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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-18-2012, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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I've been looking to purchase a new lathe. In my search I have seen a few ads that say the has capability of reverse turning which is good for sanding. Why is that?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-18-2012, 08:35 PM
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I sand in reverse on every other grit. It raises the grain/wood fiber one way and then gets sanded off when going the opposite direction. My sanding routine goes something like this. I start at 80 grit at 500 rpm, then 100 grit at 450 rpm in reverse, then 150 grit in forward at 400 rpm, then 220 grit in reverse at 350 rpm. Now I use a 90* angle drill for power sanding with a medium pad up to 220. Now I start with a soft interface pad at 280 grit in forward at 250 rpm, then 360 grit in reverse at 200 rpm, then 400 grit in forward at 200 rpm. From 280 grit to 400 grit the drill is also running at half speed. The reason for reducing the speed during the grits from 280 to 400 is that as the size of the grit gets smaller if you go full bore 500 rpm and the drill full bore you just burnish the wood. It is smaller grit so reduce the lathe speed and the drill speed. It takes me almost as long to sand a piece as it does to turn it and my surfaces are virtually blemish free. I wipe the surface with mineral spirits and if I see any sanding lines I start over sanding. If I can see it then I know the customer can see it. Every piece that I turn gets sanded with this procedure. So do I recommend a lathe with reverse. Yes.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 12:44 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks again Bernie. I'll try that method when I get my new lathe. I saw an earlier post of yours re: the electric sander and discs you purchased. I may order some of those as well.
Thanks again
Dennis
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 02:03 AM
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Thanks Bernie.....lathe's have their place on my 'wish-list'. Any thoughts on which of the 'shop-smith' type multifunction units actually do a decent job in their capacity as a lathe?

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 08:38 AM
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Bill I don't care for multi functions lathes. IMHO they have a lot of functions but do none of them well. When I started turning a few years ago with a shopsmith when I tried to do some turning for grandfather clocks I was making. I just didn't like setting it up all the time. Other than the shopsmith I don't know of any others that have multi functions. The other thing I found with the shopsmith on the lathe is the accessories were hard to find and then figured if I upgraded to a lathe none of them would fit which would cost me again. So I sold it. I bought a lathe, drill press, table saw, bandsaw which is essential for woodturning. Don't get me wrong. I am not saying you can't turn with a shopsmith. As most turners as they learn will want to upgrade to a bigger better machine.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 11:18 AM
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Many thanks for your details response Bernie. It adds some focus to the way I already 'felt' about multifunction stationary tools in general. The availability of accessories hadn't occurred to me while thinking about lathes. Conversely, the availability (& price) of belts was in foreground when poking around looking for a belt sander.





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Bill I don't care for multi functions lathes. IMHO they have a lot of functions but do none of them well. When I started turning a few years ago with a shopsmith when I tried to do some turning for grandfather clocks I was making. I just didn't like setting it up all the time. Other than the shopsmith I don't know of any others that have multi functions. The other thing I found with the shopsmith on the lathe is the accessories were hard to find and then figured if I upgraded to a lathe none of them would fit which would cost me again. So I sold it. I bought a lathe, drill press, table saw, bandsaw which is essential for woodturning. Don't get me wrong. I am not saying you can't turn with a shopsmith. As most turners as they learn will want to upgrade to a bigger better machine.

wbh1963 is flowing with the grain in Arlington, Washington, USA

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 09:13 PM
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Your welcome Bill. There are a lot of things if I had known then what I know now. You know the old hindsite is 20/20. I bought my first lathe which you had to change the belt to change speeds and it had a 1" X 8 tpi threads for the spindle so all the chucks I bought were for nothing when I upgraded to a larger lathe as it had a 1 1/4" X 8 tpi. So I ended up buying a Jet 1220 VS lathe and can now use my 1 X 8 chucks. I like having two lathes as I have the small one set up for small projects and the big one set up for the big projects. I always tell people if buy a small midi lathe to keep it when they upgrade to a bigger lathe. They do come in handy. For example if I am doing a lidded bowl on the big lathe and want to put a finial on it I can do it on the small lathe without having to tear down to do it on the big one. One other thing on lathes is that I would never buy a lathe that wasn't variable speed. Some say changing speeds with the belt is fast but when sanding it is not quick. Either that or I am spoiled.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 11:06 PM
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When I first peeked into this thread I had no idea it would involve turning from the topic. I did notice you had posted last, and the topic was sanding, so I figured what the heck and ventured on in, having been really impressed by your show and tell bowl postings. As it turned out, it had nothing to do with belt sanding, but that was ok. During the metal shop years of high school I did a lot of turning, mostly aluminum. Because of that experience, wood turning definitely interests me.

The comments on spindle specifications and chucks remind me that when turning recycled sprues or risers from the foundry I needed to start with a four jaw chuck to get it round enough to move into a 3 jaw chuck.

Having to move a belt to change speeds doesn't sound like my idea of fun.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-21-2012, 10:22 AM
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Bill the one thing I do love about turning wood is the instant gradification. I have worked months on a piece doing flatwork but can go turn something to finish in a couple of hours. As for sanding I spend probably about as much time sanding as I do turning. To me the surface has to be perfect because once you apply finish you will see every imperfection on that surface. Yep I will admit in my old age I am lazy and wouldn't go back to a belt change lathe for nothing.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-21-2012, 11:13 AM
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"Yep I will admit in my old age I am lazy and wouldn't go back to a belt change lathe for nothing"

That's not "lazy", that's wisdom!
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