Early one afternoon in March, toward the end of a very unseasonal snow shower, a truck, thankfully equipped
with a lift-gate, pulled up into my driveway with the One-Way 1018 lathe that I had ordered the previous June.
The driver said the lathe and stand weighed 384 pounds. That was easy to believe while Matt and I wrestled it through
the snow around back to the walk out entrance to my basement. I've had a chance to use it for a few months now,
and I would like to tell you about it. Throughout this review I'll be comparing the 1018 to my 15 year old Myford
The headstock on the One-Way is a jackshaft design. If you only think about it casually, you might think of this as just extra parts and an opportunity for power loss, but the great thing about it is that by moving the step pulley down, the headstock can be much narrower right behind the drive. This lets you get much easier access to your turning at the headstock end. By way of comparison, the width of the headstock on my Myford ML8 is 6-1/4 inches. The One-Way is only 4 inches. Using a bevel gauge, measuring the angle between a line parallel to the center and a line that just clears the headstock from the top edge of the nose of the spindle, the Myford is 130 degrees, the One-Way is a more accessible 155 degrees. The belt cover is .070" thick steel, and because of the angle it is hinged at, closes itself.
The only thing that disappoints me about the headstock is that it isn't drilled through to 3/8" like my Myford. The supplied knock-out rod is only 5/16th inch, and since my drill chuck and collet chuck are threaded in back to accept 3/8th inch threaded rod, it slips in rather than knocking them out. The biggest rod I can fit through is 11/32nd inch, so I'll buy some drill rod and make another knockout rod, or make a short piece of 3/8" rod to screw in to my chucks. I welded a piece of 3/8" threaded rod onto a length of 5/16" threaded rod to use as a draw bar. The headstock is indexed to 24 divisions, just like the Myford, but on the One-Way they're numbered and the indexing head doubles as a hand wheel. I added numbers to my Myford, but you have to take off the belt cover to see them.
The lathe comes with a spindle locking wrench with a tenon that slips into the bed ways for no-handed operation. The rear end of the spindle is threaded to 3/4x16NF should you wish to attach a vacuum chuck or a hand wheel.
The tailstock assembly is heavier than the one on my Myford. The tailstock ram on the Myford is ¾ inch, the ram on the One-Way is 1-1/4 inch. The wheel on the One-Way is a half inch bigger at 4 inches, and the handle on the wheel, unlike the Myford, can spin. The tailstock locks very securely in place on the ways with a locking lever, and there is very little play. The wheel that locks the ram could be a little more secure. I may make a replacement that uses a handle for more leverage. The tailstock isn't bored through, but it does self eject. It's not a lathe designed to turn lampposts on anyway, so it doesn't much matter that it isn't bored through.
The ways on the One-Way are ½ inch thick steel, and they're dovetailed so that the tailstock will slide off easily, but lock securely. The width of the ways is more accurate than my dial caliper. The ways are welded via brackets to a 4-1/2 inch steel tube with ¼ inch thick walls. One-Way claims that this system greatly reduces vibration. I don't claim that it proves much, but I balanced a nickel on the ways. It stayed there while the lathe was running. In fact I turned the lathe on and off and even hollowed a small pre-balanced drop spindle whorl without the nickel falling over. Later I roughed a 3/4x3/4x 10 piece of purpleheart down to round without the nickel falling over.
The banjo on the One-Way is much nicer than the one on my Myford. The slot on the latter always filled up with wood chips, so if you wanted to slide it all the way back you had to stop and clean out the slot. The One-Way uses a different mechanism that is completely covered so that will never be a problem. The Banjo on the One-Way also allows more freedom of movement, enough that you can center the tool rest behind the centerline without even angling the banjo and you can likewise position the tool rest behind the spindle nose. Both the Banjo and tool rest lock in place with 4 inch long levers and feel very positive. You don't have to worry about marking the tool rest post, as there is a floating spacer that matches the curve of the tool rest post. The collar for the tool post locking lever has 8 mounting holes but only 4 mounting screws, so you can adjust where the lever falls when locked to suit. Visually, the tool rest doesn't appear as robust as the rest of the lathe. But I can't fault its feel or performance, as I never noticed any vibration or slipping even out on the ends. The Banjo accepts a ¾" post, which is the same as my Myford, so I'm able to use the tool rests that came with it as well as the homemade special purpose ones I made for it.
In the couple of months I've had the 1018 I've used it as much as I can. Except for the stand ringing, it has yet to disappoint me. Most of the turning I've done has been a couple of batches of drop spindles which are quite appropriately sized for this size lathe. The 1018 performed smoothly and effortlessly on these small parts. I did do one larger piece of faceplate work, and the 1 hp motor provided more than adequate power. The motor and bearing noise is much less than my Myford, as I can hear the CD player much better now. The speed control works flawlessly.
I really love this lathe. It's quiet, solid, and vibration free. All the adjustments are smooth and positive, and it's been my experience that One-Way really stands behind their products. The only real question mark is availability. I would suggest you order one now, then start talking your spouse into it, rather than the other way around.
The author indulges his serious tool fetish in his basement in Hampstead Maryland. He welcomes comments, complaints and questions via e-mail at David@DavidReedSmith.com An electronic version of this article with color photographs is posted on his web site at www.DavidReedSmith.com