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OK, enough interest seems to be present for another Forum topic…How about Lathes?

Which one do you own? like it? hate it? why?

Which lathe is in YOUR dreams? :) If $$$ were no object!

Here's mine…just purchased a Jet 1220VS on halloween…been in front of it every waking moment since then! I'm hooked.
Gas Machine tool Machine Engineering Metal


I also have a set of Nova jaw chucks, but haven't tried them yet…

my 2nd turning…from Curly Maple…
Rolling pin Wood Burin Scratch awl Tool


and the next day…from Bubinga…
Wood Personal protective equipment Bag Ruler Human leg


This forum is for questions and answers…how to choose a lathe…how to use one…what sort of stuff do you like to turn? What cool accessories do you own? Please share all information you can so we can all learn faster…
 

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|I have never had a typical wood lathe. My dad ran his own turning business for 60 years. |We had production lathes. One was a cam operated lathe for small items like golf tees and wooden beads. One was a matison multi spindle progressive that was only set up once for spindles because the knives were cost prohibitive. The most consistently used in the beginning were two converted Atlas metal lathes. these made parts from 1/2"x1/2" to 5"x34". The "big" lathe was a converted American metal lathe with an Atlas head for speed that could do 24" diameter and 8' between centers up to 16 feet with a tagged tail stock. Two of the post blanks turned on this machine weighed over a ton. I still have one of the Atlas lathes. I got into metal working to keep his shop in jigs and fixtures for production runs and updating his equipment. I am looking to build a lathe from scratch somewhat like the Laguna but with some potential add ons. I hope to incorporate longitudinal Rose engine work by oscillating the crossfeed instead of rocking the spindle and tail stock. Pinning the headstock to the longitudinal feed is also in the plan like the legacy machine for spiral work. My profile picture is of my dad in front of the "big" Lathe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
REO, that's awesome! 16 feet between centers…sounds like a ton of chips!

I'd love to see photos of your built lathe as you get started..lots of good blogs in that project!
 

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I probably have a lot of silly questions, like….are most lathes powered by 110? And how many speeds are needed? assuming one is turning chunks of firewood type material from time to time, is there an ideal moisture level? I wont let all the questions out at once, but I do have tons.
 

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REO i bet those chisels/gouges for that big lathe must have been the size of slicks. probably a 4" roughing gouge. lol

I currently have 3 lathes. 2 vintage belt drive bench top lathe's and a powermatic 90 that i have to get working and all the parts still. Cant wait to get the PM90 up and running so i can do some nice bowls and bigger things.

No most lathes aren't powered by 110. there are also 220 and 3 phase. All depends on size and intended use.
My old belt drive lathes only have 4 speeds via a 4 step pulley. the new electronic variable speed lathes have a lot more.
I'd say you need at least 3 speeds.

You can turn green wood or dry wood. doesn't matter too much as far as i know. If its green when you turn it the shape will change significantly as it dries. You would leave it bigger or oversized let it dry then turn it to final shape. risks with doing that are it may crack and be ruined while drying. Dry wood is harder on the tools to turn and can splinter apart while turning. I've been turning mostly firewood and sometimes it will start out seeming like it's dry and when i get a few inches in it's wet.
I'm still learning about it so i may be corrected about this and has just been my short experience.

I'm looking into fabbing my own carbide cutter tools like the EWTs. Seems it would be easy enough to do and would be 1/4-1/3 the cost.
 

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I have a Nova 3000 Lathe, with Nova Super Chuck. I also have the variable speed attachment for the motor, so I can run between 0 & about 3300 RPM with just the twist of a dial. I also have a Sherline Mini Lathe dedicated to making pens. I have lathes for the past 10-12 years and am just now getting into turning seriously.

Waho60o9 if you are looking for carbide cutters or tools check out Captain Eddie's site - http://eddiecastelin.com/fallblowoutsale
 

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Have a jet 1642, love the EVS at time bought only lathe with EVS in my price range and still 110V. I do not see me buying new lathe unless this one dies. Current prices for this lathe too high whether 110V or 220V model.

My dream lathe would require bigger shop and access to 220V power supply. Wish list is endless, Oneway, Vicmarc just a couple lathes worth mentioning. If going by what could afford this might be it.

http://rikontools.com/productpage_70-450.htm
http://www.woodcraft.com/product/2082335/32793/rikon-20x37-woodfast-lathe-model-70425.aspx
 

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Whoa, this looking and sounding expensive. Do any of you guys that turn stuff, sell any of the items? I usually do some commission work, as time permits to off set tool and lumber costs. So I guess it would be nice to be able to sell stuff, when/if my skillz would allow it. If one is not using firewood or self harvested stuff, seems like the blanks and big chunks would be pretty spendy.

Bottom line, can a guy be up and running for a grand on 110 power w/accessories and tools that will allow for some growth and maybe still meet some long term unforseen needs? I would like to do handles, mallets, bowls and skill permitting segmented turnings.
 

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Captain Eddie's got some good videos on you tube too. His link is one of the many in the thread i linked to. From the prices and stock i've been looking into i'll probably just go through Captain Eddie to get my stuff any way.

