Lathe Questions

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Blog entry by JuniorJoiner posted 02-17-2009 05:41 AM 1323 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I hate to ask such an open ended question, But here it is.

I have never turned before, but it is about time i started. i want to add turned parts to my furniture soon, so i had better get practicing.
No one like to spend money twice, so i want top quality and versatility.
I asked my local master, and he suggested(told me to get) a oneway lathe.
My thoughts have me leaning towards the sherline machinist lathe for it’s size as i start, and hopefully it will still be useful as i become more proficient.
the only other lathe i have seriously looked at is the hegner. But i really don’t want to lose the shop space to a larger lathe until I have more experience with turning.

I would like to hear comments from anyone who has used any of these machines, or suggestions of other top quality machines to consider.


-- Junior -Quality is never an accident-it is the reward for the effort involved.

7 comments so far

View DocK16's profile


1200 posts in 5539 days

#1 posted 02-17-2009 07:19 AM

I can appreciate you not wantin to spend money twice but buying a Oneway is like buying your sixteen year old a Ferrari to learn how to drive a stickshift. Start slow get used Jet or delta, spend you money on a good set of turning tools. They will last a lifetime. Most of all read, watch some videos go to a weekend seminar….LEARN, there’s a lot more to turning than buying an expensive lathe.

View JuniorJoiner's profile


497 posts in 4892 days

#2 posted 02-17-2009 07:39 AM

i’m lucky enough to actually have a master to instruct me. i need the lathe to practice on in my own shop because he sure isn’t going to let me use his(some uber expensive custom made job with a 2 and 1/2 inch shaft and tapered bearings)
money is really not part of the issue. i want quality , and not to be able to blame the tool if i cannot master a technique. I have had that issue too many times.

-- Junior -Quality is never an accident-it is the reward for the effort involved.

View kiwi1969's profile


608 posts in 4894 days

#3 posted 02-17-2009 02:58 PM

i would love to have had a ferrari to learn how to use a stick. If money is not the issue why are you wasting time asking the question? Get the oneway and a good set of tools and ask your master all the questions you can think of ,pester him if need be. Turning ain,t a “black art” once you have the basics.
I openly admit to being a bit crap at turning, but then I never practiced. you have the chance to jump right in. What are you waiting for?

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

View jeffthewoodwacker's profile


603 posts in 5256 days

#4 posted 02-17-2009 03:08 PM

If money is not the issue buy the Oneway or a big powermatic. It will make no difference what kind of lathe you use if you don’t purchase quality tools and learn how to properly sharpen then. I have been turning and teaching others to turn for a long time and I can’t even begin to tell you how many people who have wanted to learn how to turn quit because they were frustrated with their tools. I would recommend either taking a sharpening class or finding someone who is good at sharpening their tools and spend time and energy learning how to keep your tools maintained. The best lathe in the world will never overcome a dull tool.

-- Those that say it can't be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

View JuniorJoiner's profile


497 posts in 4892 days

#5 posted 02-17-2009 07:26 PM

well everyone who commented seems to think the oneway is the best, so i guess that is an easy decision.
start calling to find one today.
thanks for the tips.

-- Junior -Quality is never an accident-it is the reward for the effort involved.

View Thomas H Griffith's profile

Thomas H Griffith

2 posts in 4837 days

#6 posted 02-18-2009 06:31 PM

I turn pens, I realize that I probably don’t need the muscle you may need to turn furniture parts, but I did want to put my two cents in about quality. I bought a small midi Jet lathe about 5 years ago, on sale of course. I am a little bit tight, at least that is what my friends say. It has been the one thing in my life that has lived up to all expectations. Many happy hours of turning, not one moment of grief. Just my two cents.

-- Tom, Alabama,

View pinkfish's profile


173 posts in 5123 days

#7 posted 02-20-2009 02:23 AM

I use a jet mini-lathe too, got mine second hand. It works wonderfully well. I can make small bowls and plates and things with, it only has a 10’ swing, but it does a great job for items up to this size. My favourite shop purchase so far, although my other recent happy purchase was a bosch jigsaw, finally a jigsaw that actually works.

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