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Midi Lathe Model 70-220VSR

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  • RIKON has outdone itself with the 70-220VSR Midi Lathe. This machine is powered by a 1 HP variable-speed motor that offers 12-1/2" swing over the bed. With this power and capacity, it is one of the largest midi lathes available. FeaturesEasy access to beltsLifetime lubricated industrial...

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    RIKON has outdone itself with the 70-220VSR Midi Lathe. This machine is powered by a 1 HP variable-speed motor that offers 12-1/2" swing over the bed. With this power and capacity, it is one of the largest midi lathes available.


    • Easy access to belts

    • Lifetime lubricated industrial ball bearings on spindle

    • Digital RPM Readout with control dial

    • Forward/Reverse control switch

    • On/Off switch with removable child safety tab

    • User controls conveniently located for safe operation

    • Acme thread on tailstock quill

    • Lathe bed end machined to attach a lathe bed extension

    • Motor: 1HP, 1Ph, 120V, 6A, 2,900 RPM, TEFC

    • Recommended Circuit Size: 10A or 15A

    • Spindle Bore: 3/8”

    • Spindle Taper: MT2

    • Tailstock Quill Taper: MT2

    • Stock Number: 70-220VSR

    • Machine Dimensions (in): 40-3/4" L x 12" W x 17-5/8" H

    • Speed Ranges (RPM): 250-750, 550-1650, 1300-3850

    • Swing Over Bed: 12-1/2"

    • Swing Over Tool Rest Base: 9-5/8"

    • Number of Indexing Positions: 24

    • Distance Between Centers: 20"

    • Tailstock Quill Travel: 3-1/2"

    • Spindle Thread: 1"/8 TPI

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    4.47 out of 5 stars
    15 Reviews
    1. 5.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      Awesome lathe, I chose this over the laguna 1216

      So, I recently bought this from my local woodcraft store. I wanted a new lathe and I was chosing between this one and the laguna 1216 revo. I ultimately chose this because so many people were having issues with the electronics on the laguna and because the laguna only had a 2 year warranty, where Rikon comes with a 5 year warranty. That and I had both of them side by side to compare at the store and I just liked the rikon fit and finish better. This has been an awesome upgrade from my old lathe. This thing is tough and built like a tank. I'm glad I chose the Rikon.

    2. 5.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      Minor complaints don't affect 5 star rating

      I bought this lathe 6 months ago to replace an old 42" Sears Craftsman lathe that I spent many frustrating hours trying to true up, adjust, tinker with before and after almost every project. It had an half horse motor that I wired to run in reverse. I had to shift belts to adjust the speed. I finally had enough and bought this lathe after much comparison research. I couldn't justify the extra cost of a comparable Jet just to have a slower RPM for finishing with poly or for bigger epoxy repairs. Instead I built a slow turning adaption using a rotisserie motor that works well. The lathe was perfectly aligned out of the box. Woodcraft staff (Boise) were great to work with and very knowledgeable in answering all of my questions. I bought it on sale and I think it was a great buy. I rarely used the longer length of my old lathe so I haven't missed that yet. I doubt I will buy the (expensive) Rikon extension. It has been so enjoyable using this lathe that I've rarely missed a day turning in the last six months. The variable speed has operated flawlessly and the bigger motor has handled my projects easily, up to just shy of 12 inches diameter. Changing the belt is quick and easy but I do 90% of my projects on the middle setting which gives me 475-1710 rpms. The "70-220 VSR" letters are not raised metal like the "Rikon" letters are, but are foam backed stick on, and a few of them were peeling up. I called the company and they sent replacements immediately. I would have been happier with machined letters instead of the fakies, but it's looks only and doesn't affect the performance or my enjoyment of operation. The machining of the bed could have been a smoother finish. A coat of wax helps but I will probably sand it down when I have the time to hopefully help make the wax coating last a little longer. The white paint seems to chip easily while the blue-painted parts seem more durable. The indexing pin is in the wrong spot. You can pinch your finger between the hand wheel and the pin fairly easily and its location prevents a person from making a nice, turned, wood cover for the hand wheel to enlarge the diameter for ease of use and personalizing the machine. It was going to be my first project but I had to give it up and settle for making a nice handle for the knockout bar. The tool holder is somewhat handy but I think just about any turner could have designed the tool holder better with little effort. I use it every day and I think, just about every day, about improvements that could be made with it. I designed and built a table specifically for this lathe with locking wheels and built in tool holders for gouges, chisels, and other tools. I wish I could post pictures on this review but don't have that option. The tail stock doesn't hold tight on bigger, heavier projects, like boring with larger forstner bits. I read about that in other reviews before I bought it but those reviews were 10 or more years old so I had been hoping that problem had been fixed. Sorry to say, it wasn't. Overall, my complaints are minor and would not justify a lower rating. If I had to do it all over, I would be just as happy making the same purchase. Not only is the machine and its performance 5 star, but it has boosted my enjoyment of turning immensely. And it makes my wife happy because I'm out of the house and in the garage a lot more.

