WEN 34035 6-Amp 14″ x 20″ Variable Speed Benchtop Wood Lathe Review

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With a strong background in woodturning and a broad range of experience using different types of wood lathes, from simple beginner models to those designed for advanced users, I am offering an in-depth review of the WEN (34035) 6-Amp 14″ x 20″ Variable Speed Benchtop Wood Lathe.

My critique is based on actual usage and an extensive analysis, concentrating on the machine’s construction, operational features, and its value for money. This review is the result of my personal experience, reinforced by thorough testing, to provide an accurate description of what this particular lathe offers, including its strengths and weaknesses.

WEN 34035 benchtop wood lathe with digital readoutWEN 34035 benchtop wood lathe with digital readout

Specifications

  • Manufacturer: WEN
  • Item Model Number: 34035
  • Style/Pattern: Woodworking Lathe
  • Sizes: 14 by 20 in. (Variable Speed)
  • Product Dimensions: 38 x 11.8 x 22.6 inches
  • Item Weight: 137.8 pounds
  • Power Source: AC

Product Overview

The WEN 34035 Woodworking Lathe, a high-caliber tool designed for precision woodturning, stands out with its variable speed capability, offering a range of 14 by 20 inches to accommodate diverse project sizes. Weighing in at 137.8 pounds and measuring 38 x 11.8 x 22.6 inches, this robust machine is powered by AC, ensuring reliable performance for both beginners and seasoned craftsmen.

Benchtop WEN 34035 wood lathe in a workshopBenchtop WEN 34035 wood lathe in a workshop

Its substantial weight and solid construction minimize vibration, facilitating smoother operation and greater control over your workpieces. With its intuitive design and versatile speed settings, the WEN 34035 is an ideal choice for those looking to execute a wide array of woodworking projects with precision and ease.

Key Features

  1. Variable Speed Control: Ranges from 500 to 2500 RPM, allowing for precise speed adjustment to match the requirements of various projects, from delicate pens to sizable bowls.
  2. Powerful 6-Amp Motor: Provides ample torque for handling a wide array of woodturning tasks, ensuring consistent performance across both softwoods and hardwoods.
  3. Ample Capacity: Offers a 14-inch swing over bed and 20 inches between centers, accommodating a diverse range of project sizes on a benchtop footprint.
  4. Solid Build Quality: Constructed with a cast iron base, the lathe ensures stability and minimal vibration, contributing to smoother operation and finer finishes on workpieces.
  5. AC Power Source: Relies on AC power to offer steady and reliable operation, ensuring the lathe is ready for prolonged use without compromising on performance.
  6. Compact and Efficient Design: Despite its robust capabilities, the lathe’s design is compact, making it suitable for workshops with limited space without sacrificing functionality.
  7. Precision Engineering: The lathe is designed for precision, allowing for detailed work and high-quality finishes, essential for both hobbyists and professional woodturners.
  8. Easy Speed Changes: While offering variable speed control, the lathe also allows for manual belt changes for broader speed adjustments, enhancing its versatility for different projects.
  9. Durable Construction: The use of high-quality materials in its construction ensures the lathe can withstand the demands of regular use, offering longevity and reliability.
  10. Versatile for Various Projects: Whether it’s turning small decorative items, crafting furniture components, or creating artistic pieces, this lathe’s features make it highly adaptable to a wide range of woodturning projects.

WEN (34035) Variable Speed Control

The WEN 34035 lathe’s variable speed control, ranging from 500 to 2500 RPM, is a key feature that significantly enhances its versatility and user adaptability. This broad speed range is essential for successfully executing a wide variety of projects, accommodating everything from the delicate intricacies of pen making to the broader curves of bowl turning.

Close-up of WEN 34035 wood lathe with illuminated digital readoutClose-up of WEN 34035 wood lathe with illuminated digital readout

The ability to fine-tune the speed allows craftsmen to tailor the lathe’s operation to the specific demands of each project, ensuring optimal outcomes. Such precise control over the turning speed not only facilitates the creation of high-quality workpieces but also enables users to experiment with different techniques and materials, expanding their creative potential.

