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Forum topic by Novum posted 12-25-2021 09:42 PM 1137 views 0 times favorited 37 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Novum

18 posts in 144 days


12-25-2021 09:42 PM

So after many many years away from turning I am headed back down the rabbit hole.
Probably 80% of my projects will be bowls or cups or plates
Thinking of buying a nova comet 11
Would like any thoughts on what else I need and specs. Chisels etc. I think the comet comes as a bare tool. Not looking for the top of the line stuff but not harbor freight level either.

Thanks..I look forward to joining the fray. I live in central Virginia. Steve


37 replies so far

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

9454 posts in 2273 days


#1 posted 12-25-2021 11:47 PM

Why can’t people post pictures or links to what they actually want? I believe they have sub-models, so straight away there is confusion, at least for me not being a lathe aficianado, just a regular casual user for odd/diversified projects.

I’m not a bowl turner, however, if I decided to surrender to that dark side some things I believe should be considered are, a good swing, variable speed, preferably reverse feature and rotatable head… then you can worry about chucks and chisels… not to forget banjos as I find the supplied ones tend to be a cheapo PITA.

If you want to turn big bowls, what ballast (base) do you have or is supplied…. dust extraction… turning is messy (unless you have a good surgeon… ok my weird “sense of humour”)...

Sorry for being blunt Novum, but people here are more than willing to help but very few are mind readers though it seems they claim that trait…

If I ahven’t pissed you off… welcome to LJ… there are many non-grumps that will give you a wealth of useful advice here…

Merry Christmas (yesterday) and hope your Happy New Year is better than the encounter with this old fart.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View RClark's profile

RClark

290 posts in 3638 days


#2 posted 12-26-2021 12:07 AM



Why can t people post pictures or links to what they actually want? I believe they have sub-models, so straight away there is confusion.

...

Sorry for being blunt Novum, but people here are more than willing to help but very few are mind readers…

If I ahven t pissed you off… welcome to LJ… there are many non-grumps that will give you a wealth of useful advice here…

Merry Christmass (yesterday) and hope your Happy New Year is better than the encounter with this old fart.

- LittleBlackDuck

I joined back in 2012, but I was gone for a long time. When I tried to make a post after many years of silence (Feb 2021) I couldn’t post a pic unless my post had been approved. The site wouldn’t accept a pic from me, and I had to contact Cricket to get the “new guy stink” taken off my account. While I have no idea whether or not the OP tried to attach a pic, even if had tried, he might not have been successful.

It’s still Christmas Day here…

-- Ray

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Kerux2

718 posts in 3185 days


#3 posted 12-26-2021 02:40 AM

You’ll want a good chuck for a small lathe. If you can get a combo with a variety of jaws.. that would be good.
You didn’t mention pens… but you’ll want to consider a few basics for pens. Nice quick gifting.

As to tools… that is like a woman’s purse, very personal. I wouldn’t want to pick out a brand for you. You may want to start out with a set… so you have the basics. Then work towards more specialty tools.

And if you ain’t got a grinder or something to sharpen them with… you can give it up now.

I’m pretty sure all of us have just grown into turning and get what we need when we find out we need it. That is how my shop has grown.

-- Hey I'm Dyslexic! I don't have all day to check and re-check forum post.

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Kelly

3899 posts in 4397 days


#4 posted 12-26-2021 05:07 AM

In the small lathe category, after peeking at the one you want, I think you’d be happy with it. You’d be happy with a Jet too. In the end, you’d just be happy.

I like the Nova chucks, but people far more expert than me have other preferences. What I like about the Nova’s is the versatility (one chuck will accept a bunch if different parts to allow you to do different projects.

I had five lathes. One was a larger Nova. I sold all but the large Jet I got for free. For the money, there was just something I didn’t like about the Nova (can’t remember what it was, for the life of me).

One of the other ones I sold was a little Jet 1014. I loved that critter, other than that I had to swap between pulleys for speed changes. The lathe you want looks like it would be a step up.

As Kerux2 says, a good chuck is a must.

For knives, a good starter group would be, Benjamins Best. For example, a roughing gouge for exterior work. A spindle gouge for exterior detail work would be handy too. Obviously, you’d want at least one bowl gouge. If you have money burning a hole in your pocket, get two, for different grinds (e.g., for doing side work and bottom work).

From there, we can go to sharpening. I favor slow speed sanders or wheels that don’t heat metal so quick or remove too much of it. Too, being able to use jigs on it may be a big deal.

Even a Harbor Freight 1” belt sander could pull it off, but you wouldn’t have the slow speed.

On grinders, I find laughable what most call slow speed grinders. Motors, generally, run at around 3,400 RPM or about half that. Many being called slow speed are just 1,750 RPM motors.

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

3036 posts in 3442 days


#5 posted 12-26-2021 01:52 PM

I’ve been turning ~10 yrs. Mostly bowls, hf’s, platters, and a few spindle projects. Been using a Nova Galaxi 16×44 for ~ 4 yrs.

One of the best things you can do 1st is find a local AAW turning club to visit and possibly join. You can get a lot of insight on equipment, methods, etc. driving a couple of hours is worth it. Members are typically very willing to help newbies, and may have equipment for sale.

Lathe – midi size is ok, will do most spindle projects, especially with bed extension(long legs). You will be able to do bowls & platters finished dia up to ~ 2” less then swing size, ~ 10 for that lathe. 3/4 hp will be just ok, will require light cuts not to bog. The light weight will require a stand/bench with extra ballast. 250 rpm low speed is fine for turning but too fast for power sanding 10” bowls. Personally I prefer a pivoting headstock and no midi lathe has one.

Chuck – really like Oneway chucks and jaws. Wide range of adj of jaws and many jaws to choose from – patented profile grip, regular serrated, and dovetail. I prefer the profile jaws. Talon chuck for a midi size lathe.Have a Nova chuck, its ok but the jaw adj range is significantly smaller and jaw types available not that great. Have several PSI Barracuda chucks. Really like them – nice jaw adj range and good serrated jaws, but a fatal flaw – the way the chuck key tip is held is poorly designed – Ive wallowed out the hole and rounded the key tip on 2 of them. Dont buy one. Vicmarc and axminster are top line along with Oneway – more $ but no better. Craft Supplies Apprentice chuck good lower price choice for 1×8 spindle.

Cutting tools – PSI Benjamins Best are a great place to start, great value for the $. Can afford to try many different types and sizes of tools. Their bowl gouges have parabolic flutes, an important factor. After a couple of years after you learn to sharpen and what tools you use the most go buy 3-4 hi $ tools – I prefer m42 to pm steel. Cron raz and D-Way are m42. Crown and Thompson are top pm tools.

Sharpening – the std is 8” low speed grinder with cbn wheels for good reason – Ken Rizza sells good setups at good prices. Wolverine/varigrind jig, or Tormek jigs with bench grinder tool bar bgm-100.

Carbide tools are an option if $ are limited. No sharpening $’s. Cheap holders are fine or make your own, AZCarbide has good inserts. I made a couple of tools, never used them after I learned proper hss tool use.

View Novum's profile

Novum

18 posts in 144 days


#6 posted 12-26-2021 01:59 PM

I’m going to research midis from jet, rikon, nova. Looked at grizzly which appears to have some rebranded harbor level along with better quality ones. