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Forum topic by BoomWood posted 10-14-2016 01:16 AM 877 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View BoomWood's profile


52 posts in 1149 days

10-14-2016 01:16 AM

Hi all,
I’m thinking about asking for a lathe for christmas, been wanting one for a long time.
I have my eye on a few lathes, the question is…what other accessories do I need to consider to get started?
It needs to be smaller as I have very little space left in my shop. I realize this limits me to pens, small bowls, handles and such but that’s fine.
Do lathes come with the chuck needed for these small items to turn?
I think I will also get the cutting tools from Rockler that have the replaceable blades so I don’t need to worry about sharpening too much.
Anything else I’m missing?

10 replies so far

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


5559 posts in 2553 days

#1 posted 10-14-2016 01:45 AM

Most lathes do not come with a chuck. Check on some reviews here for lathe accessories to help choose what you feel is a good one. Myself I use a NOVA and have been pleased with how it has held up. Before you go buy a bunch of new chisels get a cheap set and practice some with them, save for later because you never know when they might come in handy.

A lathe opens up a world of opportunity for new projects, you will not regret having one.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Woodknack's profile


12369 posts in 2525 days

#2 posted 10-14-2016 01:49 AM

Lot of other threads asking the same questions.

-- Rick M,

View HokieKen's profile


6276 posts in 1283 days

#3 posted 10-14-2016 12:51 PM

Most any lathe will come with a spur center and a live center. That’s all you need to start with. Hold off on the chuck until you’re sure what you’re going to be turning and what size jaws you’re going to need. The only necessary additional expense will be some tools to start with. Get HSS tools, at a minimum a gouge, a parting tool and a round nose scraper. Add tools from there when you start learning which ones you need.

Eventually, you’ll probably invest more in accessories than you do in the lathe. No need to spend it all up front though.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Woodmaster1's profile


1042 posts in 2732 days

#4 posted 10-14-2016 01:22 PM

You can use a faceplate for bowls until you get a chuck. I turned 10” bowls using a faceplate without any problems. I now have a talon chuck I use for turning.

View BoomWood's profile


52 posts in 1149 days

#5 posted 10-14-2016 08:29 PM

Thanks for all the answers so far!

Is there a resource I can read up at that would tell me all the different accessories I might want and what they are used for?

For instance, If I wanted to make a bowl or vase, do I need a certain kind of chuck or could I get started making those with whatever the lathe came with? Same question for pens.
Also the cutting tools…which ones are used for what purposes?

View LeeMills's profile


599 posts in 1446 days

#6 posted 10-15-2016 02:17 AM

Your questions may be way too broad for any one answer.
Most lathes do not come with chucks; as stated earlier you can do most anything with the spur center or a faceplate which does come with the lathe. I think this is a pretty good lathe and currently on sale with the chuck included. My daughter has had hers about 3 years with no problems.

I do have a couple of carbide but most of my tools are standard HSS. To me there are too many cuts I can’t make with the carbide, in particular in spindle work. Lots of folks love the carbide and only use them.

Here is a video which covers almost every holding method and will get you use to the terminology and what may be appropriate for different holding situations.

-- We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

View toyguy's profile


1657 posts in 3982 days

#7 posted 10-15-2016 12:26 PM

The cost of the lathe is only a very small part of the required turn stuff you will need. As stated, no chucks will come with your lathe. Also turning tools will be a must….and of course tools are no good without a means of sharpening.
If you are on a weak budget, I would suggest you look at used equipment. Sometimes you can get a complete package a lot cheaper than buying all new stuff.
Turning is a fascinating world…..... well worth the investment….... but not cheap to get started. So much information on the internet about turning you should have no trouble finding all your answers to turning questions…..... good luck.

-- Brian, Ontario Canada,

View SignWave's profile


451 posts in 3180 days

#8 posted 10-15-2016 01:43 PM

I remember being in your situation. I brought home my first lathe and thought, what else do I need to make this work? There are indeed many options, and it can be overwhelming. I got some of it right, but also got some of it wrong.

