My New Stubby S1000 Lathe
Stubby lathes are made in Australia and were sold in the US for many years but the company stopped production and distribution in the US several years ago. The company started making these wonderful lathes again under new management (http://www.omegastubbylathes.com/). I have only heard great things about them (very well made) and the S1000 lathe has the capability to turn a 44" diameter bowl. I love turning large burls and have been limited to making bowls up to about 24" diameter. I primarily make bark edged (live edged) bowls from burls. Maintaining a complete bark edge limits the ways I can turn a burl, and with the size limitation of my other lathes (25" diameter), I had to cut large burls into two or more pieces. This has always frustrated me. With the new lathe I can take advantage of the full size of a burl and make much larger bark edged bowls, including unsymmetrical bowls with wings. You might ask: why make such large bowls? Burl bowls usually have beautiful grain figuring which is best displayed in a large bowl. There is a demand for large burl bowls and I have standing orders for them.
I ordered my Stubby lathe in November of 2018. I expected delivery in the summer of 2019 since the lathe is over 1000 lbs and I wanted to avoid a winter delivery with snow on the ground. Well, the best plans do not always work out. Due to manufacturing delays caused by closures of the foundry that pours the castings for the lathes, the shipping date kept being delayed. Finally, it was shipped in early September and arrived at my Hovland shop on November 22, 2019, almost one year from the day it left the factory in Australia. I was lucky since we got significant snow the next week. The following photos show the crate leaving the factory in Melbourne and sitting in my Hovland shop in Hovland. The crate weighed 500 Kg (1200 lbs) and was quite large, cleared my shop double door frame with only 0.5 inch clearance (the 3" thick doors were removed).
I unpacked the crate and moved the lathe to its place using a shop crane. The head stock and motor were separately packed and had to be lifted and bolted in place. The crane made this job easy! The following photos show the lathe with a small piece of trimmed apple wood on the lathe before and after turning. There is also a shot of me turning the bowl. The lathe worked great but needs some minor adjustments and some new tool rests before I can use it for a large burl.
I believe my lathe was the second one delivered to the US, and I am aware of at least three more on the way. It is a good time to buy one of these due to the very favorable Australian dollar to US dollar exchange rate.
There are some unusual features on this lathe. The main bed slides back to make room for a large diameter bowl. It also rotates which provides access of the tool rest to many unusual positions. There is a second movable bed with its own banjo/tool rest. I have it positioned here in on the head stock in a perpendicular direction from the main bed. This will permit turning on the back side of the bowl. That extra bed can be attached to many different places on this lathe. I an excited to start using these features on a big burl.