools suggest that I should not try to save money until I have some experience to know what to look for,
- hence it would be safer to buy a new, quality lathe rather than second hand unit. I never sold any tools I bought, so resale value is not a consideration,
- and finally I hate to spend a lot of money on any individual item. My bandsaw, a new Scheppach, cost over $3000 ten years or so ago. I felt like they were pulling my teeth. Fantastic unit, could not reccommend it highly enough. I knew what I was buying though. However, I like to buy second hand tools and fix them myself if I can.
- Chinese lathes may or may not be good enough quality,
- not much on ebay or on the net.

Now if my thought are way off the track, please correct me or please add anything else I should consider.

My issues regarding the VL100: I need to find an appropriate motor to run the lathe and would need info regading how to mount it, spindle diameter and length, etc. Regarding HP I have some ideas.That is like the units that come with the motor at (in line with) the head, underneath the bench, behind the lathe, pros and cons for each, etc. Not much to be found on the net regarding how people have done it. At the same time I do not want to spend $1500+ on the motorised versions. However, it could be wise if I did that. On the other hand the tool handles would become not only labour of love but bloody expensive too!

Andy

new_guy90
21st Nov 2008, 08:13 PM
ok first Vicmarc .............you have seen the price right! i to am well just starting out an got a cheap second hand wood lathe, but that wasn't my first choice. first off cheap doesnt mean bad (much) that been said you still get what you pay for and a Vicmarc is second best to buy in Australia. you just want to turn small stuff right so a mini lathe may be better, you can get extender beds for some models and small (cheap) doesnt mean bad for small detail they will be fine (there what they are made for) and well all are cast iron.i really wanted this carba-tec mini wood lathe ($260 very cheap compared to the Vicmarc) a little more thought and looking around and i found something better ......the woodfast mini lathe. this is a better model the belts are easy to change, you can get an extender bed for it, has an indexing head and is cheap enough that i think will help you set up a shop for less than $1,000. tools well thats different buy good quality ones if you want them to last and hopefully they will

now obviously money isn't your main concern but don't forget about cheaper models woodfast is a good brand and machines are very good, i would love to have! another thing wood turning ..........needs work and if you find you don't like it..... well that few grand you spent will hurt so much. oh and Vicmarc's are well for hardcore wood turners (love one of those to latter on) very large bowels and the like so remember that oh and look at the stubbies wood lathe you wont want one when you see the price but the stuff they can do says it all (Vicmarc is second to them!)

what ever you do remember to do your research again and again to get the best for you well for me there was no choice $320 lathe and chisels! how could i refuse so keep an eye on the trading post

hope i have helped, good luck

aak
21st Nov 2008, 09:23 PM
ok first Vicmarc .............you have seen the price right!

New_guy90, thanks for the thoughts.

Yes, $555. It is the cheapest of the Vicmarc lathes and it is only $56 more than the Woodfast, that is now made in China. Of course the Woodfast comes with the motor attached. I may end up getting it, but at this point I would prefer the Vicmarc. I understand labour cost here forced Woodfast to move manufacturing to China not so long ago. While I am not here to put rubbish on goods made in China, the qality of the Vicmarc is superior compared to most other lathes if not all in my opinion. This is not only due to quality standards in the two countries, but also the design of the Vicmarc is much better. Let me not get into all the technical details I found out to date. I am sure that I just started to scratch the surface and I have a lot more to learn.

As far a lathes manufactured in China are concerned, there are reports I read from buyers who bought them that there were quality issues with some and they were returned to the seller. As I said I am not in a position to make an educated judgement which Chinese made lathe is up to scratch and which one is not. So, I decided to stay away from secondhand lathes for the same reason for the time being. And again I may end up getting one.

And yes, money is not the primary concern, it is the second one! Quality is my primary concern. Whatever I end up getting it has to be good or so cheap that I do not mind loosing the money if the lathe turns out to be a lemmon. After forty plus years of buying tools I learnt from some of the mistakes I made in the past, at least I hope.

Andy

orificiam
21st Nov 2008, 10:13 PM
Hi Andy welcome to the forum, as far as which lathe to buy if money is no problem
go for the vicmarc because once you start turning there's no going back it gets in your
blood and there's no going back. as for lathes made in china I gues it all dipends
on the price.you get what you pay.I've used one a MC900 for the last 6 years now
without any problems apart from replacing the Vbelt. you wont find many vicmarcs
on Ebay the people that have them don't want to sell them.:)
Cheers Tony.

aak
21st Nov 2008, 10:36 PM
Hi Tony,

Thanks for the thoughts. While money is not a problem to spend, I would like to minimize cost within reason. As far as I understand, beside the lathe I will need a good motor, chisels and some other bits and pieces like nova, scroll chuck pretty soon. So it will add up. I could upgrade to an EVS and other options later if I get serious about turning wood and use the motor for another project.

May I also ask, what spindle size is best to have on the lathe and for what reason or for what work?

The Vicmarc comes with M33x3.5 spindle, but I understand I could ask for a different one when ordering. To be honest, I do not have a clue whether metric or imperial spindle and what size would be best to choose or how I should go about deciding it. I know that chucks can have adapters for different spindle sizes to suit different lathes, but I assume it would be better if the adapers would not be need in the first place.

