I just returned mine after 11 months. Motor siezed. Just as well. It's lack of
power made turning anything bigger than pens a
lesson in patience. Everything else about that unit is great. Nice fit & finish.
But severly underpowered.
Did you have the original 1/4 HP unit or the newer 1/2 HP? I don't know from
personal experience, but I've heard that the new Merc are much better.
lack of power made turning anything bigger than pens a
finish. But severly underpowered.
I agree with both Phil and Peter. I have a Comet as my primary lathe and
the Mercury as my secondary and more portable lathe. I have only a 1/4 hp
(yes, yes - I know I need to upgrade it) motor on my Comet and it does seem
to out power the 1/2 hp DC variable speed of the Mercury. Oh, but I do love
that variable speed!!! But I just can't justify spending 4-500 dollars for
a Leeson which would be more than what I paid for the Comet. Back to the
Mercury. I did purchase the bed extension as the lathe's bed seemed to be
an inch too short for many of my projects. Outside of the power (or lack of
it) issue, I do very much like my Mercury. I am a little worried that when
running the lathe for the length of time to complete any project, the
headstock seems to get rather warm. I suppose that could indicate a bearing
problem. (Any thoughts on that would be greatly appreciated.)
Another thought - maybe we should start a support group for the under
Any way, happy turning!
I'm not sure what motor is supplied in the US but in OZ its a 12volt
Three step pulley with VS on all. I've not found much difference in
power between the 1/2 hp Teknatool Comet and the Mercury. For
useability, there is no comparison. It does make a difference where
you get your speed. For example, it seems to have more torque at 2500
on the mid pulley that 2500 on the top speed pulley.
When I first got ours I was concerned that the headstock was running
I got the dealer to contact Teknatool and the reply was that they
recommended running them unloaded at around 3000 rpm for a couple of
hours to settle the headstock. We did this and at the end of the run
it was running much cooler and quieter I don't know if it had any
effect on the grunt of the motor. Don't know why that isn't in the
Its a lovely little lathe for precision turning of medium to small
items but if you want to have your way on a 10" blank with a 5/8" bowl
gouge, go find something a bit bigger.
The Jet or Delta 1/2hp lathes have MUCH more torque
> than the Merc.
> >Did you have the original 1/4 HP unit or the newer 1/2 HP? I don't know from
> >personal experience, but I've heard that the new Merc are much better. > > > >Ken Moon
> >Webberville, TX
> >> On Tue, 18 Nov 2003 11:54:16 -0700, "george hoffman"
> >> >
> >> >
> >> > Any pros or cons on the new Merc Mini Lathe.
> >> >
> >> > George (old wood turner)
> >> I just returned mine after 11 months. Motor siezed. Just as well. It's
> lack of power made turning anything bigger than pens a
> >> lesson in patience. Everything else about that unit is great. Nice fit &
> finish. But severly underpowered.
> >> Peter Teubel
> >> Milford, MA
Same motor. With the motor running at top speed (full torque) on ANY pulley
setting, I could simply grab the handwheel (3"
faceplate) and stop the lathe with my bare hand....easily. Can't do that with a
Jet or Delta mini's. Several of our club members
who own either Jet or Delta mini lathes have turned on my Merc. ALL of them
noted the lack of power.
could simply grab the handwheel (3"
with a Jet or Delta mini's. Several of our club members
them noted the lack of power.
Peter (and all) -
Mine is still what I would say is underpowered, but I cannot just grab the
handwheel. (I, too, use the bi-threaded faceplate as the handwheel.) I can
slow the motor a bit, but I really notice the lack of power when turning
small bowls and such. Must use a light touch or the motor slows way down.
Stalled it a few times, but usually just back off before that happens.
Timing seems to be everything. I wonder what the power is like on the new
Jet variable speed lathe and what motor they are using?
I don't understand this power thing at all. I turned a 6" wooden hand
wheel and screwed it to the LH thread faceplate. I can slow the lathe
by grabbing the hand wheel but no way can I stall it. I might be
drawing a long bow on this but the source power supply in the US is
either 110 volts or 220 volts at 60 cycles/sec. Australia and New
Zealand are 240 volts at 50 cycles/sec. I wonder if that 10%
difference could have any bearing on the problem with the output from
the control unit being lower in the US than it is in Australia. They
are nominal voltages and can vary according to grid loads. If the grid
is under load the supplied voltage could be quite a bit less than
nominal and I suspect with the type of VS unit they use it could have
a marked effect. I will ask an electrical engineering friend of mine
for an opinion and let you know.
tailstock to hold the pen mandrel.
> Peter Teubel
> Milford, MA
It seems that I heard not long after the Merc came out about a lack of power
due to misadjustments on the speed control board. It may have been Fred
Holder that had the problem. When readjusted, it increased the torque. Maybe
the factory needs to check up on this since they are in competition with
Delta and Jet, and they're at a price disadvantage against Jet since Jet
dropped the price on their belt/pulley model. I think they're going for
$199.00 US while supplies last.
the tailstock to hold the pen mandrel.