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Thread: Be careful what you wish for! Seeking advice.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Independence MO

    Be careful what you wish for! Seeking advice.

    So a week ago, I saw a small, pen turning type of lathe at a damaged freight store (Penn State from memory) that I wasn't sure the price was good. I've never been a turner (access), and I don't understand the bowl thing, but appreciated some spindle stuff and mostly tool handles. So it hit me to watch for an inexpensive lathe. (not a lot of shop time and when I am tired, I can still refurbish some old tools for entertainment)
    Then I saw a post here, yesterday, that shown a treadle lathe (always liked the looks of them, thought it might be fun to make one someday). But a machinist friend has been telling me for a few years, to watch out for a machinists lathe, like an old South Bend (turn metal or wood). Yesterday I was going to ask about that, I had started to write up some questions (looked more like a treatise) and one of them was if that was herasy here.
    So after I started, I peeked at CL and saw this: (I like old iron, but realize this is too big for my shop) and found some other stuff. Work called with a pickup order and I spotted a garage sale (close to my parents and on the way to work) that mentioned planes, lathe, and several other woodworking tools.
    Stopped on the way in and ended up buying a Powr-Kraft branded, Duro made, 1940 lathe same model as this:
    $30 (don't think I got hurt too bad, for learning)

    So now I need to learn what tools do I need for starting out/learning (the turning tools already sold). Dad gave me a couple garage sale Union hardware gouges, so that is all I have for tools.
    Any advice?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    sydney australia
    OK look around for a beginners set of turning tools, there usually about 6 or so. If not just sharpen the ones you have a give it a go. Then buy the extra tools one at a time, learn how to use then get another.
    If your going to do pens then the tools will small but the same as spindle or bowl work.

    A simple beginners set would most likely comprise of a couple of deep fluted gouges for bowl say 3/8 and 1/2, a skew maybe 1/2" or 3/4", 1/2" spindle gouge, parting tool and maybe a roughing gouge.
    I have heard that Benjamins Best has a similar set available at a good price and steel is ok for the price your paying. It might pay to get some lessons on how to sharpen all these tools and pick up a sharpening jig and dont forget to get a grinder say 6" wheel as minimum.

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Reno, Nv
    You don't mention where you live Randal, but I would seek out a club in your area and get some "hands-on" know how...see what they use, get a feel for the different lathes and tools. My first pen cost about $600 to make, the 2nd...three bucks. My first 15" platter, about $3000, second...about $20. A metal lathe will work for pens, maybe stoppers and some small utility items, but little else from wood.
    Your Respiratory Therapist wears Combat boots

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Independence MO
    I will look at those tools. I figured they would be a lot more then that. I need to edit my profile I guess, hadn't realized.
    My father told me about the local club meeting at our hardwood store, but I couldn't find them since they didn't have an online presence. I finally found out they meet next Tuesday, so that should be a good thing for me to go start learning what to watch and ask. I live in Independence (greater KC area).

    Lately I have been watching for socket chisels and such and handles are what got me into thinking about this. (past wants, and want to convert a drill press to slower speed for metal/vehicle work). Too many hours at work and hobbies that require more time then I have. Acquiring tools and skills now, for when that changes.

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