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I am fairly new to turning. Here is one problem I had that has now been at least partially solved by experimentation, but I have not seen it addressed anywhere. Perhaps some of you have had this problem, or care to comment on it.

I watched many videos on turning, and the person in the clip never seems to have any problem moving the tool along the tool rest. I hold the tool handle in one hand, and the other hand grips the tool against the tool rest; as I push the tool along the tool rest, it sometimes seems to get stuck, then jumps forward. I filed the top of the tool rest a little to remove some nicks, and then tried a little wax on the rest, both resulting in slight improvements. I also rounded the corners of the tools, so when I did get a catch, it didn't make a nick in the rest. The biggest improvement came when I realized that the underside of my cast iron rest was very rough from the mold material, and my hand would not move smoothly against it. After smoothing the casting where my hand rubbed the rest, I am getting much smoother turnings. I am thinking about replacing my rest with one made from round steel rod.

Any other ideas?

Thanks,
Charlieham42
 

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+1 what Neville said and welcome to the forum. Smoothing the surfaces of the rest should also help. Keep watch on the area where the tools move.
 

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I had the same problem with cheap tool rests. I bought the Robust tool rests for my Nova lathe and for my mini Jet lathe. I haven't looked back since. I have had them now for several years and still give good service with no catching or slipping. You can check this site out. For 16? Lathe with 1? Diameter Post | Robust Woodturning Tools

For 10? or 12? Mini Lathe Tool Rests ? 5/8 or 16 mm Diameter Post | Robust Woodturning Tools

For my Jet I have a 3" and 6". For my Nova I have the 4" and 9" comfort rest.
 
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You are on the right track. Taking a file and working the top of the tool rest to get the casting burrs off is a common practice with wood turners. I prefer using the round stainless steel rest for smaller turnings (pens, bottle stoppers & etc) but go back to the standard rest for larger jobs. I suggest joining a turning club if that is an option for you. Most clubs have mentors to help beginning turners. Watching the various demonstrations by pros or advanced turners will help you get started on the right foot. You will find that the pros all develop their own methods for turning, sharpening and etc.but the basics will remain the same. A good DVD for beginning turners are those by Bonnie Klein. She specializes in small turnings and holds many classes each year for younger turners (not guessing your age, just saying she keeps it simple and useful). Her small doesn't mean useless, she makes a living turning, it's just that she has developed a unique style of teaching. Start simple and work your way up. Good luck....
 

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Charlie,

Welcome to the Router Forums.

If you are having a lot of trouble with nicks in the tool rest and just keep getting more nicks then the material the rest is made of is too soft. An upgrade like Bernie suggests is the best thing you will ever do. There are other after market rests for sale so shop around but look for a quality product to get a life time of use out of it.
 

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Lots of good videos on YouTube.
 

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I have bought my VL175 and it just sits there, I have then big bench project so I just can't spend time on the lathe, when the bench is finished then I am going tom modify the lathe, close it in and work out a way to keep the mess under control, when that's done then the lathe will run all thew time, I talk about sharp tools all the time and there is an art in getting lathe tools sharp, sharp tools cut with ease and they don't have to be forced. use a file to clean up the rest as any divots can retard the movement of the tool however the real deal is sharp tools and practice, if you are having catches then its your technique that needs a tune up, sharp tools and smooth control, you need the bevel to rub gently along the work piece, when it does not then you get a catch so it really is practice practice practice, sharp tools ans a smooth face to the rest is also important. N
 
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