Wise Buys: Mini-Lathes
Speeds: 500; 840; 1,240; 1,880; 2,630; 3,975 rpm.
Capacities: 12" swing, 20" between centers.
Weight: 101 pounds.
Optional accessories: 28" bed extension, lathe stand, lathe stand extension.
Although Jet's newest mini-lathe costs more than most models, it offers several unique features that make it worth the money. With a robust cast-iron body and powerful 3/4-hp motor, the JWL1220 never balked as I took heavier cuts than anyone really should on a mini-lathe. Although it did vibrate slightly during tough cuts, it purred smoothly for most of my testing workout. It has the same speed selections as Jet's fixed-speed version of the JML1014 (not shown), but the bigger housing makes belt changes much easier.
Because the JWL1220 has the longest mini-lathe bed, Jet includes 6" and 10" toolrests as standard equipment. The larger toolrest allowed me to turn full-length spindles without having to move the toolrest as often as with the 6" version, common to all the other mini-lathes. Other great features on this machine: chamfered spindle threads, minimal spindle run-out, 1-7/8" quill stroke, and built-in tool storage. My only wishes: I'd love to see a longer neck on the lamp.
To learn more:
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