Needing Lathe Help

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by yakerjax posted 08-13-2007 10:03 PM 1561 views 1 time favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View yakerjax's profile


60 posts in 3953 days

08-13-2007 10:03 PM

Wondering if anyone out there would help my hubby Randy out.. He has not had time to get on here.. I signed him up but he has been working long hours and the bit of time he is off he wants to be in the shop. So I am asking this question for him and will relay your help to him and print out the rest.. He will be on if work ever slows down..
So in asking the question I first have to tell you I got quite a deal.. 14×4 wood lathe for $20.. The lady had no use for it as it had belonged to her granddad and she just needed it out of the way… I have seen all the beautiful work you all turn. I just felt like it was a deal I could not pass up..
Now to the question.. How do you use one teeeheee… Is there any good resources or can someone offer advice on how to learn… He doesn’t have time for a Woodcraft class at this time due to work hours…(He can’t wait to retire)... Is it a hard craft to learn??
Thank you for your help and direction… He is working on a garden bench when he is finished I will post pics…


13 replies so far

View SteveM's profile


108 posts in 4161 days

#1 posted 08-13-2007 10:34 PM


Randy is a lucky man for several reasons. I started turning last year and am having a ball although its a bit addictive. As to sources of help, I’ve found woodturners to be very giving with their advice and expect you’ll get several responses. You might also see if there is a local wood worker club nearby. As to site, here are a few I’ve found helpful (most have excellent links to other sources and several have excellent videos):

Good luck!

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4091 days

#2 posted 08-14-2007 01:04 AM


There are lots of things to work out. For example, you will probably need tools and you will need to be able to sharpen them. Can you post some photos of the lathe?

Also, you may need to tune the lathe up, e.g. clean it up and wax it and check and replace bearings if needed.

There are a number of turing videos that may be a good place to start. I’ll dig up a few and post them later.

A two hour evening pen turning class at woodcraft may be a good place to start if your short on time. At my local woodcraft they run them on Thursday evenings a couple of times a month.

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

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4154 days

#3 posted 08-14-2007 02:22 PM

and don’t forget our very own Cyber Skill Share Series.
MOT has walked us through turning a bowl as well as a pen.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4024 posts in 4057 days

#4 posted 08-14-2007 09:18 PM

Probably should make sure this machine is safe to use right off the bat. Do you have photos? What brand name is it, what condition is it in (wiring, headstock bearings). If you have pictures, you should post them, and if it is a recognizeable brand, it might be good to see if you are near a factory authorized repair place, just to be sure it’s safe to fire that baby up. Maybe Randy is talented in the machinist catagory…

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 4015 days

#5 posted 08-14-2007 11:06 PM

Perhaps the first thing you should do is go to the library and get a beginners book.
It should give you the basics and let you get a feel for what you might need to start using the tool.
If there are any turners in your area they would probably welcome a well appointed visit to thier shops.

And… what the other guys said.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Sawdust2's profile


1466 posts in 4081 days

#6 posted 08-15-2007 12:54 AM

Liberry? I don’ need no liberry.
That’s why I joined LJ for my husband.
He don’ have time to go to the liberry

Also check out The Woodworking Channel, they often have turning shows. and DIY network TV have an instructinal series on lathe projects.

-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View yakerjax's profile


60 posts in 3953 days

#7 posted 08-15-2007 02:37 AM

Sorry my internet keeps going out and i am trying to figure out how to post a pic of the lathe on here and have not figured it out…
Thank you all so much for the links and ideas on where to begin… I would like to see him turn some pens (I am a pen fanatic) do you have to have extra parts for the lathe to turn pens? Are they hard to learn He is so anxious to have time off from work so he can spend time playing with it and learning about it.. I will be passing all this great info on to him…
Now off to figure out how to post a pic here so you can see the $20 lathe

View Karson's profile


35120 posts in 4394 days

#8 posted 08-15-2007 02:44 AM

Yes their are Pen madrals that hold the predrilled ben blanks so the you spin them around the metal tub that is inside the pen. MLCS Woodworking and PennState Woodworking have pen supplies along with other suppliers.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View yakerjax's profile


60 posts in 3953 days

#9 posted 08-15-2007 03:51 AM

ok maybe now I have the link right Let me know if you can see it.. This is before he cleaned it all up.. That is all it needed it tho…$20 Lathe

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4091 days

#10 posted 08-15-2007 04:16 AM

Hi. The link does not appear to work.

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

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4321 days

#11 posted 08-15-2007 06:13 AM

probably a little bit of code missing off the end of the address.

There are starter sets= that come with just about everything to try your hand at turning pens. Generally includes a dozen pen kits. I think Penn State has two different ones for about $70.

There is a little bit of set up involved, Drilling blanks, glueing in the tubes, and squaring them up, otherwise it’s a pretty quick and rewarding process. You could say an addictive one.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4293 days

#12 posted 08-20-2007 05:33 AM

Penn State industries have pen kits.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3956 days

#13 posted 08-20-2007 05:43 AM

Like everything else we learn best by doing. get a book to learn the basics so you don’t get knocked on the noggin and then turn wood and use it for firewood. Then study some more and turn more wood.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

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