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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got a lathe, from one of those "Truck Sales" they have going around the Country... for about 99 bucks, and dont know if its a good deal or not, because I hear, and see those programs on Television about people putting on "chucks" for bowls and things like that...dont think this one will either accpet them, or dont know where to get one to do something like that...Hmmmm

I had one from Shop Smith IV that I wasnt impressed about...(basically, it was a pain to have the entire machine in my shop, because it took too much space up, as some one made a platform for it to lay down on with drawers underneath and took WAY too much shop space...rather individual machines instead of the constant set up ..pain, until it was gone)... I had trouble trying to do any work with ash...kept splintering, so, I never attempted anything else again...and sold that shop smith to another sucker! :) But, this one, at least is on my work bench, and I was thinking about all those beautiful pens that I see people turning... is it a project for someone who has never used one, or, should I get a lot of experience with it, before trying something like that? Also, where to I buy the blanks and hardware, so that I can do a few beautiful pens...I know those dont come in reds and all the other colors...??? Jesse
 

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Well, I tried!

My first attempt, was a dismal failure, or more likely, just a learning experience

First, I put a slightly curved piece of wood on the cheap truck sale lathe, (you really do, get what you pay for...sheesh)..And it traveled more than I ever did on land or sea!

So, I took that off, and the other piece, I had to make a squared off end, so I fired up my DeWalt Mitre saw, and NOTHING! Checked all fuses and everything, then, got my electric sensor, (lighted wand), and checked, no power to the saw only ...had to get new plug at electric store that just happens to be right next to me

Then put it in the lathe, and had to put it on low speed, because the high speed vibrated it out twice out of the lathe! Oh well... low speed, was a drag, could hardly even get the bark off... (Actually, I finally got fustrated and took the bark off with my "draw knife"...What a pain!!

Found out that the wood was so "wet", that I could tear strips of it off, after I got the bark off, so I will wait a few weeks or a month and let it dry out now...(its a piece of Cherry)...

At least I didnt get hurt this time Big plus...

They should sell this lathe at Big Lots, just about the same quality.. oh well, my meandering... Thanks for all the helpful hints...Jesse
 

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An important thing in the decision to purchase a lathe is its mass (weight). The heavier material will help absorb vibration. I purchased my bench top lathe 12 years ago. It is made by delta, it is a model (46-700)? they still make. One consideration I look into was the ability to add things to it like a jacobs chuck (drill chuck) or a 3 jaw chuck for holding bowls. The key is the head stock. If it does not have a #1 or #2 Morse Taper then you can not add peripherals like a drill chuck or a jig to turn pens. The external threads cut on to the drive stock allow you to mount a chuck on the head stock. Look at www.oneway.on.ca for accesories you can add to lathe. An informed choice of lathe will allow you to grow without your initial purchase so that if you upgrade your lathe all your accessories will work without a hitch.
 

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Actually a lathe is nothing more than a spinning machine. But, you can pay $6,000 or more for top of the line lathes like a Oneway with all the extras.
I would recommend that you fasten it down or weight it down first. Then I would join a turning club in your area. The american Association of Woodturners http://www.woodturner.org/ will direct you to a local chapter (3rd link of left side).

Next, I would recommend you read some books on woodturning or view some tapes of people turning. You need to know the proper use of the tools. Woodcraft stores usually will have turning classes you can attend.

You really need to have the experience of finding a log or piece of firewood and putting it on the lathe to create something. The feeling is great. Most things in this world take time to materialize and give a person satisfaction. But, in woodturning usually in a few hours you can have that sence of accomplishment.
Good Luck,
Woody
 
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