Mini lathe purchase - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-29-2011, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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Mini lathe purchase

Hello, I just purchased a mini Jet lathe and now need to look into purchasing sole chisels and a decent chuck. I am a beginner and have not turned anything as of yet. I have only learned that while sanding on the lathe it gets very hot very quickly.

Is there a set of tools and 4 jaw chuck that i can grow into while learning? Money is kind of tight so please any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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post #2 of 10 Old 03-29-2011, 01:23 PM
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hello hoyett
you can grab a cheap set of tools at harbor freight for about 35.00.
woodcraft has a 4 jaw chuck from woodriver for about 85.00.
this should get you into a little trouble!
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post #3 of 10 Old 03-29-2011, 05:05 PM
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Hoyett, Most of the time you will not use an entire set of tools. I would suggest buying a good one as you can afford it. First off, what kind of things are you wanting to turn? That will play a big part on the tools you will need. Fill us in and we can give you some good suggestions from there.
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post #4 of 10 Old 03-29-2011, 05:50 PM
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For a chuck recommendation I like the NOVA midi chuck I bought, can use any of the NOVA jaws and is a nice solid accessory.

I agree that buying a set of tools generally means you only use a few out of the set, so depending on what kind of turning you are planning on buy tools as you need them and you will find that you have a much more useful set of tools.

For spindle work I would recommend starting with a 3/4" roughing gouge, 3/8" spindle gouge, and a 1/2" skew. A parting tool is necessary or at least handy in a lot of projects as well.

For bowls all you really need is a bowl gouge, probably 3/8" or 1/2", along with a round nose scraper. Don't try and turn a bowl with a spindle gouge.

I want to die quietly in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming in terror like the passengers of his car.
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post #5 of 10 Old 03-29-2011, 07:02 PM
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I like the Talon chuck from's not cheap though they work great. Like the others said, buy tools individually and get the best you can afford, you won't regret it. For spindle work a 3/4" roughing gouge, a 3/8" spindle gouge (or 1/2" if you plan on doing larger things) and a parting tool are a good start. Skews are hard to learn to use, but once you do there is a lot you can do with it. I prefer a flat skew to a rounded one. For bowls, get a 1/2" bowl gouge to start. A good heavy round nose scraper will help too. Don't forget a good grinder and sharpening jig (I like the Wolverine jig from Oneway), you'll need it.

That bowl was perfect right up until that last cut...
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post #6 of 10 Old 03-29-2011, 07:25 PM
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Mini lathe purchase

Wecome to the fun,fun,world of turning as for Nova chucks,sometimes you can find them on amazon for around 79.00 an free shipping,I have 4 or 5 of there chucks and have no problems with for the 1st tool I would recommend the 3/8 bowl gouge to start with on the mini.When you sand,turn the speed down to about 400,thats what I sand with on my Ricon,not sure how slow the Jet goes,anyway when I hand sand,I use a piece of non skid abrasive pad as a backing and that will help hold the heat down.

God Bless all
Ken Ward
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post #7 of 10 Old 03-29-2011, 11:05 PM
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1+ on the Nova Midi chuck (at Amazon for $85 and free shipping). I do have three Nova chucks and one Woodriver (Pinnacle, generic). JMHO but the Nova is much superior in quality. You can buy an inexpensive set of tools but may not use some of them very much. For a bowl gouge 3/8 or ˝.. but be aware…a 3/8 British made is the same size as a US ˝. The Brits measure across the flute where US mfgs measure the shaft diameter so in any size the Brit is about 1/8" heftier.
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post #8 of 10 Old 03-30-2011, 10:32 AM
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I do mostly pens, razors and stoppers. For chucks I have a Nova Midi and two PSI Barracuda Micros. The Nova is a great chuck but I find it to large for many uses. My go to chuck is
I also have the tommy bar model but don't use it much, a keyed chuck spoils you.
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post #9 of 10 Old 03-30-2011, 10:16 PM
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Hoyett you have already gotten some good advice so I'll add just one thing.

Sell all the other things you have, get a second and a third job and don't eat for the next month and then you can use all your money to buy all the cool stuff there is for this wonderful world of woodturning. Man it sure adds up fast.

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post #10 of 10 Old 03-31-2011, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
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You guys are a plethora of information and a great group to be associated with. A friend of mine volunteered to help me with a military project to make some drink coasters. So he did most of the turning and he introduced me to lathe sanding. I also have seen some wine bottle tops my wife would like me to turn for her as well. i have always admired the bowls I have seen so I want to start out small and work my way into bowls...

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