ShaneA - Depends on how quickly you wanna be up and running. Buying all new, if you start with a midi lathe you can but you would be limited in the size of your bowl. Maybe a get an 8" bowl.
 

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Look at Stephen Mines lathe under Reciprocated Columns, or if you really want a new lathe to drool over
look at Ray Lawler of Raytown, Mo's new version of the Holtzapffel lathe, I have wanting one of these since
reading about them in a Popular Science magazine. They were only $8,000 each in 1974. For now my
dream lathe is the one I have a 1950's era Rockwell/Delta 39-6242 with the compound slide rest and sanding
table accessories. I still have to hook up the 3 phase Varidrive that came with the lathe, but one of these days.
 

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I am able to use skews, gouges and scrapers, and I have. the size of the lathe has nothing to d with the size of the cutting tool. The turning on the converted lathes was done with a tool bit sharpened for wood cutting and the cross feed screw was replaced with a lever. on the back side of the cross feed there is a follower finger that traces the template. In this way we could exactly duplicate an existing turning or make thousands that were identical from one run to the next. The "big" lathe was not 16 feet between centers. We would bolt a headstock down to the floor outboard of the lathe bed, turn one half and then flip the turning end for end to do the balance. We would clamp a skill saw in the cross feed and turn the column pretty slow,45-60 rpm.
http://i3.ytimg.com/vi/Z1sf00vxB3M/mqdefault.jpg
These are not very good but they give you an idea of what I am used to for equipment. My dad modified the two Atlas lathes in the early 1940's with rolling grip clutches so they don't have to be turned off to stop the material. Many times we wouldn't shut the lathe down accept for lunch and going home and as you can see in the one video o some runs we could load and unload with the spindle running engaged. In the one video the tool holder is turned around backwards. On the back end of the tool there is a carbide insert. I use this when the customer supplies natural edge blanks or there is no fine detail in the finished part. The cutting edge lasts much longer. For the epee handles and guards I get 60-80 pieces on plain tool steel cutters before sharpening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Bill, Thanks for the link to Eddie's site…prices look good to me! I'm still waiting to see how long my FIRST set of carbide cutters will last…but something says stock up now…

Ken, that Oliver is insane! :)



^My dream lathe for bowls…Vicmarc with 3hp…claims to hold 500 pound blanks…heavy on the pocketbook, however, around $8000…

Shane, you can definately get going for a grand! How good are ya at sharpening chisels? I see sets of vintage turning chisels on fleaBay all the time dirt cheap…I mean, $20+ shipping for a handful of old rusties…they just need some TLC! And, if you are willing to get by without fancy features…like indexing of the head stock, or VS…you should see lathes at Woodcraft or Rockler for less than $500. Just add fancy jaws or chucks later as you can afford.
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Shane, let me know when you're ready to buy. I've been doing much research on lathes and I can pretty much tell you all about what's out there now. CL sucks around here, doesn't it?
I just ordered the Delta 46-460 today. I got it for 659$, free shipping. If you want that one, you won't find it under 679$ so google the model and choose an older Amazon ad. They don't always clean up the older prices and you can save bucks that way.
 

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I would probably lack the confidence to buy used power equipment, unless it was some sort of an amazing deal, that I probably wouldn't even be able to tell. So I will probably look new.

Since I have the WS 3000 and a combo waterstone, I "should" be set up to sharpen. I am probably going to have to get a video or some books, to study up. Space will be the biggest obstacle, other than not knowing what the hell I am doing, of course. Looking forward to see some turnings Russ.
 

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Shane, I still have some shopping to do or I'll be turning with a sharp flathead screw driver. I watched a guy do a 18 inch walnut bowl on video and he just used some cheap tools and kept going to the grind stone to give them a sharpen once in a while.
 

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Hell's Yeah!!! I'm just getting back to the lathe, trying to get my skills back; translated, "catch city". I started my lathe with the chuck key in today. Not good. I'm making a kaleidoscope for a lady at work that's a freak about them; must have 100 in her office. Here's a cool pen I made after I killed the .50 set.
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If anyone is going to make a .50 pen from Penn State, you have to LEAVE the tube behind the turning. I trimmed it all the way down, thinking I was clever. Now I have a .50 casing with a cool bushing in it.
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Here's my setup for drilling the shaft (lol):
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Wood Gas Engineering Machine Machine tool

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I used a piece of tinted, stabilized elm burl. I love this stuff b/c you never know what you're going to get until the wheels stop turning. Took it to 3000 grit. I finished this one with 1/2lb shellac and some black Briwax. I figured the black would fill in any defects, but there weren't a whole lot of them.
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Wood Writing implement Hardwood Pen Office supplies

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Wood Earrings Hardwood Varnish Magenta

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Wood Amber Bullet Gun accessory Revolver

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It's a really cool kit…a no-brainer. This one's for a gun nut pal at work. I use the lathe for 1) mallets and chisel handles, and 2) gifts. It's fun to knock out a quick gift in an hour or so. Thanks for looking! al
 

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