More about SHOP FOX W1704 1/3-Horsepower Benchtop Lathe

SHOP FOX W1704 1/3-Horsepower Benchtop Lathe

SHOP FOX W1704 1/3-Horsepower Benchtop Lathe
Ideal for pen turning and small project turning, this Bench-top with and control offers the precision pen turners demand.

  • motor
  • 8-Inch swing over bed
  • Weighs 45-Pounds
  • Cast iron construction and infinitely variable speed control
  • Safety paddle switch

List Price: $ 209.00

Price: [wpramaprice asin=”B001R23SWW”]

Similar tools from eBay: [wprebay kw=”woodworking+” num=”34″ ebcat=”11700″] [wprebay kw=”woodworking+shop” num=”35″ ebcat=”11700″]

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Question by : What kind of canoe should I build?
I’ve never built a canoe before, but i am fairly skilled at woodworking. Also i haven’t canoed that much and the people i would be canoing with would most likely be around the same skill level. The canoe would be going on calm waters with a lot of winds in the river…any suggestions of length and width etc?

Best answer:

Answer by Chase
One that doesn’t leak water 🙂

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    • R. Shields
    • September 24, 2013
    118 of 120 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    A bargain if you know your lathes, May 2, 2009
    R. Shields (SSF, CA) –

    This review is from: SHOP FOX W1704 1/3-Horsepower Benchtop Lathe (Tools & Home Improvement)

    What a shock; free shipping arrived almost overnight! I unpacked this lathe, wiped off the shipping grease, waxed everything down, and evaluated how to make this lathe work well. The tool posts have a cast and painted surface; that would work, but a flattened and polished surface would work smoother, so I filed down and waxed the toolrests. Tested sliding a tool across it and it was smooth as butter. Now it was time to try turning a few pens. Lots of chatter and my mandrel kept behaving very strange. Looking again, I realized that I’d dialed the faceplate (less than 0.06 runout) but that I hadn’t checked headstock to tailstock alignment. Height was good (the headstock and tailstock center heights matched) but the headstock was about a degree off. Removed the motor and controller, loosened the allens holding the headstock in place, and banged the headstock with a soft faced hammer until it lined up. Luckily there was enough play in the castings to bring it back to true. Tightened down the headstock, reassembled everything, and tried a few more pens. Perfect. Quiet, nice cuts, and the variable speed control works very well.

    So if you have never worked with a lathe before you may have better luck with a more expensive machine, one with better QC at the factory. However, if you know the nitty gritty of lathes and can tweak it yourself, this is an excellent value. I would give it 5 stars if I knew everyone out there would be happy with it out of the box but I’ve removed one star for the headstock misalignment. Once that was repaired I had a solid, well-built lathe for about a third the cost of most comparably sized models.

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    • Vee
    • September 24, 2013
    54 of 54 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Shopfox W1704 Great Deal EXCEPT IF YOU NEED PARTS!!!, April 30, 2009
    Vee (New York) –

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: SHOP FOX W1704 1/3-Horsepower Benchtop Lathe (Tools & Home Improvement)

    Compare this midi lathe to the PSI Turncrafter Plus, Wilton 99177, Harbor Freight 95607. It has more horsepower 1/3 vs 1/4 and metal parts vs plastic and a two year warranty. The instruction manual is well written and 30 pages long. The unit came well packaged and with no damage. The alignment was right on and the unit runs smoothly. Comes with 2 tool rests and and a face plate. I am using it for pen turning and feel it is the best buy out there for $126 and free shipping.

    9/19/09 Update on my previous review. I have been waiting on a part from Shopfox for this lathe since April and they have told me it is now due in October. If anyone thinks this kind of support is acceptable then buy this product, otherwise look elsewhere that’s what I will do next time.

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    • Ima Nonymous
    • September 24, 2013
    30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Excellent choice for the novice on a budget, November 25, 2011
    Ima Nonymous (Mid-Atlantic US) –

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: SHOP FOX W1704 1/3-Horsepower Benchtop Lathe (Tools & Home Improvement)

    If you’re looking to get started with pen-making or other small turning and you’re on a budget, this lathe is certainly one to consider. It has better bones than many comparable midi lathes and a better price to boot. My lathe arrived well packaged and in perfect working order. There were no adjustments needed. I just attached the handles and was ready to go. It does have that short delay when I turn it on like someone else mentioned.

    The Shop Fox features Cast Iron construction and is heavy enough to keep vibration down without the need to bolt the tool down. The infinitely variable speed dial is an extremely desirable feature not found on other lathes in this price range. Other lathes require you to stop the lathe, open an access door and change the tension or reposition the drive belt. With this lathe, you just turn a knob and set the speed wherever you want it. It’s definitely a time saving and convenient highlight of this product. The tapers on this machine are #1MT. That’s small but adequate for the size and purpose of the lathe. The spindle size on this lathe is also small at 3/4″ by 16 tpi but an adapter is available to make use of the more readily available 1″ by 8 tpi accessories.

