I ended up with a little money from selling a few things to Woodsmith a while back and two of them made it to print. As any good husband and father would do, I cashed the checks and went to Woodzone (plug). I was having an internal debate on what I wanted to get. I NEED a jointer. Essential tool, really is, but come on, not much fun. Long story short, I caved and bought several things to give turning a try. I’ve never used a lathe and felt overwhelmed trying to make sense of all the accessories. I picked up a Shop Fox lathe. Since I have no patience to sharpen and would likely not do it well, I got a Worksharp 3000. I had no idea what tools to get. The owner set me up with a standard gouge, skew, and scraper to start. I then found out I needed a chuck (didn’t know they cost as much as some lathes). I couldn’t quite make the jump for the Nova, but settled on the newer Barracuda Kit. It was under $200. Nova, wow, must be something I’m not understanding. I suppose they’ll outlast many lathes though.
I got home and set up. Turning isn’t as easy as I anticipated. Getting the tools sharp was easy, really great sharpener so far. It went through all the grits very fast when I sharpened a shop worth of chisels and planes. The second round of consumables has lasted a while as I only need to touch up now. I decided to turn a simple carvers mallet as a first attempt. Pretty straight forward. The first one (maple) ended up too small to be effective. The second one (purpleheart) was perfect. Well, it was. i was turing some V grooves and things to dress it up a bit. One slight wrist movement and boom, 2 hours were wasted. Doesn’t require much to take some huge chunks off the piece.
In the end, I’m really enjoying it. It’s fast compared to full blown shop projects. A couple hours and you’ve got something to show for it. It’ll get better when I learn how to really use the tools. I’m guessing somewhat at technique and tool angles and such. There seems to be a lot of content on the web. Haven’t gotten much of a chance to sit down and read up on it. Still need that jointer, but I’m having fun.
-- Jeff, South Carolina