Lidl Parkside Lathe

For those who don’t live in the EU, there’s a chain of shops here called Lidl who do your normal groceries – veg, meat, frozen goods, dairy, soft drinks, biscuits, cereals, alcohol, baby stuff and cleaning stuff and some pharmaceuticals, but they also have “the magic aisle” where they do an impression of aliexpress every week with varying themes. This week, it was DIY and… well…

So, some expectations. This thing cost €80. It is not a mini-lathe 😀 It is not going to be keeping Record Power execs up at night. The Carpentry Store has nothing to worry about here.

BTW, you can get the full manual here.

However, I expect it to be underpowered enough that I can’t completely remove my fingers with it; and to have just about enough power and capacity to turn a replacement chisel handle and maybe some drawer pulls if I’m lucky. It claims it can turn bowls. I think they mean bowl as in sugar bowl, and I don’t think it’ll have the power for it, but just in case I did order a 3″ chuck today off Rutlands (I was buying an upgraded dust extractor in the black friday sales, but more on that when it gets here). It was an ex-demo chuck so I got it for half price, and I figure it’ll still be a waste but at some point I’ll probably get a real mini-lathe and I might be able to use it on that. Otherwise, well, feck, I’d waste more money smoking I guess.

Small safety note – there’s an unmarked box in the larger box that contains the chisels. That small thin baggie is the only thing between the chisel edge and your fingers if you open the wrong end and you’ve a fifty-fifty chance of that, so if you open the wrong end and tip the contents into your hand, well, it’s gonna hurt a bit.

I mean, it’s quite blunt, you’re not going to be nailed to the bench here, but still. Minus one point there lads, not cool.

The faceplate is pure pot metal, I’d be afraid to drop this thing on the floor lest it snap. The thread is M18 with a 1.5 pitch thread. Not sure how that’ll line up with a 3/4″x1.5 pitch thread like the adapter on that chuck but I guess I’ll find out. Not well I’m guessing.

This looks better than it is, the tailstock is all over the place until you lock it down, which is done with a bolt instead of a cam, so you can align it manually, which of course means you can completely fail to align it manually as well. There’s around 3-4mm of misalignment possible.

Right, well, might as well lose a finger. Small tiny 2cmx2cm spindle of cheap pine. Safety squints on (and glasses and ear defenders and no rings or loose sleeves).

It is loud. It vibrates a lot. It is underpowered. The chisels are remarkably dull to the point where my penknife would cut better. And I haven’t a notion of what I’m doing, obviously.

 

Still though. That’s a lot of fun for €80 😀

UPDATE: You probably want to read this later post as well. In fact, definitely read that one before you think about buying this lathe. Or, TL;DR: Don’t buy this lathe.

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14 comments

  1. – “It vibrates a lot”
    Also when running without a blank?
    – 550 W is 0.75 CV which is more than a treadle lathe.
    – on the Lidl web site it is advertised at 99.99 €; let’s say 100. Our government (Be) has decided that when you pay with cash the total bill is rounded to the nearest 0.05€. (but you can use 0.01 and 0.02 coins until they are suppressed at EU level)
    – You could try to clamp it between a dog and the end vise.
    – one day, I might try to make this:
    https://www.theenglishwoodworker.com/bench-top-lathe-the-plan/
    https://www.theenglishwoodworker.com/bench-top-lathe/
    Sylvain

  2. Nothing like a new tool – good or bad – to get you to learn a bit. My bungee lathe, while not a good lathe at all (and my skills are commensurate with that), allows me to do things I couldn’t do before. I hope your lathe gives you some new capabilities.

  3. So in order:
    – it doesn’t vibrate that much when running without a blank, but that was a realllly light blank.
    – it claims 550W, but I suspect that’s how much power it draws and doesn’t translate well to how much energy there is at the chuck. I strongly suspect I could stall that motor by grabbing the blank, not that I plan to try 🙂
    – I don’t know why they have €99 on the website, it was €79.99 on the lidl.ie website and that’s what I paid. https://www.lidl.ie/en/p/discover-diy/woodturning-lathe/p32247
    – I like Maguire’s plan and Ron Ayler (https://ronaylor.wordpress.com/) has a nice design for a spring-pole lathe with the spring pole beneath the table which is nice and compact; but even those designs would not fit into my shed, that lidl one is actually getting on for too big itself. A proper electrical mini lathe would fit; but only if I gave up doing anything else forever, which I don’t want to do.

