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A new lathe from Oneway, model 1236SD, works as a conventional stand-up machine, but uniquely, it also can be rotated 90° and used while sitting. I tested the lathe while recovering from back surgery.
Using a rolling stool, I found the sit-while-you-turn experience to be surprisingly comfortable. Wheelchair users should as well. In fact, I’d consider sit-down turning even if my back was problem-free.
A jackscrew lets you raise or lower the 485-lb. lathe to a comfortable height just by cranking a wrench.
When sitting, though, as I quickly learned, there is one extra step: You need to regularly clear shavings from your lap.
Thanks to a 1-hp motor, the lathe had plenty of power and the electronic controls were smooth and efficient. The headstock has heavy-duty ball-bearings and a 24-position index.
To shift from stand-up to sit-down mode took two minutes at most. I just had to loosen two knobs at each end of the lathe and change out the tool-rest bases.
When turning a bowl, the tool rest had a somewhat limited range, so it had to be moved frequently. The 1236SD sells for around $2,900. For more information, go to www.oneway.ca or call 800-565-7288.
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