Jet Woodworking Lathe 1236

Jet Woodworking Lathe 1236

Nov 14, 2018
By : Todd

I have been using this lathe for a little over 8 months now and have been enjoying it greatly.  It is no longer in production from JET, but you do see them pop up from time to time used.  If you get a good deal (anything $400 or below) then do not hesitate to pick on up.  There are some shortcomings, but it is a great lathe to work with for beginning to mid level wood turners.

- Very well built machine (excluding underweight stand)
- Cost of machine is very reasonable for it's capacity (around $300 to $450 used)
- Long bed allowing for large spindles.
- Head rotates 90 degrees to turn larger size bowls off the side.
- Standard Headstock threading size 1" x 8tpi
- Common #2 Morris Taper size - 2MT
- Mechanical Variable Speed is much easier than swapping out belts on pulleys.

- Reeves Drive (Mechanical Variable Speed) is louder than pulleys or electronic variable speed
- Reeves Drive has set speeds. The tool's slowest speed is around 500-600 RPM which is to fast for some sanding or larger pieces
- Lathe lacks a handwheel
- Stand is made of sheet metal and to light for the machine's capacity without weights or further modification.
- Larger pieces mounted with a faceplate will hit the motor before the bed.  Effectively creating a lower swing on the lathe for the first two inches.

Possible Upgrades and Modifications

There are a number of simple modifications that can be done to a JET 1236 lathe to make it an even better machine.  Including drilling out a slower speed stop point for the mechanical speed drive, reinforcing and adding weight to the stand, building storage space under the lathe beds, adding dust collection, adjusting the height, and more.

Here are the official specs for this lathe.

Model Number - JWL-1236
Stock Number - 708352
Motor - TEFC, 3/4HP, 1PH, 115V Only, 60Hz, 8A, 1720
RPM Switch - manual pushbutton

Headstock - cast iron
Tailstock - cast iron
Bed - cast iron
Tool Rest - cast iron
Stand - steel

Swing Over Bed (in.) - 12
Swing Over Tool Rest Base (in.) - 8-3/4
Distance Between Centers, maximum (in.) - 35
Outboard Turning (in.) - . up to 16-1/2
Overall Dimensions (LxWxH)(in.) - 60 x 17 x 44
Stand Footprint (LxW)(in.) - 43-1/2 x 18-1/2
Distance Floor to Bed (in.) - 34-1/2

Spindle Nose (in.) - 1 x 8TPI
Hole through Spindle (in.) - 3/8
Spindle Center to Floor (in.) - 40-1/2
Spindle Taper - . #2 Morse
Headstock Pivot (deg.) - 360
Positive Stops (deg.) - .45 and 90
Spindle Speeds (RPM) - 550, 900, 1250, 1650, 2600, 3000
Drive Pulley System - Reeves
Locking System - cam (tool-less)

Hole through Tailstock (in.) - 3/8
Tailstock Taper - #2 Morse
Ram Travel (in.) - . 2-1/4
Locking System - cam (tool-less)

Tool Rest:
Base Locking System - cam (tool-less)
Tool Rest Provided (in.) - 6

Net, approximate (lbs.) - 172 Lbs.
Shipping, approximate (lbs.) - 190 Lbs.