Interesting thread. Also an interesting reply. After much thought I guess I would have to chime in here fearing that my machinist career might put a slant on this. I don't think it should though.
Originally Posted by Chas Jones
No matter if you are a turner or not, have the mentality of a machinist or not, my experience in metal and wood is that you need to be as accurate as possible early on in the project. It does not matter if this is round work, flat work, parts for a boat or a hollowed out vessel. Initial set-up is critical. Since a lathe is a start-to-finish kind of thing, this falls within this category.
I can see where a good wood lathe operator could turn a perfectly round spindle between centers on a mis-fit lathe, but I wonder how much skill it takes to compensate for that? I wonder if life would be easier if the centers were perfectly aligned? I would think by leaps and bounds.
I would think too that misaligned centers would be a fairly common problem and that adjusting and compensating for that...even on a wood lathe...would be easy to do. My suggestion, and do what you want with this...is to spend some serious time setting up your lathe. I am betting you can get this spot on.
I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"