bill created the topic: Re: Small woodowrking lathe
I bought a Rion 70-100 when I started out a few years ago. It has a 12" swing, which will allow you to make something about 9" in diameter. It works GREAT for small projects (pens, bottle stoppers, ornaments, etc.) and is about $300 if you can find it on sale. It has multiple speeds, but you have to change belts to change speeds. I believe that they have a variable speed conversion kit, as well as I think they have a newer model out now. (I was at Woodcraft today and saw one similar to mine but not exactly the same, so I assumed it was a newer model.) I would suggest some sort of stand for it because you wouldn't want to lift it often. In lathes, heavier = better. Do NOT buy one made entirely out of sheet metal -- heavier is better.
bill replied the topic: Re: Small woodowrking lathe
I've been pretty happy with my Rikon. It was my first lathe, bought in March of '08. I just bought a larger Grizzly because I wanted to be able to turn larger items. The Rikon walks when I have out of round wood on it.... which makes sense since it is smaller and lighter. I have had no technical troubles with it at all at this point - but note that it is only a few years old. There is a picture of it - as well as the stand that I built and bolted it to - here: www.woodturningblog.com/2009/09/14/plansnow-mini-lathe-stand/
Feel free to hit me up either here or at my blog if you have any questions that I can help you with. For example, after the lathe comees the tools..... so many toys, so little money.
woodbug replied the topic: Re: Small woodowrking lathe
Thanks for the help Bill. The lathe stand on your blog also seems like a great idea. I think I'm sold on the RIKON 70-100.
At this point, I think I'll have to wait until after xmas to buy it as I've spent all my money on presents for the kids already
Maybe I'll get lucky and the wife will have bought me one for xmas ... i can only wish.