Five of the Best - Lathes

Tuesday 22 October 2013

www.woodworkersinstitute.com

1. Charnwood W821 Midi

www.woodworkersinstitute.com

This benchtop lathe sports electronic-variable speed off three belt positions and has a 3/4in x 16tpi spindle thread with 1MT headstock and tailstock accessory mounting facility. The lathe weighs 5kg and is an excellent choice for compact benchtop turning and, as with the next two lathes, can be stored away when not in use.

Please note that the stands for the Axminster AWVSL 1000 & Record Power CL3-CAM lathes are sold as optional extras

THE NUMBERS:

Distance between centres: 430mm

Speed: 450-3,800mm

Max diameter over bed: 300mm

Power: 550W

Price: £299

Website

2. Scheppach dmt 450

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This is a manual belt change five-speed lathe with a 1in x 8tpi spindle with 2MT spindle and tailstock facility. At 34kg, this lathe has the mass to minimise vibration during turning, but also has the capacity to tackle a variety of jobs.This is a manual belt change five-speed lathe with a 1in x 8tpi spindle with 2MT spindle and tailstock facility. At 34kg, this lathe has the mass to minimise vibration during turning, but also has the capacity to tackle a variety of jobs.

THE NUMBERS:

Distance between centres: 445mm

Speed: 650-3,000rpm

Max diameter over bed: 254mm

Power: 370W

Price: £269

Website

3. JET JWL-1220

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This manual belt change six-speed lathe has a 1in x 8tpi spindle thread and 2MT headstock and tailstock facility. It is the heaviest of the three lathes so far and has a slightly bigger capacity. Any of the three mentioned so far would be good first lathes for those just starting out.

THE NUMBERS:

Distance between centres: 510mm

Speed: 400-3,300rpm

Max diameter over bed: 305mm

Power: 700W

Price: £420.95

Website

4. Axminster AWVSL 1000

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The next two lathes are larger models that allow wider and longer projects to be undertaken. Both provide good value for money and provide an ideal basis to start for people who also wish to turn chair, table and stair spindles. This lathe has a 1in x 8tpi spindle with 2MT headstock and tailstock facility, a manual lever-shift variable speed lathe and weighs in at 97kg.

THE NUMBERS:

Distance between centres: 1,100mm

Speed: 500-2,000rpm

Max diameter over bed: 370mm

Power: 750W

Price: £325.96

Website

5. Record Power CL3-CAM

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This lathe sports a 3/4in x 16tpi spindle thread, 1MT spindle and headstock facility, with five speed positions by manual belt change. It is the only lathe not to have a cast bed, but, nevertheless, it is well constructed and, at 86kg, has the weight and grunt to tackle a lot of work.

THE NUMBERS:

Distance between centres: 914mm

Speed: 425-2,000rpm

Max swing over bed: 305mm

Power: 560W

Price: £429.99

Website

(PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF THE MANUFACTURERS)