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Laguna 1836 or Jet 1840?

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Dale Brugger, Nov 4, 2019.

  1. Dale Brugger

    Dale Brugger

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    I've narrowed it down to these two. Comparably priced and powered. Laguna has a two year warranty and Jet a 5 year. Any thoughts?
     
    Paul Lajoie likes this.
  2. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    wow that would be tough. Jet/powermatic does have a good reputation. Laguna is getting there but still new on the market. It would probably come down to the small things and the way you personally work.
     
  3. Daniel Warren

    Daniel Warren

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    I would imagine the biggest difference between the two is the cast iron ways on the Jet and the SS ways on the Laguna?

    I own the Laguna and about the only thing I dislike is the tool rest clamping mechanism. The banjo has a protrusion that can get in the way with deeper forms but has been cured by a robust J rest. I never had the opportunity to play with the Jet.
     
  4. Mark Halleran

    Mark Halleran

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    Location (City & State):
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    I have been looking at both as well. The Jet has the additional safety of the emergency stop switch on the right side of the lathe. What is the distance to the closest repair facility should you need it. I have been thinking about this for me since the closest store to return is 3 hours away for me.

    I like the looks of the Laguna and the display appears easier to read for me. They look very similar except the Laguna headstock seems to push the spindle farther out if you need to work behind the project.
     
  5. Dwight R Rutherford

    Dwight R Rutherford

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    I just looked at the specs for the Laguna and see no mention of SS ways. What am I missing?
     
    Emiliano Achaval likes this.
  6. Daniel Warren

    Daniel Warren

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    Per Laguna’s website, see attached photo
     

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  7. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval Administrator Staff Member

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    You
    are missing the small letters....
     
  8. Steve Nix

    Steve Nix

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    Says Steel, not Stainless steel
     
  9. Damon McLaughlin

    Damon McLaughlin

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    Dale, do you have a turning club nearby? Asking if a club member has one you can try out might help you along with your decision. Or maybe visiting a store that has one or two on the floor for you to stand at in person?
     
  10. Davis Stevenson

    Davis Stevenson

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    Correct. Not stainless ways. As a general comment, warranties are only as good as the company behind them. I don't know much of JPM's reputation, as I've not had issues with my Jet DC. Laguna has been hit or miss with their warranty servicing. In the beginning, we had a sticky power switch (quite common apparently), and a revolving center with an improperly machined MT2. They were quick to dispatch parts, but didn't offer much info for installation, and the tip of the replacement revolving center was about 1/16" out of line with itself. Servicing instructions for the spindle/bearings were also from an old model lathe out of production.

    Also, after 600 hours of use, we're having chatter/spindle wobble issues-- Laguna has kind of washed their hands of helping (we're still in warranty) and been left to sus it out ourselves. The electronic braking is too aggressive, and turning down the speed knob still engages it (even spinning at 50RPM), which is enough to unscrew a faceplate with a 16"x5" blank on it with two setscrews, subsequently scarring the spindle and damaging threads. Without setscrews, I've had blanks come almost all the way unscrewed from the braking.

    Frustratingly, I love everything else about the lathe.
     
    Chuck Lobaito likes this.
  11. William Rogers

    William Rogers

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    I owned the Laguna and the ways are steel. The Robust I now have the ways are stainless steel. I have also owned lathes with cast iron ways. As far as comparison my opinion is they all work. Steel seems a bit more “scratchy", cast iron will dent, and stainless steel seems to be the best solution. I know there are those who only believe in cast iron because they absorb vibration better, but IMO that difference is so minute it is not detectable and the design of the lathe is the major factor. For me, what the bed way material would not be a factor in my decision. What led me to the Laguna was another owner who I respected recommendation. I sold the Laguna mainly because I wanted (no need) the Robust. The Jet has a good following and no doubt a good lathe.
     
    Chuck Lobaito likes this.
  12. Daniel Warren

    Daniel Warren

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    In case there was confusion, the Laguna has steel ways. Not stainless steel, not cast iron, or carbon fiber
     
  13. Doug Freeman

    Doug Freeman

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    The Jet has a 360 deg pivoting headstock, a major + from my perspective, allowing bowls to be hollowed without reaching over the bed or removing the tailstock and sliding the spindle down. I chose a Nova Galaxi in part due to the pivoting headstock.
     
    Timothy White likes this.
  14. Dean Center

    Dean Center

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    FWIW, Jet has a 15% off sale coming up in a few days.
     
