Midi-Lathe TC 90-100 - Fine Woodworking Tool Review
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Midi-Lathe TC 90-100

Fisch - Midi-Lathe TC 90-100

This benchtop lathe from Fisch has a 10-in. swing and offers the capacity to turn up to 15 in. between centers.

$285 (As of 10/1/2002)

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Editor Choice-Best Overall

Editor's Review: Tool Test: Midi-lathes

by Andy Barnum

review date: October 1, 2002

Many woodworking shops don't have a lathe, most likely because of cost or space. But the arrival of a new category of small lathes has made cost and space less of an issue. Introduced in the late 1990s, these machines—often called midi-lathes—are generally bigger and beefier than the so-called minilathes, yet they're smaller than full-size machines. Midis are affordable—selling for between $285 and $350—and take up very little space. For someone unsure whether wood turning is going to be worthwhile, a midi-lathe might be the best way to test the waters. Not only are the midis relatively inexpensive, they also have enough power to do some serious work. But how well do they work? To find out, I tested five midi-lathes for a semester in my wood turning class at the School of Art and Design at Purchase College in New York.

At 81 lb. the Fisch weighs slightly more than the average mini-lathe wieght of 74 lb. It has the lowest price of the bunch. And, at 15 in., it ties for the most distance between centers without a bed extension. The on/off switch is conveniently located in the headstock. A bed extension is $60.

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Editor Test Results:

Stability of Base N/A

Manufacturer Specifications

Manufacturer Fisch
Manufacturer's Web Site www.fisch-woodworking.com
Manufacturer's Phone Number 724-663-9072
Taper Size Headstock Spindle: 1-in. by 8-tpi threads, #2 Morse taper; Tailstock Spindle: #2 Morse taper, 2-1/2 in. travel
Distance Between Centers 15 in. (39 in. with extension)
Maximum Swing 10 in.
Outboard Turning Option No
Faceplate Included Yes
Speed Settings: 500, 800, 1,250, 1,800, 2,650, 3,700 rpm
Horsepower 1/2 hp
Amps 6.6 amps
Volts 115 volts

I have had this machine for 3 years and it has performed very well. I only have a small shop and this machine is very suitable for my needs. I enjoy turning small bowls, bottle stoppers, pens, candle sticks, and other small items. I purchased a 12 inch tool rest separately and it doesn't seem to fit the machine properly. It keeps the cutting tool too high above the centerline of the machine. That's my only complaint. The machine does everything I want to do and does it well.

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