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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My gf bought me a lathe for christmas and i get to use it now. She is AWWSOME. She,like me, have limited funds. Very limited. So what she did for me means everything. She bought the 12x33 harbor freight one. Its in my van. Very heavy to carry alone to my basement. I cant wait.

If anyone has the same lathe what should i look out for when assembling it?

Also. Since i have never turned anything. What would be some beginer tips? My gf has an interest in trying to make a bowl. I want to do some pepper mills, pens, and table legs

Thank you.
 

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My gf bought me a lathe for christmas and i get to use it now. She is AWWSOME. She,like me, have limited funds. Very limited. So what she did for me means everything. She bought the 12x33 harbor freight one. Its in my van. Very heavy to carry alone to my basement. I cant wait.

If anyone has the same lathe what should i look out for when assembling it?

Also. Since i have never turned anything. What would be some beginer tips? My gf has an interest in trying to make a bowl. I want to do some pepper mills, pens, and table legs

Thank you.
I've had that same lathe for a couple of years. Lessons that I learned:

(1) I never once used the platform that sticks out behind the headstock, so I took it off because I kept bumping into it.

(2) There's lots of machine oil that you must remove before using the lathe. "Goof off" and lots of paper towels works.

(3) Wax the ways (MinWax or Johnson's paste wax) so the tailstock and the tool-rest banjo slide easily.

(4) Test to make sure that the headstock and tailstock are accurately aligned. Put the spur drive in the headstock and the live center in the tailstock, and slide the tailstock up till the points are real close. They should be almost touching tip-to-tip -- if one is higher than the other, take it back and get a replacement. If one is left/right of the other, see if you can adjust the headstock by loosening the clamp bolt and twisting it a little, then clamp it tight again. If you can't get them to line up, take it back and get a replacement.

You might as well do this before going to the trouble of cleaning off all the machine oil and waxing the ways.

(5) When you're using the lathe, always return the speed control to the slowest setting before you turn off the motor. With this type of variable speed control (called a Reeves Drive) you cannot change the speed unless the motor is running -- and it's always safer to start the lathe on a slow speed than a high speed (in case the workpiece is unbalanced or similar.)

(6) Don't even think of doing any work on the lathe without a face shield and safety glasses. Very experienced turners have had nasty accidents, and your safety must come before anything else. I have THIS ONE and it's comfortable & meets the ANSI Z87.1-2003 safety rating.

HTH -- turn safe, have fun.
 

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Hello Mastersplinter, I have had the model HF lathe that you mention for some time now. It has been a good machine especially for the price. I have turned 100's of projects with it and it does a decent job. With that written I need to write the few bad things I've encountered(along with others) The reeves drive can be a pain in the butt, can be touchy and breaks easy. I have had to work on mine and am now going to have to replace a few parts(can get these from grizzly). When working the speed control lever GO EASY, do not force it into position, kind of let it ride itself up or down, GENTLE PRESSURE. I also see you might be interested in turning bowls, start small, this machine is not really setup for large bowls. Not saying they can not be done but you'll need to go easy, the motor is small(that is another down fall for this size machine).
I also own the 10X18" HF lathe and have to say the quality of that machine is better, it's just smaller.

I would also like to suggest your tools and how sharp you keep them will make a HUGE difference. Do you know how to sharpen? I have many different ways to take care of my tools but one of the simplest things I've made is a disk sander that connects to the lathe, keeps my bowl gouges scrapers etc.... razor sharp. I also do not have a problem with free hand sharpening some folks can not do this, something you'll have to figure out. Any other questions please ask and I'll do my best to help.
 

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I just aquired this lathe a couple weeks ago. I guess I got pretty lucky, based on a lot of what I had read, because aside from assembling the silly little sheet metal base, set-up was a breeze. I will say this, in regards to the "silly little base": either build a shelf and ballast it in some fashion(sandbags, concrete bags, bricks, anvils, whatever), bolt it to the floor(if possible), scrap the base altogether and mount the lathe on something substantial(old cast-iron stand from another lathe, big HEAVY workbench, etc.), or better yet, do all three! It's a great machine for the price, for sure, but as mentioned previously, you should be prepared to tinker a bit(as with any HF tool). For me, this is part of the fun; I'm a bit of a Dr. Franken-tooler, and even though the existing lathe is operational, I'm already looking for ways to modify and upgrade. It's great that your lady is so supportive. Mine is scared of my machines, but still very supportive of my "endeavors". Have fun!
 

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Another tip ... get in touch with the folks at Western Massachusetts Woodturners Club -- LINK to their website.

