Last Updated on February 26, 2022 by Jason K. Long
I think it would be good to look for a full-size wood lathes If you want to raise your woodturning activities a notch higher and maybe monetize your wood lathe projects. Of course, they are more often utilized at mill houses, potter shops, and trade schools. They are suitable for architectural turning and for actualizing your imaginative creativity. Besides, those who want to make serious money out of woodturning should opt for full-size wood lathes.
Full-sized wood lathes are often used for industrial purposes. They are also bulkier and heavier, equipped with large motors. They can handle larger wood chunks that you want to turn into more extensive finished products. Moreover, these full-size lathes necessitate larger spaces.
Table of Contents
- The Best Full-size Wood Lathe Machines
- Pros and Cons of Using Full-size Wood Lathes
- Factors to Consider When Buying a Full-size Wood Lathe
The Best Full-size Wood Lathe Machines
Full-size lathes come in various types and brands. So, choosing the right one may become a bit confusing for you. To facilitate your buying process, we have listed here the best full-size wood lathes in the market today:
Last update on 2022-06-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
1) Powermatic 3520C 35″x20″
One of the reliable manufacturers of top-notch wood lathes is Powermatic, and one of its best products is the Powermatic 3520C 35″x20.” The Powermatic 3520C 35″x20″ is already a fourth-generation product that retains the sterling features of the previous models like the electronic variable speed, sliding headstock, spindle lock, laser-etched quill, and digital RPM readout.
Moreover, it comes with enhanced features like the adjustable riser blocks, movable control box, and additional 726 pounds of weight with bed extension It also features a spindle lock design (ergonomic), anti-rotation tailstock, digital indexing readout, dead center set, two-position mount, and sliding-hammer knockout rod.
The Powermatic 3520C 35″x20″ can handle a 20-inch round log that is around 35 inches long. It also comes with a powerful two-horsepower motor. Besides, it is very stable with no or minimal vibration because of its enormous weight. So, if you are thinking of monetizing your woodturning activities, this one is a perfect choice for you.
- Its most significant upside is its sterling and more enhanced features.
- Moreover, its massive weight makes it so sturdy that it hardly moves or vibrates when functioning.
- It also comes with an added precision mechanism like its functional digital indexing speed readout that facilitates the adjustment process for you.
- It isn’t easy to set up because of its massive size and weight.
- Besides, once set, you will find it hard to relocate. So, before you set it up, you must think hard about whether the location where you will set it up is the best and final spot for this lathe.
2) Grizzly Industrial G0733
If you want a solid and sturdy cast-iron lathe, you should consider the Grizzly Industrial G0733. It is massive at 547 pounds. With enormous weight, it doesn’t vibrate that much. It has a bed that you can expand up to 47 inches, allowing you to perform big projects with ease. Moreover, its bed is slightly longer than its counterpart Grizzly G0766’s bed which only has 42 inches.
The Grizzly Industrial G0733 is capable of 3,200 RPM. So, it can carry out big projects with enough power and precision. It only has two phases, and it also comes with electronic variable-speed spindle control, digital spindle speed readout, 10″ spindle indexing. You can position its headstock anywhere along its bed. It also features heavy-duty cast iron legs and a bed that ensures its stability.
- It has great speed control with its variable frequency drive that makes working with it convenient. Its range of speed is from 50rpm to around 3200rpm.
- Its digital readout comes in handy in giving you real-time RPMs.
- Its heavy feature can dampen vibrations, and it doesn’t wobble.
- It is easy to use with its forward, neutral, and reverse selector just above the speed knob. Its reverse is useful when you do sanding.
- It is also less expensive than other machines with similar features and functionalities.
- It also comes with two powerful motors that can provide you with high accuracy and rotational speed for all types of woodturning.
- It exhibits at low speeds low torque, and it will have a reduced torque output at low-speed rates. Moreover, you can stop its spindle using your hands if it is rotating below 400rpm.
- The G0733 has only two phases as compared to G0766 (which you can reduce to 100 RPM). It would have been good if it can reduce its RPM down to 100 rpm.
- It vibrates more often.
3) Powermatic 1352001
Powermatic 1352001 belongs to one of your best choices when it comes to full-size wood lathes. It is one of the more advanced Powermatic models that come with all the classic wood lathe features. Moreover, it comes with electronic variable speed control and sliding headstock. It also comes with a spindle lock. Plus, it features remarkable torque. Its digital readout system, of course, lets you monitor the rpm of the lathe quickly and control it. This feature is crucial when working on different types of materials because different materials necessitate different rpm.
