Turning Archive 2007

Subject:
First Lathe *LINK*

Ken Bellock (Houston, TX)
>I have decided to try my hands at turning. Some projects that come to mind that I would like to be able to make are small bowls, spindles, and even wands for my nieces and nephews. After a long break in my woodworking hobby, I have spent the last 2 years really getting back into putting serious time in my garage shop. With just about every tool purchase I have made, I have had enough hands on experiance to know what it was that I was looking for, but I have never touched a lathe in my life, and none of my friends that have the woodworking bug have a lathe that I can monkey around with to get a feel for it. Generally when I buy a tool, I like to spend the extra cash to know it will serve me well and for many years, but I don't want to drop a couple grand a lathe not knowing if I'm going to thoroughly enjoy it as much as my other tasks in the shop.

So after all that background, my question is, is this a good starter lathe, and is it a good price. In addition to this lathe, if it was what I bought, what other gear would I need to get started? The safety equipment of course, and a set of tools to start with (lee valley?), but what about chucks, or other equipment I'm not yet familiar with? I have found the knowledge base in the main messaging group to be invaluable to the growth of my skills, so what I'm looking for is the hind site of those already developing this skill here to share, if they could, what they wish they knew when they had started. "I would have bought this", or "I shouldn't have bought this tool set", or "the best lathe to learn on is actually," or "The absolute best reference for using the lathe is this book written by..."

I'm going to be watching this group, and others, and reading a lot, but I would like a good basic lathe to have sitting in my garage while I develop this new skill. One thing I learned a long time ago is that it's great to read the magazines, message groups, and books for technique, but nothing can teach you as fast as putting your hands on the wood.

Hope you are all having a great day, and thanks for any input you are willing to share!

Ken

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