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Best starting point for using a lathe?

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Forum topic by redesigningwood posted 02-18-2016 06:18 PM 1074 views 1 time favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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redesigningwood

169 posts in 550 days


02-18-2016 06:18 PM

Hello hello,

I picked up a lathe a few weeks ago for a song off craigslist (1960’s craftsman with a 40 inch cutting area and
tools included for about $100) and I have been watching a few videos as to how to cut correctly [something about riding the bevel :)]. I’ve been using builder grade 2×4s glued together because I have them around and I wouldn’t want to destroy anything expensive before figuring out what I am doing.

The problems I have been having are catching wood and ripping chunks of wood out, the entire piece of wood
flying past my head, the lathe loosening up after the tool catches the wood, and all smaller details come out VERY rough.

Other then maybe not starting out learning the lathe by trying to make a baseball bat (seemed simple at the time, haha), anyone have some advice for a new lathe user?

-- Mat


27 replies so far

View lew's profile

lew

11701 posts in 3471 days


#1 posted 02-18-2016 06:41 PM

Sharp tools, a little higher RPM’s than you would normally think and stay away from the skew chisel for a while. There are three folks to follow on YouTube- Carl Jacobson, Brian Havens and Captian Eddy.

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

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redesigningwood

169 posts in 550 days


#2 posted 02-18-2016 06:54 PM

Lathe was typically on second to highest setting, only thing I was using was a gauge that i sharpened (hopefully correctly), and yes, the skew chisel and me do not get along right now. The tools that came with the lathe didnt include a wide “roughing gouge” per say, these are the tools that the lathe came with – http://www.ebay.com/itm/Craftsman-Lathe-Turning-Tools-for-Woodworking-9-2855-/301811591534

-- Mat

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MrUnix

5564 posts in 1915 days


#3 posted 02-18-2016 07:20 PM

Unless you are knocking the corners off to get it somewhat rounded, you need to go slow and take very, very light cuts until it’s roughed out. I use 2x material a LOT to make faceplates/glue blocks, and if you just throw them on there square, it takes a bit of patience to get them round. I will usually at least make them octogonal on the bandsaw first before turning, which helps a lot. Oh, and I turn most of them just using an old screwdriver sharpened on a belt sander :)

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

1690 posts in 2660 days


#4 posted 02-18-2016 08:05 PM

I’m a newbie to lathes too. I have been able to get my knives sharp using my 1” belt sander and just a touch, until I finish getting the four wheel grinding stations set up for it.

To start, I just use 2×2’s. Generally, about ten inches or less long. It gives me a lot of good practice, both for getting a feel for sharpening and for turning.

I’ve had a lot of minor catches, but nothing that threw anything. For square stock, I start slow or mid point. The more the pieces vibrates, the slower I go.

I tip the gouge to work off the right or left edge with the part cutting supported directly on the rest. I take small cuts and move a lot.

Squaring goes quick enough I don’t bother with the band saw. Too, it’s just more opportunity to get comfortable with what works.

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waho6o9

7918 posts in 2293 days


#5 posted 02-18-2016 08:07 PM

Face mask

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RobS888

2187 posts in 1561 days


#6 posted 02-18-2016 09:28 PM

Carbide tipped tools can really help out when you are starting.

-- I always suspected many gun nuts were afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

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redesigningwood

169 posts in 550 days


#7 posted 02-18-2016 10:05 PM



Face mask

- waho6o9


haha! Yea I learned that one quickly.

-- Mat

View Bmezz's profile

Bmezz

41 posts in 1099 days


#8 posted 02-18-2016 10:27 PM

Not sure where you live but do yourself a big favour and find a woodturners club in your area. At best they will offer a basic course at worst they will have mentors. Either way it will save you time, money and blood. Don’t underestimate how badly you can get hurt with a lathe. Google AAW and they will have a listing of clubs near you. Stay safe.

-- Member Valley Woodturners Ottawa. Member AAW

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

9911 posts in 2096 days


#9 posted 02-19-2016 01:57 AM

Construction lumber will tear out and break off easier than hard woods, so it’s good in that respect for practice. Once you can get a good finishing cut on pine, hard woods will be a breeze. Crank up the speed, keep your tailstock tight checking it often, and take light cuts.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Gerry1942's profile

Gerry1942

25 posts in 545 days


#10 posted 02-19-2016 03:17 AM

Turning is all about feed and speed. A turning class at the local Woodcraft store is worth the investment, or buy a video I for beginners. One can get hurt if you do not learn lathe safety

View redesigningwood's profile

redesigningwood

169 posts in 550 days


#11 posted 02-19-2016 02:53 PM



Turning is all about feed and speed. A turning class at the local Woodcraft store is worth the investment, or buy a video I for beginners. One can get hurt if you do not learn lathe safety

- Gerry1942

I have been using youtube as references to turning, hopefully with a little more patience I will figure it out.

-- Mat

View mrg's profile

mrg

776 posts in 2715 days


#12 posted 02-19-2016 03:11 PM

There are a couple of clubs in your area. I looked at your home page and inboxed you. Taking a class or joining one of the clubs and getting mentored is the easiest way of learning. You also learn different ways of executing things and finding what works best for you.

-- mrg

View KYSean's profile

KYSean

119 posts in 3312 days


#13 posted 02-19-2016 04:21 PM

Go to your local AAW woodturning club. Bad habits are harder to break than learning the correct way first.

-- http://editedwrite.com

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redesigningwood

169 posts in 550 days


#14 posted 02-19-2016 04:44 PM


Go to your local AAW woodturning club. Bad habits are harder to break than learning the correct way first.

- KYSean


Not sure where you live but do yourself a big favour and find a woodturners club in your area. At best they will offer a basic course at worst they will have mentors. Either way it will save you time, money and blood. Don t underestimate how badly you can get hurt with a lathe. Google AAW and they will have a listing of clubs near you. Stay safe.

- Bmezz


There are a couple of clubs in your area. I looked at your home page and inboxed you. Taking a class or joining one of the clubs and getting mentored is the easiest way of learning. You also learn different ways of executing things and finding what works best for you.

- mrg

I’m going I’m going!!!!

-- Mat

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

1690 posts in 2660 days


#15 posted 02-19-2016 04:49 PM

Lew, thanks for the tips of Youtube videos. The closest place I could go for lessons requires a two hour trip for each.

_
“There are three folks to follow on YouTube- Carl Jacobson, Brian Havens and Captian Eddy.”

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