You're in luck -- their next meeting is next week, in West Springfield.

I've found turners to be very supportive of folks wanting to learn, some give their time as mentors, all will help one way or another. And a person holding your elbow and saying "rotate the gouge this way a bit, lift your elbow" is a lot more useful that any number of videos (IMO).
 

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Feel free to look up any of my videos. I've geared them to try and answer the questions a new turner will have. Just go to www.youtube.com and in the block at the top type in john60lucas and it will bring them up. The most useful for you will be the sharpening videos and the one on Coves, turning a wine stopper, and the skew.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wow! Thank you guys for all the wonderful info.

Duncsuss.... i ordered that face mask and plan to attend the meeting next wednesday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wow! Thank you guys for all the wonderful info.

Duncsuss.... i ordered that face mask and plan to attend the meeting next wednesday.
 

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A number of getting started threads on the forum. Worth searching to see them.

A video I recommend is this one by Mike Peace is long about 1 1/2hr, but for a person getting into woodturning, this explains the many methods of chucking wood. Any project you do on the lathe requires that you hold the wood in some manner. In many cases there are different methods needed throughout the project.

This would have helped my learning curve if I had seen this at the beginning.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUXil-5dEeo

A 6 part series on sharpening by Gary Gardner on sharpening. This is the first part. I think most of us have some tools which need sharpening.

A thread some weeks ago where a new turner did not appreciate how fast tools get dull. Not months, can be minutes depends on the wood. You need to have a method to keep the edge on the tools fresh.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ljh...ure=plpp_video
 

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Duncsuss.... i ordered that face mask and plan to attend the meeting next wednesday.
That one does meet Z87.1 so it must withstand a one inch steel ball dropped from 50 inches. No velocity test required.

Amazon also has this one.... with the + rating. (Z87.1+)
Must withstand a 1.3 pound Pointed object dropped from the same 50 inches. However, it must also pass a velocity test of a 1/4" steel ball projected at 100 miles per hour.

I would spend the $10 more.
 
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Just a quick note on the Reeves drive system.
I have it on my Grizz lathe. If you keep it clean, blow the dust out, and keep the shafts lubed properly, it'll work just fine.
Mine's been in service for about 10 years.
Keep in mind that the lathe is probably the least expensive of all the tooling, sharpening, chucking devices that you'll need.
Keep your tools sharp, be careful, and enjoy the lathe experience.
Bill
 

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To build on Robert's reply.

Big or imbalanced needs to start slow. You will soon appreciate if you put a blank on the lathe and the speed is too fast, the lathe will bounce around. If you are unlucky the wood will fly off the lathe.

As the wood is roughed down to be round, it will be more balanced and the speed can be increased.

Generally the tools cut better at faster speeds than slower speeds - but only if the sharp is sharp.

For sanding, slow things down. You want the sandpaper to be able to do the work. Too fast and too much heat and not enough sanding action.

A rule-of-thumb is diameter of wood (in inches) x speed (rpm) = 6,000 - 9,000

So for spindle work, 1 - 3in diameter you could go high speed. For bowl work, slower speed.

My lathe goes up to over 3,000 rpm. I have not turned about 1,500 rpm so far.
 

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on the box in which it arrived, the label states:

View attachment 82510
Glad you got one with the + rating. :thumbsup: The listing did not give that info that I could find.

There is still another on Amazon with the + rating for $24.19
Guess the description may be up to the seller. I know that some people posted on forums that the one they had did not have the + embossed in the shield as required, others did.
S8500 Uvex By Sperian Bionic Face Shields: Amazon.com: Automotive
 

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Glad you got one with the + rating. :thumbsup: The listing did not give that info that I could find.
I couldn't find it either, so I checked it out on the Honeywell/Sperian/Uvex site. I had to take it on faith that a mask called "S8500" was the same as any other mask called "S8500" :laughing:

The downside to the one you linked to is the shipping adds $16 to the "cheaper" price ... I got free shipping as my order total was well over the $35 qualifying threshold by the time I added in a spare lathe drive belt and Dick Sing's book on turning ornaments.
 

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Glad you got one with the + rating. :thumbsup: The listing did not give that info that I could find.

There is still another on Amazon with the + rating for $24.19
Guess the description may be up to the seller. I know that some people posted on forums that the one they had did not have the + embossed in the shield as required, others did.
S8500 Uvex By Sperian Bionic Face Shields: Amazon.com: Automotive
Whats the difference between the S8500 and the S8510?
 
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