The smooth and responsive nature of the speed adjustment mechanism is noteworthy, as it ensures that changes in speed are both immediate and precise, without any lag or unpredictability. This responsiveness is crucial for projects that require subtle adjustments to achieve the desired finish or detail.

Person using a chisel on a WEN 34035 wood lathe with a piece mountedPerson using a chisel on a WEN 34035 wood lathe with a piece mounted

It allows for a seamless transition between speeds, catering to the dynamic needs of woodturning where the right speed can make all the difference in the quality and appearance of the final product. The WEN 34035’s variable speed control thus stands out as a fundamental tool for woodturners seeking to elevate their craft through precise and flexible speed management.

WEN (34035) Power and Torque

Powered by a robust 6-Amp motor, the WEN 34035 lathe is engineered to deliver the torque necessary for a wide range of benchtop projects. This motor ensures that the lathe can handle both the subtleties of softwoods and the rigor of hardwoods with consistent performance, a feature that is especially important when tackling projects that demand a high level of detail or involve more resistant materials.

Hand adjusting tool rest on a WEN 34035 benchtop latheHand adjusting tool rest on a WEN 34035 benchtop lathe

The sustained power output minimizes the risk of stalling or speed drops during operation, facilitating a smooth and continuous work process. This aspect of the lathe’s design underscores its reliability and effectiveness in a workshop setting, making it a go-to solution for woodturners who require a machine that can keep pace with their creativity and workload.

The capacity of the lathe to maintain its power and speed even under challenging conditions is a testament to its well-engineered motor and overall design. Whether the task involves delicate shaping or more aggressive material removal, the WEN 34035 rises to the occasion, providing the necessary torque without compromise.

Craftsperson using a WEN 34035 lathe to shape a wooden pieceCraftsperson using a WEN 34035 lathe to shape a wooden piece

This performance characteristic not only enhances the efficiency of the woodturning process but also instills confidence in the user, knowing that the lathe can deliver consistent results across a variety of materials and project types. Thus, the power and torque offered by this lathe are integral to its appeal, combining to offer a balance of strength and finesse that meets the needs of both novice and experienced woodturners alike.

WEN (34035) Swing Over Bed and Between Centers

The WEN 34035 lathe’s design includes a 14-inch swing over the bed and a 20-inch distance between centers, dimensions that accommodate a diverse range of project sizes and complexities. This capacity is particularly notable for a benchtop model, providing ample space for turning operations that range from small, detailed pieces to larger, more substantial items.

Hand adjusting a WEN 34035 lathe on a workbenchHand adjusting a WEN 34035 lathe on a workbench

The flexibility offered by these dimensions ensures that woodturners have the freedom to explore a wide array of projects without being limited by the size of their lathe. Such versatility is crucial for those looking to expand their skills or undertake a variety of work, from custom furniture components to decorative art pieces, making the WEN 34035 a valuable asset in any woodturning workshop.

Moreover, the impressive swing and distance between centers make this lathe a suitable choice for projects that require additional working space, such as turning long spindles or large bowls. This feature enhances the user’s ability to undertake ambitious projects that demand more from their equipment, pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved on a benchtop lathe.

Close-up of a hand turning wood on a WEN 34035 latheClose-up of a hand turning wood on a WEN 34035 lathe

The capacity of the WEN 34035 to handle these larger projects without sacrificing precision or stability speaks to its thoughtful design and construction, positioning it as an ideal tool for woodturners seeking to combine the convenience of a benchtop model with the capabilities of a larger lathe.

WEN (34035) Build Quality and Durability

The construction of the WEN 34035 lathe is characterized by its solid build quality, with a foundation of cast iron that ensures both stability and reduced vibration during operation. This sturdy base is essential for achieving clean, precise cuts and a smooth finish on workpieces, directly impacting the quality of the woodturner’s output.

