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Senior Member from MN
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Being the only woodworker in the family, I am excited to report that I will likely get my father-in-law's wood lathe when they downsize homes this fall.

Having not spent much time in his shop, and no time on the lathe, I am not sure of the size or brand. But it's bigger than a mini, and likely about 30-40 inches long.

I'm excited to give it a whirl - so to speak :turned:. I know nothing about turning. So I have a question:

What reference book might you suggest? Is there a "Bible" of woodturning?

We have Rocker and Woodcraft stores nearby. I can also order online. I hope to take a class at Rockler or Woodcraft next winter after the summer settles down.
 

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Forgotten but not gone
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Send a PM to Burlkraft or Daren. Both guys turn (as do others here but I can't remember who they are ) and both are knowledgable.

Undoubtedly they simply haven't seen the question yet because they are both qualified to answer it I bet. Both are self taught and both talented I bet they know of a good reference book.
 

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Daveb,

Like you I am new to woodturning. However, I was fortunate to be turned on the a Book by Richard Rafin. You can get his and/or others at your local Woodcraft Store.

Be vary careful. Woodturning is very addictive. I have been accused of moving my bed next to my lathe.

Good luck,

Butch
 

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Senior Member from MN
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Great! Thanks, Butch! I'll look it up.

I suppose it covers safety tips (like no neck ties)?

Timbers - I will wait to PM until I have it in my hands and know the brand.
 

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Daveb

Dave
Welcome to the turning world if you decide to join our ranks. There are several things you need to decide before you start turning. What type of turning do you want to do? Spindle turning or bowl turnings. I do mostly bowls. Turning isn't cheap and can get pretty expensive if you get addicted like I have. You need some tools but more important you need to learn to sharpen each tool properly or you won't turn anything. Don't let me frighten you off by saying this, you just need to know what your willing to spend and how much time you want to devote to turning. Most of us are self taught and you can do the same thing. I don't have any personal friends who are turners so I just talk to the guy at Woodcraft that gives classes. He was very helpful to me. If you joined a turning club, that would be the best. If you want to turn bowls I would recommend you get a good sharp bowl gouge and a hunk of wood recently cut from a tree. Cut to size and turn a bowl about five inches in diameter and 3''tall. Practice with the gouge and you will be surprised how soon you learn to hollow out a bowl.You need to learn to apply the gouge to the wood properly or your gonna get a catch that will make you wet your pants. Practice that for a few bowls and your on your way. Buy the proper tools one at a time as you learn a little rather than spending a bunch of money on a bunch of chisels you might never use. If you want you can e-mail me as you learn a little and have questions as how to progress. If you want to see some of my turnings check my work out on my gallery. I started turning last November but have been a wood worker all my life. Good Luck Mitch
 

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Senior Member from MN
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Mitch!

I am certain he will send his chisels with the lathe. So we'll see what I get! Why do you recommend fresh cut wood? Is wet wood easier to work, less chipping?
 

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Daveb

Hi Dave
Yes I recommend fresh cut wood, like you say because it is easier to turn, and much more satisfying to the person turning it. If your tools are sharp you practically peel the wood off in long strips like peeling an apple.Exciting. When I started I had no wood so I bought some 2x8 wood at home depot and cut square pieces, 5"x5" , glued them together and used a compass to draw the biggest circle I could and cut the circle out on a bandsaw and used this to turn.You can practice turning using this method and it doesn't cost an arm and a leg to buy turning blocks. If you go this route, one tool you should have is a heavy inboard scraper. If you want, I will tell you how to turn the scraper tool into a cutting tool and you will advance as a turner much faster than you will with a gouge. Not near the chance of getting a catch with a scraper so your not frightened by a catch and your confidence at the lathe soars. Like I say Dave, if you want to keep in touch I could make suggestions as your progress. As you turn there are always new questions that come into your mind. Whatever you do good luck and turn safely.:thumbsup: Mitch BTW is the lathe a mini lathe or a larger one? I taught myself on a Jet mini lathe using the wood like I described and made some beautiful bowls etc.
 

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Senior Member from MN
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
OK, here's an update. I picked up the lathe (and a load of other stuff) from my father-in-law last weekend and it's a Sears Craftsman. I also got 4-5 chisels and box of misc. parts. He had it mounted to a 2' x 4' table packed with ingenuity. Also mounted were a grinder, bench band saw, bench drill press, bench jointer. I took it all even though I already have a larger drill press. Now I have two. Actually, I declined the mini jointer b/c it's old the motor needs replacing. It will be a few weeks before I get the table into the basement shop and all hooked back together. I have no idea where all of this is going to fit in my small space. This weekend will be consumed by plumbing, and I am still working on finishing and then hanging cabinets over the laundry area. So no turning experiments in the very near future.
 

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Senior Member from MN
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Further update. On Christmas day I got some time, read the manual, made some alignments, and then turned it ON! I grabbed a small 1x1x10 length of maple from the shop floor and tried out a couple of the tools (dull). I didn't expect much, and the results were crude. But it was very interesting. I now appreciate that turning takes quite a talent and experience to produce what you guys are posting.

One specific problem I had was that there is some play to the tool rest, toward and away from the spindle, even when the adjustment levers are cranked down. The movement comes from the "slide" that attaches the tool rest to the cylindrical base of the lathe. It rocks slightly. I still need to fiddle with it some more.

Soon I will buy a book or video or maybe take a class. I also need to get a better grinder (or new wheel) so I can sharpen the tools.

Does the Wolverine system mount to any grinder?
 

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Re the movement.. I am not familiar with this type of bed but I would suggest making a rubber filler( from a bicycly inner tube) that closes the gap between the tool rest and the bed
 

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Senior Member from MN
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
OK I can take a hint.

Here is the setup. There is no room in the shop area so the table currently sits next to the laundry. My father-in-law packed a lot in a small space. There is even a small tool drawer on one end. I like the light.

The stack of wood came with!

As you can see, I just clamped on a very small piece of maple (I am a wood miser) and tried some tools.
 

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