Router Forums banner
1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,603 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have not had a lathe till now. I am buying these turning tools and my question is, do I need a parting tool? I have not bought these tools yet but here is a link to what I am buying.

https://www.hartvilletool.com/product/5910/turning-tools

Here is a picture of my old lathe but new to me.



I have heard all my life that a lathe is a money pit. I now believe it.
 

·
Retired Moderator
Joined
·
16,385 Posts
Like any tool, the tool isn’t the expensive part. The money is in the accessories and tooling. A parting tool is handy both for parting a piece off but it can also be used to size the sections. I made one from a flat file that works ok but a purchased one works better. The best ones are hollow ground on the top so that the tip is a spur on both sides.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,045 Posts
Sorby makes some good turning tools. I'm not familiar with this particular set but I would check to see if carbide replacement cutters are available as well. Hartville is a solid company that I've dealt with a number of times and they have earned my business. Actually reading a bit more "Cutters are available in 3 different materials - tungsten carbide (TC), high speed steel (HSS), and the titanium nitride (TiN) coated Excelsior line." Makes the tool a bit more versatile.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
815 Posts
The lathe is a "therapeutic" woodworking tool as it is one of the safest tools to use and relaxing to use. There are many accessories you can buy but I suggest only buying what you need to start with (and yes you do need a parting tool, they are inexpensive). You can spend a $1000 on lathe tools and then find you don't need half of them. I would also suggest that you Google your area for a woodturning club. There are numerous books out there but some of them are pretty old and techniques have improved over the years so the club would give you current information. I assume that you own a router and that can be used in conjunction with a lathe for "decorating" lathe pieces. If you like using the lathe look into the American Association of Woodturners. They are a national club whose dues includes a 1st class magazine with many instruction articles for turners at all levels. Many local clubs have professional turners come in and do demos which is also helpful. If you are near or can visit Asheville (at the right time) they have the largest club in the world and have many professionals within their club. They also have the visiting pros give classes (at very low cost --the club subsidizes the costs) Good people and excellent learning opportunities (they have a web site). A mentor for turning is highly recommended to get you started off right. It is easy if done right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
966 Posts
Hi Don,

your lathe looks so much like mine, a Rockwell Beaver from the mid 60s I was told from the previous owner. I got an amazing deal. The lathe, motor, and the turning tools all for $150. Since I bought it I built the stand, bought a set os measuring tools, a box with 4 rolls of different sand paper and a larger gouge. I have not used it much but when I do I enjoy it very much. I need to find a jaw set to turn bowls and other stuff. I took a course a while back from a well renown Montreal turner that wrote many magazine articles and has been teaching for years. It was well worth the money.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,603 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sorby makes some good turning tools. I'm not familiar with this particular set but I would check to see if carbide replacement cutters are available as well. Hartville is a solid company that I've dealt with a number of times and they have earned my business. Actually reading a bit more "Cutters are available in 3 different materials - tungsten carbide (TC), high speed steel (HSS), and the titanium nitride (TiN) coated Excelsior line." Makes the tool a bit more versatile.
I agree with you Steve Hartville is a good place to buy tools from. I buy just about all my router bits from them. (Whiteside) I know shipping isn't free but I like them having free shipping because I know what the total cost is without going all the way through the buying process and finding I don't like the price they charge me for shipping.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,603 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi Don,

your lathe looks so much like mine, a Rockwell Beaver from the mid 60s I was told from the previous owner. I got an amazing deal. The lathe, motor, and the turning tools all for $150. Since I bought it I built the stand, bought a set os measuring tools, a box with 4 rolls of different sand paper and a larger gouge. I have not used it much but when I do I enjoy it very much. I need to find a jaw set to turn bowls and other stuff. I took a course a while back from a well renown Montreal turner that wrote many magazine articles and has been teaching for years. It was well worth the money.
Dan, I wish I could take lessons but I don't know anyone that gives them. I think people in the north do more woodworking than we do. I bet it's been 25 years or more since Nashville has had a woodworking show. That makes me mad but that doesn't do any good either.
 

·
Registered
Theo
Joined
·
7,195 Posts
I got my shop in about 1996/97, and got a lathe a little after that. From Harbor Freight no less, for around $70 or so. Surprisingly it was actually better quality than a variety of more expensive machines. In fact it looked like it was made on the same line as one going for around $300. Made a stand for it, and bought a set of HF lathe tools for around $6. The plan was, practice with the HF tools, and practice sharpening them until they wore out, then get a 'good' set. The HF tools worked fine, and never did wear out. Did my sharpening on my small bench top HF belt sander, and that worked great. They needed sharpening likely more often then a 'quality' set, but that was fast and did a good job. Played with it, and great fun. Then decided to make some carving mallets. And found out the only thing I liked to make on it was carving mallets. So, made a dozen or so carving mallets, then sold the lathe. And no regret at all about selling it. However, lately have been thinking of maybe making a small lathe, so I can make a few carving mallets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,701 Posts
Hi Don,

