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  1. #1
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    Jan 2015
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    Default Harvey T-50/T-40 & Laguna 18-36 - Opinions needed

    With Christmas behind me, I was surprised to find the piggy bank was not quite empty and started looking at upgrading a couple of tools in the workshop. I currently own a Carbetec economy 900mm lathe that I have been tinkering on over the past couple of years making a few pens, a couple of small bowls, etc, the usual beginner stuff.

    So looking at something a little more serious, I have narrowed down my options to the Harvey T-50 or T-40 as well as the Laguna 18-36. The Laguna is pushing my budget to a few weeks spent on the couch, but asking for forgiveness is easier than asking for permission....

    The Harvey T-40 looks great and would probably do all the projects I can foresee, but the T-50 comes with cast iron stand and I guess the motto of bigger is better works here. DC brushless servo motors on both units put an extra tick in the 'pros' box for me. $750 price tag difference between the models makes me lean towards the T-40 as I seem to be only doing smaller projects. Future proofing is normally wise but that $750 would go a decent way to some better chisels.

    The Laguna is a gorgeous piece of machinery, but has the AC motor with VFD and is a lazy $650+ extra to the T-50, for what I can only guess is the brand name.

    Does anyone own one of these lathes and could throw some advice my way?
    Is there a make/model out there that I have overlooked altogether?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Melbourne, Vic, Australia
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    Default

    I don't have a horse in this race, and don't know anything about turning, but I also considered these lathes when I was looking a little while ago. I ended up with a Vicmarc, but from memory the main pro's / con's / differences between the Harvey's and Laguna were - steel bed on the Laguna vs cast iron on the Harvey (not sure which is actually the pro), DC motor on the Harvey which I saw as a possible con due to replacement cost of the motor or controller. Also, the main con for me against the Harvey was the lack of any information or reviews, uncertainty around quality control, and potential issues with local support for it. But the T50 does look very good and extremely good value vs the Laguna.

    I do have a Harvey table saw and have been very happy with it though and Harvey make machinery for a lot of other brands including Laguna so there's no reason to believe they wouldn't be good.

    Good luck making a decision.

    Cheers, Dom

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Latrobe Valley
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    Default

    Thanks for the input Dom - Which model of Vicmarc did you go for?
    I looked at them also, but the prices were beyond my budget.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Melbourne, Vic, Australia
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    Quote Originally Posted by pintek View Post
    Thanks for the input Dom - Which model of Vicmarc did you go for?
    I looked at them also, but the prices were beyond my budget.
    I ended up picking up a VL200 swivel head lathe with bed extension. It was a small run of lathes Vicmarc made before deciding to go with the VL240 design. They still had one left over that they'd just assembled and I got it for a good price (I think). It will do everything I ever anticipate needing it for. Otherwise I was looking around for either a long bed vl300 or VL200, or even VL175.

    Cheers, Dom

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,181

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    Have you considered the woodfast range. Some good kit their too. I have had 2 woodfast lathes. My first for over 20 years, gave it to my brother and it is still going strong. I updated to a c1000x?. Everything I wanted and more.
    Lyle

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Darwin
    Posts
    210

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    The only advise I can put in here is - before you purchase anything check for availability of parts. Vicmac are made in Australia (I believe) and we have one in our Mens shed VL200 no issue after two years and if we need anything for the machine like chucks etc its just a phone call and its on its way. Our shed is purchasing another lathe and it will be a Vicmac 1. its a good machine 2. Parts are available if required.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    1,811

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    Yeah Vicmarc are great to deal with. When I told them I was restoring a VL200 from the 80s they really went the extra mile fabricating parts they no longer had.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Latrobe Valley
    Posts
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    Thanks for the advice gents. Buying Australian made would certainly be a preferred option as well as purchasing from one of the forum supporters, so I might delve a little deeper into my research on the Vicmarc lathes. Might just mean I have to fill the piggy bank for a little longer to get something that will last a lifetime and longer.

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