LumberJocks

Just Got My Lathe, Now What? Wood Turner's Resource for Newbies

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodturning forum

Forum topic by RPhillips posted 12-30-2017 04:17 PM 6321 views 8 times favorited 86 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View RPhillips's profile

RPhillips

1238 posts in 2035 days


12-30-2017 04:17 PM

Topic tags/keywords: newbie lathe instruction tools turning getting started

I have been woodworking off and on most of my life in some form or another. I mentioned to my wife that I would really like to get a lathe, and she thought that was a great idea. So not to argue, I spent the last week looking online to find a machine that will best suite my needs. I was on the fence about which to get, so I decided to increase my budget a bit more and settled on a Jet 1220VS. The Jet Red Assurance plan was the deciding factor for me.

So with that out of the way, I would like to use this thread as newbie’s guide to provide information received from the great community here at LJ’s.

What advice do you have to offer?

  • What tools are a must have to get started
  • Instructional video/books you have found useful
  • YouTube Channels
  • Woodturning Websites
  • Sharpening tips and techiques
  • PPE and Safety equipment
  • Shop layout tips

Wood Turners Resource

YouTube Channels
Frank Howarth
Bendan Stemp
Brian Havens
Stuart Batty
SG Art Turning
Cap'N Eddie Castelin
David Marks
Craft Supplies USA
How to select logs for turning
Wood Turning Techniques w/ David Marks

Web Sites
https://www.woodturningonline.com
http://www.docgreenwoodturner.com/index.html

Online Retailers
http://www.thewoodturningstore.com/
https://www.woodturnerscatalog.com
https://www.packardwoodworks.com
https://www.pennstateind.com
https://www.leevalley.com
http://thompsonlathetools.com/
http://jimmyclewes.com/

Instructor Lead Classes, Workshops, & Demos
https://www.woodcraft.com
https://www.rockler.com
https://marcadams.com/

Online Classes / Membership Tutorials
http://jimmyclewes.com/

PPE/Personal Safety
Personal Dust Filtration
Face Shield

-- Rob - Indianapolis IN - Learning... one mistake at a time...


86 replies so far

View Ripper70's profile

Ripper70

1163 posts in 1108 days


#1 posted 12-30-2017 04:45 PM

Congrats on your new toy! I too have come to the conclusion that I must have a lathe. I’m itching to try my hand at turning but have yet to secure the funding for making the dream a reality. Maybe you can get your wife to convince my wife that it’s a “great idea”. So far, I haven’t had any luck with that!

I can point you to some YouTubers that I’ve been studying and learning quite a bit from. Sometimes, for me anyway, watching an expert share his wisdom and experience can be very educational.

Brendan Stemp – Lots of topics, including tools and their uses, sharpening, technique and project vids.

SG Art Turning – Very creative bowl turner. Simply nice to watch his process.

Craft Supplies USA – Lots of “How To” vids and product reviews.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

515 posts in 1661 days


#2 posted 12-30-2017 05:28 PM

Hi Rob, welcome to woodturning.
I see you are in Indianapolis.
Check out this web site
https://www.woodturningonline.com
There is a ton of good info here, and a link to find woodturning clubs in your area.
I would start with finding a club. Nothing like face to face, hands on info.
To quote a professional turned, and friend. They should give you the lathes for all the money they are going to make selling accessories for it.
Now that I said that. Don’t buy it till you know you need it. A lot of gadgets out there that you really don’t need.
As far as a starter set of tools. You can go cheap, and you will get by fine with them like harbor freight, or Benjamin best. But I prefer a better brand. So pretty much any any tool out of Sheffield England like sorby or crown they’re all the same steel whichever set you can get cheapest, typically sorby like a 7 piece set. There’s also carbide tools. I actually use both. Getting in touch with a club and actually getting to use some tools will give you a better opinion of what would work best for you, before you start buying.
I buy quite a bit from craft supplies USA that link is already posted here. But shop around several websites will sell the same product find whichever one gives you the best deal free shipping whatever.
Other tools I like vicmarc Chucks, and one-way Chucks. But like the tools there’s a bunch of different ones out there. I also use a one-way Wolverine jig for sharpening with an 8 inch grinder. And CBN Wheels. No right or wrong way and lots of different ways. Again find a club put your hands on some stuff before you start buying.
Good luck and safe turning

-- John

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

2471 posts in 2334 days


#3 posted 12-30-2017 05:36 PM

Would be nice to know what you actually want to turn. For turning tools stay away from turning tool sets. Buy only individual tools as you need them. Turning tools come inexpensive or little more expensive depending where you buy.

