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Forum topic by Karda posted 01-31-2017 07:07 PM 996 views 0 times favorited 31 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Karda

807 posts in 388 days


01-31-2017 07:07 PM

Hi, I am considering wood turning and have some questions. I have watched some basic UTube videos about turning tools and get the idea that only a few are need to get started but does size mater a lot it seem like you can do the same work with a small tool as a large. also do you need expensive sharpening systems. thanks Mike


31 replies so far

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

5983 posts in 2033 days


#1 posted 01-31-2017 07:21 PM

You can get started with some old screwdrivers and a belt sander (or you can hand sharpen), and take it up to however expensive you want from there :)

And size mainly dictates how large a piece you can turn…. you obviously can’t turn a deep bowl if you can’t get your turning tools to reach the bottom.

Cheers,
Brad

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

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JayT

5453 posts in 2045 days


#2 posted 01-31-2017 07:46 PM

I started with a cheap turning tool set, but quickly got tired of sharpening, as they wouldn’t hold an edge. After talking to a couple other people, I decided to try carbide tools and am very happy with that decision. I’m still a turning novice, so am not going to claim a ton of knowlege, but have found that just a few carbide tools can cover a broad range of applications. Plus, you don’t have to worry about sharpening. The carbide tips stay sharp a long time, and when they finally get dull, simply rotate the tip to a fresh edge. No muss, no fuss.

You might take a look and see if that is a route that would work for you.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

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LeeMills

458 posts in 1135 days


#3 posted 01-31-2017 08:07 PM

Going by the number of post I assume you already do woodworking but just getting into turning.
I would go with full size tools. The link is to some videos by Stuart Batty; in particular you may want to view the ones on tool size and overhang. To get started on the right foot I also suggest the three on stance.
You didn’t say what you want to get started with. The minimum for spindle work (to me) would be a diamond parting tool, 1/2” spindle gouge, and a 3/4-1” skew. For bowl add a 1/2” bowl gouge.
Capn’ Eddie on youtube has a video on how to make a sharpening jig for gouges for a few bucks. Again, this assumes you already have a grinder. I use a 1980’s grinding set up I made with 6” wheels and it works just fine for me.
If you do want to start with carbide then lots of places have the bits fairly cheap ($3 -$20). A handle, square stock, and a drill bit and tap for the screw should be about $12. No need to pay $100 for a handle IMHO.

https://vimeo.com/woodturning/videos/page:1/sort:alphabetical/format:thumbnail

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

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OSU55

1423 posts in 1824 days


#4 posted 01-31-2017 10:54 PM

The minimum for spindle work (to me) would be a diamond parting tool, 1/2” spindle gouge, and a 3/4-1” skew. For bowl add a 1/2” bowl gouge.
Capn Eddie on youtube has a video on how to make a sharpening jig for gouges for a few bucks. Again, this assumes you already have a grinder. I use a 1980 s grinding set up I made with 6” wheels and it works just fine for me.
If you do want to start with carbide then lots of places have the bits fairly cheap ($3 -$20). A handle, square stock, and a drill bit and tap for the screw should be about $12. No need to pay $100 for a handle IMHO
- LeeMills

Pretty much agree with Lee. I’d add a 1” spindle roughing gouge and sub a 3/8” vs a 1/2” spindle gouge but either works. Benjamins best and Hurricane tools are high value brands with good hss. As for sharpening – what do you consider expensive,what do you already have, and what can you or want to make? You can go dirt cheap and spend time making and adjusting at one end or go for a 10” slow speed grinder with CBN wheels. Some love belt sanders, others grinders. The gouge jigs for sale typically offer flexibility to get different grinds/shapes that will require separate shop made jigs for each- not that important at first but becomes more so if you like to turn. Can always start cheap and upgrade if you like it.

I tried carbide and hardly use it now. Once I learned how to really use a gouge I didnt have any real use for it. Unless you want to sand more I dont recommend it.

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Karda

807 posts in 388 days


#5 posted 02-01-2017 01:45 AM

Hi, thanks for your suggestion, two projects I have in mind are handles for carving knives and carvers mallets, maybe some bowls nothing small and delicate like pens, not yet. when I say expensive I don’t want to shell out %0 or 60 dollars t just to sharpen a tool if I can do it for less. I do have a grinder but it is iffy, its 40 YEAR OLD Black and Decker 5” I also have a motor and arbor I use as a grinder. I have to monkey a little to save if I can

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Bill7255

412 posts in 2119 days


#6 posted 02-01-2017 12:54 PM

I think you would be better off using a belt or disk sander instead of your grinders. The grinders you have a just not the right tools for sharpening lathe chisels. Do not buy any chisels that are not HSS. HF has a set of HSS that many have started with including myself. The red handle ones are better. Those will do spindle work, but no bowl gouge. Price is about the same as two inexpensive HSS chisels. I still use a couple today. If you are going to buy a lathe, I suggest one that has #2 tapers. Stay away from tube lathes. Ther are some good used lathes where people have upgraded and are selling and may include some tooling. Also HF has lathes, but I have never used one.. if you find a used lathe, you might want to post to get opinions from turners here. Be warned that this hobby is a $$$ vortex, but I love it. It is my most enjoyable woodworking hobby.

