View Full Version : Central Machinery Equipment
11-07-2000, 12:44 PM
I am starting a home wood shop and because of costs have been forced to purchase less-expensive equipment. I have my eye on a lathe through Harbor Freight Tools (34706-2), but am very hesitant to purchase the Central Machinery brand. Jet and Delta make a lathe that looks just the same and has the same specifications, but cost at least $200 more.
Does anyone have any experience with Central Machinery to help me out? The price is right, but I don't want to end up with a boat anchor!
Gary R in PA
11-08-2000, 10:51 PM
I have no personal experience with this line. I have recently read somewhere that this company is an arm of the PRC (Peoples Republic of China) army and help to fund it. Just what I read.
11-08-2000, 10:57 PM
A person I talk to on another d-group has that tool. He is very happy with it. Said it is well worth the money. Go to his web page for a review of this tool. www.sawsndust.com click on "tool talk" then read dowin the list and click on lathe.
Hope this helps
I purchased a 6" jointer from Harbor freight and have had no major problems with it. The quality isn't as good as Jet or delta but since I am also limited $ wise I think it was ok.
stay away from electric tools from central they are not reliable.
karl in pa
11-09-2000, 10:23 AM
I have CM's 1/2" hammer drill and have had no problems with it. My friend bought their 4" grinder and is thrilled. Because the lathe costs more than a grinder or drill check the warranty. I have a feeling CM's warranty is not as inclusive as Jet or the big D.
save your money and get a jet or delta it will be worth the wait
11-19-2000, 01:38 AM
When I was in the market for a 6" jointer, I also looked at a CM tool. I have a Harbor Freight store very close to my home. IMHO, the CM is a copy of a Delta with substantial manufacturing cost savings. After looking at the CM jointer I saved the money and bought a Delta jointer. I haven't looked back!
Cheap tools are the most expensive tolls that you can buy. You'll replace the cheap tool with the professional quality model in short order.
11-19-2000, 01:55 PM
I agree with Rich. Buy the best that you can afford and your projects will reflect it. However, the best does not always mean the most expensive. You need to educate yourself. Wood Magazine's reviews have helped me to make my decisions and I really think they do a good job. As far as the lathe, I bought the Delta and am very happy with it. My buddy bought the CM lathe, at a lot less money and also makes very nice items with it. He is very pleased. I work for a very large Chemical company that supplies resin to tool manufacturers to mold into their tool housings, Dewalt, Porter Cable, Bosch, Poulan, Sears. Don't be afraid to buy "reconditioned tools" of good names. They are tools that had a problem, were returned for warranty work, and completely reworked. They come with new Warranties.
This is great advice. I have a CM belt/disc sander and had a bushing go bad. I emailed Harbor Freight and they were extremely helpful getting the parts I needed. But as far as quality goes, the CM is lacking somewhat. I bought a reconditioned Delta planer from Harbor Freight over five years ago and it's the best money I've ever spent. I don't think I'd buy a lathe from them though. I'm in the same boat as you are and I'm (impatiently) waiting to buy the Grizzly G5979 for about $300. Check out Popular Woodworking's Tool Buying Guide 2001. www.popwood.com
11-20-2000, 11:34 AM
I too have a limited budget BUT have been able to buy some great tools at GREAT prices by buying at estate sales. I bought a Delta Lathe for $75, table saw, scroll saw, router, etc. Need to get to the sales early or someone else will be there first.
Happy saleing and sawing - Ralph
11-22-2000, 06:36 PM
I have just set up this lathe. It is a lot of equipment for the money, but I did find a couple of things that needed work. First, the cast iron pullys were out of round.This caused the lathe to shake pretty bad. I have access to a metal lathe so turning them true was no problem. Second, the motor is not high quality. When I tried to run at the fastest speed it would not run. I don't plan on running at that high of a speed so this was not a problem, but I couldn't have lived with the pullys!
11-22-2000, 08:50 PM
HF has several lines of tools to choose from. I can guarantee that the Central Machinery brand is flat JUNK. I paid $50 for a 12" planer at a garage sale. The thing was in the box. If I could do that one again I would charge the guy a dumping fee for handling that crap. I have a Powermatic 15" planer and thought for 50 bucks a portable would be nice. YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.
11-30-2000, 02:30 PM
I have many Harbor Freight items, and have been happy with all of the power tools. I have a 7x10 Lathe, A var. speed scroll saw, band saw, plus many hand power tools. All have worked great, and I have not had any problems with any of them. I have purchased a few items at auctions, and that is a great way to pick up item that are cheap.
12-28-2000, 02:29 PM
Stay as far away from Harbor Freight as you can. Some of their items are of acceptable quality (notice I don't say good - I have yet to run into any good quality items from them). Most are very cheaply made. If you intend to use your tool once, buy harbor freight. In addition, I have had their customer service downright lie to me about tool specifications and shipping information. I will NEVER deal with them again. I suggest you don't either. -Bud Langley, Austin Texas.