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harbor freight mini lathe on sale

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
this is a good 'n' cheap lathe for plug turning, i have one and just bought another now that it's on sale.



sells normally for $150, now on sale for $125 - and if you join the hf 'inside track club' for $30 you can buy the lathe for $90 and then get yet another $10 off = $110 for the lathe (plus any tax and/or shipping). i just did that at my local hf in nj. don't get any cheaper than this for a new and serviceable plug turning lathe - add in some chisels and start turning for cheap.
post #2 of 11
Harbor freight is not known for its quality ….If you did buy from there get the extended warranty because you will be replacing it
post #3 of 11
I have been using my full sized harbour freight lathe for 3 years now with no problem and I bought it used from a guy who was turning bowls on it for 2 years. I think i probably turn around 60-80 plugs a season. I am sure it wont last as long as some of the better lathes but for the money I like mine. I also think most hobby builders wont wear it out.

Tim
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
while there surely may be other experiences and opinions, i've used one of these exact hf mini lathe for nearly 4 years - 3 years turning plugs (only about 60) and lots of other fun turning things, and for the last year devoted exclusively to winding coils for guitar and bass instrument pickups (about a dozen a week, every week of the year). it's really nicely built, not at all junk (and i've seen junk from both hf an grizzly). ymmv.
post #5 of 11

I habe the same mini from harbor freight. Got it two years ago and have turned about 100 plugs and other things on it. works great for small projects. Only problem ive had was the rest broke at the stem, but its an easy fix. Good lathe all in all in my opinion.

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
fwiw, i now use carbide lathe chisels - SO much better than the hi-speed kind. got these beauties for less than a hundred, shipped.

post #7 of 11
anything from hf is crap.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pricise10 View Post

anything from hf is crap.

nonsense.

all of their offerings aren't top shelf.

some amount of their stuff IS crap.

and some items are quite serviceable and get the job more than done.
post #9 of 11

I've got the HF mini lathe as well and it has always worked well for me, no complaints. Just take care of it and you should be fine. Good value.

post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by madcaster View Post

Harbor freight is not known for its quality ….If you did buy from there get the extended warranty because you will be replacing it


Yes buy the extended warranty. I heard some negative comments and shortcoming about this mini lathe.
post #11 of 11
I have an HF (mini - next grade up from the one in the pic) I went with HF because I wasn't sure if I'd like the process of building etc. and the price was right. I did have an issue with the tail stock locking screw which broke on the 11th month 28th day of the warranty. Brought it back and walked out with a brand new lathe, no questions asked. I've had the latest for a while and the same issue is happening, the tail stock locking screw is on it's way out. Might be me since I am new to this or could just be a flaw in this model. Either way, I bought the extended warranty and will return again. Hope to have a Jet one day. I would say if you're going top use it a lot spend the extra cash on a Jet, etc. If you're just learning, I don't think you can go wrong with a HF to start out with.
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