Rockler’s New Benchtop Lathes

Rockler’s New Benchtop Lathes

If you’re ready to take up woodturning this spring, two new lathes from Rockler can get you started off right and aff ordably! Rockler’s 10-18 Mini Lathe is compact but nicely appointed. It has a cast-iron bed with non-slip adjustable feet for excellent vibration dampening and a powerful 1/2hp induction motor. Pulley clusters, accessible through two swingaway doors, enable the Mini to be set to five speeds: 760, 1,100, 1,600, 2,200 and 3,200 rpm. The drive belt tightens with convenient cam-locking ratcheting levers.

System for changing speeds on mini lathe
Switching speeds on the 10-18 Mini is as easy as opening a pair of swing-up doors, loosening the motor’s locking lever and moving the drive belt between pulley sheaves.

This 80.5-lb lathe off ers a maximum turning diameter of 10″ for creating moderately sized bowls or vessels, and an 18″ span between centers is sufficient for turning all manner of small furniture legs, pens, tool handles, spindles and other decorative items.

Both the headstock spindle and tailstock quill are machined with common #2 Morse tapers, and the spindle threading is 1″ x 8 threads per inch (tpi). The 10-18 Mini Lathe comes with a 6″ tool-rest, 3″ faceplate, spur drive center and ball-bearing live center. When equipped with an optional bed extension, its distance between centers expands to 38-1/2″.

VS 12-24 Midi Lathe

Rockler midi lathe mounted on a workshop stand
If a benchtop isn’t available, both the 10-18 Mini and 12-24 Midi Lathes can be mounted to Rockler’s accessory steel stands that are width- and height-adjustable.

For even more capacity and ease of speed changing, consider Rockler’s larger VS 12- 24 Midi Lathe. Its 1.2hp induction motor can be infinitely controlled between two speed ranges — 300 to 1,100 and 750 to 3,500 rpm — by simply turning a speed dial. A digital readout reports the speed setting. You can also switch the lathe to turn in reverse, which can be helpful for sanding. The 93-lb Midi Lathe will turn bowls up to 12″ in diameter or 24″-long spindles. Its bed, headstock and tailstock are all made of cast iron for durability, rigidity and low vibration. Adjustable rubber feet keep it firmly planted on a benchtop. The bed can be expanded to a 54″ distance between centers by installing an accessory bed extension.

Tool storage on side of Rockler lathe
The included tools for setup and adjustment, plus the drive or live center, can be stowed on the VS 12-24’s onboard storage rack.

Like the Mini, this larger lathe has #2 Morse taper spindle and tailstock bores, and the 1″-diameter spindle is threaded 1″ x 8 tpi. Standard accessories include a longer 7-7/8″ tool-rest, 3″ faceplate, live center, drive center and an onboard rack for storing the tools. Rockler includes a helpful plastic spindle washer to prevent the faceplate and chucks from getting stuck on the spindle.

While both of these machines will be quite at home on a bench or shop-made stand, either can be mounted to dedicated, adjustable-height steel stands, if desired.

VS 12-24 Midi Lathe

Motor: 1.2hp, 110-volt

Speeds: 300-1,110 / 750-3,500 rpm

Swing Over Bed: 12″

Distance Between Centers: 24″

Spindle Threading: 1″ x 8 tpi

Weight: 93 lbs

10-18 Mini Lathe

Rockler 10-18 Mini lathe and accessories

Motor: 1/2hp, 110-volt

Speeds: 760, 1,100, 1,600, 2,200, 3,200 rpm

Swing Over Bed: 10″

Distance Between Centers: 18″

Spindle Threading:: 1″ x 8 tpi

Weight: 80.5 lbs

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