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Midi Wood Lathewhat lathe should I buy?

what lathe should I buy?

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what lathe should I buy?

What wood lathe should I buy? That is the question I try to answer in this comprehensive guide for beginning woodturners. Lathe preferences are an individual decision so this is my way of helping your discover what your needs may be.
I start out by asking three questions: What do I want to turn?, What is my budget?, and will this lathe give me room to grow? There are so many good projects to start with in woodturning. There are pens, bowls, platters, hollowforms, lidded boxes, ornaments, toys tool handles, and honey dippers to name a few. You need to get a feel for what you like to make. When budgeting your lathe you must remember that you not only have to buy the lathe but many tools along with it. chucks, chisels, sharpening system, etc. Growth is an absolute necessity in woodturning and life! Plan ahead and get a lathe you can grow into. In this video I talk about some of the specifications and features that you should become familiar with. First of all is overall size. I explain mini, midi, and full size wood lathes. I talk about features that are a must have and some that are nice to have. The capacity of your lathe is important and I take you through how to read the specifications so you know what to expect about the size of projects you can do. Some of these feature included are swing over the bed, distance between centers, spindle thread, morse taper, motors and drive systems. There are thoughts on whether or not you need a variable speed drive. I go over getting to know your tool rest banjo and your tailstock. Last of all we discuss the weight of a lathe and the materials they can be made from. I hope this tutorial is helpful to you in your woodshop!

Disclaimer: This video and description contains affiliate links. This means if you click on these links and make a purchase I will receive a small commission. Thank you for your support!
Here are some of my recommended products and brands.
Full size lathes
Gold standard and considered by many turners to be one of the best!
(affiliate) https://amzn.to/2UGKtui
My lathe! (loving it!)
(affiliate) https://amzn.to/2V8CUvA
Benchtop variable speed
great brand! Great midi lathe!
(affiliate) https://amzn.to/2UXxzrb
Also another midi lathe I trust. less powerful motor.
(affiliate) https://amzn.to/2UXHVHu
Benchtop with pulley speed change.
(affiliate) https://amzn.to/2IHVfJF

music credit:
The Life and Death of a Certain K. Zabriskie, Patriarch by Chris Zabriskie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Source: http://chriszabriskie.com/vendaface/
Artist: http://chriszabriskie.com/

This video is for entertainment purposes only. geiserwoodturner is not responsible for actions that are unsafe. Be sure to read and understand how to safely operate your power equipment before you use it.

If you like this be sure to follow me on Instagram @geiserwoodturner
Video Rating: / 5

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  1. I am thinking about buying a wood lathe. Thanks so much for your time explaining the options. Happy turning.

  2. Very informative, thank you. I do have a question. How long does it take the average person to become proficient at using a lathe? I’ve started my wood shop a little over a year ago and I understand you never stop learning. I’m just curious as to how long it would take someone to become confident and capable.

  3. im from philippines and i really like this kind of work . hope someday i can buy that kind of lathe 🙁 i have my own but improvise . just for ballesters only . i really love doing cups bowls etc. but for now , imagination 🙂

  4. The trick is in the little details. Thank you for an excellent breakdown! God Bless. I do wood cnc and hand engraving. And Tansu boxes from start to finish. If you need help or advice, let me know. Happy to pay forward! Thanks again.

  5. I have been turning for a few years now and need to upgrade my 14" general lathe. I love the lathe but have outgrown it and I'm testing its limits. Mainly the weight of blanks at 13.5" by 6" that I'm turning. Your video is a good reminder of the elements involved in choosing a new lathe and it was was well worth watching. Thanks.Montana Wood Art Bozeman MT.

  6. Excellent video for a beginner looking for basic to look after and avoid mistakes on lathe purchasing. Thanks

  7. I'm stuck in indecision! I have a budget 1216 midi lathe with EVS. I tried turning a 12" bowl on it, I managed to get it done but felt very sorry for the lathe and promised I wouldn't do that to it again! Apart from that it has been a great lathe.

    My first thought was to get one of those generic Reeves drive long bed lathes, just for turning bigger projects. And keep my midi lathe for smaller projects. That's about all my budget would allow at the moment. Also, I'd have to get rid of some stuff to make room for it.

    Most advice seems to be don't buy budget gear. Also, as much as I like my midi lathe, upgrading to a decent solid built machine is appealing, except for the budget!

    Conundrum, do I get the 2nd budget lathe to compensate for what mine can't do, and use that until I can afford a decent lathe. Or do I just wait until I can afford a decent machine. And how long will that take?

  8. Woah this is a little overwhelming.
    Id love to get into woodturning logs and stumps, but i guess id better slow down and look at what i need.

  9. I found a vintage shopsmith and installed a dc treadmill motor with speed control,,, works very well,,


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