For spindle turning need a 3/4” roughing gouge, spindle gouges 3/8”, 1/2”, skew gouge either 1/2” or ¾” and a diamond parting tool.

For bowl turning those gouges come in American or English sizes. America 1/2” is actually 1/2”, English sizes are 1/8” larger than stated size; for example a 3/8” is actually 1/2”. You may want to buy a four jaw scroll chuck which are either inexpensive or expensive depending on your budget. You can also use the faceplate that comes with your lathe for bowl turning.

If want to turn pen need spindle turning tools some folks use their bowl gouges. More better to let us know because need a few other accessories.

The best free catolog for everything wood turning is from:

http://www.packardwoodworks.com

Craft Supplies also had a free catalog for the asking not sure if still available:

https://www.woodturnerscatalog.com/

Another one especially for pen turning and inexpensive turning tools is Penn State Industries:

http://www.pennstateind.com

Both Craft Supplies & Packard Woodworks have excellent list of books and videos if interested, but might check your local library in your town before buying. Like already said You Tube has many free excellent turning & sharpening videos.

You will need a face shield, and dust mask available locally.

Have no idea on shop layout other than keep your sharpening system close. Same goes versus bench or stand turning either one will work.

-- Bill

View RPhillips's profile

RPhillips

1238 posts in 2035 days


#4 posted 12-30-2017 07:16 PM

Thanks for the info guys. I’m going to follow up on the links and add them to the original post. My hope is that I can compile all the useful information that I can into one thread targeted at beginners.

For me, I want to turn bowls and shop tools, and probably pens too (I really want to turn spheres, but I think that may be a bit advanced for someone at my experience level. :P). I also want to use acrylic in my turns, but again that will come later.

-- Rob - Indianapolis IN - Learning... one mistake at a time...

View MrUnix's profile (online now)

MrUnix

7042 posts in 2398 days


#5 posted 12-30-2017 07:26 PM

Acrylic (actually, most all plastics) is a blast to turn, but be warned – it spits out a lot of really long stringy ribbons that get tangled up and in the way of everything!

You can get started relatively cheap, or you can go hog wild and spend a small fortune – it’s up to you. I tend to gravitate towards the less expensive side of the equation, and there are a lot of ways to do some really great work without spending a lot (or anything depending on what you already have on hand). You should receive the machine ready to turn between centers, so start there and work you way up.

Off the bat, you will need some tools and a way to sharpen them. Again, you can spend a lot or a little, your choice. A belt sander works well for sharpening, and you can make your own tools. And I always recommend getting a thread tap for your spindle so you can make your own faceplates, mandrels (like for pens and wheels), and a number of other useful things out of scrap wood. (See here). Other than that, watch some videos, and just start using the machine. It’s not a terribly difficult tool to learn, and like anything else, the more you practice, the better you will get.

Cheers,
Brad

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

View jimintx's profile

jimintx

855 posts in 1784 days


#6 posted 12-30-2017 07:30 PM

This is a good thread – I’m learning from it. Thanks to the participants.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

View TravisH's profile

TravisH

627 posts in 2134 days


#7 posted 12-30-2017 08:24 PM



Thanks for the info guys. I m going to follow up on the links and add them to the original post. My hope is that I can compile all the useful information that I can into one thread targeted at beginners.

For me, I want to turn bowls and shop tools, and probably pens too (I really want to turn spheres, but I think that may be a bit advanced for someone at my experience level. :P). I also want to use acrylic in my turns, but again that will come later.

- RPhillips

Typically not a class type but was very pleased with the one I took (gift from wife one Christmas).

