When you think about buying a lathe, an essential factor to consider is its quality and performance; everything else is secondary. It doesn’t matter whether you are an intermediate or a seasoned woodworker, a good quality lathe is an indispensable tool in any woodwork shop. A robust wood lathe benefits a hobbyist as well as a professional. There are several other woodworking alternatives, but none of them are as efficient, precise, and effortless as a lathe.
Lathes are available in three sizes – large, midi, and mini lathes. A midi lathe is good enough if you are going to be making smaller objects. Whatever the size, a quality lathe with basic features will cost you a significant amount of money; but it’s worth the investment. Just think about the number of showpieces and other products you can make to sell, such as table legs, pencils, baseball bats, candle holders, etc.
To make sure you spend on the right lathe, you need to do your share of research and comparison. It also helps to visit stores and check out the lathe in person.
You can also check with other woodworkers to learn more about the different kinds of lathes and choose the one most appropriate for your type of work. This post is a Shop Fox W1836 Bench Top Wood Lathe Review; read further to know more about this midi-lathe.
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Shop Fox W1836 Review
The Shop Fox W1836 made it to our post because of the incredible power it offers at a price that is well within reach. The machine has a ¾ HP motor which runs on two-speed ranges – 500-1800 RPM and 1000 – 3800.
The lathe is made of tough cast iron, which gives it the durability you need. This heavy metal can withstand years of functioning even if it runs in the busiest shops. It stays stable and sturdy even when it is working on the heaviest woods. The lathe also comes with a paddle switch to prevent the lathe from turning on by itself or from shutting down accidentally while it’s working.
The W1836 is a 12inch x 15-inch benchtop wood lathe. You will notice that it is a heavy machine, so it stays stable while working on heavy pieces of wood. The best-performing lathe will be on the heavier side.
As mentioned above, this machine has a cast iron body, and you will see the company logo and safety instructions etched on it. This makes it convenient for users to be mindful of the safety precautions before operating the lathe.
The lathe body has a work light attached to it to have better visibility and be more efficient while carving the wood. This is one of the features that make the W1836 unique and gives it an upper hand over other midi lathes.
The facelift and the live center are in glistening silver, and there is also a digital readout screen in a decent size, which allows you to see the readings with ease. The variable speed settings are situated within reach designed primarily to make the speed switching process comfortable and easy.
You have our word on the performance of this powerful lathe. This is a purchase that you will not regret. The ¾ HP power motor can turn all kinds of wood provided the pieces fit in it. Another feature that makes this machine a great buy is that you can change the spindle speed.
There are 24 index positions on the lathe, and you have the option to increase its speed gradually. This helps you to mark and cut the wood evenly. Since there are variable speed options, you can better control the wood and create the design you want precisely in the final product.
Another feature you need in a high-performance lathe is the ease of turning the wood without any resistance. The live center on this lathe makes it possible for you to turn wood smoothly.
Safety is an essential feature that you need to have in any machinery; the lathe is no exception. This model has a bump switch located in a convenient position on the lathe. So in case, something is off with the machinery and your hands are occupied, you can turn off the lathe by bumping the switch with your hip.
There is also a belt cover that protects the pulleys while the lathe is operating. This feature ensures that your sleeves don’t get pulled into it. But a drawback here is that you will have to take off the belt cover if you need to use the wheel for rotating it with your hands or if you need indexing.
Other features worth mentioning include:
- DC electronic speed motor
- Two spindle pulley changes
- Digital readouts
- LED lights
- Two convenient handles that allow you to carry this 85 pounds machine easily
- It is versatile
- Two spindle motor
- It has a variable speed
- Electronic speed adjustment
- It is a heavy and stable lathe
- Includes a two-year warranty
- The 24 index positions will help you mark and cut evenly
- The lowest rpm is 500 which can be too much sometimes
Who Is This Product Ideal For?
This lathe is suitable for intermediates and professionals but is not ideal for beginners. If you are short on space and would like to invest in a medium-priced lathe, then the Shop Fox W1836 is for you. This is an excellent midi lathe for those who want to make small items such as doorknobs, table legs, pens, bowls, or other small wooden items (within 12-14” diameter).
If you are a beginner you can check out our article about the 6 Best Wood Lathe For Beginners.
Conclusion Of Shop Fox W1836 Review
The Shop Fox W1836 benchtop is an excellent buy if you don’t want to invest in a large full-fledged wood lathe. The machine is easy to use, versatile, and comes in a decent price range. The motor is powerful enough to make beautiful wooden items. There are a few cons to the lathe, but the pros make it a perfect midi-lathe for people who have a small workspace.