    3. 4.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      It required work to get adjusted!

      I purchased the Rikon 70-220VSR from Woodcraft on a budget in order to be able to acquire some used tools, a chuck, and caliper. I studied and studied night after night yourube videos on the best midi-lathe. The virdect was Rikon because of the 1 inch tool rest base (interchangeable) the 5 year warranty and the lifetime warranty of the spindle bearings. Not to forget the price point! It way under prices its biggest competitor, Jet. I was able to seal the deal at $599.00 plus tax, excitingly I ran to Woodcraft for my woodshops final addition (right)! Unboxing: I was going to make an unboxing/setup video because youtube does not have one on this Lathe. Let's just say that it would have been a big Negative for Rikon at the time... Missing parts and alignment: The tail piece, headstock and face plate are all chrome in common however all 3 pieces were missing their M6x8 set screws and No they were not packaged, especially as i searched and researched the packaging. This dilemma added 4 hours of store to store searching for the set screws. Set screws installed, I fired her up and was thrilled to see her run but what was that bearing noise? The videos all say that Rikon is the quietest lathe out there, how? Being a field technician i could not resist the urge to figure it out so it didn't take long to find the culprit. The pule generator sensor, mounted to an L bracket was misaligned and rubbing against the generator wheel in the head stock. This sensor dictates the speed control and it's rubbing its way to inevitable disaster! Not just loose but needed a spacer. I was not at this point going to pack up the 100 plus pound lathe and bring it back. I was determined to make the adjustments, shimmy up the sensor and carry on. This is exactly what I did, carefully removing the part adding two tiny washers and BAMM it's running like a champ! The experience left me questionable about the product however I will say that this lathe runs smooth, quiet and very precise from point to point. I guess with mass production it happens all the time in industry. I recommend the lathe as it is a good product but would advise you to check it before you leave it the store. I hope this helps! GPaz

    4. 5.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      Rikon 70-220VSR 3 1/2" quill travel, plus the extra features.

      Woodstocks' description on the Quill Travel (ram travel) is wrong. It's actually 3 1/2", NOT 2 1/2". Rikons website shows the specs for this lathe only in a 3 1/2" quill travel. I spent much time searching and comparing between eight different 'Midi' lathes (3/4 hp and 1 hp). Of the eight lathes I compared, the Rikon had the best overall features combined. 5 yr warranty, no aluminum head or tail, 125 lbs (weight for extra stability and dampen vibration), 20" between centers, with extension bed 44" between centers, 12 1/2" swing - fits the Nova JSCOLE accessory jaw set, and 3 1/2" ram travel (a huge benefit to drill pen blanks and other projects). The first thing I checked after unpacking was the Manual (showed 3 1/2" ram travel) and checked the tail (was 3 1/2"). The pictures of this lathe does not do this lathe justice. You need to see it in person to realize the difference. This lathe is all I expected and more.

    5. 5.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      So much fun

      I bought this lathe 4 days ago and I am having so much fun. I had to Craftsman lathe and it was made in 1970 and it was a lot of work. Now this lathe makes it a lot more fun. Before it was a lot of work but not now I enjoy it and it makes a nice product at the end. I was shopping for this for a long time and I decided to buy the Rikon and I'm glad that I bought it and buying it from Woodcraft Casselberry. The employees there are very helpful and they know what they're doing. You can tell I love that store.

    6. 5.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      Excellent customer service

      Bought this lathe about a year ago and have used it pretty hard making turkey calls, wine glasses, rings, and pens. I unfortunately had the bearings go out and much to my surprise I contacted the company and with no hesitation they mailed out a new set of bearings. All they asked for was my contact info, the model, and serial number. Can’t say how pleased I am with their customer service. They truly stand behind their products.