WEN logo on the headstock of a wood lathe with a four-jaw chuck being adjusted by handWEN logo on the headstock of a wood lathe with a four-jaw chuck being adjusted by hand

The reduction of vibration is not just about improving the end product; it also contributes to a safer and more comfortable working environment, allowing for extended periods of use without undue strain or fatigue.

The durability implied by this construction material guarantees that the lathe will remain a reliable component of the workshop for years to come, capable of withstanding the rigors of regular use while maintaining its performance and precision.

Hand positioning a log on a WEN wood lathe with visible WEN logoHand positioning a log on a WEN wood lathe with visible WEN logo

Beyond its immediate functional benefits, the robust build quality of the WEN 34035 reflects a commitment to longevity and user satisfaction. The choice of cast iron for the base material not only enhances the lathe’s performance but also its resistance to wear and tear, ensuring that it can endure the challenges of diverse projects and materials.

This attention to durability is crucial for woodturners who rely on their equipment to consistently produce high-quality work. In sum, the solid construction and thoughtful design of the WEN 34035 lathe underpin its status as a durable, reliable tool that supports the artistic and functional aspirations of woodturners across skill levels.

Review of Visual Concepts and Set-Up

The WEN (34035) 6-Amp 14″ x 20″ Variable Speed Benchtop Wood Lathe presents a robust and professional appearance that reflects its capabilities and durability. Its visual design combines a practical layout with an industrial aesthetic, featuring a sturdy cast iron construction that hints at its stability and longevity.

The lathe’s compact design is intelligently engineered to fit well in smaller workshops while still offering ample capacity for a variety of projects. The controls for speed adjustment are intuitively placed, ensuring ease of access and simplicity in operation.

Setting up the WEN 34035 is straightforward, designed to get users up and running with minimal fuss. The assembly process is well-documented, with clear instructions that guide users through each step. Despite its heavy-duty construction, the lathe has been thoughtfully designed for manageable assembly, requiring basic tools and no extraordinary technical skills.

Once set up, users will find the lathe’s layout and design facilitate an efficient workflow, with key components and adjustments within easy reach. This user-friendly setup process, combined with the lathe’s solid build and aesthetic appeal, makes it an attractive addition to any woodturner’s workspace, promising both functionality and visual harmony.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Versatile Speed Range: Ideal for both beginners and experienced turners, allowing for detailed work on various materials.
  • Compact Size: Fits well in smaller workshops without sacrificing performance.
  • Good Capacity: Offers a balance between size and usability for most turning projects.
  • Stable and Durable: The cast iron construction enhances stability and durability, extending the lifespan of the machine.

Cons

  • Motor Power: While sufficient for most tasks, extremely heavy or dense materials might challenge the 6-Amp motor.
  • Manual Belt Change for Speed Adjustment: Although the variable speed dial is convenient, changing speeds across wider ranges requires manual belt adjustment, which might be cumbersome for some users.

Safety Management and Maintenance Tips

  1. Read the Manual: Before using the lathe, thoroughly read and understand the instruction manual to familiarize yourself with its features and safety guidelines.
  2. Wear Proper Safety Gear: Always wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including safety glasses, hearing protection, and a dust mask to protect against wood chips and dust.
  3. Check for Secure Mounting: Ensure the workpiece is securely mounted on the lathe before starting. A loose workpiece can become a dangerous projectile.
  4. Regular Inspection: Periodically inspect the lathe for any loose bolts, worn belts, or damaged components. Tighten, replace, or repair as necessary to maintain optimal performance and safety.
  5. Keep the Area Clean: Maintain a clean and clutter-free workspace around the lathe to prevent accidents. Regularly remove wood chips and sawdust to minimize fire hazards and ensure a clear working area.
  6. Use Sharp Tools: Always use sharp chisels and cutting tools. Dull tools require more force to cut and can lead to unexpected catches or slips.
  7. Avoid Loose Clothing and Jewelry: Do not wear loose clothing, gloves, jewelry, or anything that could become entangled in the rotating lathe or workpiece.
  8. Speed Adjustments: Adjust the lathe speed according to the size and type of the workpiece. Starting at a lower speed is safer, especially for larger or unbalanced pieces.
  9. Turn Off and Unplug for Maintenance: Always turn off and unplug the lathe from the power source before performing any maintenance, adjustments, or when changing accessories.
  10. Learn and Practice: Familiarize yourself with the lathe’s operations and practice with less critical projects to build your skills. Understanding the tool’s capabilities and limitations is key to both safety and successful projects.

