Turning Archive 2004

Thinking about turning

>I want to get into turning sometime in the next 6 months, and would appreciate some direction. From the outset I know I'm going to want to do bowls, plates, chess pieces, pens, and some longer spindle work to support the furniture making side of the garage (columns, etc).

I've got a budget of around $1800 that has to cover lathe, accessories, and tools. So, one thing I'm trying to gauge is what piece of that should go to the lathe, to the tools, and then to things like chucks and centers, etc...

I'm also trying to get a feel for where the "sweetspot" is between price and performance for the lathe and the accessories. I don't know, for example, how to gauge the Nova 3000 against the Delta's, Jet's, and Grizzly in the same price range. But at least on lathes I've got some specs to consider.

On tools and especially chucks and other accessories I'm having real trouble sorting out what useful, or not, and what is good bang for the buck, or not. For example, are the Nova chucks for $200 so much better than the $40 grizzly chuck? Or, do the $150/tool CPM-V tools stay sharp 5 times longer than the $79/set Steel--X tools?

Can you folks offer me some guidance on these?

As a general philosophy of tool buying, I try to find the tools that will minimize "non-work" time such as fiddling, faddling, adjusting, sharpening, etc... After talking to a veteran turner who told me "you spend 10 minutes sharpening for every 20 minutes turning" I saw the importance of really making good decisions in this field.

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