Being in Indy I would advise taking some classes from Bob Anderson through Woodcraft. They aren’t expensive and class size small (4). The Learn to To turn is a basic one to start off on that will introduce you to safety, proper technique, sharpening of tools, etc…. You end up turning a small project during that class. There is also a bowl class and I believe another one. Just good to confirm what you are doing right or wrong and he will let you move at your own pace. If you got something down then he will challenge you with something a little more advanced so you aren’t bored.

Bob usually holds some office in Central Indiana Chapter of American Association of Woodtruners. They meet in Zionsville (I believe the 2nd Sunday of every month at 2). We were told in our class to stop in at any of their meetings to see if something that interests you.

View RPhillips's profile

RPhillips

1238 posts in 2035 days


#8 posted 12-30-2017 08:55 PM


Thanks for the info guys. I m going to follow up on the links and add them to the original post. My hope is that I can compile all the useful information that I can into one thread targeted at beginners.

For me, I want to turn bowls and shop tools, and probably pens too (I really want to turn spheres, but I think that may be a bit advanced for someone at my experience level. :P). I also want to use acrylic in my turns, but again that will come later.

- RPhillips

Typically not a class type but was very pleased with the one I took (gift from wife one Christmas).

Being in Indy I would advise taking some classes from Bob Anderson through Woodcraft. They aren t expensive and class size small (4). The Learn to To turn is a basic one to start off on that will introduce you to safety, proper technique, sharpening of tools, etc…. You end up turning a small project during that class. There is also a bowl class and I believe another one. Just good to confirm what you are doing right or wrong and he will let you move at your own pace. If you got something down then he will challenge you with something a little more advanced so you aren t bored.

Bob usually holds some office in Central Indiana Chapter of American Association of Woodtruners. They meet in Zionsville (I believe the 2nd Sunday of every month at 2). We were told in our class to stop in at any of their meetings to see if something that interests you.

- TravisH

Thanks for the info, I have looked into the classes offered at Woodcraft. I may attend the “Beautiful Bowl Basics” class, although it’s meant for someone with some knowledge of turning, I think I’ll be OK.

-- Rob - Indianapolis IN - Learning... one mistake at a time...

View RPhillips's profile

RPhillips

1238 posts in 2035 days


#9 posted 12-30-2017 09:15 PM

http://www.leevalley.com/us/wood/page.aspx?p=20262&cat=1,330,49233,43164

thoughts on this set of turning tools?
will it cover…
roughing,
turning a few tool handles… birdcage awl first on the list,
bowl turning

-- Rob - Indianapolis IN - Learning... one mistake at a time...

View LeeMills's profile

LeeMills

618 posts in 1500 days


#10 posted 12-30-2017 09:17 PM

I think tools are fairly well covered, or close to what I may recommend.
Books & articles. I suggest videos instead but there are some good books and articles.

Videos: The ones listed before are good (I am not familiar with Frank)
I will add two more. These do not try to teach you to turn anything (pens, bowls, boxes, etc), instead they try to teach you to turn everything. Both are fundamental.
Stuart Batty’s are on Vimeo and has about 30, many of which no one else covers in such clear detail ASAIK.
https://vimeo.com/woodturning/videos/sort:alphabetical/format:thumbnail
Brian Havens is on youtube and has 10 on fundamentals. He also has many many other good ones.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2Onfm2CXHo&list=PLjRwVZZffCDQIcUPSnYYIAaLs1lf7SZh0

The are lots of good ones but (IMHO) you will need to be specific when you get your tools. A person teaching the parting tool may not teach the bowl gouge or scraper.

Sharpening: You will probably want a grinder and jig. The current status is an 8” slow speed with wheels costing over $125 each and the Oneway jig. I use a 6” with about $15 wheels that I built back in the 80’s. I do have a Sorby jig but there are plenty of videos on how to make one for about $20 on youtube.

PPE: You will need a face shield, a popular one is Unix about $30 on Amazon. Make sure any mask or goggles are rated with the +. You will need some type of respirator while sanding. You can spend hundreds to filter down to 0.3 microns or you can purchase 3M disposable (after 160 hours) that filter down to 0.3 microns for about $2.25 for the 95% efficient or about $7 for the 100% efficient.