Final Conclusion

In conclusion, after thorough evaluation and consistent usage, the WEN (34035) 6-Amp 14″ x 20″ Variable Speed Benchtop Wood Lathe has established itself as a dependable and multifaceted addition to my collection of tools. It impresses with its robust motor, accurate speed control, and solid construction, all available at a price that offers significant value. This lathe is perfectly suited for a wide range of woodworking endeavors, from the intricate detailing of small ornaments to the robust demands of larger, more practical items.

The capabilities and features it brings to the table have been instrumental in realizing the potential of various projects. Drawing from my hands-on experience with this machine, I can confidently endorse the WEN 34035 as a wise choice for both newcomers to the craft and experienced woodworkers seeking to expand their workshop’s capabilities.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What materials can the WEN 34035 wood lathe handle?
    The WEN 34035 is capable of working with a wide range of wood types, from softwoods to hardwoods, allowing for a variety of projects from small pens to larger bowls.
  2. Is the variable speed feature easy to adjust while working?
    Yes, the variable speed control is designed for easy adjustment, offering a smooth transition between 500 to 2500 RPM to suit different project requirements.
  3. Can I use this lathe for professional projects?
    Absolutely. While the WEN 34035 is ideal for hobbyists, its power, precision, and build quality also make it suitable for professional-grade woodturning projects.
  4. What is the maximum length of material that can be turned on this lathe?
    The lathe accommodates materials up to 20 inches long, thanks to its 20-inch distance between centers.
  5. Does it come with any accessories?
    The specific accessories included can vary, but generally, it comes with the basics needed to start turning. For detailed information, it’s best to check the product listing or manual for the exact accessories.
  6. How does it handle vibration during operation?
    The WEN 34035’s cast iron construction significantly reduces vibration, providing a stable base for smooth operation and precise work.
  7. Is assembly difficult?
    Assembly is straightforward, with clear instructions provided. Most users find they can set it up with basic tools and no special skills required.
  8. What is the warranty period for the WEN 34035 lathe?
    WEN typically offers a warranty on their products, but the duration and specifics can vary, so it’s recommended to check the manufacturer’s documentation or website for up-to-date warranty information.
  9. Can the speed be adjusted for delicate projects that require high precision?
    Yes, the lathe’s variable speed control allows for fine adjustments, making it perfect for delicate projects that demand high precision and control.
  10. How does this model compare to other lathes in the same price range?
    The WEN 34035 stands out in its price range for its blend of capacity, power, and variable speed options, offering great value for both beginners and experienced woodturners looking for a versatile benchtop lathe.

We can’t wait to get your feedback! Please post your thoughts and experiences with the WEN (34035) 6-Amp 14″ x 20″ Variable Speed Benchtop Wood Lathe in the comments below. Your detailed observations and reviews are incredibly helpful to other woodworkers and hobbyists looking to make informed choices regarding this tool. Whether you’ve tackled detailed pieces or larger projects, your contributions are highly valued!

Edward SmithEdward Smith
Edward Smith

Forestry Author

Woodworking is about more than crafting; it’s a harmonious connection with nature, mastering tools, and preserving our environment. I’m here to share my knowledge and experiences with you, forging a future where we can embrace wood’s beauty and utility while safeguarding our forests’ health and diversity.



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