OK, I'm buying a lathe. Now what?

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Forum topic by MikeInNOVA posted 02-24-2012 02:10 AM 1303 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View MikeInNOVA's profile


13 posts in 2328 days

02-24-2012 02:10 AM

I’ve been working wood for decades and have a small shop with a the typical machinery and a good selection of hand tools. I’ve made a variety of things, including doors, furniture, cabinets, even a full set of sash windows that are exact duplicates of the originals in my daughter’s circa 1880 house, right down to the pegged full mortise & tenon joinery.

Yet somehow, I never owned a lathe. But now SWMBO has added some furniture items to the honey-do list that will require a lathe to turn the legs.

I’ve settled on the Delta midi with a bed extension, but would like advice/suggestions for two areas:

1. Besides the lathe, what do you recommend as initial accessories (e.g. chucks, tool rests, calipers, centers, etc.) that I’m likely to want/need early on.

2. What are the basic turning tools I’m going to need to get started? Should I get a set, or just go a la cart?
Woodcraft is having a sale on wood turning items next week, so I’d like to take advantage of it if they have some good quality items you can recommend.

Right now, and for the foreseeable future, all my turning will be spindle turning, so any bowl related items wouldn’t be an issue.

Any and all help will be greatly appreciated.


4 replies so far

View Bill7255's profile


427 posts in 2310 days

#1 posted 02-25-2012 10:06 PM

hi mike

One of the most important accessories would be a means to sharpen the the lathe chisels. I have both the Wolverine with a slow speed 8” grinder from woodcraft and the Tomek. I almost always use the Wolverine as it is much quicker and gives acceptable results. Also make sure you get the skew attachment for sharpening regardless of whatever sharpening system you have. Regarding chisels, you will need a 1/2 and 3/4 skew, 3/4 roughing gouge, parting tool as a minimum. It may just as cost effective to get a small set. Make sure they are HSS. I als like the Sorby spindle master. I would get the chissels with the longer handles for spindle turning. I like the serrated drive center much better than the drive center that comes with the lathe. You will need a live center, buth that may come with the lathe.


-- Bill R

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2701 days

#2 posted 02-25-2012 10:09 PM

I believe that anyone that has decided to become a wood turner has also decided to become a good tool sharpener. If you haven’t you will never be a good turner….unless you can hire someone to sharpen for you.

View RONFINCH's profile


143 posts in 2950 days

#3 posted 02-25-2012 10:17 PM

Mike, I’m with you, just bought mine…

I wish I could tell you all the accessories I got, but not sure who makes them????? Gotta agree with Bill, I’m about to order a Work Sharp 3000 to sharpen the tools!

View hairy's profile


2718 posts in 3558 days

#4 posted 02-25-2012 10:37 PM

-- My reality check bounced...

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