The Shop Fox M1112 lathe is a heavy-duty, heavy-weight and heavily-priced piece of kit that is aimed at a more premium market and a more experienced turner than some of the products we have reviewed in the past.
Shop Fox are a high-quality American brand who are under the umbrella of parent company Woodstock International. One their website, Shop Fox state they provide “wood and metalworkers with the best value in stationary and benchtop equipment” on the market, and whilst looking at the M1112, I can see how they go about making such a bold claim.
Amongst the benefits of this machine are the amount of speed-turning levels we have, the handy light in the middle of the machine, the moveable tailcock and the huge vibration-sapping base that the products sits upon. There a whole load of positives to buying this lathe that I can’t wait to tell you about.
Whilst reviewing this product, I looked at some of the great things you get from this purchase, some of the downsides and we give you the specs for the product. I’ve also drawn some conclusions from my review, and explain who I think this product is best for. Take a look before at my findings.
|ITEM WEIGHT||1,251 pounds|
|PRODUCT DIMENSIONS||66 x 50 x 30 inches|
|ITEM MODEL NUMBER||M1112|
|WARRANTY DESCRIPTION||Two-year warranty|
What Is Great?
- This product has a really wide range of speeds, which will help you achieve different workings depending on your skill level and what you’re doing with the lathe. In summary, the type of cut your looking to achieve, your skill level and what you’re cutting all take a bearing on the success of your work. The more speeds you have on your lathe, the closer you can get to an appropriate turning speed for your job and yourself.
- The M1112 has a quick-change tool post included, which allows you to change out tooling much easier and increases the speed of your lathe operation. Having this included with the purchase means you won’t have to either make your own or head out to buy one separately, saving some valuable money in your budget.
- It seems like most customers have come back and very much said that they’ve experienced a ‘you get what you pay for’ effect from this product. The price is steep – over $4000 – but it also seems to reflect an almost unanimous like for the product by anyone who buys it. If you’re an experienced woodworker then you’ll no doubt appreciate this product for that it is.
- The size of this product is large become of the cast iron base that the turner sits on. You’ll no doubt be happy with how safe and secure this lathe is on top of this large, sturdy stand.
- For extra precision, this tool allows you to tighten the end tailstock so that it can become realigned to the chuck.
What’s Not So Great?
- The price is a little steep! If you’re only just getting into the trade, you may want to think about taking a look at something a little smaller, both in price and in size. You can get reasonable lathes that do the job for you without needing to go gung-ho on such a particular, mechanical and technical piece of equipment. There are even lower priced Shop Fox products that can easily satisfy your need for turning that don’t break the bank half as much as this.
- It seems like an overly difficult piece of equipment to navigate both during set-up and pre-purchase. Because this is such a massively heavy product, many hauliers and delivery folk will not deliver this through to your home. Once you have it, it is also a pain to get from box to bench because of the awkward size and weight of it. It certainly packs a punch, but in terms of safety, it’s hard to get this together before you even start turning.
Shop Fox M1112 12-Inch by 36-Inch Gunsmithing Lathe
The conclusion to this piece is that it’s basically exactly what you’re paying for, which is big bucks for a big, powerful and effective machine. There’s very little to take from other paying customers other than how much they are in love with their Shop Fox lathe. And with that in mind alone, before everything else, I would take the plunge into buying one.
The weight and complicated set up may put some shoppers off, as it is a bit of an ordeal to get it from purchase to use, but this is only a small problem. One you’ve got it onto your workbench, you’ll find it a great piece of equipment.
The halcyon worklight is another handy piece of equipment, finding its home in the centre of the tool allowing for you to continue working later in the night, and giving you better sight of some of the finer turning you’re doing.
The only downfall to this is the price, and again that’s more objective than anything else. If you’re used to paying a premium for a great product, or are a old-hat within the niche, then I’m sure you’ll have no problem paying for this extra quality. If you’re more of a rookie, though, you may want to invest in something a little less in price.
Overall this lathe is an excellent woodworking tool, and in theory something I would love everyone to try. The elements it includes makes turning easier and simpler than other products within this market. A 5* experience.