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Forum topic by fredito posted 04-16-2014 08:22 PM 1161 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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27 posts in 3652 days

04-16-2014 08:22 PM

I am looking at getting into wood turning and have some questions about lathes. I think I will mostly be doing small stuff such as pens, duck calls, small bowls and such. PSI has a midi lathe with tools and some other stuff for around 385. Do you think this will work for what I want (10 inch variable speed)? I would love to get a big lathe but I am prohibited by space and don’t want to go crazy on cost which is why I have my eye on this one. Also, will the tools with this one work for duck calls? Or would I need bigger tools. I assume I’ll need bigger tools at some pout in time for bowls. I found a duck call mandrel on another site and it said it was 5/8. Do you guys think it will work in this lathe? I am sorry about all the questions but have found this site to be a wealth of information.

8 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4181 days

#1 posted 04-16-2014 08:30 PM

Yes, you can do a whole lot with a lathe that size. And any tools that it comes with would be big enough for duck calls. The mandrel should work also, although I can’t say with 100% certainty because you haven’t provided any links to the exact tools in question.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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27 posts in 3652 days

#2 posted 04-16-2014 08:37 PM

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3548 days

#3 posted 04-16-2014 09:13 PM

I have one exactly the same size made by the USA firm Delta I use it only for pens, although it will do larger work.The only thing you cannot do on a small lathe you can on a big lathe is always governed by the size of your lathe and motor. So wood size and weight combined with the depth of cut you take is the only issue you need concern yourself about.I have heard of a few people who did a lot of bowls with this lathe and the motor burned out it is not designed for such heavy cutting but will be perfect for your needs as you describe them . Smaller tools do not pose a problem for pens and duck callers.I wish you lots of fun.I enjoy the one I have.I also have a big one with a six foot capacity between centres and about twenty inches over the bed and a dedicated short bed lathe for larger bowls and smaller spindles. So you see it becomes addictive and you get more into woodturning and tailor it to suit your requirements over the years.I love it and feel sure most people would given time and patience . Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View doubleDD's profile


7315 posts in 2006 days

#4 posted 04-17-2014 03:02 AM

Almost any lathe is good for a starter. The problem is you can advance quickly and wished you had a larger one. That one should keep you happy for years to come. Enjoy.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Woodknack's profile


11478 posts in 2343 days

#5 posted 04-17-2014 07:34 PM

My lathe only has a 9” swing and allows me to do pretty much anything I want except for larger bowls but I’ve found I don’t enjoy bowls all that much anyway. I did swap in a more powerful 1hp motor. So yes definitely, one of the small lathes can provide quite a bit of turning fun, the motor will probably limit you more than the swing.

-- Rick M,

View Jim's profile


120 posts in 3961 days

#6 posted 04-17-2014 11:16 PM

I have a 10” turncrafter for about 5 years. It has been great. I have turned all kinds of stuff and just started doing pens within the last year. I am looking to adding a bigger lathe soon.

-- Jim in Cushing Oklahoma

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27 posts in 3652 days

#7 posted 04-18-2014 02:07 PM

Thank you everyone for your responses, you guys answered a lot of questions. I am looking forward to start turning!

View Knothead62's profile


2584 posts in 2924 days

#8 posted 04-18-2014 05:28 PM

Good turning. Be aware that you will have much more in tools and accessories than in the lathe itself.

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