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Where to start? (Read 949 times)
 
Mark Raymond
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Where to start?
Apr 13th, 2017 at 4:10pm
 
Hi,

I am a complete beginner, and not sure what to buy to start off with.  Most of the lathes I see on auction sites don't have chucks, for example.

Any recommendations on what I should look out for, and is 300 enough to get a decent enough lathe with everything I need to get started or should I save a little more?

Thank you,


Mark
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Don Stephan
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Re: Where to start?
Reply #1 - Apr 13th, 2017 at 7:09pm
 
A great first stop for a new turner can be a local or regional turning group.  Often you can see in action several different sizes and makes, and perhaps get a few minutes on different ones as a test drive.

If you are looking at used lathes (auction sites) you want to find out if the lathes take a morse taper (and if so which diameter) and the size and thread of the drive and tailstock spindles.  Here in the states the spindle size and thread might be 1.25"x8 as one example.  Chuck manufacturers often offer spindle adapters that match up a particular spindle size and thread count with the internal threads of the chuck.
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Guy Bratt
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Re: Where to start?
Reply #2 - Apr 13th, 2017 at 11:12pm
 
Hi Mark. Welcome to the vortex.
You don't need a chuck to start. A face plate that threads on to your spindle will work. You'll learn to attach waste blocks to the face plate then attach your blank to that.
A #2 Morse taper is popular as an M33 spindle.
That's a start.
Guy
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Len Mullin
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Re: Where to start?
Reply #3 - Apr 16th, 2017 at 12:17am
 
Mark, where to start? You should start by sitting down with a fellow turner and discuss turning. Or you could attend a turners club or gathering, and possibly get some turning lessons. The last place to start, is the buying of a lathe or the tools to work on a lathe with. You should know a bit about turning before you start to buy turning tools, or else, you will buy a lot of tools that you don't need. Most times a lathe doesn't come with a chuck, they are an after you buy the lathe purchase.
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Len Mullin
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Re: Where to start?
Reply #4 - Apr 16th, 2017 at 12:23am
 
Mark, I see this is your first posting on the site, welcome aboard, I hope you enjoy the site.
Len
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Eric Armstrong
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Re: Where to start?
Reply #5 - Apr 16th, 2017 at 10:32am
 
Mark: Your information doesn't show a location but, if you're anywhere near a Woodcraft store, look at what classes they have on woodturning. Fortunately, when I started, I lived near Allentown, PA and had a great instructor. We used the little JET lathes and that's still the only one I use. It will do most anything you want to do within the swing limits.
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Ken Vaughan
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Re: Where to start?
Reply #6 - Apr 16th, 2017 at 11:27am
 

Mark, your reference to pounds as currency suggest you are in the UK.

Some great turners there, and I enjoy reading the Woodturning magazine.  The advertisements in Woodturning show some good lathes,as well as some of the bottom end stuff we get for sale on the left side of the Atlantic.

The price/tax structure is different but there appear to be a number of smaller lathes that will fall into your range. 

It is good to connect with a local turning group, or with wood workers as those groups tend to also have woodturners amongst the members.

I have always wanted one of the Record Lathes with the solid steel rods for a bed.  Had a lathe with hollow tubes that was crap, so there is a difference.



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Arlin Eastman
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Re: Where to start?
Reply #7 - Apr 16th, 2017 at 1:42pm
 
Mark

Looks like you are in the UK.  Like others have said a turning club is the best and they have GREAT teachers there to help you.

Also the first five years of my turning I did not have a chuck but turned between centers and with a faceplate.

If you give me your location I will be able to find a club close to you.

Welcome and good luck

Cheers
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Mark Raymond
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Re: Where to start?
Reply #8 - Apr 16th, 2017 at 2:30pm
 
Hi there,

Thanks for all the replies!

Arlin - I am in South East London - so a club near here would be fantastic.

Thanks again,



Mark
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Mark Raymond
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Re: Where to start?
Reply #9 - Apr 16th, 2017 at 2:35pm
 
PS have ordered this - should arrive this week!

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Don Stephan
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Re: Where to start?
Reply #10 - Apr 16th, 2017 at 3:05pm
 
Mark

In addition to commercial products, there are probably thousands of turning videos on the Internet.  Occasionally they will show poor or even unsafe practices.  I heartily recommend however the videos on this web site - they have been previewed so you can watch with more confidence.

I'm not familiar with that author, but I have found the book and video combinations by Richard Raffan to be of lasting value.  Each helped me get started (turning, bowls, lidded boxes) but I find continuing value in going back to the book and/or video every few months.  Can't say that for many other books I have read or videos I have watched.
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Arlin Eastman
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Re: Where to start?
Reply #11 - Apr 16th, 2017 at 7:41pm
 
Mark

Here is a club in South London or pick another that maybe closer

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or this one

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when you click on the page it will show a list of clubs and at the bottom of each one you can click on the blue highlighted words which will bring you to the club that is closest to you.

Cheers
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« Last Edit: Apr 16th, 2017 at 7:43pm by Arlin Eastman »  

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Mark Raymond
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Re: Where to start?
Reply #12 - Apr 17th, 2017 at 4:54am
 
Thank you so much!

The Kent one even has training sessions for beginners - very exciting!
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Whilst I want to buy some kit straight away, I'm going to go to a session like that and actually try a lathe and speak to other woodturners before I actually do buy anything.  Whilst youtube videos are great, it's not the same as actually spending time with someone and actually doing it!




M
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Mark Raymond
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Re: Where to start?
Reply #13 - Apr 17th, 2017 at 4:57am
 
PS - for anyone else in the UK, here's a map of clubs:
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Glenn Matthies
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Re: Where to start?
Reply #14 - Apr 17th, 2017 at 6:23am
 
Mark Raymond wrote on Apr 17th, 2017 at 4:57am:
PS - for anyone else in the UK, here's a map of clubs:
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Wise move.  Thumbs Up  Wood turning equipment is often costly.  It's certainly a good idea to educate yourself before spending a lot of money.
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