When it comes to construction or build, this machine is known for its durability. It is made of damage-resistant cast iron, which makes it sturdy and durable. Hence, it is indeed a good investment. It is also a 682-pounder lathe machine that is almost immovable and doesn’t make vibrations.
- Its headstock lets users change its speed and orientation according to their needs.
- Its 2HP motor creates enough torque to allow it to work on all material types.
- This lathe machine is durable and sturdy and resists corrosion and damage.
- It is easy to operate with its different speed options.
- It also comes with a 5-year warranty.
- It is expensive.
- Setting it up is challenging given its 600-pounder build. It will help if you thoroughly consider where you will set it up because it is hard to relocate.
- Its fixed height maybe a downside.
4) JET 708359 JWL-1642EVS
If you need a lathe with greater capacity, you should consider the JET 708359 JWL-1642EVS. Its legs, as well as its bed, are made of heavy cast iron. Thus, it can dampen vibrations, allowing you to operate it smoothly. You can easily access its controls on its headstock. I also like its LED indicator. Moreover, it features a live center with multiple tips and a heavy-duty face place with a tommy bar and set screws.
The JET 708359 JWL-1642EVS comes with a 1.5HP -motor with 3 phases, allowing you to turn various sizes of wood pieces. Its large spindle also comes with an index for drilling as well as fluting for multifunctional use.
The JET 708359 JWL-1642EVS is expensive. Nevertheless, it is perfect for industrial purposes and serious woodturners. Besides, it comes with a 5-year warranty.
- One upside of this lathe is its powerful motor that you can run on 120V. This motor operates quietly and smoothly.
- It also offers infinitely variable speed ranging from 40rpm to 3,200rpm.
- Its reverse sanding is a fantastic thing to behold.
- It is durable and solid.
- Moreover, it offers good tailstock quill travel of 4 inches.
- You can also do outboard turning with its rotating headstock.
- The finish on its cast-iron seems poorly done.
- It has two-speed ranges between which you can choose by moving its drive belt. Hence, it doesn’t have a continuous range from its lowest range to its highest range.
- Although it is less heavy than the abovementioned lathe machines, it is still challenging to assemble and relocate it. So, you need to ensure that the location you will choose for it will be its final location.
5) DELTA 46-715
The DELTA will always be one of these companies that you can trust when it comes to lathe manufacturing, with almost 90 years of producing great woodworking products. The DELTA 46-715 is one of these products. It is powered by a 3/4Hp motor that you can adjust easily. It has ten-speed adjustments from 450rpm to 600rpm.
You may think this range of speed is too low compared to the abovementioned models. Well, the thing is, this model starts at 450rpm, which is a high starting point for speed. This speed can be dangerous for tyros in woodturning.
The DELTA 46-715 is made of cast iron which lessens the vibrations and increases accuracy. You can position its headstock at 45°, 90° or 180°. It also features a 24 index-position scale that lets you engage in the detailed shaping of your project.
- This lathe has a solid build.
- It offers a higher degree of precision.
- The base isn’t weighty and rigid enough.
- Its tailstock base doesn’t lock down enough. Moreover, you need to retighten it more often.
6) JET JWL-1440VSK
The JET JWL-1440VSK The JET JWL-1440VSK is one of the best full-size lathes you can buy in the market today. It provides you with seven locking placements at 0, 30, 60, 90, 120, 180, and 270. Such a wide option for placement lets you get the most comfortable and flexible placement for your needs.
The base of this lathe is made of cast iron for durability and sturdiness. It also offers speed variables from 400rpm to 3000rpm, allowing you to shape your wood piece smoothly. Its locking system is quite impressive and gives you the best clamps available. It also comes with a headstock that features an anti-rotation key. This feature lets the components stay in place as it safely holds the spindle to make the wood turn uniformly.
- It smoothly operates and is easy to set up.
- It is perfect for beginners who want to get the hang of woodturning.
- It runs perfectly from the start.
- It is easy to adjust, and its motor operates quietly.
- The tool also features an optional extension bed.
- The 400 rpm can be a bit dangerous for starters. So, it will help to be very careful if you are a starter.
- When tightening the head down onto the table, take extra care not to damage the bushing’s soft material.
- It also doesn’t feature a reverse rotation.
- Its sliding headstock is capable of pivoting 360 degrees.
Pros and Cons of Using Full-size Wood Lathes
Lathes come in three different sizes: mini, midi, and full-sized. The full-size lathes, of course, are large and heavy and perfect for industrial purposes. So, before buying a full-size lathe, it will be useful to know the following advantages and disadvantages of a full-size wood lathe’s use:
- With the full-size wood lathe, you can engage in more significant projects. The full-size lathes, of course, are perfect for turning larger wood pieces. They got bigger spindles and swings, allowing you to turn up to 300lbs of wood pieces.
- They got more powerful motors as compared to those of the midi lathes. With more powerful motors, they can deal with more challenging projects smoothly and efficiently.
- They provide better stability. Because full-size lathes are heavy and bulky, they have better strength and capability in dampening vibrations.
- They provide enhanced durability. Since the full-size lathes are designed for industrial purposes, they are made of durable materials. Hence, they are more expensive. Moreover, they can withstand the rigors of woodturning day-in and day-out.
- It is expensive. Since many things go with constructing a full-size lathe, it is more expensive than smaller ones. Moreover, it comes with more features, and thus, it is more expensive. Besides, it is not easy to make, and it needs to be durable. Nevertheless, it is stable and more efficient.
- It is large and heavy, and it is difficult to move it from one place to another. So, you need to carefully consider where to position it before you even set it up, for it is hard to relocate.
- It doesn’t give you much control of the equipment. It may be more stable and durable, but it doesn’t give you much control over this equipment since it is bulkier and more powerful. Moreover, you need to rely heavily on the right settings to ensure that they will work perfectly.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Full-size Wood Lathe
There are several brands and models of full-size wood lathes in the market today, and choosing becomes a bit of a problem, given these myriads of options at hand. Moreover, the high prices of full-size wood lathes would indeed make you want to weigh your options carefully. Hence, it will be best to be mindful of the following essential factors to consider when choosing a full-size wood lathe to ensure that you will make a wise purchase.
The usual speed range of most wood lathes is from 300 rpm to 5000rpm. The higher the speed of the wood lathe, the more powerful it is, and the easier you can turn wood of larger sizes. So, if you’re looking for a powerful wood lathe that you would use for a significant amount of woodturning, it will help if you consider the range of speed of the wood lathe.
Design and Build
When it comes the full-size lathe’s build and design, the heavier the lathe machine, the better it will be for stability and durability. Since the lathe machine is prone to experience vibrations, the heavier components can dampen these vibrations and improve stability. With a more stable lathe machine, you can engage in woodturning with precision. Balance, of course, plays a critical role in ensuring great cuts.
The heavy ones also tend to last longer and are great investments, especially if you want to monetize your projects.
It will also help to consider the lathe’s height. The height will determine how comfortable you will be working on it. Its height should correspond to your elbow’s level or height. If it is too tall, you will have a hard time operating it.
If you intend to engage in a huge project that requires more woodturning, you should ensure that the headstock can rotate at more significant degrees. It should also be turning away from the bed base to ensure that you can access the toolrest even if you are dealing with larger pieces of wood.
You should keep the piece of wood that you are turning in place to get a uniform rotation. In this way, you can produce great results. The component responsible for keeping the wood in place is the tailstock. It has a pin-like structure that allows for uniform and even rotation of your wood piece. Hence, you should carefully check if the tailstock is nicely designed for such a job. For optimum results, you should pin the tailstock and the bed tightly.
The tool rest should be well set to support your tools and for safety reasons. It should allow you easy adjustment to set your tool close enough to the spinning wood. Moreover, if you intend to spin bigger objects, you must have two interchangeable tools for more space for fashioning out or shaping your pieces.
One biggest consideration when shopping around for a wood lathe is your budget. Your budget will determine the type of wood lathe you can buy. So, if you intend to buy a full-size wood lathe, you should be prepared to shell out a hefty sum of money for full-size lathes are expensive. Yet, if budget is not an issue, you can always splurge in buying whatever type of wood lathe you like.
If it is your first time buying a wood lathe, you would usually have little idea where to start. So, it will help to do a bit of research about wood lathes and the best wood lathes in the market today. Moreover, you need to know which woodturning projects you would often engage in. Afterward, when you know your woodturning needs, you can accurately zero in on the wood lathe model that could best address your needs.
Wood lathes can come in handy in creating functional furniture and other beautiful decorative wood projects. And if you want to monetize your woodturning skills, you can always opt for full-size wood lathes. Of course, full-size wood lathes are great investments, but they are expensive. So, you need to ensure that your choice is the perfect choice for your projects before you spend your hard-earned money for it.
Jason is a 40-year-old woodworker and carpenter who have been involved in the woodworking and woodcraft industry with 17 years of experience. He is expertise in technical aspects, woodcraft and furniture building projects.