  15. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    I know the braking can be programmed on the phase converter, but don't know how. I had my old 3520A reprogrammed because it was a bit steep. Laguna should be able to help you with that. Not sure if they will. Give them a call and ask.

    robo hippy
     
    Davis Stevenson likes this.
  16. Davis Stevenson

    Davis Stevenson

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    Thanks, Robo. When I first expressed concern nearly a year ago, they didn't offer any help/suggestions-- just that attempting to alter the VFD would void the warranty on the motor and VFD, "authoirzed techician only" kind of deal. Looks like the Delta S1 VFD is pretty simple, offering only a selection of presets for braking (or coast to stop) as opposed to full customization. If I could get help on navigating the programming, I would love to bump the aggressive braking down a couple notches.
     
  17. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

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    I don't have experience with either of these lathes, but I do have electronic braking on my Nova. I have tried it twice and on both occasions had the chuck come loose (in one event all the way off). This is a feature you'll want to be able to shut off (preferably make off the default condition).

    Incidentally, I have the Nova drill press and same effect. If I engage electronic braking the chuck opens up and dumps the bit.
     
  18. Dale Brugger

    Dale Brugger

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    Location (City & State):
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    I'm pretty sure I'll go with the Jet for the following reasons: (not necessarily in order) About $275 cheaper with the Black Friday 15% off (that will pay for the bed extension), extra safety switch, three bearings in the headstock rather than two, 5 year warranty vs. 2 year, more options on spindle height with riser blocks, pivoting headstock, VFD rated at 2HP vs 1HP. I liked the wider stance of the Laguna as well as the shape of the headstock. Thanks to everyone's input.
     
  19. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

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    One more comment about customer service. Short of maybe Robust I think I've heard a customer service horror story about every power tool maker. Even my own experience with a particular company's customer service might be good one time and not so good on another occasion.

    Customer service is a function of management philosophy and can change dramaically over the life of the machine.

    If it were me, customer service would be a second tier purchase consideration. I would first focus on the design, features and build quality.
     
    Roger Chandler and Dennis Weiner like this.
  20. Dale Brugger

    Dale Brugger

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    Location (City & State):
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    So I am the proud owner of the Jet 1840. It’s all set up and looks very nice. One of the first things I noticed was the headstock does not rotate. The manual and specifications from 2017 talk about the rotating feature. My manual was revised in 2018 and only talks about the sliding feature. The tool rest extension is no longer standard but now optional. I am just fine without the rotating head. If I ever need more than the 18 1/2 inch capacity I'll add the bed extension.
     
    William Rogers and Paul Lajoie like this.
  21. Bob Sheppard

    Bob Sheppard

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    Location (City & State):
    Wanaque, NJ
    I have the Jet 1642. The head on it doesn't rotate, either. The next model down (can't remember the number) does have a rotating head. But I've had this lather for 20 some years, and haven't missed a rotating head. I rarely even use the sliding feature.
     
  22. Jerry Bochenek

    Jerry Bochenek

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    Sep 30, 2018
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    Location (City & State):
    The Villages, Florida
    I have the Jet 1640 EVS that I purchased a year ago and it has a rotating head. Jet eliminated the rotating head on the 1640 and 1840 about 3 months ago, Not sure why they eliminated the rotating function but there still is a sliding head function,
     
  23. Edward Fasano

    Edward Fasano

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    Oct 6, 2019
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    Location (City & State):
    Kernersville, NC
    According to a friendly Jet Product Manager with whom I spoke at a recent woodworking show in my area, the 1640/1840EVS head rotation function was eliminated largely to maintain a competitive price point. My guess is that tariffs and such may have been a contributing factor.
    I too am near pulling the trigger on the 1840EVS. The Jet, Laguna 18/36 and Harvey T40 were all on my radar. For my needs, the Jet is winning out because of (1) a 3-bearing supported spindle, (2) removable leg risers that lower the spindle by 4", better suiting my vertically-challenged stature, (3) longer warranty, (4) movable stop switch and (5) a more compact footprint and (6) value with the Black Friday 15% discount.
    However, to my eye, both the Laguna and the Harvey offer a more refined appearance. That may or may not indicate more refined manufacturing.
    In the end though. it seems to me that it's probably hard to by a bad lathe in this price range. It's simply a matter of assigning personal values to features and specs and then crossing one's fingers.
     

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