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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well its looking like the day has finally arrived and I may be buying a lathe soon. I already have the machine I think I'd like to get in mind. Its one of those mini-lathes which will be both a good fit for my present needs and something I can store out of the way when not in use.

My question is, as I am just getting started and have no idea how to actually turn things, which 3 or 4 chisels would be best to get to start out? I figure that some kind of parting tool is needed, but what other tools are absolutely "must haves" for turning small items like pens, bottle stoppers, and other small parts like wheels for children's toys?

Thanks in advance.
 

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A post similar a few days ago, although the poster was asking about pens only.

A thread on getting started.

Where to start

One on getting started with pen turning.
Pen Turning - Getting Set Up

Sawdustfactory made a tutorial thread on turning pens.
Pen turning tutorial as promised

Must-have's will differ based on the turner's likes and dislikes.

For small turning projects like you mention, a detail gouge, roughing gouge, skew and scraper would come to my mind. Skew is a powerful tool, but can also be a worst enemy.

For parting tools, I like a diamond parting tool. The diamond shape cross section has minimal heat build-up. I have a thin 1/16in parting tool, but it gets too hot. I use it to define a groove on the piece, then use a hard back hand saw to cut off the item.

Don't forget sanding. Another recent thread on this topic.
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f6/turning-sanding-finishing-reversing-54555/
 

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If all your going to turn is small items then get yourself a mini carbide tool set. Lol.. But seriously Its hard to say what tools you need to start with. I bought an 8 piece hss set from harber freight and only use 3 of the 8 tools there. For small stuff like pens, i use the hss roughing gouge then finish with carbides ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys. Stupid me didn't know what to search for, so I jumped ahead and asked. Right now I'm looking to turn wheels, tires, and small parts for toys. Pens and other such stuff will come later once I learn how to actually use a lathe as it is the one tool I've only seen in action and never done myself.
 

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johnnie52 said:
Thanks guys. Stupid me didn't know what to search for, so I jumped ahead and asked. Right now I'm looking to turn wheels, tires, and small parts for toys. Pens and other such stuff will come later once I learn how to actually use a lathe as it is the one tool I've only seen in action and never done myself.
Gonna need a detailer for sure than
 

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Since I have limited time availability for shop activities I really like to use carbide tools. ( yeah I can and do use the others--but carbide is just faster for me--waiting for the "cringe" from some of the guys) Check ebay if not in a hurry--always decent used tools on there--that's where I got mine.
Dave H
 

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cuerodoc said:
Since I have limited time availability for shop activities I really like to use carbide tools. ( yeah I can and do use the others--but carbide is just faster for me--waiting for the "cringe" from some of the guys) Check ebay if not in a hurry--always decent used tools on there--that's where I got mine.
Dave H
Whatever you are comfortable with, let it be time or expertise, do what works for you... Go carbides.. :)
 
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