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  • Lathe Opinions/reviews

    Hello all
    I am considering upgrading on the lathe.
    I got an old Atlas 12x36 a couple years ago for $100.00 and added a oneway chuck to it.
    Works great except I would like variable speed and a bit more capacity.
    seems I'm either at about 600 or 1250 RPM
    1/4 hp motor on it as well.

    Busy Bee has one on sale that sorta fits what I would spend.
    I would like to spend $8k and get a really cool piece of equipment but that will never happen...retiring this summer.

    What do y'all think of this little unit
    I mostly do bowls with chunks of firewood.
    I have access to lots of green and spalted logs from our bush lot

    https://www.busybeetools.com/product...b-description1

    Thanks
    Last edited by Dara; 04-02-2020, 09:02 AM.
    Dara
    SPCHT
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  • #2

    Re: Lathe Opinions/reviews

    I personally would not buy a machine with a propriety motor. It is easy to get variable speed today on a belt drive system that will be viable for a lifetime rather than obsolete after 7 years.
    Rob
    Woodwreck likes this.

    Comment


    • #3

      Re: Lathe Opinions/reviews

      I wouldn't buy anything with a mechanical Reeves drive like that one either. I'd either look for a used one and add a VFD to it, or get the one in the link below. The one you posted still only goes as low as 600 RPM.

      https://www.busybeetools.com/product...eavy-duty.html

      I have a General international that is similar and really like it. I used to have a Beaver with jack shaft and such. No comparison. The Beaver was OK but if you want part of the enjoyment to be appreciating the engineering and performance of your tools (an important aspect of the hobby for me personally) then spend a bit more.
      Cheers
      Randy

      Comment


      • #4

        Re: Lathe Opinions/reviews

        I'd check this one out. https://www.kijiji.ca/v-power-tool/st-catharines/wadkin-bursgreen-wood-lathe/1492467179?undefined


        Comment


        • #5

          Re: Lathe Opinions/reviews

          I would not touch that with a 10 foot pole , no really that is not what I would ever buy, it has that trouble prone CHEAP reeves drive.

          There are several good used lathes on KIJIJI, but yes the SOU is not where they are, heck there is a near brand new Oneway on for $5000, yup you don’t want to spend the $$$, but you can sell it 10-15 years from now for the same money or close to it, and enjoy it every day using it.

          I won’t tell you what to buy, but I will tell you what NOT to buy

          Have fun and take care
          Leo Van Der Loo

          Comment


          • #6

            Re: Lathe Opinions/reviews

            Thanks guys. I was reading that other old thread on the reeves drives and wondered. Figured it was too good a price to be true.
            I'm not in any rush to buy. Biggest trouble is my location makes it hard to get used stuff. Everything is a 400 mile trip and if I don't buy when I get there...darn.
            Also need an upgrade to the dust collector...anyway. Thanks for the info/advice
            Dara
            SPCHT

            Comment

            • Thread Continues Below...

            • #7

              Re: Lathe Opinions/reviews

              If it has a reeves drive, you are right, but I am not so sure that it does. I think it is a BXL model that has a step pulley

              Comment


              • #8

                Re: Lathe Opinions/reviews

                Originally posted by tool fan View Post
                If it has a reeves drive, you are right, but I am not so sure that it does. I think it is a BXL model that has a step pulley

                Sorry Rory, I was not referring to the Wadkin, (as I wrote my reply your post was on it’s way but not seen by me yet) I was referring to the OP’s link of the BB lathe,

                Have fun and take care
                Leo Van Der Loo

                Comment


                • #9

                  Re: Lathe Opinions/reviews

                  No problem Leo, it was good to clear that up.

                  Comment


                  • #10

                    Re: Lathe Opinions/reviews

                    How much are you willing to spend? I have a 20 inch NOVA that I love, especially for the drive system. Only thing I don't care for is, it's a bit light for handling something off balance. Sadly they don't make it any more, but the new 16 inch model is available (with bed extensions if you want to turn longer stuff). https://www.kmstools.com/nova-saturn-dvr-lathe-153823

                    Comment


                    • #11

                      Re: Lathe Opinions/reviews

                      Is variable speed your only issue? or do you want increased capacity compared to your 12x36?
                      If all you want most is variable speed, that is easier to achieve with VFD and an older 220v 3ph motor.

                      --Rajiv
                      Posted from my BBC Micro

                      Comment

                      • Thread Continues Below...

                      • #12

                        Re: Lathe Opinions/reviews

                        Don't be coned by the BS your hearing on Reeves drives. Reeves drives have been around for 100 years and untill the development of electronic drives, DC drives were its only competition, in industry or better quality consumer products. Whole factories and industrial processes were run on Reeves drives. 100 hp racing snow machines run on a modified Reeves drive.

                        My 60's Rockwell/Delta lathe runs on a Reeves drive, It run in an Industrial location for 42 years before I got it, a rebuild of the drive, that required no part replacements except for a new adjustment cable, and it runs like new. I posted a picture of it here before of it running at 2200 rpm and a nickel balanced on the bed.

                        Yes the Asian imports are junk judging from the banter on many forums, but so are the VFD's, again judging from the banter on various forums. A VFD however will set you back many more bucks and they seem to fail frequently. Unless you have a background you can't fix it, or even figure out what burned out, more costs.

                        Unless you are willing to pay high industrial level prices, nothing coming out of Asia is going to compete with the older used machines that were produced in the west before it all got shipped to Asia. Our wages have been kept low so to keep us in the market it makes more sense to bring in cheap imports.

                        If you can find a older Delta, Rockwell, General, etc. or some of the older British brands, don't let a Reeves drive turn you off, they were the high quality VFD's of there day.

                        Failing that I would rather build my own than invest in a cheap import. I have plans for many, including some VERY HEAVY shop builds.

                        Comment


                        • #13

                          Re: Lathe Opinions/reviews

                          Yes, you have to know exactly what you are dealing with concerning condemning Reeves drivers overall. The good Reeves drives on the old Canadian Generals bear little resemblance to those on low-cost imports and this probably holds for other high quality machines.

                          Having said that, I wouldn't give up my electronic variable speed VFD for anything.

                          billh

                          Comment


                          • #14

                            Re: Lathe Opinions/reviews

                            I apologize to the greater Reeves Drive community for my gross generalization in condemning their existence. No doubt there are very high quality industrial models that absolutely rock.
                            However in the context of the lathe in question I think we can all agree that they sorta suck compared to a VFD.
                            Cheers
                            Randy

                            Comment


                            • #15

                              Re: Lathe Opinions/reviews

                              From what I have read in forum discussions I would agree, poor quality copies of the original Reeves design. Moving the motor up to the headstock is imho the major part of the problem, the variable belt pulleys are to close together, thats what you get when you build a machine as cheaply as possible.

                              I have also read many discussions of VFD failures as well though and the troubles involved in troubleshooting the problem and repairing it. Is the Heavy Duty CX802 a superior machine? At 3 times the price of the CX803 it better be. The 3 year warranty is the same on both.

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