your lathe looks so much like mine, a Rockwell Beaver from the mid 60s I was told from the previous owner. I got an amazing deal. The lathe, motor, and the turning tools all for $150. Since I bought it I built the stand, bought a set os measuring tools, a box with 4 rolls of different sand paper and a larger gouge. I have not used it much but when I do I enjoy it very much. I need to find a jaw set to turn bowls and other stuff. I took a course a while back from a well renown Montreal turner that wrote many magazine articles and has been teaching for years. It was well worth the money.
Dan, I have a Beaver lathe, identical to yours except for the name plate. Mine is from the early 50's. I bought it used about 40 years ago from a geezer at the time. Beaver was built by The Callander Foundry & Mfg. Co. of Guelph, Ontario. and bought out by Rockwell some years later. I think the only difference between yours and mine is the nameplate. Mine is a small oval on the headstock and doesn't include Rockwell's name. Mine is darker too, almost black but looks like a patina developed over the years. It doesn't get much use but I can't just let it go yet. I think I got it for a song at the time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,045 Posts
Dan, I wish I could take lessons but I don't know anyone that gives them. I think people in the north do more woodworking than we do. I bet it's been 25 years or more since Nashville has had a woodworking show. That makes me mad but that doesn't do any good either.
If you have a Woodcraft store in the area I think most have classes. My local (1 Hr+ away) has monthly classes for beginners, intermediate, and advanced level woodworkers you can take for a reasonable fee. I took their beginners turning class where I made a bowl and spindle. I find the drive worthwhile especially after finding an excellent BBQ right across the road. They also have free demos most Saturdays and a woodturners club that meets the third Tuesday of the month. They have demos and talks by locals and professional turners. Last month was my 1st meeting and they had talks about design and then show and tell of the past quarterly challenge pieces made by members. I saw some incredible turned pieces. I can't think of a better use of my Shopsmith that I have gotten a Nova G3 chuck for turning.
 

·
Registered
Theo
Joined
·
7,195 Posts
Check YouTube for woodturning videos too. Lots of them on there.
Agree on that. But as always, you have to pick and choose. Choose videos of pro turners, otherwise you're likely to watch some guy working out of his garage and barely knowing what he is doing.

Didn't have access to youtube when I had my lathe, so bought some used books on turning. They were a great help, and I actually made a few decent things. But then I learned all I wanted to make was carving mallets, then sold my lathe. So you might want to invest in a set of HF tools first, so you can see if turning is really your cuppa, before you spend a fortune on tools.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
966 Posts
Don,
You may not have turning classes but Nashville has some of the best music in North America. I will be attending a woodworking show this month called the Canadian East show in a town about an hour and a half from here. It doesn't happen every year but I really enjoy it.

Dan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
966 Posts
Steve,
You guys (Americans) are so lucky ! I wish we had a Woodcraft store and a Harbor Freight. We are now blessed to have a Lee Valley store on the North Shore of Montreal that opened on Wednesday. I spoke to Mr. Lee the pres. and he said if the store is successful they have 2 more locations already planned. The Veritas brand is top notch quality but also very pricey but at least we have that. Before them we had Langevin & Forest that sells everything but they had exclusivity for years and therefore gouged the prices, then a couple of years ago Normand opened 2 locations but again more expensive stuff that not everyone can afford. Who knows, maybe someday we will get a Busy Bee which seems to be a Canadian version of HB.
The Lee Valley is offering seminars and such on various machines such as lathes. I don't know if they will offer courses.
Dan
 

·
Premium Member
Retired since June 2000
Joined
·
15,065 Posts
I resisted buying a wood lathe for many years but was finally persuaded by a late member who became a very good friend. I started with pens, wood and Acrylics then after being advised to make mushrooms I progressed to vases and bowls. As has been mentioned, wood turning is very therapeutic, especially compared to a metal lathe where you need a specific job to turn, you can't simply mount a chunk of metal in the lathe and start turning hoping that something nice will be the end result! You can with wood. The three metal pens were made in my metal lathe. Should anyone be interested, I probably have pdf's showing how each one was made.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,701 Posts
I believe the Busy Bee stores here are very similar to Harbour Freight. The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is bristling with places like HF. and similarities to Lee Valley although Lee Valley has it's own distinct MO. There are places that call themselves hardware stores but I think in name only according to what I think is a hardware store. These places are wall to wall tools. Every brand name and some El Cheapo's. If you want it you can always get it somewhere in this area. We have wood shows about 4 times a year which are usually well attended. I was at one in September. Almost a bit too far (110 km.) but they're moving it about half as far closer for next year and expanding. I see ads for one in Atlanta which seem intriguing but I'm here and it's there and never the twain shall meet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
309 Posts
I have been woodworking for over 35 years. I have been turning about 6 years and love it. May advise to you is to go slow. Do not buy a bunch of tools you will not use or out grow. If you buy steel tools you have to sharpen them. The granders and jigs add up. If you buy carbide you do not have to sharpen but when compared to steel they are just a little bit more expensive. If you consider the steel tools and the sharpening the carbide is a bargain. The professional turners do not use carbide very much but beginner turners can benefit from carbide. You spend less over all and you keep turning and are not distracted by having to stop and sharpen.

I have a mix of carbide and steel tools. I mostly have Easy Wood Tools in the pro size. My steel tools are almost all Sorby.

You had mentioned if you needed a parting tool. My answer is yes. I have a 1/16" Sorby thin parting tool and a Easy Wood Tool 1/8" carbide parting tool. I also have a cheap diamond parting steel that I do not use. My go to is the EWT 1/8" parting tool.

Good luck but go slow with purchases until you are more proficient at turning. Using the tools is more important than having them. Get tools you will use and master them before moving on.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top