Jet Mini Lathe VS Conversion and Stand

by Nancy K.

This statement first appeared in a thread on theWoodNet woodworking forum. It was compiled and reproduced here for easier public consumption. All Text are the property of Nancy K.

I've finally got my Jet Mini 1014vs set up, converted to variable speed, and all of the accessories organized! And, I actually used it to turn a couple of pens! I did something kind of different for tool and accessory storage, so I thought I'd share some pics.

I like my tools to store their own accessories (or at least most of them ), so the standard Jet base was out of the question. I have limited space, so I couldn't have something huge. Mostly for that reason, I am not planning on using the bed extension. So, I started with a Rockler shop stand, 18" x 24", with casters, and a double layer of ply for a top. The stand is now enclosed, and has one drawer (chucks, etc.) above, and 4 slide out trays (chisels) and a small amount of open space (pen hardware, finishing supplies) underneath. I'm using a Big Gulp for (future) dust collection. I don't have ductwork set up yet, so it remains to be seen how well that works!

For chisel storage, my main thing was that I wanted to avoid storage where the business end of the chisel sticks up. I know it would just be a matter of time 'till I hurt myself on one. But, I also wanted to be able to see what I was choosing, so storage with the business end down/covered was also out. So horizontal storage works best for me. I also wanted it to be re-arrangeable. So... I ended up with half slices of PVC for "beds", stuck to the sliding trays with velcro. So far it works great!

Anyway, here are the pics!

The conversion from 5-speed to variable speed was pretty easy. I'm fairly inept at setting up machinery, but I managed this ok. The included instructions are very good. It doesn't just say "remove motor". It says how to remove the switch, which bolts, screws to remove, etc. Putting the new switch and motor in is actually easier than removing the old. The only real problem I had was I initally did not have the new pulley lined up correctly, so it made a rubbing noise. The one thing about the conversion that is kind of cheesy - the switch is now removed from the right side, which leaves a pretty big hole. The conversion kit incudes a metal cover, but it isn't big enough. I made a new cover from 1/4" ply.

I read in a post on that the conversion took about an hour. It took way longer than that for me, but that's typical for me setting up machinery!

I got the conversion kit on eBay. The seller seems to have a lot of new, surplus stuff. Search for "Variable Speed Retro Kit".

I didn't really use the lathe before I converted it, so I can't campare 5-speed with variable speed. I purchased the lathe a while ago (I won't say how long ), but it sat while other things took priority. Recently I decided to convert it before I got into turning.

Thanks for looking!

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