The Shop Fox W1704 is a benchtop wood lathe. If you are looking for a benchtop wood lathe that can carve diameters up to 8 inches? Many manufacturers make wood lathes and you must know what to look for in a lathe so that you know that you are getting value for money. 

It will help you a great deal if you know what you intend to carve and also the type of wood you will be turning. Some lathes are not cut out for every time of wood. This may leave you stranded if you buy the wrong one. 

The Shop Fox W1704 is a good portable benchtop lathe that is great for small projects like turning pen barrels. It will also help you a great deal when you want to make caricatures and small figurines. 

Shop Fox W1704 Bench-Top Wood Lathe

The Shop Fox W1704 measures 8 inches by 13 inches. It is a benchtop wood lathe that has a 1/3 horsepower and 120 volt AC motor. The electronic speed varies from 700 to 3200 RPM. There is a distance of 14 inches between centers which means that you have to limit your projects to less than this. 

It also has an 8 1/2 inch swing over the bed. It is quite a portable lathe as it weighs 41 pounds. It makes sense that this is the lathe that you would use for the smaller projects on your list. 

Let us take a look at all that the W1704 can offer you.

Aesthetics

This lathe is made of cast iron. Its width from one side to the other is 29inches, whilst its depth is 10 1/2 inches and its length is 13 inches. It has a paddle safety switch that is within reach, and this will make cutting the power in time of emergency, easy. 

The spindle speed dial is placed just next to the headstock, in the same vicinity as the on-off switch. The motor is placed just underneath the bed, whilst the tool rest can easily be swung over the bed. 

The quill lock handle is placed on top of the tailstock, ready to lock the quill in place when you need to. It also has a tailstock lever that locks it in place, with a tailstock adjustment knob attached to it.

Performance Review

All the parts that come with the lathe, are well oiled and this is for protection. When you have unpacked it, make sure to check that all the parts are in place and that they are working properly. 

One of the most important things to check on is the alignment of the centers. At the end of the day, you want to make shapes that are cylindrical and perfectly symmetrical. This will be impossible to do if the centers are off.

Safety

It comes with a 9-inch long power cord. This means that it is important for you to keep the lathe close to a power source, and also make sure that there is no chance of anyone tripping on it. 

Before you switch on the power, make sure to set the machine to low speed. You must follow all the precautions especially when it comes to electric connections. It is one of the ways that you can injure your self if you are not careful.

The manual is there to guide you and make sure that you know what you are doing when you operate the lathe. Avoid unnecessary mistakes and possible injuries, by reading and adhering to it. 

Before adjusting anything on the lathe, make sure that the lathe is unplugged at the source, to avoid accidents. 

Also, be sure to protect yourself with the necessary protective clothing. This includes wearing dust masks, to protect you from inhaling any hazardous dust. Also, make sure that you do not wear any clothing that could potentially get caught in the machine as work. 

The lathe comes with a tool rest here you can place tools when you are not using them. Before you start up the machine, make sure that there are no loose tools. Shop Fox warns against this because the tools can be projected towards you when the motor starts to run, causing possible injury.

The lathe on its own is not complete. You will need to use other tools as you turn the wood. Make sure that you use the recommended accessories.

The variable speed rates, need to compliment the wood that you are working on, including its size. This is why it is important that you go through the manual so that you know what speeds work best. Experience with woodturning will also come in handy at this point. 

Also, always make sure that your turning tools are sharp and ready to carve through the wood that you are turning. If the tools are dull, they can cause injury by pulling your hand into the workpiece. 

Who is this product ideal for?

This lathe is meant to be used by trained operators. You should not be trying to operate this is lathe if you are not trained to do so. The manual warns you not to try to use this machine if you are not trained. 

Pros

  • It is perfect for small projects. 
  • It is durable
  • It is stable
  • It has variable speed control
  • It is accurate.

Cons

  • It can only be used on small projects. 
  • It does not have a work lamp attached to it which means that you may need to rely on the room light.

Our Verdict

If you have ever wondered how you get to tun small projects such as pens and caricatures, or figurines.

It is a great lathe that has just the right amount of power to give you a seamless carving. When it comes to making cylindrical carvings, precision, and accuracy are key.

The Shop Fox W1704 benchtop wood lathe is all that you will need in a lathe this size. The cast iron construction makes it a sturdy machine, ready to deliver. Get carving the way that you need to, using this portable and versatile lathe. Happy shopping!

David D. Hughes
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Shop Fox W1704 Bench-Top Wood Lathe Review - The Whittling Guide

The Shop Fox W1704 is a benchtop wood lathe. If you are looking for a benchtop wood lathe that can carve diameters up to 8 inches? Many manufacturers make

Product SKU: W1704

Product Brand: Shop Fox

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