Bye bye, green goddess. Hello, white goddess!

It’s done. I have finally ordered myself a proper wood lathe. It’s a Twister FU-200, from Simon Hope. The lathe itself is a German make, with a 16″ swing and 28″ between centres. And since I intend to go quite big with some pieces, I also ordered the bed extension, which, together with the swivel head, will give me a maximum diameter of 32″.

I have been playing around with this idea for quite some time. The green goddess is a metal lathe, and not ideal for wood turning. I can get the speed up to about 2k rpm, but only for abnout 10 minutes, and then it starts to get very warm. The saddle gets in the way of many cuts, and I am limited to 10″ diameter. Actually, more like 9″, since you always need a little bit to just get your work piece round. And at that diameter, I can’t get the tool rest where I want it, it’s all dictated by the general build of the machine. As said, it’s a metal lathe, and I am abusing it.

So now, I have to rearrange the workshop. Nut just a little, but quite majorly, because I don’t intend to sell the green goddess. After all, it’s good for a lot of things. Metal turning, for a start, which allows me to combine metal and wood work into one. And it comes in very handy as a disk sander.

Well, I am almost there. Had to box up a lot of the model building stuff, and throw out some other stuff, but it’ll work. I can’t tell you how exited I am!

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3 Responses to Bye bye, green goddess. Hello, white goddess!

  1. Mick Sharps says:

    Hello, I am thinking of getting the same lathe and was wondering how you have been getting on with yours…? Any feedback or advice on this lathe would be very helpful.

    Many thanks


    • fuzzy says:

      The more I work with this lathe, the more I know I’ve made the right decision. It is solid, precise and everything I could ask for. Yes, there are bigger and more powerful machines out there, but they are also a lot more expensive, and probably wouldn’t fit into my workshop anyway. The Twister is almost identical to the 1628 lathe from Axminster, but I do actually believe that in some minor details it is the better machine.
      You do want to have a double-ended MT2 taper for re-aligning the headstock after using it in a swivelled position, otherwise it’s an eyeball thing. Toolrests are a bit of an issue. The lathe comes with a long toolrest, which can be tricky on small pieces that need the tailstock to support them. However, the Robert Sorby toolrests can solve that, and Simon Hope is telling me that shorter toolrests are also available from the supplier. The short toolrest available from Axminster is too high, and would need machining (I’ve got it, but can basically not use it).
      Engine power is ample, banjo works very nicely, but you do want to keep the lathe bed clean and smoothen it regularly with some 400 or 600 grit and give it a spray with some lubricating oil. All in all, very good value for the money.

      • Mick Sharps says:

        Thanks for the feedback, good to know it was the right choice and that you are happy with it. I went to see the Axminster version at the weekend and I was very impressed…..nice compact size but apparently built very solidly. I think an order is imminent, there doesn’t seem to be anything comparable available…..price and spec.

        Just got to decide on a new chuck now……

        Thanks again for the response.


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