    7. 5.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      Great Lathe

      I recently upgraded to the Rikon 70-220VSR and it is spectacular. This is my first variable speed lathe and am quite impressed with how responsive it is. Fully compatible with my chucks and other MT2 accessories. Plenty of power and I have turned some wonderful pieces. Highly recommend if you are looking to upgrade. Thanks!

    8. 5.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      One great lathe

      I picked up the lathe at our local Woodcraft store in March as my birthday present. Easy set-up, simple to operate. The machine runs great. As a person new to wood turning the I have already made a number of different projects on the lathe. An excellent value!

    9. 2.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      Jury is still out...

      Well, I've had this lathe out of the box and set up for three weeks now. I have yet to turn anything. Straight out of the box, the machine wouldn't power up. After reading the reviews here, that seems like a common problem. I emailed the company and the sent out a new control unit. That took a week plus. I received the unit yesterday and got it installed today. The lathe powered right up. Something sounded wrong up by the headstock, and upon inspection, I found an inch and a half long crack in the cast headstock casing. The crack runs front near the back of the handwheel on the back of the headstock all the way through the material. Another call to Rikon, and another part on the way. So far all I can say is the initial quality control is pathetic, but the customer service is spot on. So there is still hope...

    10. 2.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      Woodcraft was great / Rikon was not

      After using my Lathe for 2 weeks, I got an error message "code 2". I turned it off and turned it back on and after a short amount of time I received error code 5 and the digital display stopped working. The book which came with it gave a phone number for technical support and all I got was a voice mail beep. Other reviews talked about how great the customer service was but I don't see it. Woodcraft is going to replace the unit but Im not real impressed with Rikon.

    11. 5.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      Great lathe and super Rikon customer support

      My son and I got one of these in April 2015. I put it on a HF hydraulic table cart with a piece of plywood bolted to the top. It allows me to move it around the garage or stow it along the wall when I need room for other projects. I raise and lower it to suit the project (and the way my back feels at the time!). It allows me to stow in under a workbench too. Last week it started acting funny, sometimes it would only run in reverse and you could slow it down by holding the face plate. Not good. It would stall and stop in forward when my son was turning an ebony spindle. After an hour or so he tried again and had the same result. Contacted Rikon support and after a few emails and further checks and tests they decided the control box was faulty. I received a new one in a few days. The new control circuit board is definitely more robust, bigger capacitors, revised layout of the heat sink and components, different relays, etc. Came with excellent instructions and works perfectly. Can't say enough good things about Rikon support (Rod). It was really refreshing to deal with a company that's willing to back up a product. Oh and the codes it displays are not error codes as some reviews have stated. There's no reference to these in the manual. Rod said, "the board will run a systems check before start up and after power down. The codes only show up for a few milliseconds during startup. They stay on the display until the capacitors draw down."

    12. 4.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      some problems, but good overall

      Excellent purchase for the price. The manufacturer is quick to provide repair parts under warranty. Unfortunately, the motor controller stopped working with about 8 hours of work. It was replaced under warranty and shipped via next day service. I am unsure whether the bearings were bad or if I overworked them, but the spindle bearings started making a pounding sound after 5 months. Again, the manufacturer replaced them quickly, although I had to replace them myself. I will update this when I have finished replacing them.

    13. 5.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      Wonderful Machine

      I use this machine daily for bar tap handles, pens, lidded boxes, and bowls. I had the smaller Rikon lathe since June and loved it, but this model is like the difference between a VW and a Porche.

    14. 5.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      This is one FINE LATHE.

      I turn alot & have for a very long time. This Lathe is so smooth with no vibration and the adjustable speed is a big plus. Out of the box and into production in under 30 min. Everything I wanted from a lathe I found with this one. The price is a big plus so if you are thinking about buying this lathe do it before the price reflects the quality.

    15. 5.0 out of 5 stars
      by on

      Great lathe for small shops

      I picked this up from my local Woodcraft store and I have used it everyday sence. It weighed about 120 lbs. so getting it out of the box and up on the bench was a two man lift but there was next to nothing for setup. Ten minutes and I was up and turning. The only way this entry level lathe could be better is to have a more percise speed control. the rotator swich is a little fickle. Don't let this deter you from make this a piece of your shop. It's one heck of a lathe for the price.

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