Woodturning beginner with questions

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodturning forum

Forum topic by DW833 posted 01-04-2015 03:20 PM 1165 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View DW833's profile


215 posts in 1905 days

01-04-2015 03:20 PM

I searched the forum, but could not find answers to questions I have. If there is an existing topic, feel free to point it out.

If I have a lathe, is a jointer or planer required? How rough can stock be to use it for turning? I would think a table saw or bandsaw is required to square up stock.

I notice in several topic post that someone upgraded their chuck.
Do any lathes come with a usable chuck? I’m thinking of something similar to a table saw blade/band saw blade. Most of them that come with the saw are useless and have to be upgraded.
I’m considering the new Rikon midi lathe 70-220vsr. Would it have a usable check out of the box?
How does a stock chuck limit the wood turning I can do?


5 replies so far

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3600 days

#1 posted 01-04-2015 04:00 PM

Even though turning is not my main focus in woodworking I can help with a couple of your questions.
If all you intend to do is turn then a jointer and planer is not required. Most turners I know like to have a band saw to cut their blanks out with. As to chucks, I’m sure some of our turners can help with those questions.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View bondogaposis's profile


4755 posts in 2374 days

#2 posted 01-04-2015 04:10 PM

All you really need is a bandsaw. Jointer and planer is not needed. Table saw can be handy too, if you have one. I’m not aware of any lathes that come w/ a chuck at all, usually just a drive center and face plate. You can do a lot of turning w/ just those devices, but a scroll chuck is a convenience that you’ll want eventually. Lots of aftermarket choices there.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Ron Ford's profile

Ron Ford

208 posts in 1755 days

#3 posted 01-04-2015 04:18 PM

Hi David – Welcome to woodturning. It is a fun hobby and I think you will find it very enjoyable.

a1Jim is correct – you do not need a jointer or planer at all for woodturning. A bandsaw or table saw is helpful for squaring up stock, although it is not critical that turning stock be absolutely square. I often turn pieces that are pretty well out of square and you just knock them down to a round form as you rough them out – just take it a bit more slowly as the chisel will be hitting corners at different points as the piece spins. Roughness of the stock is not an issue at all as you are going to turn away wood until you reach the diameter of the project you are working on.

As far as a chuck, I looked at the online specs given for the Rikon you are considering but do not see a chuck as part of the supplied gear. It does have a 3” faceplate, which will work well for many projects. That one will be fine and you’ll probably want to add a few larger diameter ones as you progress. With a faceplate, you screw the stock onto it to fasten the material; while a chuck grips it from the sides. You will want to add a chuck (maybe two) as you get into the hobby, especially if you are interested in turning bowls and the like. There are several manufacturers out there and all work pretty well. I am a Super Nova fan myself, but there are several others that are just as good. If you get a chance to see ones other turners are using it may help you decide if one is better than another for you.

Hope this helps, and feel free to write if I can help you in any way.


-- Once in awhile I make something really great. Most days I just make sawdust.

View LeeMills's profile


549 posts in 1324 days

#4 posted 01-04-2015 09:04 PM

I have a band saw and have been turning (as my primary woodworking) for about 5 years. I have never used the band saw to round a blank but lots of folks do. It just makes it a little easier when starting. I just cut to length and knock of the worst of the square corners with the chain saw (usually just the four cuts but sometimes eight if it is a large blank (bowl or platter).
I did buy a little hand planer (3.5” wide) on the bay for about $20 which is nice to make sure the area for a faceplate is completely flat.
For spindle turning I can’t see a band saw being useful at all (spindles, candle sticks, pepper mills, etc).

No lathe that I know of comes with a chuck out of the box unless it is a special offer.
The Rikon is a very good lathe IMHO. A chuck is not a necessity but is very nice and convenient. I have seven now including four G3’s. I do have three Nova SN/SN2’s but the G3 will handle everything your lathe will.
Here is a link to a video by Mike Peace which covers almost every holding method (about 1.5 hours total).

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

View TheDane's profile


5441 posts in 3686 days

#5 posted 01-05-2015 12:08 AM

Tablesaw, planer, and jointer are nice to have but not really necessary for turning. The only reason I have them is I still do some flat work.

I do use the bandsaw a good deal, not only for rounding bowl blanks, but also to cut billets for spindle work from logs and rough lumber.

Never seen a lathe that comes equipped with a chuck … scroll chucks are sold as accessories. You can get by without a scroll chuck, but I wouldn’t.

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

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