Thanks, Luminareo. I'm glad you found it helpful.
Frankly, guestimates on start-up costs are something I intentionally avoided in the article. There are simply too many variables for me (or anyone) to say, "you should budget for X dollars". Used vs new, mini vs full-size, bargain-basement vs name brands... you get the picture.
What's the bottom you can start at? I've seen folks get started with all used and home-made equipment for under $200. This involves obvious compromises but it can certainly be done. To start with all new equipment I would maintain that one could still keep it under $550. That would get you the absolute bare essentials.
Here's an example
setup of decent quality items (IMO) within that budget range. (Note
that I'm not necessarily recommending these items, only showing that it can
$15 - Face shield
(don't skip this)
$350 - Rikon mini lathe
$55 - Starter tool set
$110 - 8" slow-speed bench grinder
<-- there are cheaper grinders but this is one I DO recommend
$530 - Total
Catching the above items on sale could easily drop the price under $500.
Of course, that list doesn't count consumables such as sand paper and finishing supplies. These can add up but they are manageable.
Are there even cheaper options available? Absolutely, I'm just less inclined to recommend them. I'm not a fan of Harbor Freight or Grizzly lathes (I like the companies, just not their lathes) but they do offer more affordable lathe options. PSI also makes a mini lathe for less money. If they better suit your needs and budget then go for it!
One important thing to remember... your hand and eye are THE most important tools you own. No expensive lathe or high-dollar gouge is going to make you a good turner. Period. Good technique and an eye for form will carry you much farther than a $100 gouge.