Recent thoughts on Craftsman 15' pro?

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Wondering if there is anyone currently using the Craftsman 15"
Professional lathe from Sears and would be willing to share their
experience with it?

The one I am considering purchasing can be seen here:
" "

Bit of background.... started out last Dec. with a BusyBee Craftx since
I was new to turning and wanted a low end unit to learn on. The lathe
was worth what I paid for it, but I soon discovered it would be soon
time to upgrade to a slightly better model.
Well, I turned the lathe on this morning, and the speed control was
stuck in place, put a small bit of pressure on it and heard gears
stripping - turns out the shaft that controls the pulley distance is
stripped. Perfect excuse to go buy another tool! (yea I know its still
under warrenty, but I'd much rather use the motor to power my Beal

I went to the local Home depot and rona's, to see what they had -
nothing! Only thing I seen was a small Delta midi. I can't seem to find
any local tool stores here in Brampton Ontario that stock lathes, so
thought I'd check sears as a last resort.

Have not purchased a craftsmen tool in many a year so have no idea of
the quality - searching the archive for this group gives mixed reviews
for the lathe in question, so figured I would request info from folks
currently using this lathe.
Have no need for the tools supplied with the lathe since I am a tool
junky and have the usual "amount' of turning tools : )

All comments on this unit Welcome!

(note to Darrell - we exchanged comments early in the year, and I
continue to check your website on a regular basis - well done!)

Re: Recent thoughts on Craftsman 15' pro?

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" "
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I own a Craftsman lathe not at all like the one you pictured, but my comment  
is a general one about Craftsman power tools.  They seem to use non-standard  
part sizes, I guess to force you into buying their accessories.  For that  
reason alone I avoid that brand for all future purchases.  I keep piping up  
with this comment in the hopes of single-handedly driving them to conform.  
I have no quibble with their quality; you don't get what you don't pay for.

  - Owen -  

Re: Recent thoughts on Craftsman 15' pro?
Hi! Thanks for the kind words on the site. I continue to play with it. right
now I have some changes to make to a few pages and a couple of projects for
I still have my Sears 15" and I still like it. there have been some negative
moments from others. Owen is quite right about this tool as regards parts.
There are some off size belts in the thing especially the drive belts, but
there is a way around it as soon as the warranty runs out. I have a link
somewhere for it but i will be doing a page about belt replacement on the
lathe sometime soon anyway.
I find this lathe a good buy for the money. It is a sturdy, 15" lathe and it
will handle a 15" bowl, 18" with the head stock rotated and the blank
reasonably balanced. Slow speed is only 400 rpm. High speed is only 2000 rpm
and I like higher for small spindles but I have the monotube for those.
I would buy another. I would not bother with the duplicator or the
auxilliary tool rest support.
These are my thoughts, others may vary.
God bless and safe turning
Darrell Feltmate
Truro, NS, Canada
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Re: Recent thoughts on Craftsman 15' pro?
Owen / Darrell,

Thank You both for your input.

Owen - I can appreciate the need to have standard parts, but I think
with the longevity of Sears, and the fact that I don't mind having to
"tinker" that I should be ok.

Darrell - I have been reading your comments for a year now, and if it
works for you, it will absolutely work for me!
I have no need for a duplicator, as bowls and pens are my preference,
but the unit is on special, and when I price the package in comparison
to just the lathe and stand, the package deal is cheaper so that looks
like the way to go.
(ps - finally got back home this summer.... damn I miss the east

---soon to be a craftsman owner---

Re: Recent thoughts on Craftsman 15' pro?
Please buy the extended warrantee.  I have saved hundreds of dollars of  
repairs on mine thanks to it.

Re: Recent thoughts on Craftsman 15' pro?
My experience with the lathe itself has been OK given the price  but
the extended warranty has been a different story since I live in the
country. When I got the lathe there was a noise in it which was a
missing screw on what I think  was a guard around by the  fan. The
local Sears franchise told me to buy the extended warranty so Sears
would have to fix the lathe rather than me send it back.  That time
Sears was able to get a tech out to my place to fix the problem.

When the variable speed control pulley got dirty Sears was not able to
honor their contract since nobody in the area existed  who could work
on the lathe. People in this group were  far more valuable than the
extended warranty.  They told me what was up with the pulley so I was
able to fix the problem myself.  I got a telephone message from a guy
at Sears during this time saying I could get a gift certificate for  my
troubles but nothing ever came of it.  You don't necessarily get the
same  rep when you call a service telephone number so I eventually
stopped  trying to get the certificate. .

When the extended contract comes up for renewal in a few months I am
trying to figure out if it makes sense to renew it given the lack of
response from Sears. It may make sense if you can ship the lathe back
to them to fix a major problem but who knows.

Rather than use the maintenance contract I ordered a part directly when
a handle broke off on the lathe.  I got  an empty envelope with a hole
in it in the mail after that attempt to fix something.  When I e-mailed
Sears on the empty envelope they were great at getting me another part
using UPS so I am not trying to knock their service completely.
Location may play a big role in what you get with a service contract
from them so I guess it is buyer beware. .

Re: Recent thoughts on Craftsman 15' pro?
The Link that I think Darrell is refering to is as follows.

Click on Craftsman heartache.

I have owned this lathe for the past 2 years. I have had mixed problems with  
Handles breaking, Parts bending, Reeves Drive freezing up, and a Drive belt  

Dont buy the bowl turning attatchment as I had serious problems with  
vibration when I tried to use it. As far as I am concerned the only good  
thing about this attatchment is the bowl rest.

Steven Raphael

Re: Recent thoughts on Craftsman 15' pro?
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Thank You all for your comments. I have to say that after reading the
Craftsman Heartache I have some real reservations on the unit!
I did place the order on Sunday, and its arriving this Thursday....
think I will let it come and see how things go - just add the extended
warrenty mentioned and hope for the best!

Thanks Again.

Steven Raphael wrote:
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Re: Recent thoughts on Craftsman 15' pro?

I'd rather have a Genaral for a few $$ more

there must be a outlet in the area for one of them.

xcaper wrote:
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