Penn State Turncrafter 12" VS Midi-Lathe

WOOD magazine rating
Average reader rating
4.9
out of 5
Brand:
Penn State Turncrafter
Model:
TCLC12VS
Price:
$450

Description

* 1 HP variable speed motor provides superior power and performance
* SBC microprocessor technology delivers pinpoint control and reliability
* Vary speeds from 150 to 4000 RPM for shaping or finishing with the turn of a knob
* Digital readout lets you work at precise speeds and is easy to read
* 24 indexing positions with spindle locking
* Convenient work light with 18" flex cable makes it easier to see even the most intricate work
* Cast iron base is sturdy, stable and accepts optional extension bed for turning projects to over 40"
* Included heavy duty, ball bearing tailstock center provides great grip with much less stress to avoid splitting
* Tool storage rack keeps chisels and other tools close at hand
* Designed for easy belt access and removal

• Weight: 106 lbs.
• 4" Faceplate
• Horsepower:1HP
• Volts: 110V
• Footprint: 31" x 9.5"
• Pulley Steps: 2
• Speed (RPM): 150-4000 Variable Speed
• Headstock Thread: 1" x 8 TPI
• Headstock Taper: #2MT
• Tailstock Taper: #2MT
• Distance between Centers: 18"
• Swing over Bed: 12"
• Tool Post Diameter: 5/8"
• Extension Bed Available: Y

WOOD magazine review

Underpowered, but with nice features

Review Summary

The Turncrafter is heavily underpowered—compared to the six other 12" VS lathes I tested—for turning anything over a few inches in diameter. The belt slips easily, preventing making any heavy cuts. Still, if you can nurse your cuts, this lathe will accomplish about any size turning. The belt is cumbersome to change because there is a still tension on the belt while the motor is raised. I also experienced moderate vibration with or without securing it to the bench.
The toolrest lock, banjo and tailstock all adjusted easily and locked securely. The 12” toolrest with a 5/8” toolpost flexed near the ends, but the 6” toolrest was stable and acceptable for most projects. While adjusting the quill and drilling, I appreciated the rotating handle and stopped keyway that prevents overextension. However, the quill does have a short stroke at 1-9/16”, and the mm/1/20” scale isn’t very useful for those of us who work in sixteenths. The standard cone live center is more likely to split spindles than a cup live center. The indexing system is easy to use with numbered reference lines to make layouts less than 24 spaces a breeze. The centers can be aligned, but with 0.009” play between the tailstock and bed along its entire length, it’s difficult to know if the points are in alignment each time. The speed ranges are misrepresented by 100s of rpms, but the digital read-out does display the correct speed while rotating, though it is difficult to read clearly without stepping back from the lathe a bit. The switch is easy to reach, below the tailstock, but the small toggle can be difficult to operate and the speed dial is easy to bump while hollowing bowls. The 3” faceplate is acceptable, but will only accommodate #10 or smaller screws. The lathe does come with a lot of extra accessories, including carrying handles, cord wrap, replacement drive belt and safety glasses. The accessory storage rack holds a few accessories, and the attached work light is nice for small turnings, but its location renders it useless when hollowing bowls and working on long spindles. —Tested by Brian Simmons, WOOD turning expert

Detailed Ratings

3.5
out of 5

Performance

3

Features

4

Ease of Use

3

Value

4

Reader Reviews

Outstanding Midi Lathe

Review Summary

The quality of this lathe is outstanding. It's easy to use, solid and well weighted, and runs extremely smoothly. I've done some heavy, bulky turnings, and this machine handled it perfectly. I had a problem (purely pilot error), and the customer service folks at Penn State were very helpful and sent a replacement part without hesitation. Highly recommend this solid unit.

Detailed Ratings

5.0
out of 5

Performance

5

Features

5

Ease of Use

5

Value

5

Go for it!

Review Summary

Excellent lathe for a reasonable price. Regarding price I found that Amazon.com gave a better price, plus Free shippng. Before ordering from Amazon I called PSI and they said; "You have to go for the best price." Strange. Performance of lathe is great. Drive belt will slip a little if pushed too hard but thats probably better than having the motor burn out, or worse. Head does not rotate 90 drgrees, like the $3000 Nova Lathe, for bowl turning.
But for $3K I can move myself to hollow a bowl blank comfortably. Lathe came with the tailstock off by 1/8 of an inch from true to headstock. But one quick phone call to PSI got a sincere apology and fast shipment of a new part. PSI is a great company to work with and I use many of their turning supplies.

Detailed Ratings

4.8
out of 5

Performance

5

Features

4

Ease of Use

5

Value

5

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