My first Bowl!

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Project by Nick_Osbourne posted 08-13-2011 12:15 AM 1575 views 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my first turning. I bought the mastercraft mini lathe and it worked long enough for me to get addicted before it broke! I’ve been looking around for another one and found a good deal on a King CH 900C lathe. Does anyone have experience with this?

The wood was a log from the yard, the same wood I used for the jewelry box. I think it’s spalted birch.

I can’t wait to pick up another lathe and finish a few more projects!

6 comments so far

View RiverWood's profile


115 posts in 2789 days

#1 posted 08-13-2011 01:13 AM

I think you have created a work of art. I am not familiar with your broke lathe but will bet someone has one one and will help you get going again. post what is broke and I bet you get help (pictures)

-- My favorite projects were firewood bound

View Hix's profile


161 posts in 3307 days

#2 posted 08-13-2011 01:53 AM

+1 on the lathe advice. I would bet that someone on here has some info. The bowl is great! My first barely looked like a bowl. For what it’s worth, there is no 12 step program for turners. I think it’s a lifelong sentence.

-- ---call me---- Mark

View Transition's profile


340 posts in 2573 days

#3 posted 08-13-2011 07:27 AM

Don’t know anything about this lathe, but looking at some pics it seems to me that the stand is a little flimsy. Get a big hunk of unbalance wood on there and the whole thing is likely to tip. So if you buy it, you might want to think about building a solid base. I like the variable speed and the 12” swing. And it has an outboard spindle, which is nice…

What broke on your first lathe?

-- Andrew, Orange County, CA -

View Chefdavid's profile


255 posts in 2884 days

#4 posted 08-14-2011 09:21 PM

Great Bowl.. I will be soon turning my first bowl. I only hope it will look that great!! Thanks for sharing

-- Become a fan on Facebook...

View ChrisCrafts's profile


107 posts in 2614 days

#5 posted 08-15-2011 07:49 AM

Welcome to Turning! I made my first box that looked very similar to that about a year ago. When I was done I was hooked! I went through a Shopsmith, Then a crap Harbor Freight, then a Craftsman, before I finally go a Jet 1642EVS-2. That was the lathe that I was finally able to turn on without major issues. It looks like the King you are looking at is one of the many many knock-offs of the Jet 1236/1442. It all depends on the quality of the parts used and the tolerances of the manufacturing process. The Harbor Freight Lathe I got was a knock-off of the same Jet Model. It’s issue was the Tool Rest wouldn’t stay in place, which is really quite bad!

That King may be just fine for you to begin on. I will caution you from making the mistakes I did. There are plenty of quality Lathes out there in many price ranges. I would be careful spending you hard earned money on any of them that isn’t well known as a good quality lathe. While the lathe is a fairly simple tool, there are many companies that skimp on some vital parts. If you want to general ideas on good lathes and what is important to look for, please feel free to send me a PM. I have spent quite a bit of time buying, repairing, and selling woodworking machinery, so I can also help you try and fix that broken mini.

Besides as Lathe I would highly recommend you invest in high quality tools, a good sharpening systems, and spend a couple hours on YouTube watching videos from Jimmy Clewes, Bonnie Klein, Mike Mahoney, & others.

Take Care!


-- Chris, Washington The State!

View Nick_Osbourne's profile


105 posts in 2977 days

#6 posted 08-16-2011 04:12 AM

Thanks everyone for the great input! This actually was my second attempt at a bowl.. while finishing up the bottom on my first attempt I accidentally made it too thin, and ended up with a bottomless bowl! I’ll upload some pictures later.

The lathe I was using was the Mastercraft 12” lathe. The link to the tool is:

It was the tool rest that broke. The post snapped clean off while working. Before it broke though I was having some troubles anyway. I found the plastic tightening handles had begun to crack and I had to be careful while tightening. Also, the tool rest wouldn’t stay locked it position which led to a few unnerving moments.

I’ve looked around for new and used lathes and found the King CH 900C. I’m still looking at reviews online but plan to meet with the guy on the weekend to take a look. A link to this tool is:

I realized right away the poor quality of the chisels that came with the Mastercraft lathe and invested in a few HSS chisels. Thanks Chris for the advise in material, I’ll have to watch and read some good instructionals on sharpening the chisels. I’ll update in my next entry what I end up deciding!

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