I came to the lathe party both late and unprepared — but as it turns out, with good equipment, the uber-friendly folks at Rockler, and my old man, learning to turn isn’t all that hard. With just a few learning experiences under my belt, the basic concepts were simple to grasp and easy to repeat. The 46-460 from Delta was no small part of that. A lot of people were leery of the company changing hands a while back, but the simple truth of it is: it’s business as usual at Delta, and business is making solid woodworking machinery.
After posting the video of the dude turning captured rings and chess pieces with his foot while spinning the lathe with his free hand, I feel rather silly not knowing how to get something round with every advantage in the world going for me. However, the Delta lathe, while perhaps a large cheat over some, was incredibly handy to begin with. The 10″ swing on the rest and wildly easy-to-operate speed control got even the greenest beginner like myself looking like I knew what I was doing quickly.
It doesn’t roar to life or require a math degree to operate; the 46-460 just quietly hums to life and provides a relatively safe environment for novice or experienced turners. There’s just no room to bitch about it. While some might prefer the Jet model midi-lathe, the tolerances on the Delta are tight and the power is reliable. For a few hundred bucks, you really can’t go wrong with this one.