Andy

orificiam
21st Nov 2008, 10:43 PM
Hi Andy go for the M30x3.5 that way you wont need an adaptor to go with the
chuck.less problems with vibrations
cheers Tony.:)

EX's Timber
21st Nov 2008, 10:46 PM
The Vicmarc comes with M33x3.5 spindle

In Australia all Vicmarcs as standard come with a M30 x 3.5 spindle thread and this is straight from the horses mouth (Vicmarc) as I picked up one of these http://www.vicmarc.com/img/lathes/011-vl100-C2_3.jpg on behalf of a forum member at the Timber & Working With Wood show just gone in Melbourne.

The M33 x 3.5 is for the Overseas market

aak
22nd Nov 2008, 06:31 AM
In Australia all Vicmarcs as standard come with a M30 x 3.5 spindle thread and this is straight from the horses mouth (Vicmarc) as I picked up one of these http://www.vicmarc.com/img/lathes/011-vl100-C2_3.jpg on behalf of a forum member at the Timber & Working With Wood show just gone in Melbourne.

The M33 x 3.5 is for the Overseas market

Thanks, Tony, DJ,

I will make sure I order it with the M30x3.5. The web site for Carroll's woodcraft supply list the Vicmarcs (all of them) with the M33x3.5. That is where I got the info from. I even phoned and asked questions from Jim. I hope I got his name right. He was very kind to answer all my questions. So I was planning to get the lathe from him.
Andy

Jim Carroll
22nd Nov 2008, 09:23 AM
My apologies

The Vicmarc lathes come standard with the M30x3.5mm thread.

The M33 thread is for the european models

Have updated our info on the web site.

For what its worth at the end of the day by the time you buy the lathe get your motor and switches etc it is in most cases easier to buy the lathe complete.

If you have a motor of at least 1/2hp and this is a good motor not one of an old washing machine then you have to set up a base for it to mount onto and tension as well and make it easy to change the belt. It is a bit of fiddling around , can be done but at the end of the day who wants to be spending all that time mucking around when you can just put it on the bench and start playing.

robutacion
22nd Nov 2008, 11:45 AM
My apologies

The Vicmarc lathes come standard with the M30x3.5mm thread.

The M33 thread is for the european models

Have updated our info on the web site.

For what its worth at the end of the day by the time you buy the lathe get your motor and switches etc it is in most cases easier to buy the lathe complete.

If you have a motor of at least 1/2hp and this is a good motor not one of an old washing machine then you have to set up a base for it to mount onto and tension as well and make it easy to change the belt. It is a bit of fiddling around , can be done but at the end of the day who wants to be spending all that time mucking around when you can just put it on the bench and start playing.

:whs: :repplus:


:luck:


Cheers:2tsup:
RBTCO

aak
22nd Nov 2008, 05:12 PM
Hi Jim,

No need for apology. Being a newbie means that I know very little and take everything I see or hear as being correct unless I have some reason to question that. I had no reason to question the correctness of the listed spindle size and I do not see it as a major issue that could have not been discovered and easily resolved by the time I go through with the purchase.

Thank you for your advice regarding buying the lathe with the motor. I do not have a motor at present that would fit the bill and not in use already. I know because I checked. However, I find the price difference of $1329 and $555 for a motor a bit steep. At least I think that is the only difference between the two lathes. Please correct me if there are functional differences or features I may have missed. Even a new motor should not cost $600+, unless it is motor and EVS control unit, which as I mentioned to you probably not the right option for me as a newbie. I consider EVS a nice to have luxury which most probably would be lost an my lack of skills. I will be glad to upgrade to it in the future as I gain skills.

Also, while my wife did not give me a limit for the lathe or whaterver else I might want, I still look at this exercise as if I was spending my own savings.

Andy

new_guy90
22nd Nov 2008, 07:34 PM
if you really want the VL100 then go ahead, get a motor at Hare & Forbes and take the time to set it up you wont regret it! but i have to say look at the woodfast mini lathe, its virtually the same and don't be afraid of the made in china tag im sure woodfast would not sell crap quality machines to there clients ........better yet go to Carba-Tec so you can see the lathes and talk about the pros and cons, one pro is that the woodfast is overall cheaper to set up than the Vicmarc..............ok i have never used a Vicmarc myself but have seen the VL100 being used its very good, i have used a full size woodfast and was very impressed with it. i would have no hesitation in buying the woodfast mini lathe and strongly recommend it as the easier option but if some one has experience on both these lathes then they would be better to ask

right now woodfast or Vicmarc you will never regret buying one (my only concern would be setting up the motor on the Vicmarc after that its fine) just look at where you can go and see these lathes for a proper comparison

good luck hope i helped :?

orificiam
22nd Nov 2008, 10:53 PM
Hi Andy, when you do get your new lathe there's a woodturning club near you.
Peninsula Woodturning Guild.I'm sure they'd make you very welcome,
Cheers Tony.:)

aak
23rd Nov 2008, 06:54 PM
Hi Andy, when you do get your new lathe there's a woodturning club near you.
Peninsula Woodturning Guild.I'm sure they'd make you very welcome,
Cheers Tony.:)

Thank Tony, I will look into it soon.


