Approximate minimum to start turning? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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Default Approximate minimum to start turning?

What are actual start up costs to consider including lathe for making bowls and smaller items?
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 05:49 PM
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maybe this will help you Trevor
Buying a lathe and starting out in woodturning.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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maybe this will help you Trevor
Buying a lathe and starting out in woodturning.
Thanks!
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 08:22 PM
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I'd say expect to spend $500 on a lathe and another $100 on tools to get started. If you get bitten by the turning bug, you'll later spend a couple thousand or more on a lathe and $500 on tools, plus another few hundred on sharpening systems. As always, Your Mileage May Vary.

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 09:24 PM
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Turning is something you have to get dedicated to to be good at it. Kind of like mudding drywall or laying lineoleum.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-07-2015, 06:53 AM
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Turning is a lot like golfing, fishing or hunting there is always something more to buy. In my area you can usually find an old Craftsman lathe for $100 or so. Tools are another stiory. One chisel can easily run $80 to $100 for quality tools. Sharpening accessories, well the sky is the limit. But it is fun stuff.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-07-2015, 08:06 AM
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You have gotten some good advice. The lathe is cheap because all the accessories are the expense. I have been turning now for 10 yrs or more and can tell you it does get expensive. Today after turning all these years I can say buy quality to begin with. If you get the bug like I did it will cost more now but in the long run will be cheaper and save you money. I turn everything from bowls, pens, pepper mills, pizza cutters, mini birdhouses, etc. I use them to repair furniture that needs items turned. I don't make a ton of money but this year so far I have made around $3400 and getting ready for Christmas which should be pretty good. I do only 2 craft fairs and have my turnings in a Art Gallery, a Floral/Craft store, and at the Buffalo Bill Cultural Center which sells to tourist.

What I meant was about buying good equipment to begin with is if you do like I did and buy cheap lathe and cheap tools and get the bug you will be upgrading. Over the first few years I spent more money than I would have if I had just started with what I have now. I bought a cheap C-man to begin with and got so frustrated with it and bought a another cheap lathe, and then a third thinking I was saving money. If it were me I would get like a Jet 1221, Rikon 70-220VSR which I have heard good reviews on or a Turncrafter Commander to begin with which will let you turn 11" to 12" bowls, pens, pepper mills, etc. I would get these tools which will give you a good start. https://www.pennstateind.com/store/LCHSS8.html I bought those and still use most of them today.

I now have a Jet 1220 and a Nova DVR XP. A good chuck is a must. I use Vicmarc chucks and have probably 5 of them. I am lazy and don't like changing jaws so each one has a different set of jaws.

Long story short you will save money buying quality to begin with. If you find out you don't care to turn you will get your money back easily. My first C-man went to the metal scraper because I couldn't even sell it. So just some thoughts, info and idea's to mull over.

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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-07-2015, 09:05 AM
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The tools will easily go into the hundreds. If you decide you want to start turning check out the EZ wood tools on Youtube. They will you start without getting into sharpening. If you decide that you want them PM me and I can give you a decent price of a set. Or prices on any other turning tools.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-07-2015, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shop guy View Post
Turning is a lot like golfing, fishing or hunting there is always something more to buy. In my area you can usually find an old Craftsman lathe for $100 or so. Tools are another stiory. One chisel can easily run $80 to $100 for quality tools. Sharpening accessories, well the sky is the limit. But it is fun stuff.
This is good advice, don't spend a lot of money until you are sure you want to be a wood turner, buy a cheap lathe, join a turning club as they will have lathes to learn on and they will also be happy to show you how its done, some of my best tools came from persons who spent a lot of money on tools before they knew if the did want to use these tools or not, I got them cheap after they gave up so they never got their money back. That said if you do decide you like it then buy the best tools you can afford but you should still buy cheap chisels in the beginning, as it takes practice to learn to grind wood turning tools ang there is no point learning with expensive steel and no point in grinding them down as you learn how to do it. Turning is fun but don't spend a lot of money until you are sure you like it. N
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 11-07-2015, 11:00 AM
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I'd also suggest buying some inexpensive high speed steel lathe chisels at first as learning to sharpen eats away at them pretty quickly so you don't want to be grinding away on higher dollar tools at first. Also invest in a sharpening jig like a wolverine as it lets you sharpen quickly and easily and consistently and you will more than make up the $ in saving your chisels from becoming stubs too soon, as well as a better quality edge in far less time. But I'd make sure they are made from high speed steel, although there are various grades of that, at least they are harder than the carbon steel ones and will hold the edge longer while using. Then if you know you are going to stay with it, invest in a couple of good chisels, the ones you use most and add as you go along. Have fun-!
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