Attn: turners...Tool gloat?

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Forum topic by skone posted 07-16-2011 01:44 AM 2532 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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147 posts in 3011 days

07-16-2011 01:44 AM

Topic tags/keywords: lathe turning bargain craftsman marples sorby

Tool gloat? Nah. But I do think I got a great deal. I won’t gloat because a.) I’m too much of a nube with this particular tool to gloat over it, and b.) The guy who sold it to me was incredibly nice and knew very well that he was giving me a great deal.

Or at least this is how I imagine everything. You guys tell me.

Craigslist about two weeks ago is where it happened. I have been looking for my first lathe in an on again off again way and on July 4 weekend, I just happened to catch a posting that was literally less than an hour old. I responded and set up a “meeting” with the guy.

Here’s what I got:

- a late 1950’s Craftsman lathe 113.23881, thirtysix or so inches with original belt drive Sears 1/2 HP motor
- the guy’s homemade stand/bench for the lathe
- set of 5 Craftsman turning tools
- set of 8 Marples turning tools
- set of 5 Robert Sorby micro turning tools
- Craftsman 4 inch faceplate
- Original Craftsman booklet, “How to do more with your wood lathe”
- “Woodturning” book by Geoff Peters
- A conical shaped curved sharpening stone made in India with its own handmade, shaped wooden box

Some pictures:

I feel like doing a Bob Barker on you guys. How much would you pay for the Showcase, lumberjocks??

Well, what it’s worth and what I paid might be two different things. I have a hunch they are.

I paid one hundred and twenty five bucks. And he and his wife/girlfriend/partner followed me home, driving the lathe in their vehicle. Pretty sweet, I think.

In the past three days I’ve managed to get it set up and running. There’s a homemade springboard under the motor on the stand that I’m not too crazy about. So, I may rework the means of mounting the motor. And I may eventually look into chucking for bowls instead of the faceplate. But all in due time. Maybe a class first. I know I can fool around on my own, just as I have for everything else, but I’d really like to up the initial learning curve. Vermont Woodworking School in Fairfax is right up the road and has an intensive two day beginner’s turning class at the end of the month… Feel free to weigh in, particularly if you know Vermont and/or Vermont Woodworking School.

And one last question as I do mess around with the new lathe: what’s your rec. on workable wood species for beginner turning? I want to turn just to turn—to get the feel. I hacked up some hickory. Not too pretty. Birch was a little better…

Thanks for reading!

-- "Take extra care not to lose what you feel" (Winwood/Capaldi/Wood)

3 replies so far

View William's profile


9950 posts in 3048 days

#1 posted 07-16-2011 03:43 AM

I think you have a gloat.
I used to have that exact model lathe in my shop. It was a great lathe. It was borrowed, and the owner finally made room in his shop and wanted it back. I thought about going to mess his shop up again to make it so he didn’t have room, but I didn’t think that would make him none too happy.
I now have a China made copy of that exact lathe. I bought it because I got a great deal on it ($115). It isn’t made out of as good of material as the old Craftsman, but it is identical in shape of parts.


View WayneC's profile


13794 posts in 4303 days

#2 posted 07-16-2011 03:45 AM

It is a great price. The tools alone are worth more than that….

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 3203 days

#3 posted 07-16-2011 03:49 AM

You are going to enjoy. Having it properly mounted is a good kickstart.

10 minutes cutting with each tool will give you a feel for what it will do. Learning how to sharpen turning tools is more important than the turning. Poorly sharpened tools are an exercise in frustration. Probably the biggest reason more people don’t get hooked on turning.

If you have a good class available and it is not too much, go for it. If it expensive, maybe the same money for practice wood might be a good investment alternative. Better than a class, see if there is a turner’s club near you. Watching someone who knows how to turn is going to teach you a lot. Watch how they hold the tools and how they move their bodies.

Maple turns nice. Green wood is much more rewarding to turn than dried wood. Don’t mess with soft wood like pine until you have gotten the hang of it.

The tools are primitive, but I don’t get tired of watching this guy. Probably the best turner I have ever seen:

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

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