    Really do want though to stress that I’m not trusting this thing as far as I can throw it at the moment. This was a spur-of-the-moment bit of messing about and at the moment I don’t even plan to keep this thing forever. I’m going to mess with it for a while, and unless it shows it can actually do something useful, I’ll get rid of it. And I’m not treating it as very safe either 😀

  4. Hi.i am a joiner by trade and yes this is only a light machine.but a young nephew of mine bought one a few weeks ago.the gouges are not great but you would be surprised what little projects he has made with it..ok if you have plenty of money buy a quality lathe..but for a starter lathe this is a good investment for the money

  5. I dunno about plenty of money Dominic, but I had a few years worth of birthday and xmas presents saved up in the form of gift vouchers for the Carpentry Store out in Naas and I went out there over the break and bought a mini lathe, one of the axminister ones, and Herself booked me into a course locally as an xmas present so I’ll keep playing with this one for a while, but I think that one will take over once I get it installed…

  6. ASlan Mc Cabe

    Any news on the chuck, did it fit. I would love to buy a chuck for my parkside lathe but I have no idea of what size to get,

  7. […] the last time I played with this was before anyone knew what Covid was, so it’s been a while. And at that point, I had not […]

  8. What kind of things will it do successfully please. It’s on again next Monday in Lidl but don’t wish to waste money if it’s not productive.

  9. Honestly Carol, I can’t think of anything it can do successfully. For the same price you could find an old second-hand minilathe that could do everything you’d ever need unless you became a professional turner, but this thing is just not up to doing anything other than making noise.

  10. As the saying goes: a bad gardener always blames his tools.

    Some impressive results can be obtained with this low budget wood lathe, provided the user is prepared to put in the time and effort to learn the craft:

    https://youtu.be/Ivty5mDij7M

    I am in no way connected to Lidl, Parkside or the cited YouTube video. I just can’t stand incompetant moaners.

  11. So to recap, you’ve heavily modified the lathe by welding up a metal rest that does not come with the lathe, you poured resin in a mould to empty the central core of the vase because you can’t hollow out a wooden piece on that lathe, and you make one or two small shallow coves in a primarily moulded piece, sand it, and you think that that’s a fair assessment of a lathe that costs the same as a second-hand minilathe that could have made that piece without compromise?

    I mean, that’s not even disingenous, that’s just lying and about something that could injure a person if they didn’t know what they were up to.

    My opinion of this lathe stands. Nothing you’ve shown or said has done anything but reinforce it.

  12. A little help please, I know this is not as goos as an Axminster, but my partner bought this as a starter and is really enjoying learning, however yesterday he let me have a try and when using the tool rest sheered off and broke in two the head from the stem. (I know stupid woman and all!) but, I would like to replace, can anyone help what would fit as a replacement please any recommendations really appreciated??

  13. So it’s a 16mm (5/8″) round post with no machining on the tool rest Sarah, any tool rest should do. If you’re in the UK, axminister does 16mm tool rests in both the all-in-one form and in the buy-your-tool-post-seperately form which might be handier since if/when you move up, if the tool post is different you can just buy that bit as a replacement and reuse the rest you bought. Although that said, 16mm is a fairly popular tool post size for minilathes so you might be alright anyway. Something like https://www.axminstertools.com/axminster-tool-rests-ax1015579 or https://www.axminstertools.com/axminster-evolution-series-tool-post-16mm-x-90mm-101831 would be what I’m talking about.

    However, I only mention axminister in case you’re in the UK, *everyone* does them. The nova ones are cheaper and would do the job as well for example: https://www.poolewood.co.uk/product/nova-9024-toolpost-rest-5-8-x-31-4-9024/ and https://www.poolewood.co.uk/product/nova-9026-4-modular-tool-rest-bar/.

  14. bought one of these from lidl for 49.99. set it up but havent actually done any projects on it. On youtube there is a channel called Bunkertools which show testing and some turning jobs on this equipment. from what I can see it is severely underpowered but ok for light jobs with a bit of patience.
    50 quid for a powertool is not bad and I intend to use as a taster to see if I like doing this and also to see if I have the imagination to take it further. A chuck with it would be a help.
    Incidentally I had to put an extra washer on the tailstock locking device to get it rigididly locked but even then the paly in the whole tailstock assembly is not good…still rocks about but once a piece is mounted between spin side and tailstock it should be ok.
    As I say at 50 quid its worth a punt

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