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post #1 of 11 Old 01-06-2011, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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Getting Started

This time of year we tend to see a lot of newcomers to the turning sport. I thought I would offer these for anyone looking for more info on the subject.

Getting Started in Woodturning
Wood Lathe List

Hope that helps!

- Neal
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-07-2011, 10:42 AM
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Neal, awesome job on your links and your website. I have piont many woodturners to your lathe list, so they may compare lathe specs much easier. Your site not only helps out the newbies but also us old timers. Thank you for sharing your info.

Jeff,

"Just because your not bleeding, don't mean your turning safely"..
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post #3 of 11 Old 01-13-2011, 02:39 AM
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The prospect of picking up this hobby is quite daunting for a newcomer like me. Reading your guide has made it seem a little more attainable. One major point that I would love if you added is the price expectation. How much should I expect to spend on x tool? How much should I expect to spend in total, in order to get started? This is something I'm still struggling to figure out. Thankfully, your list of "things I'll need" has started me on my way. Originally, I had endeavored to start up at $500 or under... I'm not so sure now. A mini lathe and some cheap tools aren't that expensive, but there is lots more that I need.
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-13-2011, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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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 be done.)

$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.

Last edited by Neal Addy; 01-13-2011 at 04:30 PM.
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-24-2011, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neal Addy
This time of year we tend to see a lot of newcomers to the turning sport. I thought I would offer these for anyone looking for more info on the subject.

Getting Started in Woodturning
Wood Lathe List

Hope that helps!

- Neal
Hi Neal,

Thank you for the awesome links. My husband thoroughly spoiled me this Christmas when he bought me the Nova 1624-44. Hubby did his homework and made sure that this would be the right starter lathe. We are building a home this year and we want to turn our own spindles. I also fell in love with turning bowls last year and will be doing a fair amount of that.

I have yet to turn anything on my new lathe as I am just not sure which turning tools to buy first. Can you help me out?

Tricia
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-26-2011, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Hope that helps!
...and how!

As another novice just starting out, I have sooo many questions...
Your advice has great value for me.

Thanks!

p

...ever notice how "I'm sorry" and "I apologize" mean the same thing, unless you are at a funeral..?
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-28-2011, 01:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txpaulie

...and how!

As another novice just starting out, I have sooo many questions...
Your advice has great value for me.

Thanks!

p
Okay. So one of the best things you can do is join your local wood turning club. My husband and joined ours last night. It's very well organized, has demonstrations, guest speakers, President's challenge (turning project), and a chance to talk to a lot of very knowledgable people. I now know which tools to buy to start out with and will be getting them tomorrow. Then no one will see me for the weekend, as I will be knee deep in shavings. : )
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-29-2011, 02:00 AM Thread Starter
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That's great, Tricia! Glad you attended your local club. And I agree, they are a huge benefit.

Let us know what tools you get. I look forward to seeing your first completed piece.
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post #9 of 11 Old 03-15-2011, 12:15 PM
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Great info Neal, after reading the whole thing (I'm not much of a reader LOL) I realize that my purchase of the delta 46-541 has all of the capabilities I need and more.

"IF IT'S TOO TOUGH FOR THEM, IT'S JUST RIGHT FOR ME"
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post #10 of 11 Old 03-15-2011, 07:05 PM
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I think that is some great information for the new members that want to take the spinny plunge.
Donny
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post #11 of 11 Old 03-15-2011, 08:13 PM
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Found out some new information, it seems the more and more you dig into other individuals websites to find different links you can find some really good ideas or things you might want to try. Thanks all for the good links.
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