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First Lathe (Read 1,087 times)
 
bellis
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First Lathe
Sep 16th, 2005 at 5:05am
 
Good Morning-
I'm new to this board so I thought I'd ask for some expert opinions on purchasing my first lathe. I don't want to buy something I need to replace after a short time. How does this Jet lathe look for a beginner?

Model JWL-1236
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Thanks in advance for your help I look forward to learning a lot in here.
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Rev. Doug Miller
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Re: First Lathe
Reply #1 - Sep 16th, 2005 at 5:56am
 
Bellis,

First, glad to have you with us.  You are entering into a vortex full of folks who are more than willing to help you along.  I believe you will find WR to be one of the friendliest boards concerning turning on the net.

Second, as the your first lathe, the Jet that youare looking at is a good lathe.  I believe that the others will chime in and agree with me that even for a first lathe, you should go ahead and buy all you can afford.  Generally, higher price means not only better quality, but more size as well.  The other thing you have to consider is what type of turning you plan to do.  If spindle turning, length of bed and ability to add a spindle steady rest are among important things to look for.  If you are planning on turning bowls, swing and power are more important. 

Tell us more about yourself and what you intend to turn and we might be able to answer your question better.  Again I think I can speak for the rest of the gang when I say welcome to the black hole we call turning.  And, welcome to WR!   8)
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bellis
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Re: First Lathe
Reply #2 - Sep 16th, 2005 at 7:14am
 
Thanks Rev-
I turned my first bowl last night and had a great time. I want to turn bowls, platters, pens etc. I am not exactly sure what "spindle work" is, so an expalnation would help. Sorry if some of my questions are basic, but last night was the first time I turned a lathe on.

Thanks again for the assistance.
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E. Bud Gillaspie
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Re: First Lathe
Reply #3 - Sep 16th, 2005 at 7:54am
 
Welcome, Billis: Spindle turning is usually turning a piece of wood with the grain parallel to the lathe bed, i.e., chair & table legs, railling supports, some vases, etc. The tailstock is always used to support the piece.

I assume that you either bought the 1236 or used a friend's lathe ("I turned my first bowl last night."). this is the "turner's rule:" Never "under buy", always "over buy." It's always a good idea to have the best lathe you can afford at the out-set. If all you can afford is a $600.00 lathe then that's the lathe for you. On the other hand, if you can afford a $2,400.00 lathe but think you had ought to start w/a cheaper lathe then you're wrong.

Within 3 years you'll be thinking, "Why didn't I buy a better lathe?" You have just entered the "up-grade zone." Why not avoid said zone if you can do so without put a strain on your finances?

You must also realize there are associated toys to buy, i.e., turning gouges, chuck, etc.

Read the "beaver lathe" thread.

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Philip Peak
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Re: First Lathe
Reply #4 - Sep 16th, 2005 at 8:06am
 
Welcome to the site Bellis. 

Here is link to the Beaver lathe thread that bud mentioned

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I think if you read through a lot of the older postings you'll see this is the one questions that gets asked more than any other and it is an important question so you can never have enough information. 

I would encourage you to take the time to to read through as much of the past postings as you can handle.  Personally, I think the Jet is a good machine and should provide you with years of enjoyment.
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bellis
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Re: First Lathe
Reply #5 - Sep 16th, 2005 at 9:34am
 
Question- Looking around on the internet at different lathes I have come across some terms I am not familiar with.

What is Outboard turning?
What does 12" Swing over bed mean?

Thanks again.
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Philip Peak
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Re: First Lathe
Reply #6 - Sep 16th, 2005 at 9:50am
 
Outboard turnign refers to turning other than over the bed of the lathe.  Some headstocks swivel and some slide to the end that can, with the right setup can allow you to exceed the rated capacity (swing of the lathe).

Swing refers to the max diameter you can turn over the bed of the lathe thus alathe with a 12" swing means there are 6 " from the top of the rails to the center of the headstock spindle giving you a max 12" diameter you theoretically should eb able to turn.  AS you will learn, it is usually not possible to turn the max size.  My lath has a 20" swing and the largest I have been abel to achieve is 19 3/4" diameter.
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JimQuarles
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Re: First Lathe
Reply #7 - Sep 16th, 2005 at 3:55pm
 
What you might want to do is check and see if there is a local turning club.  If so, check it out and visit with various member and see what they are using,  they may even let you try their lathes.  This way you can make sure that you are really going to want to invest in the equipment. 

You may find that your needs might be filled by a compact lathe like the Delta Midi, or Jet Mini.  Either way, expect to spend $500-$1000 beyond the lathe for Accessories and tools.  Chisels, Grinder, grinding jigs, Chuck, Calipers.  And then you get into needs like a bandsaw to precut blanks......

Also, they may have a member who is ready to move up to bigger or better equipment, and is interested in selling his old lathe.  An aquaintence just found a complete setup through a club.  A former member had passed away and his widow was looking for a buyer.  He got lathe, chisels, chucks, grinder, Wood, etc.  The Works!

JimQ
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