I'm looking to get a lathe...I haven't turned anything since middle school, but it looks fascinating to me. I'm currently taking a college woodworking class, but our project doesn't have anything that is turned so I don't know if I'll get to the lathe this semester, so I was going to look into adding one to my shop at home. I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions for a good beginner one or ones to avoid. I'm watching craigs list for used ones because I'm shopping on an extreme budget since I don't even know how much I'll use it (though I'm thinking it will be a lot and I'll end up upgrading to a better one at some point). Any advice would be appreciated.
I use a Jet 1220. It is considered a Midi lathe and was much less expensive than the big full size versions. It will turn up to a 12" diameter, 20" long. There is a bed extension available at an extra cost, if you need a longer capacity. The Jet construction is cast iron. No plastic. I like that. I also like Jet's customer service. Awesome is how how I would describe it. On a recent small problem with my 1220, I called customer service and talked with a live rep. The rep shipped me the part overnight at no charge. It was a 5 minute fix. I cannot say enough good things about the Jet 1220. Hope that helps you.
Got my lathe this weekend! I ended up getting the harbor freight one since it's a beginner one, and it had rather good reviews for it's price. I'm so excited Unfortunately I'm in the middle of a rush refinishing job, so I don't have time to even get it out of the box this weekend. But now I'm looking at getting accessories and tools. I picked up the least expensive ones I could for learning with...but do you have any suggestions for brands of good ones? I'm thinking I'll have to budget it out and pick up one tool at a time. My set doesn't have a bowl gouge (? is that what it's called?) and I know I'm gonna want one of those soon.