I can see the attraction of a $600 or even an $899 vrs one that goes for $1399 especially when the advertisements read and sound about the same. I would strongly urge everyone considering buying a used dial indicator and magnetic base and learning to use it.
On a similar note though, I did buy a Jet lathe for my son; the 1214 if memory serves correctly.
Christopher Schwarz has helped many of us solve some pretty frustrating problems over the years. My first week on the job and I get to have some fun playing with the new Jet 719200 JWL-1221 Wood Lathe. I mention in the official review that the headstock cover that gives access to the step pulley could open a little further on the 719200. I’ve done a fair amount of turning and the Jet 719200 wood lathe is a real pleasure to use.
Chuck is a former senior editor of Popular Woodworking, and has 30+ years of experience as a high-end period furniture maker and woodworking teacher. If you are running an ad-blocker or an old browser version, you may need to update or disable the ad-blocker to use the entry form.

The companies hosted a nice dinner for us on Tuesday evening before turning us loose on a downtown that has more country music bars than one could check out in weeks. Of course the table tilts (just twist the handle to raise or lower), and Jet has scored big with a retractable stop which makes for quick resets when you tip the tilt to the left; fold the stop down to access the full-tilt ability, then flip it back up to level the table square to the blade. Whereas in all other tool groups, there’s an expectation that they be correct and accurate from the get go.
Justifying the expense is difficult, but getting a piece of scrap metal that ends up sitting in the corner of the garage is worse. The money saved by getting an accurate machine right off the bat would pay for the indicator many times over. Some of the blades had a jog where the bands had not been aligned properly when they were welded.. I’ll be on Craigslist looking for an older machine to rebuild, or keep shopping until I find one that serendipitously came out of the factory all straight and even! Actually, I’m reviewing the lathe for the October issue of the magazine but it sure seems like playtime.
It runs smoothly and quietly and has enough weight to give it the feel of a much larger lathe.

After a few presentations we were shown new tools and introduced to the hosts’ new philosophy of industrial design plus clear delineation between the two brands. Other than a scratched and burred Morse taper on the drive center (Which got stoned the second I got home) it’s all you could ask for.
The only time I could bring the lathe to a halt was if I had the belt on the largest motor pulley and dialed the variable speed down to the minimum (160 rpm). In spite of the partially blocked opening (and if I was a few inches shorter it wouldn’t be a problem), the divisions on the indexing head are easy to read. Not a single machine was within what I would consider reasonable tolerances (I wish I knew what reasonable tolerances are for a band saw…) 005 to 020 thousands runout on any axises, and in some cases all three. I also really like that the access door is held in place with magnetic strips rather than a turnbuckle, easy to open and stays put when closed.

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