How to get started in wood turning and few other questions - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 06-21-2014, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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How to get started in wood turning and few other questions

Hello yall, Im trying to get into wood turning and have a few questions but before i do that let me introduce myself since im new here. Im a 17 year woodworker whos been doing this for 8 or 9 years ( Parents trusted me with tools a little to much). I work out of a garage and make things like rustic furniture and chest or planter boxes and cutting boards. I try to sell these things to make money. Im trying to make some actual money from this so i thought about turning. That opens doors previously closed due to lack of having the right tool.


Now, I cant afford a real nice lathe ( im saving up for a tablesaw ) but im a pretty good builder and thought about building one. I want to be able to turn bowls and make things like table legs. what do yall recommend? I wanna try to make some more things to sell.

Also, what are some good things to build to make money. What do yall make? Since im young, i cant open a store or anything so i dont have a good selling platform.

Thanks for the help!
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post #2 of 10 Old 06-21-2014, 12:40 AM
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If you watch craigslist you could find a starter lathe for about 100 bucks. It would be far better and safer than a homemade one. I wouldn't start off with bowls. I would turn quite a few pieces 12" to 18" betweem centers before attempting bowls. When you get to turning table legs I would try to get a better lathe and be sure to get a live tailstock center. There's nothing like getting an oak table leg between your eyes to get your attention you need a better lathe like I did.

I didn't do much work making products to sell. I started doing antique repair so everything I did was sold from the getgo. Antique repair is a good way to get a business started. There isn't very much overhead and looking at all the ways the old furniture was made gives you a lot of knowledge of what works and what doesn't. Eventually customers will find out you build things and will do more new construction.
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post #3 of 10 Old 06-21-2014, 12:45 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
If you watch craigslist you could find a starter lathe for about 100 bucks. It would be far better and safer than a homemade one. I wouldn't start off with bowls. I would turn quite a few pieces 12" to 18" betweem centers before attempting bowls. When you get to turning table legs I would try to get a better lathe and be sure to get a live tailstock center. There's nothing like getting an oak table leg between your eyes to get your attention you need a better lathe like I did.

I didn't do much work making products to sell. I started doing antique repair so everything I did was sold from the getgo. Antique repair is a good way to get a business started. There isn't very much overhead and looking at all the ways the old furniture was made gives you a lot of knowledge of what works and what doesn't. Eventually customers will find out you build things and will do more new construction.
Yea looked on my local craigslist and cheapest lathe was 1500 for a delta one. The thing is, getting a $100 one to learn on then buying a better one seems like a waste. Ive yet to see a homemade lathe turn bowls but have seen many do legs. Legs seem pretty simple. Are their lathe that just do bowls? Would that be cheaper?
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post #4 of 10 Old 06-21-2014, 01:01 AM
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Seriously unlikely to make a decent lathe cheaper than you can but one.

Sometimes I have considered an old old metal lathe and repurpose to wood.

There should be plenty of clubs around you can join and get experience and learn from the experienced.

Dave The Turning Cowboy

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post #5 of 10 Old 06-21-2014, 07:58 AM
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Yea looked on my local craigslist and cheapest lathe was 1500 for a delta one. The thing is, getting a $100 one to learn on then buying a better one seems like a waste. Ive yet to see a homemade lathe turn bowls but have seen many do legs. Legs seem pretty simple. Are their lathe that just do bowls? Would that be cheaper?
Most cheap used lathes on Craigslist will turn bowls. Some are too short to turn table legs and there are some that would just do bowls but they are harder to find. The biggest problem with cheap home shop lathes is the weight of the machine. They will turn small things with no problem but if you turn a large bowl or a table leg there is so much vibration the machine starts walking across the floor. Then this vibration tends to make the wood try to come out of the lathe. This is what happened to me using a homemade lathe made with angle iron. The weight could be compensated for by putting the lathe on a heavy table and weighing it down with sand bags or something heavy. Now I have an old cast iron Fay & Egan lathe and it's heavy enough to turn anything. There isn't anything wrong with antique machines. This one was used in a high school woodshop before WWII.
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post #6 of 10 Old 06-21-2014, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DaveTTC View Post
Seriously unlikely to make a decent lathe cheaper than you can but one.

Sometimes I have considered an old old metal lathe and repurpose to wood.

There should be plenty of clubs around you can join and get experience and learn from the experienced.

Dave The Turning Cowboy
The nearest club for me is about 30 min away.
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post #7 of 10 Old 06-21-2014, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
Most cheap used lathes on Craigslist will turn bowls. Some are too short to turn table legs and there are some that would just do bowls but they are harder to find. The biggest problem with cheap home shop lathes is the weight of the machine. They will turn small things with no problem but if you turn a large bowl or a table leg there is so much vibration the machine starts walking across the floor. Then this vibration tends to make the wood try to come out of the lathe. This is what happened to me using a homemade lathe made with angle iron. The weight could be compensated for by putting the lathe on a heavy table and weighing it down with sand bags or something heavy. Now I have an old cast iron Fay & Egan lathe and it's heavy enough to turn anything. There isn't anything wrong with antique machines. This one was used in a high school woodshop before WWII.
I think i may get a table saw first and try to make some money with that. Then get into turning.
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post #8 of 10 Old 06-21-2014, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by SouthernWoodworking
The nearest club for me is about 30 min away.
Nearest club to me is 5 hours away. Compared to that, 30 minutes is nothing.

I hate signatures.
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post #9 of 10 Old 06-21-2014, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by SouthernWoodworking
The nearest club for me is about 30 min away.
Where are you ? Alaska or something? Are you anywhere near a community where you might be able to inspire a woodworking club.

I live in a town of 800. ATM I travel 30 mind to the next town for my woodturning club. It covers an area of about 80km / 50 mile radius. Eventually I want to start and wood and art guild in my own town to encourage all forms of creativity.

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post #10 of 10 Old 06-21-2014, 07:28 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DaveTTC View Post
Where are you ? Alaska or something? Are you anywhere near a community where you might be able to inspire a woodworking club.

I live in a town of 800. ATM I travel 30 mind to the next town for my woodturning club. It covers an area of about 80km / 50 mile radius. Eventually I want to start and wood and art guild in my own town to encourage all forms of creativity.

Dave The Turning Cowboy
Perry, Ga, south of warner robins. Its got about 13,000 people. Their are some local people here who do woodworking but a few dont wanna share their knowledge for fear of being replaced. I enjoy this greatly and seem to be well inclined to it but after looking into making money on this, it seems a little disheartening. I want to get more involved in this and i know i dont know near what i could about this. My uncle is an old cabinet maker and hes showed me a few things but i want more.
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