With a lot of free time on my hands these days I decided to move into the dangerous and addictive land of woodturning. I’ve been dying to get a lathe now for about 3 years and trolling Craigslist (I’m on a college budget). I finally found a great deal on an old Craftsman so I decided to jump on it!
After I got it, I spent a couple hours cleaning and making sure everything moved like it was supposed to. I ran into one problem which was the motor has a slight bend in the shaft which makes it vibrate a little more than what would be ideal. Combined with the fact that it was mounted on one side with with a metal bracket (the other side was free floating, pictured above) I decided I needed to secure the motor to the table better and find a way to reduce the vibration. My solution was a double layered base with rubber feet (“shock absorbers”) sandwiched between.
Next up on my purchase list you ask? Turning tools of course! In an incredible stroke of luck I found a lady on Craigslist the next day that was selling many of her late husbands tools. I was able to pick up a set of 6 Robert Sorby turning tools in barely used condition! The lady had done her research and knew what they were worth… after talking with her for a while and showing me some of her husbands pieces, she told me she was pleased to see the tools go to someone who was just getting into turning and gave me a better deal than I could have dreamed of :-)
After only 4 days I feel like I’m getting a great handle on how to use all of the tools (I had only used a lathe a couple times before). Here are some pictures of some of my first turnings on some spare wood while I was getting used to the lathe and tools… the first are some things resembling chess pieces and the last two are a french rolling pin.
I’m already addicted! Feel free to leave me any good starter project suggestions in the comments. I am thinking about making a set of custom handles screwdrivers. Also I’m sure a lot of family members will be receiving Christmas gifts from my lathe this year :)