Question about getting started in wood turning

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Forum topic by SouthernWoodworking posted 06-21-2014 04:01 AM 1504 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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92 posts in 1634 days

06-21-2014 04:01 AM

Topic tags/keywords: lathe woodworking turning

I hope this is the right section for this.

Hello guys. Im new to this forum so let me introduce myself. Im a 17 year old woodworker whos been doing this for about 7 years. Ive been making things from rustic furniture and chest to planter boxes in order to make money. I also do car audio subwoofer enclosures and speaker boxes. So i have some time under my belt and a little bit of experience. ( I use that term lightly)

Now im trying to do this more since i enjoy it ( and make money would be good). Im working out of a garage but i have the ability to move into a barn. I want to get into turning. I like the idea of bowls and table legs and i think it lets me be able to open up to market that was previously impossible for me.

I cant afford a big lathe. I need a table saw first and then using whats left towards my lathe. I thought about building one. I know i would have to buy some of the chucks and things to turn items like bowls. What do yall recommend?

-- Noah Lambert, Georgia, 2x2 Designs.

8 replies so far

View Wildwood's profile


2470 posts in 2333 days

#1 posted 06-21-2014 11:54 AM

If you want to make some extra money woodworking recommend getting the best table saw you can afford before a wood lathe. I have been turning wood for fun and profit for more than 20 years. I enjoy turning these days with more emphasis on fun than profit because can afford too!

Besides a wood lathe need turning tools for spindles & bowls, a 4 jaw chuck, sharpening system, sanding and finishing supplies. In addition to the wood lathe a basic 14” bandsaw bigger if can afford one comes in handy.

Wood to turn gets expensive if buying it. Wood sold to woodturners is not ready to turn when you get it. Harvesting your own wood not cheap, when figure cost of chain saws (gas & electric), end sealer, and place to store wood you cut. A pick up truck & trailer also comes in handy.

If have a woodturning club near you check it out, will get a lot of advice, or take a woodturning class at Woodcraft.

-- Bill

View TheDane's profile


5545 posts in 3861 days

#2 posted 06-21-2014 12:27 PM

Bill is right … get yourself a decent tablesaw first. We are not trying to discourage you from getting into turning … just want to make sure you have a good grasp of what you are going to need when you take the plunge.

In most cases for beginning turners, the cost of the lathe is only the beginning. You’ll spend more on tools, chucks, accessories than you ever thought possible.

I would not suggest building your own lathe. People have done it, many with great results. But I think in most cases, the turner who has built his own lathe has already had a good deal of turning experience on commercially built lathes. I have been turning for 4+ years now and know a good deal more about lathes now than I did back when I started, but there is no way I would consider building a lathe myself.

Your profile doesn’t disclose your geographic location, so I can’t recommend a turning club close to you. I would suggest you check out AAW’s list of local chapters (see: ) for a club near you … I guarantee they would welcome you as guest.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Don W's profile

Don W

19007 posts in 2766 days

#3 posted 06-21-2014 12:48 PM

I’m 100% in agreement with the table saw.

I just restored an old walker turner lathe. ( its in my blogs) The lathe was cheap enough, but I’m still working on accessories. A half way decent chuck alone is in the $300 range. And that’s not even a start.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View SouthernWoodworking's profile


92 posts in 1634 days

#4 posted 06-21-2014 05:49 PM

Im in Warner Robins, Ga. The nearest one is about 30-45 min away. I have the ability to get a old craftsman table saw but im worried about the fence. I want a nice saw that can use Dado blades and im not sure if this one can.

-- Noah Lambert, Georgia, 2x2 Designs.

View SouthernWoodworking's profile


92 posts in 1634 days

#5 posted 06-21-2014 07:52 PM

A buddy a has a old craftsman 10 saw model number 113.298031.

Its a little bet up but not to bad

-- Noah Lambert, Georgia, 2x2 Designs.

View Woodknack's profile


12430 posts in 2578 days

#6 posted 06-22-2014 06:12 AM

View SouthernWoodworking's profile


92 posts in 1634 days

#7 posted 06-22-2014 01:52 PM

- wormil
So i guess it does clean up well. Checking it out tomorrow. He wants around $125. I was gonna offer $100. Whats a fair price on these saws now days?

-- Noah Lambert, Georgia, 2x2 Designs.

View Woodknack's profile


12430 posts in 2578 days

#8 posted 06-23-2014 05:47 AM

Hard to say without seeing it. Considering the work you might have to put into it and the cost of a decent fence, certainly not over $100. Those older Craftsman saws were often advertised at 3hp, might even be printed on the saw but they are actually 1.5hp. In most areas, $300-400 will buy you a very good used saw that needs little if any work.

-- Rick M,

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