Wood Shows #2: Ah, wood shows

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by MsDebbieP posted 01-27-2007 11:52 PM 2222 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Canadian Home Workshop Show Part 2 of Wood Shows series Part 3: Canadian Home Workshop Show (2) »

Yes, today Rick and i headed to a woodshow in the region. We went to check out lathes. Lathes… hmm that’s an interesting topic. Let’s go there for a moment. We first looked at lathes in our local big box store and asked about lathe tools. They don’t carry them. “Why not?” we asked. Well, it seems that once someone buys their lathe tools they don’t usually by many more so they don’t sell a lot. Ok. That makes sense—almost. They probably don’t sell many people a second or third lathe but they carry them!! I’m sure there are reasons behind the logistics of it all but in my mind if I was going to sell a lathe I would carry as many sets of lathe tools as I had lathes.

Anyway, back to the wood show. Now, I’m not sure if the trip was as rewarding as I thought it would be. Looking at all the carvings and amazing woodburning pieces of art was a little intimidating. It’s not like on here where I can “ooh ahh” over the pictures of your amazing projects, hoping that one day I can make something that is half as wonderful. Because it was “real”, in-my-face skill, I felt quite inadequate and naive in my quest to be a woodworker.

Now, I’m not saying this to get some “Oh Debbie.. of course you can do it… don’t give up” statements. I am just pointing out that seeing stuff online is so much different than being near it (and touching it, if possible) in person.

From here my thoughts revert back to the creations the LumberJocks have shown and I can’t imagine what they must look like in 3-D form. If they are jaw-dropping amazing online, they must make the old ticker skip a few beats when you are in their very presence.

To everyone posting their beautiful projects—my hat is off to you.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

11 comments so far

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4690 days

#1 posted 01-28-2007 03:41 AM

Debbie, a word of caution in purchasing a lathe. There are many on the market. Hope you’ve done your homework before buying.

One piece of advice – don’t buy one too small. There is a tendency for new turners to purchase small lathes first. These are usually only good for turning very small items like pens. Get one that has a one meter lathe bed. Variable speed is nice, but you cans save quite a bit of money purchasing one that requires you to change the belt over to three sets of pulleys to change speed.

Realize that to do some fancy turning you will requires special chucks to hold the wood.
A general rule of thumb when it comes to buying any woodworking tool is to buy the very best that you can afford. Often entry level equipment is of such marginal quality the the new user becomes frustrated and discouraged, giving up before they get started.

The extent of lathe accessories can well exceed the cost of the lathe. (I don’t understand the big box’s strategy either.) Other than a good set of chisels, putt off purchasing these accessories until you’ve learned the basics of turning. And the best place to learn this is at your local turning club – there are many around.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4674 days

#2 posted 01-28-2007 04:11 AM

thanks for the tips, Don.
Rick has done lathe work in his past and we have been shopping around for a few months now, looking at the new features etc.
We are definitely looking for Big – to keep the options open as to what we create. I think we are going to go with the variable speed.

i have no idea what all needs to be purchased to go along with the lathe but Rick has a good idea. We just needed to explore what is on the market today.

We did find a place that sells all of the materials needed for lathe work and the store is only an hour away, Yippee.

What was interesting, when we talked to the sales lady was that she said that lathe work in Canada seems to be take place in “pockets” across the country. After I thought about it I realized that at this wood show we saw several lathe demonstrations and an hour in the opposite direction the lathe demonstrations last year were all hand carving. Interesting.

Anyway, I really appreciate your support. I share all of these tidbits with Rick, to either update his knowledge or reaffirm what he already knows. We BOTH appreciate the advice.

Thank you so much.

PS. I did see a tiny little lathe for doing miniature work. It was so cute.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 4675 days

#3 posted 01-28-2007 11:25 PM

I bought a Jet lathe a few years ago at the local Woodcraft store. The lathe was $799 at the time, a good price for a 42 in length solid bed with solid cast iron legs.

Like Don said, the cost of the accessories can go past the cost of the lathe itself. I have not bought too many items, just a tool set, a Novatool chuck, extra chuck jaws, and a few extra skews and gouges. While they have not yet topped the cost of the lathe, it will not take too many more purchases to do that.

I like the speed changer on this lathe. I just have a handle to turn to adjust the speed to one of 6 presets. So far, it has given me all I need to work with.

I think the small lathes would have a place, especially for someone wanting to do small items. While I can turn pens on this lathe, it seems like a bit of an overkill. A small one would be a nice size if you were just turning pens and small bowls.

Good luck on your purchase. Lathe turning is fun.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4674 days

#4 posted 01-29-2007 12:56 AM

Since I have never used a lathe I have no idea what I will end up making on it—I want to make some bowls (and boxes of course… just a box, any box).
Rick’s really excited and looking forward to trying his hand at it again.

Still researching.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Obi's profile


2213 posts in 4750 days

#5 posted 01-29-2007 03:50 AM

I’m still waiting on the economical advantage to buying a lathe. Is there a big market for turned pens, vases, and bowls?

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4690 days

#6 posted 01-29-2007 05:02 AM

Debbie, here’s one of the best lathes made, a Stubby Omega
Canadian distributor. [email protected]

Another good Aussie Lathe: Vicmark VL175. (I own an earlier model of this.) email [email protected] for nearest Canadian distributor.

In my opinion, the Oneway is the best North American made lathe, ie, made in Canada.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4674 days

#7 posted 01-29-2007 01:41 PM

why, the “oneway” is in Stratford – an hour away!! and a distributor is at town about 30 min. away—- I’ve just never been there.
Thank you so much for this info, Don… we’ll be taking a little trip, for sure.

(getting excited)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4824 days

#8 posted 01-30-2007 12:20 PM

Debbie you may want to see my write up on the Ridgid lathe. The cost was more affordable than most for the quality of the machine and it has a lifetime warranty. Oneway is a very expensive lathe and probably well worth the money if you’re to make a living with it.

An economical advantage, Obi? I guess it’s the same one that you get with a tablesaw, bandsaw or any other machine in your shop. Besides allowing one to turn their own chair, table, bed legs; spindles for rails or for decrative additions to other projects, one can turn bowls, plates, letter openers, oven rack pullers, knobs, pepper mills, pens, candle holders, gobblets, etc. One only needs to use one’s imagination as in other woodworking. There are Christmas ornaments, humming bird feeders, and jewelry that have been turned on the lathe, also.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4674 days

#9 posted 01-30-2007 01:30 PM

thanks Os..
the other company up here is “General”.
Since we aren’t “going into business” we will probably just go with the cheaper one but then as Rick put it, “I’ve worked hard all my life and now that I’m retired I want a few perks”.. maybe his lathe will be one of them..

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4813 days

#10 posted 01-30-2007 02:09 PM

If you haven’t read this, check it out. _This is just a rub to remind people of the good old days._LOL

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4674 days

#11 posted 01-30-2007 02:22 PM

again, it’s not the tool that makes art but the artist holding the tool ..

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics