ok so im about to buy a lathe. what else will i need?

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Forum topic by Mike Gager posted 10-23-2009 07:39 PM 2258 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mike Gager

665 posts in 3231 days

10-23-2009 07:39 PM

decided on a lathe i want, now i need to figure out what other tools ill need to start turning. for what its worth im going with the HF 34706 12”x36” lathe which is a copy of the jet 1236. while im at HF ill pick up a set of their 8 piece tool sets (the good $45 set) which includes 1’’ & 3/4’’ roughing gouges, 1/8’’ parting tool, 1/2’’ & 1’’ skew chisels, 1/2’’ round nose scraper, 1/2” beveled scraper, 1/4’’ spindle gouge

what other tools or accessories should i look at getting?

15 replies so far

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3234 days

#1 posted 10-23-2009 08:00 PM

Depends on what you plan to turn. You will need specific things if you want to turn pens…..(at minimum a mandrel)...if you want to turn bowls…you might want to look at a chucking system (Technatool, Vicmark..OneWay..etc) may want to look at some different centers…and a drill chuck for your tail stock…..

If you are begining to turn…you might want to start with pens or bottle stoppers….they are easy…and a good way to learn things on the lathe, also the blanks are cheap/available and or easy to make. There are lots of beginner sets – with mandrels and accessories to get you started…a good source is

For bowl turning…you might want to pick up a dvd or book on the subject…David Ellsworth’s are pretty good…Richard Raffan….there are tons…or you can view alot of videos on You Tube…..

The rest of the stuff you should acquire as you progress and have a need….usually it is buy all the tool you can afford as you don’t want to buy a bunch of stuff you will have to upgrade….this is true with turning also….

There are usually alot of local turning clubs around (American Woodturners Association has a list on their web page) or do a search on the web… most of the tool stores have demos that they put on…these are great sources of tips, ideas and inspiration….

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Chris 's profile


1879 posts in 3955 days

#2 posted 10-23-2009 08:02 PM

You should consider getting a bowl gouge as well as having a way to sharpen them all. I use a slow speed grinder with the wolverine jig. Also, does your lathe come with a chuck?

I suppose another way to discuss this is to ask what you plan on turning? Spindle work? Bowls? Hollow Forms? Pens?

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View lew's profile


12017 posts in 3719 days

#3 posted 10-23-2009 08:05 PM

I would make sure I have a 6” tool rest (or 12” if it comes with the 6”). An adjustable chuck something like a “Oneway” chuck. Don’t get a cheapie for this one. A jacobs chuck with a taper fitting to match you head/tail stock. A set of inside and outside calipers- they don’t have to be digital.

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

View Mario's profile


902 posts in 4015 days

#4 posted 10-23-2009 08:08 PM

Sharpening equipment, it is no fun, And harder to turn without sharp tools

-- Hope Never fails

View Roper's profile


1389 posts in 3677 days

#5 posted 10-23-2009 08:15 PM

yep you got to have a grinder, turning with dull tools is not fun.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View dbhost's profile


5705 posts in 3196 days

#6 posted 10-23-2009 08:18 PM

A chuck is a GREAT investment. The HF chuck won’t fit the lathe you want though. (I have that lathe and was looking at that chuck). The least expensive decent chuck I found was the WoodRiver chuck at Woodcraft.

A set of calipers, the feeler gauge kind, not like actual measuring calipers. Again Woodcraft has a set of inside, outside, and curved for like $24.99, which is less than I paid for my BigHorn ones off of Amazon.

If you don’t have it set up yet, a good bench grinder / sharpening setup. (You COULD build a jig if you want to…).

Series of grits of wet / dry sandpaper, and a piece of hardboard for a honing platform.

Face Shield. Safety glasses don’t protect you from a broken nose if something flies off the lathe…

TONS of sanding sponges of various grits.

Plywood, and screws to make a shelf on the base.

Bags of concrete to act as ballast on that shelf.

I am sure I missed something…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4210 days

#7 posted 10-23-2009 08:38 PM

Some kind of respirator. Some woods are toxic, some are just allergens.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Mike Gager's profile

Mike Gager

665 posts in 3231 days

#8 posted 10-26-2009 07:41 PM

thanks guys, you have given me lots to think about

i will most likely try my hand at bowls and hollow forms, furniture legs maybe who knows what else. i have zero interest in pens but may try some of the other small turning projects

i have a grinder so i think im set there though may need some different grinding wheels?

as for chucks im a bit torn. is there a budget option? the ones ive been looking at cost more then the lathe itsself which IMO is unacceptable. looking through some older turning books there seems to quite a few other options (although they may not be as easy) but some seem pretty simple (glue blocks). maybe my thoughts on this matter will change once i start getting into it

View dbhost's profile


5705 posts in 3196 days

#9 posted 10-26-2009 08:07 PM

The wood river 4 jaw chuck I mentioned above is the least expensive decent chuck I have come accross, which is why I own it.

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View RetiredCoastie's profile


999 posts in 3147 days

#10 posted 10-26-2009 09:08 PM

Yes Mike there are other options. Glue blocks, double sided tape….... There is more than one way to skin the cat. I would recommend going with the old ways first and then later on go with the chuck. Spend your money first on quality turning tools, respirator, and a slow speed grinder. Take a look at the Benjamin turning tool set at Pen State Industries. They have great reviews so far.

-- Proud Supporter of Homes For Our Troops

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4263 days

#11 posted 10-26-2009 09:36 PM

If you don’t want to spend much for a lathe chuck, you should buy a faceplate with

a screw chuck that will fit on your lathe. Check these out.

I turned many bowls over the years using a face plate.

Here’s a nice set of calipers.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Mike Gager's profile

Mike Gager

665 posts in 3231 days

#12 posted 10-26-2009 09:52 PM

hey db sorry i missed that in your post, is this the chuck you are talking about?

looks like you have to buy the insert and jaws seperately?

dick&barb thanks for the link to the screw chuck, those should work pretty good

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3234 days

#13 posted 10-26-2009 10:31 PM

If you don’t want to buy a chuck…easiest is to cut circles out of junk wood….screw your faceplate on to them….then either glue or double sided tape them to your blank. You can also (if your blank is wide enough) screw the face plate to your blank….turn it…then use a parting tool to cut it off the face plate.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Hix's profile


161 posts in 3242 days

#14 posted 10-27-2009 02:43 AM

A photo of your money….it is the last you will see of it. Everyone else pretty much covered it but they forgot to mention the upcoming desire for a second, bigger lathe.

Join a local turning club, it will be time well spent.

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

View RogerA's profile


1 post in 3096 days

#15 posted 10-29-2009 01:15 AM

Mike I had that lathe. Was a one for me. But now my grandson has it and I moved on to a Jet 1642. I also used the smaller strong hold chuck and still use it on the Jet. Good luck and enjoy the turning your about to start.

-- RogerA

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