Special thanks to :2tsup:

Thank you for inviting me over and spending time with me. Your advice is greatly appreciated. Can't thank you enough!!!

Andy

Calm
23rd Nov 2008, 07:46 PM
...................................

Special thanks to :2tsup:

Thank you for inviting me over and spending time with me. Your advice is greatly appreciated. Can't thank you enough!!!

Andy

does it again - i'd give you a greeny but they probably dont count when you are the 2IC :2tsup::brava:yourock2::welldone:

Cheers

RETIRED
23rd Nov 2008, 08:03 PM
My pleasure.

bobsreturn2003
23rd Nov 2008, 08:16 PM
have used a jet mini lathe for around 8 years and found it excelent .enjoy your turning bob

new_guy90
28th Nov 2008, 09:05 PM
hey have you made a decision about what lathe you are going to buy? i have a thought on how you could mount the motor if you want to get the VL100

aak
28th Nov 2008, 10:11 PM
hey have you made a decision about what lathe you are going to buy? i have a thought on how you could mount the motor if you want to get the VL100

Yes, I am going to get the VL100, buy a new 1HP motor and set it up. At this point I am not sure whether the place I want to put it would be the best place for it, but I need to start somewhere. If it does not fit there or I do not like it there for some reason, I will move it. I have some ideas how to mount the motor, but happy to hear any suggestions and I will take it into consideration.

Have been cleaning things out in the workshop and built a few more shelve units in the last few days so I can organise my tools better. I also rebuilt my crosscutting bench including a new fence and tapemeasure. In the process of making the shelves I pushed the float glass I use for sharpening off one of my benches, one third broke off. NOT HAPPY JAN!:~ YES, Should have known better. Should have cleared the bench properly rather than just make enough room to do the job.

Andy

new_guy90
30th Nov 2008, 01:43 PM
ok well my idea is for mounting the motor on top of the bench. normally you use a hinged board of MDF or something that you bolt the motor to on top, the weight of the motor pulls the everything down, tensioning the belt. this is the easiest way to do it i think but i hate the chips covering the motor making it overheat and the like. if you mount the motor under the board then the chips hit the board and not all over the motor but you need some space or problems like the banjo hitting it close to the chuck and maybe a longer belt (linked one would easiest) i also think this may be better to tension the belt but i haven't tried it. oh and if the belt is taken off then the motor will swing down the back of the bench and cause a few problems :oo: so use good hinges and i think a triangle piece of MDF perpendicular to the mounting board so to avoid a nasty bang, breaking your hinges and motor! .......well maybe oh and it will also stop the chips getting to the motor from the side. don't know if this helps but id consider putting it under the bench as its only a small lathe and a purpose made bench on locking casters would be very handy, i think you could use a hinged board to mount it under the bench but it would have to have a large arc and hey why not a better tensioning system :?

hope i gave you some food for thought just remember i haven't tried this at home and there must be hundreds more ways to mount it! good luck the VL100 is a cool lathe:2tsup:

aak
30th Nov 2008, 08:49 PM
Thanks NG

orificiam
1st Dec 2008, 09:11 PM
Hi Andy just one thing I would like to ad.If you do mount the motor on a hinged platform you are going to need some kind of locking device, otherwise as soon as
you put a bit of presure on the spindle the motor will start moving up and down
then the all assembly will start to vibrate,I know this because it appened to me
when I built my mini lathe.once I fitted the locking lever it stoped.
good luck.Tony.:)

aak
1st Dec 2008, 09:24 PM
Hi Andy just one thing I would like to ad.If you do mount the motor on a hinged platform you are going to need some kind of locking device, otherwise as soon as
you put a bit of presure on the spindle the motor will start moving up and down
then the all assembly will start to vibrate,I know this because it appened to me
when I built my mini lathe.once I fitted the locking lever it stoped.
good luck.Tony.:)

Hi Tony,

Thanks. Yes, I thought I might need a locking mechanism if and when I will want to turn bigger pieces. Initially I will start with a few tool handles, wheels and then I would like to try some pen turning as my skills improve. The bigger pieces can wait till I get more confident. Either way the locking mechanism will be there from the beginning in case I need it.

I am still preoccupied with what would be the best height to install it at. Have a back that tends to misbehave if I stand or sit at certain angles/positions too long. I also need to be able to see what I am doing. I do not have a clue at this point how the actual height will affect these things. But they are both important! I may need to make changes later on.

Andy

orificiam
1st Dec 2008, 10:46 PM
Hi Andy you're welcome to come and check out my setup, if you're interested PM me
I live in Kings Park. not far from Deer Park.
Cheers Tony.

aak
2nd Dec 2008, 07:22 AM
Hi Andy you're welcome to come and check out my setup, if you're interested PM me
I live in Kings Park. not far from Deer Park.
Cheers Tony.

Thanks for the offer Tony. However, I live in Mount Martha, which is on the other side of town. I will keep you in mind and if I come your way for some reason in the future I will PM you before.
Thanks again
Andy