I have been wanting to get into bowl turning / carving for awhile now. I
don't have the money to buy a real lathe yet. I don't care to turn spindles
or aynthing like that, as I am just fascinated (sp) by bowls. So, I have a
$75 gift card for the BORG (Men) and they have this Mini Lathe on sale for
$69 and I was wondering if it is worth getting or not. All I want to do is
see if this is for me or not. I have this endless supply of black walnut
and this is all I think of doing with this stuff as I don't have a sawmill
Scott... I honestly don't think a $70 mini lathe is going to make you
if you don't have precision, you aren't going to be happy with the
(google this NG for comments on the Harbor Freight mini lathe)
I'd suggest the Jet Mini lathe..
if you shop (usually Amazon) you can get it for $200 or less, or send
me a few hundred pounds of that black walnut, and I'll ship a new mini
to you *g*
Please remove splinters before emailing
Just this advice. If you just want to "sample" woodturning, try to find a
woodturner near you. He might be willing to give you a quick lesson or
two..........and let you see what turning on a quality lathe is like. The
problem with buying a cheapie is that if you have problems, you may not know
if its you or the lathe." Seriously, I haven't seen any good lathes for
$69.00. About the most economical way to start would be with a Jet Mini at
about $200 or find a used lathe in the classifieds.
Not to "Cut down" anyones comments, I believe that you will get a
decent lathe, if you buy the Wilton.
A little history. When Menared first started carring this lathe, it
sold for $139.00. They have had it on sale several times. I believe
that to get the 69.00 price tag, you have to send in a rebate for
I have a very small shop and can't afford the room needed for a full
sized lathe, so I bought a Jet Mini. Wouldn't trade it for any other of
the same size on the market.
That being said, last summer, I was doing a lot of Turning
Demonstrations and the Jet got a little heavy to lug around. I looked
at what was out there, looking for a lighter lathe that didn't give
away much in quality. I ended up with the Wilton. For doing small
turnings - bowls up to 8" diameter - and pen turning, it is very good.
What you are giving up is the handles are plastic vs steel on the jet.
You don't get an outboard wheel, and the Morris Taper is a MT1 instead
of MT2. Also the spindle is 3/4' x 16 tpi . Since you get faceplates
and turning centers with the lathe, not much of a problem. A plus with
the Wilton vs my Jet is that it has Variable Speed.
I ran it for six weekends and am happy with it's performance.
"Just one OLD man's opinion."
The Other Bruce