new to wood turning, looking to buy a midi lathe, which one to buy?
It depends on your budget, there are no lemons in the Axminster lathe range. Visit your nearest store and get one of the staff to talk you through the range.
I agree with everything Keith says. I took up turning 2 years ago and bought the AC ( now AW) 305 and couldn’t fault it. It was a bench top lathe and don’t make the mistake I made and assumed my bench height was ok but it was too high. I made a platform but slipped off it a few times. So be aware of that if you are buying a bench top.
I bought the AP350WL when it was called the AT1416VS. Axminster have sold hundreds of these, many to clubs and demonstrators. It has a really good 14” swing, lathes of this size are normally only 12”. The distance between centres is a bit limiting at times. But Axminster sell two bed extensions. I bought the 280mm one and it’s been perfect for my use. I leave it on all the time. The lathe is made in Taiwan and sold by several different companies world wide. They sell a nice, slightly different Black version in Germany. Canadian versions seem to come in Green. Check out the reviews, it gets a lot of 5 star ratings.
The above is all good advice.
Visiting the store may allow some ‘hands on’ in the demo area as well.
Remember that the lathe is only the start of your journey and there will be plenty of other ‘start up’ expenses, like tools, sharpening system, dust extraction etc, so check the budget before making the decision.
Join a Club and get talking to other turners for bucket loads of advice.
Happy turning, Philip.
I bought the Axminster Aw355 and very pleased with it. I have put it into the Axminster stand which is a great piece of kit as is the lathe. I fitted locking castors to the stand as my shop is small - works very well. One word of caution - the hobby is addictive which means I have bought all manner of kit since. My best advise is to get the basics but look very seriously at grinding jigs and I suggest the dedicated versions such as the Axminster ultimate edge.