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Discussion Starter #1
So my apologies on the subject, I know there is probably a ton of 'help me pick a 1st lathe' threads. But hey, whats one more.

I took a wood turning class over a couple of weekends, and realized I really enjoyed it. I am soon moving and will have enough space to have a lathe (and a few other machines). I dont really know where to begin though to be honest. I want to get a solid beginner lathe (making bowls and decent sized objects), one that won't leave me wanting a whole lot more, but also wont break the bank.

I ride bikes and know that price and quality are all over the place. I was hoping to keep the lathe around $400 or less ($300 would be ideal). What other tools are necessary (and what do they generally cost)?

I know ill need a set of chisels and a couple chucks (?), but are any other big ticket items required? I currently don't have a woodshop so thats all good to be know upfront.

thanks
 

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I would suggest the Grizzly 12x20 bench top lathe. Model G0658. It is $450 and is a pretty decent lathe. Most other lathes I've seen in this price range are junk.
 

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Your best bet would be to check "craigslist" daily, query lathe/woodturning/woodworking, etc. If you are lucky you will find a decent lathe that will come with gouges, etc. to get you started at a good price for the whole thing...ken
 

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john lucas said:
I would suggest the Grizzly 12x20 bench top lathe. Model G0658. It is $450 and is a pretty decent lathe. Most other lathes I've seen in this price range are junk.
I think this is great advice. I have the Grizzly Model G0647 10x16 version, which is a little small. For only $75 more, the G0658 will last you a long time as a first lathe, then later as you small lathe when you add a full size version.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I think I have decided to go with the jet 1220 lathe. I realized I would rather get a better built one, and that has great reviews. I am going to continue the CL search and see if anything comes up for cheap.

My next issue is sharpening and the actual tools. Is there a go to brand of tools that are good quality for the price? And what would I need for the chuck starting out?
 

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Turning Wood Into Art
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I think I have decided to go with the jet 1220 lathe. I realized I would rather get a better built one, and that has great reviews. I am going to continue the CL search and see if anything comes up for cheap.

My next issue is sharpening and the actual tools. Is there a go to brand of tools that are good quality for the price? And what would I need for the chuck starting out?
Sharpening - look at Captain Eddie on YouTube. Amongst other things he has a $2 sharpening jig he shows you how to make. A wealth of information on his YouTube channel

Chisels - Robert Sorby are one of the best IMHO

Chuck - Nova Scroll chuck from what most people seem to say.
 

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These questions have been asked in many threads.

Gary Gardner has a 6 part series on sharpening many types of woodworking tools. This is the first part, you should be able to find the others on YouTube from this one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ljhd_WbAOw

NOVA are perhaps a good value for the money. My friend has a NOVA chuck not sure if the SuperNOVA2 or the G3. It was a package from Woodcraft with 3 sets of jaws. Be aware you will want multiple jaws to fit various wood diameters.

I have two Oneway Talon chucks. More expensive, but I think more robust. You pay's your money and you takes your choice.
 

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My next issue is sharpening and the actual tools. Is there a go to brand of tools that are good quality for the price?
Zrossiter,

There are a few excellent brands available ,
and many cheap and nasties ....
The trick is to buy your chisels , gouges ,skews etc , individually , as you need them .
They don't have to be brought as a set , nor be all from one manufacturer (some turners find that one or two of the set hardly get used beyond the test drive).

For instance , the tool I used more that any other , for bowl and spindle work , is a 1/2" (ex round bar stock) gouge.
It also serves as a reasonably robust roughing gouge .
That particular model has a replaceable tip.


Its the only tool I have in that style , the rest being old ex flat bar tools.

These days I use a sharpening jig set up with my bench-grinder , with the finest white stone I could find on it .

Jock

PS . Apologies for the oversized photo , it was that or nothing
 

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Discussion Starter #10
thanks for the replys, I know this is probably another can of worms but are there any grinders that are the 'go-to' for turning. I am thinking 8" wheels, but besides that don't really know.

I am quickly learning this hobby is not for the cheap at heart...thankfully my birthday is about a month away :laughing:
 

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thanks for the replys, I know this is probably another can of worms but are there any grinders that are the 'go-to' for turning. I am thinking 8" wheels, but besides that don't really know.
Like everything in a hobby, many different options, some folks prefer one, others prefer another. I do not feel there is a single "go to".

Options include :
a) High speed grinders, like the 8in you mention. This may be the most common. Within this group a new series of wheels "CBN" which are machined flat and stay flat.
b) Low speed grinders, e.g., Tormek and copies
c) Sand paper based, like the Worksharp 3000 which I use with the Tormek jigs.
d) Belt sander. Some folks use 1in belt, others use wider belt.

Purchasing the machine is the start. Many folks then purchase jigs to make it easier to sharpen. Hand sharpening is possible, but takes experience to get a consistent grind.
 

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Turning Wood Into Art
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thanks for the replys, I know this is probably another can of worms but are there any grinders that are the 'go-to' for turning. I am thinking 8" wheels, but besides that don't really know.

I am quickly learning this hobby is not for the cheap at heart...thankfully my birthday is about a month away :laughing:
I'm very interested in trying a CBN wheel on a regular bench grinder with jigs
 

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jet lathe

If I had to start over an knew what I know now

I would purchase the new Jet lathe 12x21 with extension. It has and will do everything you can imagine I own 2 jet lathes best piece of equipments I ever bought and operated. Try Rockler and or woodcraft for specks.
Ron Marietta Ga
 

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I'm also new to wood turning, but I've already purchased my Lathe. I bought a cheap 12x48 Lathe and stand from Harbor Freight for right around $100. It has a cheap bed, and the stand is enough to "get by." The other day I was at HF and they have a similar lathe, but it looks much better. It has a Cast Iron bed. It was around $275. I cannot remember if it comes with a stand or not, but the stand it was on wasn't much better than the one I have now.
 

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I'm also new to wood turning, but I've already purchased my Lathe. I bought a cheap 12x48 Lathe and stand from Harbor Freight for right around $100. It has a cheap bed, and the stand is enough to "get by." The other day I was at HF and they have a similar lathe, but it looks much better. It has a Cast Iron bed. It was around $275. I cannot remember if it comes with a stand or not, but the stand it was on wasn't much better than the one I have now.
If you are talking about the 12x33 at hf..it does come with a stand..and it is WORLDS better than the 12x48..i had the 48 first..took it back after 3 days. Got the 33..works great.
 

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It may have been the 12x33, I didn't look too close, I saw the cast iron bed and looked at the price, and finished the rest of my shopping...

I have only used the 48 a few times, and I am also a novice beginner so I wouldn't know great from horrible..
 

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It may have been the 12x33, I didn't look too close, I saw the cast iron bed and looked at the price, and finished the rest of my shopping...

I have only used the 48 a few times, and I am also a novice beginner so I wouldn't know great from horrible..
My 48 with a balanced piece of wood and slowest speed would walk across the garage. And it had no power..might have just been mine...but i upgraded and i love it. Granted its only been a month....but so far so good.
 
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