Nothing wrong with starting with a smaller lathe. If I had it to do again, though I’d get one of the smaller lathes with a 12” swing rather than the 10” swing that I got. It’s a lot more flexible, and it doesn’t take any more space.

I personally think that a beginning woodturner will benefit by starting with spindle mode turning, mostly because it’s easier to learn safe and effective technique with the lengthwise grain orientation and with the workpiece between two centers. Nearly every lathe that you’re likely to buy will come with the drive and live centers needed to mount a workpiece in spindle mode. Once you have some skills down, bowl turning will be more fun, more successful, and much safer.

I also advocate starting with traditional High Speed Steel tools rather than carbide tools. The main reason is that it’s really hard for a beginner to learn to use bevel support with carbide tools, so they end up doing everything by scraping. I don’t mean to stir up dust here, but learning bevel support is fundamental to woodturning, and I advise beginning woodturners to embrace learning it because it’s so valuable.

  • Personal Protective Equipment. This means a face shield and respirator, at the minimum. A padded apron or jacket is also a good idea.
  • Cutting tools: HSS spindle gouge, bowl gouge, spindle roughing gouge, and a parting tool will take you along way. A Flat and round scraper are nice, too. I’m a fan of a skew chisel, but some people find this to be a challenge for a beginner.
  • Sharpening. A low speed grinder with aluminum oxide wheels works well with HSS tools. You can get away with a regular grinder, but with varied results.
  • A drill chuck will come in very handy. You don’t need it the first day, but eventually you will have one.
  • Pen turning: mandrel and bushing set(s), drill bits, barrel trimmer. Mandrel saver live center is a nice to have.
  • 4 jaw chuck. These are really convenient for holding workpieces by one end, and they are a more elegant way of holding work that you can still do with other methods, like a faceplate and some screws or a glue block.
  • Lathe Spindle tap: Beall Tool Company makes a nice one, and they come in different sizes for different headstocks. These will allow you to make your own mounting blocks, and are very flexible. This has been a net cost saver for me.
  • alternate drive/live centers. Your lathe comes with one of each, but sometimes variations can work better. I like a steb center as a drive center, for example, but it does the same thing as the one that comes with the lathe.

Hope this helps. Not claiming to know what’s best for everyone, just sharing some thoughts.

Woodturning is a fun hobby! Be safe and enjoy the time spent at the lathe.

-- Barry,

View Kirk650's profile


566 posts in 893 days

#9 posted 10-15-2016 03:58 PM

Signwave covered it pretty darn well, but I’ll add a few things. I started with a Jet 1014evs and an extension, and it did most everything I needed to do. It’s a good starter lathe. Eventually I needed a bigger swing and a bigger distance between centers, so I upgraded to the Jet 1221evs with extension. That’s probably all the lathe I’ll ever need. I hear that the Delta midi, which is the same size as my new lathe, is available for a great price, so I’d sure look at that one. Electronic variable speed is not essential, but almost is. Get that.

For cutting tools, go with the HSS instead of carbide, and get a low speed grinder (1750ish rpm) with a good stone for tool sharpening. Add the Veritas highly adjustable lathe tool support to your shopping list. When I first returned to turning, after many years, I had forgotten how important it is to have really sharp tools. Didn’t take long to rediscover that.

View Darell's profile


435 posts in 3739 days

#10 posted 10-15-2016 05:14 PM

First, find a local wood turning club. A state by state list can be found at the AAW website, The help you can get at a local turning club is invaluable. If you join AAW there is a wealth of information available to you that will help immensely.

I might also suggest a couple of books. The Frugal Woodturner for those on limited budgets and also Fixtures and Chucks for Woodturning. There are hundreds of books and video’s available and lots of Youtube video’s although some of those video’s on Youtube are done by folks just asking for trouble. You have to develope a good sense of safety.

Other than that, SignWave pretty much covered it.

-- Darell, Norman, Ok.

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