youngest sons first try with a lathe

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Forum topic by maples posted 01-09-2010 06:58 AM 1301 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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63 posts in 3270 days

01-09-2010 06:58 AM

Well I guess its mine too, I havent touched a lathe since high school, and that was back well a while ago, graduated in 81,,,

I wanted to set the lathe up for a while both of teh boys want to use it, I needed the kick in the butt to get the shop sort of ready for it,, I knew [know] I need to set up a table or stand for my bigger lathe, and I just havent had the time to do it,, Then I remembered ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

,,,,,,,,,,,, I have a friend of mines shopsmith in the corner of my shop, I have never needed to use it , but its here, all the tools and attachments for teh lathe too,, so we set it up and went to turning, I forgot a lot of the technique but remember the basic, so we chucked up a 2×2 and went at it, I showed him how to start rounding,a nd smoothing,, then he did it, and went as far as making a design in it,,,

made daddy happy when he looked at me with those big eyes proud as all get out and said dad I found my new hobby I Love this lathe , its mine[ hes 12 now,],,,,

so here is his first “project” and wants to know what time we are going back out tommorow,, it was cold in teh shop but he hung in there,,, pat

I am going to try a pic, maybe???

jesse first turn
jesse first turn 2

11 replies so far

View Xtreme90's profile


193 posts in 3393 days

#1 posted 01-09-2010 01:35 PM


when I was 11-12 years old my father also set up his first lathe he got as a young boy for a x-mas present for me to enjoy. I remeber the countless hours being so excited to create something out of square stock. Now me and my father both create masterpieces. Never forgetting those fun times and still learning on the lathe.

Your boy will love it!!

-- "I don't cut wood. I machine it!" G.M. The wood machinest

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4448 days

#2 posted 01-09-2010 02:16 PM

Good for you. You are instilling a lifelong appreciation for woodworking. Something he can take into manhood and will think back about you with gratitude and a greater understanding of the gift you gave him.

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

View firecaster's profile


573 posts in 3619 days

#3 posted 01-09-2010 02:47 PM

There is no better feeling than spending time with your kids. Especially when you’re having an adventure together.

Great story.

-- Father of two sons. Both Eagle Scouts.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3275 days

#4 posted 01-09-2010 03:56 PM

First – I think it is great that you are spending time with your boys and exposing them to and teaching them about woodworking.

Second – I have one thought I share with anyone starting to learn how to use the lathe. Consider the new carbide cutting tools (Easy Rougher, Easy Finisher and/or Eliminator). These tools are so easy to work with. Yes, they are a little pricey, but they are the kind of tools you will keep for a lifetime (and maybe your son’s lifetime). You can see a video demo here -

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View stefang's profile


16133 posts in 3535 days

#5 posted 01-11-2010 09:06 PM

Hey Rich, Hope you don’t get mad at me for saying it, but I’m sticking with hss for three good reasons; they are a lot easier to sharpen and they take a better edge plus I have the option to grind different edge profiles. I have a full set of HSS turning tools including one with a carbide tip that really sucks and I never use.

If you are basing your opinion on years of experience then I might be more positive. If not, then this might not be the greatest advice to inexperienced turners. I’ve had my HSS tools for 14 years and I have done a whole lot of turning with them. They are a little shorter than when I bought them, but they will still probably outlast me. With them I can change the profile of the cutting edge and I don’t have to replace them when the get dull like the add says. Please don’t take this as a personal attack. I’m sure you mean well and want to be helpful, so my apologies if you feel outed. I normally don’t get this negative, but I feel it is warranted in this particular situation to save others some money and aggravation.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View jim C's profile

jim C

1472 posts in 3299 days

#6 posted 01-12-2010 01:49 AM

I’ll ditto that. I was a toolmaker for many years and HSS was the way to go if you’re wanting to make profiles, have a dead sharp edge etc. We turned steel all day long with HSS
Carbide is a great tool at high speeds, like a router, and at high SFPM (surface feet per minute) like on a saw blade.
But, if I were turning wood on a lathe, the options of being able to forming a bit, sharpen when needed, the versatility of HSS would be my choice. HSS lasts a long time in turning applications.
So everyone is aware, sharpening carbide with anything but a diamond wheel destroys the binder of tungsten and renders the cutting edge useless. It can’t be done with any effectiveness on a pedestal grinder made for steel. And it can be chipped easily. HSS has some forgiveness and is next to impossible to chip when cutting wood.
Just my 2 cents.

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jim C

1472 posts in 3299 days

#7 posted 01-12-2010 01:58 AM

I’m sure it is really cold in your area right now so i hope the little ones are not wearing any clothing like long sleeves etc. Make sure you teach them the hazards before the switch is turned on.
To me, a lathe is probably the one tool that will bite you faster than any of the others. Keep them safe.

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3569 days

#8 posted 01-12-2010 02:26 AM

Pat, that is a great start for the boys. I agree with Mike on the HSS tools. My first set was a cheap set of Buck Brothers that I still have and use, along with my Sorbys. LOL A cheap set like the red handled set from HF are great for learning to use and sharpen. After getting all that right, then “invest” in some real nice tools.

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3471 days

#9 posted 01-12-2010 02:37 AM

Great spindle there for a youngster. Love to see young folk catching the wood bug….it instills alot of good qualities too…and the great feeling of making something with your hands….I will always appreciate this gift my grandfather gave to me when he let me into his shop to help with his woodworking…..

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

View Mark's profile


1810 posts in 3475 days

#10 posted 01-12-2010 02:59 AM

i have my nephew buggin my sister to bring him over to my house because he wants to work in my shop

-- M.K.

View stefang's profile


16133 posts in 3535 days

#11 posted 01-12-2010 12:22 PM

Maples, I got so involved in my rant I forgot to say anything about your post. I think it is great to get the youngsters turning. Turning is relatively safe if the basic safety rules are followed and I think perfect for youngsters because they get an immediate result. Kids tend to never forget the time they spend in the shop with parents and grandparents. I am helping my 12 year old grandson to build a box. He and his 10 year old brother both make their parents and grandparents Christmas gifts in my shop each year. This is a wonderful way to spend time with the kids and strengthen family bonds. Keep up the good work!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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