Wood lathe

edtcase

edtcase

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I’ve always wanted one and am thinking about using some Christmas money for one. I’d like to just have it for fun. I’ve wanted to make nice walking sticks as well. Any advice or input is appreciated. TIA.


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MickThompson

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I have a jet mini/midi lathe and a bed extension. I can turn out to 36” or so probably with it.

Turning long skinny things is a challenge, because they want to flex(worse if they are slightly off center) and will chatter and tear out or shatter the piece. I’ll see it on something as small as a turkey striker and it is magnified as you increase mass and speed. That said, you can avoid these issues by using turning in sections and then assembling to get you desired length instead of turning a single piece of wood.

Always wear full face protection when turning. You are directly in line with the plane the workpiece is spinning on and you will take it in the face when something blows up on the lathe, and it will eventually if you do much turning.


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Good time Charlie

Good time Charlie

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I was just going to tell you to be very careful;

I have never run one but have been around them quite a bit,working for La Z Boy and building custom cabinets
 
edtcase

edtcase

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MickThompson said:
I have a jet mini/midi lathe and a bed extension. I can turn out to 36” or so probably with it.

Turning long skinny things is a challenge, because they want to flex(worse if they are slightly off center) and will chatter and tear out or shatter the piece. I’ll see it on something as small as a turkey striker and it is magnified as you increase mass and speed. That said, you can avoid these issues by using turning in sections and then assembling to get you desired length instead of turning a single piece of wood.

Always wear full face protection when turning. You are directly in line with the plane the workpiece is spinning on and you will take it in the face when something blows up on the lathe, and it will eventually if you do much turning.


Great advice. Thanks.


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reloadxx

reloadxx

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Yes wear full face protection and take it slow. Never rush a lathe I can vouch for it blowing up in someone face I have 10 plates in my face.

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edtcase

edtcase

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Thanks!


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Laserman1

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My son bought one from harbor freight 2 years ago. He's 16. Couldn't afford a jet or other high end lathe. He makes Christmas ornamates and also turns bowls. Made $200 before Christmas at school craft sale. Harbor freight lathe is cheap enough and works well to let you know if you like woodworking. Then buy a better lathe
 
mountain man 71

mountain man 71

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I have a Rikon I got it at woodcraft on sale. It is variable speed control digital readout on speed. You do not have to mess with belt to change speeds. I use mine most for turkey calls,pens and bowls.
 
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wayne

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I'm also wanting to get into wood turning. I told my wife last month when I turned 50, that I needed a hobby. I came down to wood or leather, and considering the startup investment to make quality products, I chose wood. I can walk behind the house and get wood. Every single piece of leather would have to be bought.
Pls, we have a local sawmill that cuts hickory for too handles and a buddy went and loaded a Nissan Frontier shortbed full for $20 to burn as firewood. That would make a healthy supply of pen blanks.

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CBU93

CBU93

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I bought a used harbor freight lathe from a buddy upgrading his. I have turned pens, duck calls, and turkey strikers.

Great hobby but you have to pay attention. Enjoy!
 
M

MickThompson

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Don’t forget all the accessories you’ll probably want along the way.

-gouges
-chucks (4 jaw and collet) and jaws
-work stabilizers (turning long pieces)
-Calipers
-various grits of sandpaper

I don’t subscribe to the free wood line of thinking. My experience has been that free wood is worth what you pay for it with a few exceptions. You want good, sound wood because if it’s full of checks and internal stress, it will grenade or at least chunk out, and best case, your workpiece is ruined.


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RUGER

RUGER

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MickThompson":1o2mdzo0 said:
You want good, sound wood because if it’s full of checks and internal stress, it will grenade or at least chunk out, and best case, your workpiece is ruined.

My dad had an OLD wood lathe. I don't remember the brand but it was a good one. Very solid.
He became quite talented at turning stuff. He did alot of bowls with tops.

He had a piece of cherry that he got when my granddaddy cut a tree down out of a fence row.
He turned a bowl out of it that was about 6" in diameter one time.
He got down to the finished O.D. and all of a sudden a chunk flew out.
He got to looking at it and it was what appeared to be a .22 bullet.
Guess someone had shot that tree a LONG time before.
My sister still has that bowl, you can see the hole right where the bullet was.
It was right where he made the cut to seperate the bowl from the lid.
Pretty neat.
 
BuckWild

BuckWild

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I bought this one a few years back and it's been pretty good. Harbor Freight on sale and with a coupon was less than $200 out the door.

https://www.harborfreight.com/12-in...ch-wood-lathe-with-reversible-head-34706.html

Was watching Fixer Upper last year and they went to their custom wood worker guy Clint to get him to turn some table legs and he has the same HF lathe.

Get a full face shield and follow all safety rules. Also buy some quality turning tools.

Good luck.
 
edtcase

edtcase

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Thanks everyone.


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