Shop Layout: Can’t help much there.

Machine Mounting: With a mini/midi I would go with building a base. You can add shelves or drawers under and have a top big enough to lay tools of finishing supplies on.

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

View Ripper70's profile

Ripper70

1163 posts in 1108 days


#11 posted 12-30-2017 09:50 PM



(I really want to turn spheres, but I think that may be a bit advanced for someone at my experience level. :P). I also want to use acrylic in my turns, but again that will come later.

- RPhillips


You’ll find plenty of Brendan Stemp videos where he uses acrylic to great effect. Also, Frank Howarth has allot of great tuning videos, including one about making a sphere.

A simpler approach to a sphere is demonstrated here.

Stemp also demonstrates a sphere turing jig if you’d prefer to take the guesswork out of it. Apparently, these jigs can be shop made as well.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

515 posts in 1661 days


#12 posted 12-30-2017 11:21 PM



http://www.leevalley.com/us/wood/page.aspx?p=20262&cat=1,330,49233,43164

thoughts on this set of turning tools?
will it cover…
roughing,
turning a few tool handles… birdcage awl first on the list,
bowl turning

- RPhillips


That is a nice set, but it is intended as a spindle turning set. You stated that you wanted to turn bowls.
I do have more than one spindle gouge, but not to start with.
I just did a search, and was very surprised by todays prices.
I started with this 6 piece Sorby set. Think I found a good sale at $180, but it was 4 years ago.
best price I saw today was this site.
https://www.amazon.com/Robert-Sorby-Turning-Roughing-Standard/dp/B0002IXQHO

That’s the only set I have ever bought. Today, most of my tools are made by Doug Thompson.

http://thompsonlathetools.com/
With the prices I have seen. It may be cheaper, or not much more to go ahead and buy single tools.
And get only what you need.
I still use the Sorby roughing Gouge, Spindle gouge, and Parting tool from the set.
I wore out (sacrificed) that 1st bowl gouge learning how to sharpen. Oops,
Very rare that I have used the skew, (Still learning how to use that tool). And I have never touched the scraper.
So maybe I wasted some money there.
I have also added a few carbide tools. Jimmy Clewes mate 1 tools.
http://jimmyclewes.com/product/jimmy-clewes-hollowing-tools-mate-1-mate-2/

Some will say you can do it all with carbide. And I do use carbide, but prefer to use gouges most of the time.

-- John

View NotaJock's profile

NotaJock

157 posts in 1298 days


#13 posted 12-31-2017 06:30 AM

How much money do you want to spend and/or how frugal are you? You’ve gotten suggestions for the expensive stuff. I went the other way. Most of my turning tools came from the swapmeet where I never spent over $5 for a tool and some times $.50. Yes it’s true one day I found three old Craftsman turning tols on some guy’s $.50 table, 2 gouges and a parting tool for $1.50. So what if they needed sharpening, you got to learn how to do that anyway. One of the gouges was a carbide. Don’t have a wheel for that but I’ll get there. I’ve made a parting tool from an old file and am trying to get the grind right on another file for a scraper. I also pick up tols without a handle for very little then make the handle to suit.
My tools may not be as pretty as some but I bet I have just as much fun.
Which way are you going?

-- Mike in SoCal

View RPhillips's profile

RPhillips

1238 posts in 2035 days


#14 posted 12-31-2017 03:17 PM

@Notajock – I am open to whatever I can find that will do the job. I have no objections what so ever to owning used tools. I love old tools, but I haven’t had much luck finding anything.

I just went through several videos by Stuart Batty of SB Tools and found his videos to be very informative. These are great instructional videos for someone like myself. He explains the difference between what is acceptable and unacceptable as far as tuning stock goes. He goes through proper tool technique for turning end grain. He also goes through how to properly mount your piece into a turning chuck. I’ll definitely continue with his series.

-- Rob - Indianapolis IN - Learning... one mistake at a time...

View Knockonit's profile

Knockonit

477 posts in 401 days


#15 posted 12-31-2017 03:32 PM

buying a lathe is like owning a jeep. just empty every pocket. lol
rj

showing 1 through 15 of 86 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com