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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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