Lathe wanted/ purchasing advice

I intend to purchase a lathe, it will be my first lathe. I would like to be able to get around 12 inch diameter over the bed and around a meter between centres. I want a lathe which will do all the basic functions very well. I like simple done really well. I am thinking of spending around three or four hundred, maximum, I would prefer to spend less. I definitely don’t want a lathe which I outgrow in a week. So I would like to hear from experienced turners at the space for some advice upon decent lathes to buy. Perhaps you know of a lathe for sale. I know that there are iconic lathes available second hand but I also realise that in order to secure an up to spec example I would probably need the input of an experienced turner for the purchase. So turners, should I be buying used, should I be buying new and buying a bed extension at a later date. Which are the proven branded models which are unequivocally quality machines? All help much appreciated.

Probably not good enough for you, but Lidl have a lathe for sale for £59 this week, comes with a gouge and a skew (totally need sharpening) ! I bought it to see if I would use it before going down your route. I figure £60 in the corner never being used was better than £500 never being used.
First impressions :- adequate, quite solid, needs a new tool rest made as provided one is too short in my opinion

Biggest con- low torque so try to take too much off and it will slow considerable

Biggest pro- low torque so encourages you to take your time and smaller shavings

Here is the first try with it , mini mallet out of pine




@lathetechs is this conceivably good enough for training/inductions? We could get more than one of course

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Not that I am involved just now, it looks perfectly acceptable…

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@Beth might be able to advise you

Not so sure Dermot, i would say it is adequate for someone who has experience to do basic turning (between the centres), and there are YouTube videos of bowls being turned on it. But it is a completely different beast to the one in the workshop, so any inductions would have to be repeated to cover the differences

Noisy as fuck also…

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It looks really nice, I am looking for something which will accommodate chair legs and operate with very low noise levels. Unfortunately this means I wouldn’t be able to use the park side lathe. Thanks for the heads up though.

Yeah I’m planning a motor change at somepoint.

You’re welcome to come try it.
Definitly wouldn’t reccomend the parkside if noise is an issue.
Other than the torque problem Mark mentioned it’s a good little lathe.

Sorry, what motor change. Do you own a park side lathe, is that what you mean? I need to come and get my headphones, I will have a look then. When will you be in your workshop?

Yeah I figured a cheap lathe is better than no lathe…!

Should be there most of the weekend.

Okay I will give you a call on the weekend.

Apologies for the side topicness of this

Just bought 2 of the Lidl Parkside lathes. This should allow some introduction to woodturning sessions to start outside, as a prelude to the woodshop one

@lathetechs, anyone up for this?


I would get one myself but the neighbours might freak out about the noise.

Come and try one at the Space


Would love to be inducted on this!

Update on the parkside lathe … needs work!!
Just got it out to do some spindle work on a green stick and this happened , the rest (which was too short IMO!) has snapped where it connects to the upright.

I knew I was going to have to change it for my use but I wasn’t expecting to need to do it so soon,

Also regarding parkside / Lidl tools I am now of the opinion they are not worth it!!
I purchased their bandsaw last week. After going to four stores to find one that had stock, I finally tracked one down, got it back and started to set it up.

Before even plugging it in the bottom guide adjuster snapped! (Another thin casting) took it back and got a refund.

Conclusion: buy cheap … get cheap

You have been warned

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Is that a cheapo bandsaw in the background? The two things I’d really like are a bandsaw and a thicknesser…

Read the bottom of the post ! Cheapo bandsaw is correct description. It broke during set up! Didn’t even plug it in!

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