Turning Archive 2005

Importance of a tail stock for bowl turning?

>I am looking seriously at building a bowl lathe since bowl turning is where my interest lies, not in spindles. Plus I have a small lathe I can do spindles on.

My only concern is lack of a tail stock. I could design a lathe and build a tail stock but suddenly it looses a lot of advantages because of the precision required with a tail stock and getting to align correctly. Without the tail stock it is simple fab work, no really accuracy required and can be built very reasonably.

I know you can work without a tail stock and have done it many times. Sometimes I just feel safer with it there. Plus no tail stock limits some of your chucking options too.

I am curious how more experienced turners feel about this? I have been looking seriously at a old Delta/Rockwells, Powermatics ect. with outboard spindle turning capability and just can't decide which way to go.

I just read Bens posts on his Powermatic with riser blocks and that looks like a good option too. I am just very undecided on what I want to do. Discussion would be most welcome!

SIDE NOTE: I was a mechanical designer in a past life so the design is pretty straight forward for me. And I can fabricate it myself if I practice my welding.

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