I have the Jet 1642 EVS. One of the nice features that I bought it for is offbed turning, the head stock moves and I can turn bowls and platters greater than the 16" diameter bed limit.

However, I paid a lot of money for this tool and the few times I've looked I have not been able to find a weight limit for the size/mass of a bowl blank I can mount on it without damaging it.

I have a large hunk of ash, it was from a tree ~32 in diameter. Split in half and rounded with a chain saw (haven't done this part yet) I estimate the blank will still be ~100 lbs.

That is a lot of weight. So before I cost myself $500 in lathe repairs (which could buy some nice NEW tools) Can anyone tell me or find what a reasonable weight limit is for outboard turning of large bowls?

  • Can't answer, but sounds like it's gonna be "real purty" when done...
    – keshlam
    Mar 15, 2016 at 15:14
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    I want to say it's more a function of how "wobbly" the piece is when you first turn it, but I don't know for sure. It would be a lot easier to turn a well-balanced 200-lb piece than a poorly-balanced 100-lb piece.
    – grfrazee
    Mar 15, 2016 at 16:07
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    I think as long as your lathe isn't jumping around like a Cypress Hill concert, you're probably fine. 100 lbs isn't that much for a 1/2" steel axle. But by all means, contact Jet - I'm sure we're all interested in their response!
    – grfrazee
    Mar 15, 2016 at 16:18
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    Well, I broke down and called support. They needed to forward it on to the development group. So now waiting.
    – bowlturner
    Mar 15, 2016 at 19:38
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    I can only imagine the "destruction test" at Jet now, where they're seeing what it takes to explode a lathe. I think the torque due to gravity (depending on how long the blank is) will be the bigger factor rather than rotational mass::Think overloaded trailer axle v. too big a tire Mar 18, 2016 at 18:12

2 Answers 2


That was fast. I broke down and called Jet tech support. The information was not in any of their product information and the support person needed to ask Development. I mentioned that the piece I was wanted to use was between 100-150 lbs. Development said that lathe could handle 200 lbs. easily, he didn't even have to look it up. So 200 lbs. is well within the range of the lathe. So while I don't know what the upper limit actually is, I do know it is much larger than I am currently planning on using.

  • Good to hear... And good illustration of why it's worth doing homework before asking SE.
    – keshlam
    Mar 15, 2016 at 20:24
  • @keshlam well someone here might have already asked this question and had the answer! ;)
    – bowlturner
    Mar 15, 2016 at 20:27
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    I don't see how it illustrates any such thing. It's obviously not information that's easy to find, and having the question asked and answered here (even if by the same person) will help others in the future.
    – Caleb
    Mar 15, 2016 at 20:28
  • Just FYI, considering a specific gravity of 0.75 (roughly that of US hardwoods), 200 lbs is about 4 cubic feet of wood. That's a big bowl.
    – grfrazee
    Mar 16, 2016 at 14:58
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    Jeez. Good luck, and best wishes for your back trying to lift that beast.
    – grfrazee
    Mar 16, 2016 at 15:09

If I'm looking at the right model's manual, the speed recommendations only go up to 16" diameter, which might say something.... No, that's just the swing-over-bed limit; if you're turning outboard with aux tool rest I don't see anything stated for size or weight. Maybe that tool rest came with some hints?

You could create the moral equivalent of a steady-rest with inline skate wheels to carry the weight.. Though that only works after it's rounded.

Remember that increased radius increases circumference and linear cutting speed. You may need to crank it 'way down when cutting near the outside edge.

... Let us know when you've found out?

  • 1
    The "moral equivalent" of a steady rest? That's an interesting twist of phrase. I think I like it! :)
    – FreeMan
    Mar 17, 2016 at 13:27

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