    The one feature absent on this lathe that I would really like to see is a handwheel on the headstock. Since a big selling feature of this lathe is it’s low price, I suppose Shop Fox opted to leave it off to keep the price down. However when finishing projects, it is necessary to turn the piece by hand and without a handwheel, it’s quite cumbersome to do. While I wouldn’t trade a handwheel for the variable speed knob, I don’t think it is too much to ask to make the handwheel available as an optional accessory.

    The bottom line is, if I had it to do over again with the same budget, I would still choose this lathe. You just can’t beat this deal

    A note to new pen turners:
    You will need a few additional tools and adapters in order to be ready to begin making pens.
    In addition to the actual pen kits and bushings, you’ll need chisels, a mandrel and either a 60 degree live center or a mandrel saver. The Shop Fox comes with a live center but it’s not 60 degrees so it won’t work well with your mandrel.

    Small project Chisel set link:PSI Woodworking LCPM3 3 Piece HSS Pen Turning Lathe Chisel Set

    For pen making, drilling the center hole with the lathe is the preferred way to go. If you don’t have a drill press, don’t buy one for pens. Buy a drill chuck for the tailstock and some sort of headstock chuck instead. I have a full sized drill press but I drill the holes for my pens on the lathe.

    This collet chuck system is your least expensive option for the headstock chuck. PSI Woodworking Products LCDOWEL Dowel Collet Chuck System

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    • pedro7of9
    • September 24, 2013

    try yahoo/google canoe plans..many sites..
    40 yrs ago my dad and me [or me and dad] built a 8 foot dingy/sailboat and then a 14 foot speed boat…from plans we got.WWW.glen l marine ..we spent a few winters on the boats and many summers on the Hudson river…

    • Wade H
    • September 24, 2013

    You neglect to say the needed draft.

    A “thin” river, where the bedrocks show needs a boat that needs a might less draft under the keel (if keel there be).

    A “thick” water craft can well do with a keel or even a centerboard, especially in wind.

    If you plan on paddle and not sail, then you are advised to go with a larger boat say at min. 17 feet for a large river, but not much larger than 22 feet, with more beam say at least three and one half feet to no more than five and a half. But colm (sic) over and splash guard the boat excepting for a cockpit for you and your guest and use hinged and flapped side covers to allow for off to each side paddling but a wave protected relatively low gunnel.

    And if you want “performance” as for sails you are advised to stick with modified Chinese Junk rigging with two sails. These are easier to trim but have relatively good performance when home made.

    Low rocker is preferred for a large slow river. And use a keel, at least 1/2 inch. Use a mild cross section like a U.

    More rocker is best for rapids (and for rapids forget sails or cockpits), but don’t use a keel. Use a more aggressive cross section, pinching in.

    I’d advise against rapids, these can be very hazardous for beginners.

    • JetDoc
    • September 24, 2013

    Several years ago I took a class at a local woodworking shop to learn how to make a wooden canoe. We took long, thin ( 2 inch by 1/4 inch thick ) strips of redwood and laid them out over a framework, joined the edges and glued them together. Once the joints were sealed and the entire hull sanded smooth, we covered the outside with clear epoxy resin and two layers of fiberglass cloth. If finished right, the wood shows through the fiberglass and we used a couple of different wood strips to accent the trim and hull.

    We ended up with a really beautiful 18 foot canoe that was just perfect for the small lakes and ponds near where we lived, and my youngest son learned all about paddling canoes

    • seattlesailor2000
    • September 24, 2013

    here is an excellent site with a couple of different stitch & glue canoe plans. my recommendation is to built the 16′ canoe, the larger canoe will have more carrying cap. and should be more stable.

    these are good first boats and will help to introduce you to boat building. one nice thing about these designs is that you do not need to build a traditional strong-back and molds.

    uncle john’s Cajun Pirogue

    many more canoe designs

    hope this helps

    • Ralph 124c41
    • September 24, 2013

    There are 2 construction methods to consider – strip or stitch and glue.
    To see an example of a stitch and glue (lapstitch in this case) take a look at
    While I haven’t built their canoe, their boats go together quite easily.
    Pygmy boats is another company I am familiar with – and there are many more.
    I’ve never built a strip boat because I tend to be too impatient – I’d rather boat than build, a couple of people in my group have built boats from Newfound Woodworks – they turned out beautiful.
    Strip built boats take a more work than a stitch and glue boat. You could expect to spend about 40 hours building a stitch-and-glue; about 120 hours for strip construction.
    Finishing each should be roughly equivalent – about another 40 hours.
    Unless you have better sources of high quality wood than I do, you won’t save any money by building from scratch, the kits I’ve had experience with have all been really good, with minimal scrap.

    • Ned
    • September 24, 2013

    I would say either a strip plank canoe or the 6 hr canoe made from plywood. With the strip plank you will need bead and cove router bits and a router table. Both builds are easy and fun.

    • thor
    • September 24, 2013

    Build a concrete one, or ferro cement i guess. Lots of stares and solid as a rock.

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