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Lathe advice

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by David Shalek, Apr 22, 2020.

  1. David Shalek

    David Shalek

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2020
    Messages:
    2
    Location (City & State):
    Lima, Ohio
    Hi people
    I am new to turning. I’ve been a novice woodworker for a long time but never turned. I’ve long considered it but never pulled the trigger. Being that I seem to have a lot time on my hands due to the current world condition I decided to give it a go.

    Ok, here’s my question. I’m sure this has been asked before. In all my research I have narrowed my choices down to 2 units, those being the Rikon 70-220vsr and the Jet JWL 1221vs. For the sake of argument assume that both units cost the same. Based on quality, ease of use, features and versatility, which is the better choice?

    I have already researched other units such as Nova, HF, Delta, PSI, Laguna, Oneway and more and have already eliminated them for various reasons. I am only considering the Rikon or the Jet. I think I have over researched them and rather than clarify the choice all I did was to further muddy the water. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks
     
    Charles Cadenhead likes this.
  2. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2019
    Messages:
    10
    Location (City & State):
    Wilmington, NC
    Our club has 12 of the Rikon 70-220's and I have turned on them a number of times...nice lathes...cant go wrong with either though...
     
  3. David Shalek

    David Shalek

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2020
    Messages:
    2
    Location (City & State):
    Lima, Ohio
    Thanks for the come back. As I said I think I may have over researched it.
     
  4. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2018
    Messages:
    597
    Location (City & State):
    La Grange, IL
    I have used Jets and Rikons in general and both are good companies. I noticed that the Jet model you specified has a lower minimum turning speed (60) than the Rikon (250). I find 250 a bit fast for sanding; I'm usually turning at around 100. That won't be the only parameter to consider, but something I noticed.
     
    Bill Boehme and Mark Hepburn like this.
  5. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2004
    Messages:
    6,491
    Location (City & State):
    Lakeland, Florida
    Home Page:
    I have the Jet 1221vs it is a nice little machine.
    I have used some of the older rikons and they were not nearly as nice as the Jet.
     
    Mark Hepburn likes this.
  6. Mark Hepburn

    Mark Hepburn Artist & Chef

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2014
    Messages:
    1,480
    Location (City & State):
    Houma, Louisiana
    I have a Jet 1642 (have had for about 6 years), another larger lathe and am about to purchase a Jet 1221 so am a bit biased but would go with the Jet. My experience with my Jet lathe (and spiral head planer, edge sander, and some other Jet tools) has been excellent.
     
  7. Timothy White

    Timothy White

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2010
    Messages:
    119
    Location (City & State):
    McKinney,Texas
    Get the Jet.
     
  8. Robert D Evans

    Robert D Evans

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2020
    Messages:
    122
    Location (City & State):
    Hoschton, GA
    Between the two, I would go with the Jet. It weighs 6 lbs more, has the capability of a slower RPM for sanding and Jet has the name recognition and will probably be easier to sell in a couple of years when you decide you want your monster lathe for turning birdbaths. But you'd probably be happy with the Rikon too. I do like the snazzy blue paint job.
     
  9. Tim Connell

    Tim Connell

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2018
    Messages:
    148
    Location (City & State):
    Cameron, Illinois
    I've had the Rikon for a little over two years and have no complaints. Would buy it again under the same circumstances. Not turned on a Jet so can't compare the two.
     
  10. Zack Soderquist

    Zack Soderquist

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2020
    Messages:
    3
    Location (City & State):
    Lincoln, NE
    I am a brand new turner as well, started out with a WEN 8". I also deep dived into research on an upgrade and I chose to go with the Jet 1221VS. I truly love it. Although I have never used a Rikon, I can tell you as a new turner that I am extremely satisfied with.

    Some other recommendation from a new turner who does research into everything I buy, if/as budget allows:
    • Slow Speed Grinder (I use a Rikon 8")
    • CBN Wheel (I only have one at 180 grit)
    • Wolverine Sharpening System
    • Good Quality Tools make a huge difference. I started out with a PSI Benjamins Best set and have recently started upgrading to D-Way tools.
    • 4 Jaw Chuck. I currently have a chuck from PSI, a good chuck but I wish I would have gotten the Nova because:
      • The Jet allows reverse turning (good for hollow forms) and the PSI chuck does not have a reverse lock
      • The PSI is a straight jaw chuck and the Nova is dovetailed (I believe). Dovetail chucks by my research will give you a better mounting because if the end of your tenon is not between two of the "teeth" on straight jaws, then when you tighten it, the end of the tenon can hit the slope on a tooth and push it just slightly out. Never knew this until I watched Stuart Batty's video on the 7 Fundamentals of Woodturning in which he explained it very well. I didn't know why I was getting inconsistent mounting until I watched this and it made sense.
      • Nova is not the best chuck out there, but it's only slightly more than the PSI chuck so a good chuck to start with.
     
    Bill Boehme likes this.

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