-- Bill R

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Karda

807 posts in 388 days


#7 posted 02-01-2017 03:59 PM

Hi, I am begining to see that wood turning is expensive. Could you tell me what a #2 tapper is and what a tube lathe is. thanks

View Abter's profile

Abter

45 posts in 461 days


#8 posted 02-01-2017 05:32 PM

Both the headstock and tail stock in a lathe can hold a variety of items that hold the wood or a tool. This includes things like mandrils, live centers, spur centers, drill chucks and lots of other things (see the $$ floating away yet?). While some of these devices screw on to the threaded part of the headstock spindle, many more attachments have a friction fit rod that fits into a hole in the head or tail stock. A MorseTaper (MT) is the standard shape of the rod, which is largest at the end holding the wood and gets steadily smaller towards the end that goes into the head or tail stock. A lathe has a matching size female taper “hole” in both the headstock and tailstock. The size of the taper in the lathe is fixed; you choose which size taper when you buy the lathe. Some lathes are available from the manufacturer in two sizes, #1 and #2.
Morse tapers come in standard sizes. For woodworking I agree Bill’s recommendation of a #2 taper is the best choice. MT #2 has the widest variety of pieces available, which generally lower the cost. #1, which is smaller, is quite serviceable as well.

FYI, all Morse tapers have the same angle on the sides; the diameter gets smaller at about 5/8” per foot (or put another way, the taper angle is just under 1.5 degrees). The different sizes of MTs (i.e., #1 and #2) refer to what size that particular taper starts at. Imagine you had a long bar starts out pretty large and then tapers at the standard Morse rate. You could cut one piece of that bar off at specified diameters and get a #1 MT. A different cut starting/stopping at somewhat larger diameters would be a #2 MT.

The chucks that are used in drill presses use a similar type of taper system, but the angle is not constant. A Jacobs Taper does not have a constant angle everywhere. The bigger the diameter of a JT, the larger the angle is.

-- "Many men fish all their lives without ever realizing that it is not the fish they are after." {often mis-quoted as by H.D. Thoreau}

View JayT's profile

JayT

5453 posts in 2045 days


#9 posted 02-01-2017 05:46 PM

Abter’s got you covered on Morse tapers.

A tube lathe is one that has a round steel tube on the bottom that the tail stock mounts to. They are generally not very good lathes and very difficult to keep aligned. Sears/Craftsman sold a ton of them that you can still find frequently and cheap, but they are more frustration than they are worth. Here’s a pic of that style:

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

View Abter's profile

Abter

45 posts in 461 days


#10 posted 02-01-2017 05:58 PM

wow…things you learn here at LJ. The midsized lathe in the woodshop in our senior center is a Craftsman with that exact design. Just last week we found the head and tail stocks had gotten out of line by over 1/4 inch (when live centers in both ends were touching…or should have been touching at least). It was difficult for our shop manager to beat it back into a workable alignment, and even that required a wood wedge under the bar to make the final adjustment. On top of that its a #1 Morse Taper lathe; the only one that size in the shop. NOT CONVENIENT

-- "Many men fish all their lives without ever realizing that it is not the fish they are after." {often mis-quoted as by H.D. Thoreau}

View Jimbo4's profile

Jimbo4

1578 posts in 2597 days


#11 posted 02-01-2017 06:04 PM

My very first lathe was one of them Craftsman tube thingees – pure junk!

-- When I was a kid I wanted to be older . . . . . this CRAP is not what I expected !

View LeeMills's profile

LeeMills

458 posts in 1135 days


#12 posted 02-01-2017 08:07 PM

I’m a little surprised that it would have to be “beat” back in alignment. I had a Jet tube lathe and a brother had a craftsman. Both had a set screw on the back side where the tube enters the headstock. Loosen, align the points, and then tighten. The set serew may be difficult to see if you don’t know where to look. The points can be forced out of alignment with a large unbalanced item so they may need realignment oftern. My Jet lasted me 20 years with a fair amount of spindle turning. As soon as I started bowl turning it was toast.

For new folks who are not familiar with a lot of the terminology the is a video by Mike Piece on holding wood on the lathe. It is about 1.5 hrs long and pretty complete. It will not answer all questions but covers most as to holding methods.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUXil-5dEeo

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

View Karda's profile

Karda

807 posts in 388 days


#13 posted 02-01-2017 11:20 PM

thanks for your information and it leads me to wonder. I am looking at a small inexpensive lathe like what you would find at HF or on ebay do they have #2 tappers and are they generally high amperage could I use on a 15 amp breaker. As far as expense go what will be my minimum need be thanks

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

5983 posts in 2033 days


#14 posted 02-01-2017 11:56 PM

IIRC, the larger HF lathes have MT2 tapers… and all are 1hp or less, so a 15A circuit should be fine. It should state the spindle and taper size in the description/specifications for whatever one you are looking at.

As to expense… Wood turning can be as cheap or as expensive as you want. It is entirely possible to find a used $50 lathe and start using it immediately without any additional cost. It’s also possible to spend many times more than what you bought the lathe for on accessories and tools if you want. Lathes are ancient tools, and some really impressive work has been done on them over the centuries with little in the way of todays modern conveniences or tools.

Cheers,
Brad

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

View Bill7255's profile

Bill7255

412 posts in 2119 days


#15 posted 02-02-2017 12:25 AM

Harbor freight has 3 lathe models. The 8” swing is a mini with a #1,MT. The 10” (midi) and 12” full both have #2MT. The 10” has a 1/2 hp motor (7.5amps). The full size has a 3/4 hp motor not sure of amps, but is 120v. I have never turned on one, but know people that do and seem satisfied. They cone with a spur center and faceplate for the headstock and live tailstock center, minimum needs. These lathes are belt change for different speeds. Belt change is very easy, so more of inconvenience.

-- Bill R

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