Reply by TheGravedigger

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Posted on Turning

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963 posts in 3991 days

#1 posted 01-23-2011 08:20 PM

Mike, you’ve asked a ten-million dollar question. I’ve been turning for about 25 years, and I’m still not sure how to answer it. There are so many variables that it’s hard to pin down. Your personal talent, spare time, and available funds all come into play.

I WILL say that turning has given me countless hours of enjoyment and satisfaction, and that I still enjoy it to this day. The initial investment is high but, like most areas of woodworking, you can start simple and add the bells and whistles as you progress. When I started, the modern scroll chucks didn’t even exist, and I learned lots of workarounds and adaptations. I’ve made lots of presents for friends and family, and have even made a little money selling things from time to time. However, the real motivation should be personal satisfaction – the rest will take care of itself.

As for how long to turn a bowl – again, experience changes everything. I can now do an average 6-8” bowl in about an hour, barring complications. When I started, I would poke and stab at it for the better part of a day. You WILL get better with practice. Work for quality, and the speed will follow in time.

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

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