I turned my first piece of wood yesterday. After reading extensively and watching countless turning videos on youtube, I finally got a lathe and began my slide head first down the slippery slope.
My wife and family was good to me on Christmas and got me some gift cards to Woodcraft. Coupled with some money I had saved, yesterday I bought a Jet 1220VS lathe, a SuperNova II chuck, and a set of Crown powder metal tools.
I spent the day in the garage putting what I've learned to the test. Some of the stuff turned out bad, some was good. I used mostly poplar, and made a couple 8" baseball bats for fun. My 30' apple tree blew over last night, so I turned a couple 6" "bowls" from the cuttings...That was fun but the wood was less than ideal. A tree service stopped by to offer their services while I was roughing out the apple on the lathe, and the guy thought it was funny I was making the best of a bad situation.
The lathe is everything I'd read it would be. Definately powerful enough for whatever I throw at it, easy to change speeds, and the VS feature is something I'm glad I decided I couldn't do without.
Today I decided to try to make a striker for my friction slate turkey call. I used a piece of 4/4 padauk, and it came out ok (need 5/4 for future ones). It definately works and sounds good. I found a source for the slate/aluminum/glass/copper sounding surface for the call itself, so I ordered a few different ones. Tonight I turned the "pot" for the call out of African mahogany. Not a bad first attempt if I do say so myself...Actually the one in the picture is the 2nd attempt because the first one exploded when the scraper grabbed too hard. I'm going to make a few of these in different woods to give to my hunting buddies and may even try to sell a few. This one is a heck of a lot prettier than the $55 one I usually use, and the bulk of the turkey calls on the market are cheesy looking with basic wood like something that came out of dogpatch USA. I'm thinking walnut with laminated maple strips would look cool....
This is fun.