Recent thoughts on Craftsman 15' pro?

Hi,
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:
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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 Buffer!)
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!)
Reply to
xcaper
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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 -
Reply to
Owen Lawrence
xcaper 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 it. 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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> > 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 > Buffer!) >
Reply to
Darrell Feltmate
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 coast!)
Xcaper ---soon to be a craftsman owner---
Reply to
xcaper
I'd rather have a Genaral for a few $$ more
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there must be a outlet in the area for one of them.
Reply to
l.vanderloo
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. .
Reply to
warpedwoodturner
The Link that I think Darrell is refering to is as follows.
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snipped-for-privacy@rogers.com/gallery.html Click on Craftsman heartache. I have owned this lathe for the past 2 years. I have had mixed problems with it. Handles breaking, Parts bending, Reeves Drive freezing up, and a Drive belt breaking.
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
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Reply to
Steven Raphael
(top posted by design)
Gentlemen,
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.
> The Link that I think Darrell is refering to is as follows. >
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snipped-for-privacy@rogers.com/gallery.html > > Click on Craftsman heartache. > > I have owned this lathe for the past 2 years. I have had mixed problems with > it. > Handles breaking, Parts bending, Reeves Drive freezing up, and a Drive belt > breaking. > > 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 >
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Reply to
xcaper

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