Reply by lew

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Posted on Hey Turners, what am I getting myself into?

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12062 posts in 3755 days

#1 posted 06-02-2012 03:18 PM

Too late now ;^)

As mentioned, a used lathe would be the less expensive route but make sure you look closely at the head/tail stock alignment. Also, check the head stock bearings for smooth running/no play.

Bigger (more power) is always better especially if you decide to turn bowls. Longer is better if you are going to turn table legs, etc.

As said, most accessories are easily built. Do consider a 4 jaw chuck similar to- Nova's products. Also a Jacobs Chuck. Make sure it has the correct taper to match your lathe.

As for tools, stick with HSS- high speed steel. It is not as expensive as carbide, stay sharp longer than regular steel and you can resharpen it with your Worksharp. By the way, Worksharp has several accessories for lathe tool sharpening. Not putting down anyone’s product here, but a set of 5 to 7 lathe tools for under $100 is not going to give you the results you hoped for and cause more frustration during the learning process. Buy the tools you need for the project at hand. A roughing gouge, parting tool and a scraper will get you started. A spindle gouge might be nice. Hold off on the skew chisel for a little bit- it is a bear to learn to use.

Woodcraft, Rockler, Craft supplies USA and Penn State Industries all have project kits to get you started along with downloadable instruction sheets to help you. Pick some easy projects that require few extra tools/jigs—bottle stoppers, for example, and hone your skills.

Good Luck!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

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