April 29, 2022

Jet 4224b Wood Lathe Review

Overview

Jet 4224B is over 900 pounds, although the Powermatic 4224B is bigger and heavier. With newly designed, top-of-its-class features, the 4224B pushes the limits of design, innovation, and durability. It expands the limits of creative possibility and takes your passion to a whole new level. 

It has a spindle lock and indexing for drilling hole patterns, routing flutes, and equally spaced features. Safety comes with the magnetic-backed moveable control box.

The brass-tipped knockout bar concentrates the action in the sliding handle, and the brass tip will not damage drive centers. The package includes two 100-watt task lamps for visibility in low-light areas.

Pros

  • Innovative 
  • Durable
  • Ease of use
  • High performance 
  • Mobile
  • Visibility

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Not affordable 

Features

Motor

The Jet lathe features a powerful three-hp motor. The lower pulley setting gives more torque. Adjust the torque when turning a large and heavy bowl blank. Speed variance makes the machine. You use the knob to control it.

Speed

Electronic variable speed 40-3500 rpm range. The speed variance revolves around low, mid, and high ranges depending on the type of material you are working on. The lathe has multiple speed ranges, controlled by the electronic variable speed dial and the belt position upon one of three pulley sets. When there is no torque, each lower setting has an RPM range.

Digital readout 

A frequency inverter secures the speed regulation with an inbuilt EMI filter connected to a digital display. The display is on the front side of the headstock. It features an easy-to-read digital readout.

Switch

The lathe tool has a remote on/off switch for convenient positioning anywhere on the lathe.

Spindle

A hands-free spindle lock is for convenience. Push spindle lock pin and rotate spindle slightly until pin engages. Slide the plate downward to hold the lock pin in the locking position. Release the spindle lock by pushing the plate upward. A spindle lock prevents the spindle from turning (Mikesworkshop). 

Indexing

The indexing ring built into the headstock provides up to 98 indexing positions. Indexing creates evenly spaced features in a workpiece, keeping the lathe spindle locked like cutting flutes on a spindle blank with a hand-held router, while the spindle blank is between lathe centers. 

The Jet 4224b lathe provides 36 indexing positions at 10-degree increments. Rotate the spindle using the handwheel until the index pin aligns with the desired hole. Screw index pins into the hole until it engages the spindle. Unscrew the index pin until the spindle is released, and rotate the spindle to the next desired hole. Disengage index pin. Repeat the process.

The indexer creates evenly spaced features in a workpiece while keeping the lathe spindle locked. Index positions are inscribed on the spindle, matching hole locations on the handwheel. The spindle blank is between lathe centers. 

To use the indexer, loosen the handle and position the arm until the indexer pin aligns with the desired array of holes. Rotate the spindle to the position by observing the scale on the spindle. Push the indexer knob until the pin enters the handwheel hole. Rotate indexer knob to engage threads and secure handwheels. 

Tighten the indexer knob enough until the pin fully engages the hole, and the spindle will not turn. Do not overtighten, as this could cause deflection in the spindle. Operate on the workpiece and unscrew knurled knob until the indexing pin releases. Turn the handwheel to the next indexing position, and re-engage the indexing pin.

Sliding headstock 

The siding headstock is for outboard turning, and the sliding headstock pivots 360° and features seven preset positions. That allows for the comfortable turning of larger pieces like trays or bowls. It operates at an infinitely variable speed ranging from 40 – 3500 rpm. The new headstock locking handle is on the front side, so you no longer have to walk to the backside of the lathe to release the headstock.

The headstock is placed in an extended spindle nose with dual bearings for stronger hold and stability of the workpiece. The headstock features 36 indexing positions. The top of the headstock is fitted with a rubber pad to put aside your tools comfortably. 

Tailstock

The 8inch diameter chrome-trimmed tailstock, the handwheel is for smooth, rapid adjustment. The tailstock uses a high-quality and proven Acme thread improving its movement, accuracy, and set-up. The tailstock is robust and features a new wedge locking system. The tailstock slides along the bedways and has a non-rotating spindle concentric with the main lathe spindle (Toolnotes.com). That allows a firm and stable connection to the lathe.

Centers

Install a spur center or live center, clean tapered end of center and inside of headstock taper spindle, then push center into headstock spindle. To remove a spur or live center, remove the workpiece from the lathe. When installing centers, disconnect the lathe from the power source. 

Insert the knockout rod through the hole in the handwheel and tap the tapered end of the spur center. Hold the center, placing your thumb and forefinger on the outside diameter of the spur center or wrapping the center with a rag. The sliding collar on the knockout rod gives an impact without using a mallet against the end of the rod. 

Bed Extension 

Optional bed extension kits are available. Jet 4224b features a 20-inch bed extension. Tools required for installation include a 10mm hex key. For installation, slide the tailstock away from the edge of the bed. Use an assistant to hold the bed extension flush to the end of the lathe bed, and insert four screws with washers.

Snug screws to hold the bed extension to the lathe bed. Adjust extension bed to lathe bed, aligning the surface and the inside ways. The top surface of the bed extension must be flush with the surface of the lathe bed, and inside ways must be aligned, allowing smooth movement of tailstock across the joint. 

Lock tailstock clamping handles to align the beds. Slide tailstock over the joint where beds meet so that the clamping nut is over the joint. Tighten screws in the extension bed, unlock the tailstock and slide it back and forth to test the joint smoothness.

Warranty

JET products carry a limited warranty which varies in duration based on the product. The warranty lasts for five years. Accessories carry a limited warranty of one year from the date of receipt. That warranty covers the initial purchaser of the product from the date of delivery and any defects in materials subject to the limitations stated below. 

This warranty does not cover failures due directly or indirectly to misuse, abuse, negligence or accidents, wear-and-tear, improper repair, alterations, or lack of maintenance. Using these machines in metal, plastics, or other materials may void the warranty. 

Weight

Jet 4224b weighs 960 lbs. That is heavy since the lathe machine is heavy. The weight comes with the construction, accessories, and height.

Price

The Jet 4224b is not affordable. However, for a fully cast-iron lathe with an extra-wide lathe bed. The Jet 4224b lathe represents value with features that include a new headstock.

Durability

The Jet machine is made of heavy-duty solid cast iron construction for vibration-free turning. The dual headstock locks are for increased stability during use. That makes it last longer.

Verdict 

The Jet lathe might not be your ideal tool if you have a slim budget, but you might not think twice if you budget more. What makes it worth the price is the performance, ability to last longer, and the long bed. It is comfortable and convenient. You are allowed to use it for hours without having fatigue. However, it is one of the heaviest machines.

David D. Hughes
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