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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm currently using a Shopsmith mark V with the lowest speed being at 700rpm. They have an attachment to bring it down to 100rpm, I don't wanna put any more money into it so I just put it on Craig's list for sale...

Some of the lathes I've been looking at only go down to 500rpm. I'm just a beginner but I'm thinking that's still to fast. Do I need to be looking for a lathe with at least 100rpm?
 

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Some folks like to turn fast. I am not in this camp.

I consider a 12in bowl blank to be large. How fast you can go with the lathe depends on how rough and out of balance the piece is.

I recently worked on coring a 14in bowl blank with a friend. He had trued up the blank at home, but despite the shape being round, the wood had different density between sap wood area and heart wood area.

We did not get to 300 rpm. Too much vibration.

My lathe minimum speed is 100 rpm. I rarely go down this low but I like having this option.

I will start more often at 250 rpm and then speed up as the vibration and lather bouncing gets under control.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, I've been looking at a jet and a nova if anybody has any recommendation for a lathe. Feel free to brag on yours
 

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I too started on a shopsmith, still have it, but not to turn with.
The speed reducer is nice--not designed for turning, will slip a lot--found that out myself--don't buy it for that.
I turned a few large blanks on the shopsmith--not advisable, if the blank is juuuust a little unbalanced or out of round makes for a machine that dances across the floor--can be scary.
Plus if you get a big hang--the spindle WILL bend, costly knowledge there.
Best bet is look for a lathe--craiglsist is ok, ebay not so good unless its one your area--$hipping is usually too costly
I have more than one lathe now and like Dunc--a Nova 1624 followed me home one day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The 16-24 is the one I've had my eye on... I watched some youtube videos... Looks like the reverse comes in handy while sanding/finishing
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yea I had my Shopsmith dancing yesterday lol I had two old engine heads and a center section from my cuda weighing it down... Probably should have put it on you tube. Roughed my bowl out ended up being 10 1/2 dia. Flipped it to hollow it out and we'll... I don't know how Nothing broke but my projects are at a stand still lol
 

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A formula I was taught was diameter times speed should be between 6000 and 9000.
 

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I had a shopsmith. The lathe is the weakest part of that machine in my opinion. To fast to turn bowls, the tool rest is too flimsy and the tailstock is as bad or worse than the tool rest.
The Nova 16/24 is a great lathe. They improved everything I didn't like about my Nova 3000 and called it the 16/24 so it's hard not to recommend it. Price is good also.
for roughing 12" bowls 500 is about max. for finish cuts I'm probably on the higher end because I've been turning for 25 or more years and I'm guessing at the speed because I don't have a readout but it's probably around 1800. I would think a beginner would do well starting at about 300 rpm and finishing at about 1200.
 

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I have a 1624 also and it is a great lathe.
At that size I occasionally I start at 215 if it is really out of balance but I try to start at the 360. For most bowl turnings I only move the belt once, such as from 215 to 360 or 360 to 690.
My daughter was up over Christmas and she turned a 10" bowl from square end half log to finish at the 360. She still got good curlies at the 360. Higher speed does help sometimes and of course you can be more agressive.
Here is the chart from Teknatool. As you can see their suggested between round and rough is 400+ rpm difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all the help... I don't know of anywhere close to where I live to take a class on turning. My dad and I have just been watching youtube videos and of course the old trail and error method. Tread on y'all
 

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Thanks for all the help... I don't know of anywhere close to where I live to take a class on turning. My dad and I have just been watching youtube videos and of course the old trail and error method. Tread on y'all
Have you checked to see if there's a wood turning club in your area? The AAW website is a great starting point. Then try the website of the nearest club to where you live, and see if they have a "mentor" or outreach program to encourage new turners.

Stores like Woodcraft and Rockler often run classes.

And finally, there are several websites like this one -- where you could just post a message saying "newby in ***x, WV needs lessons". There's here, WoodBarter, WoodturnersUnlimited and I know there must be more out there.
 
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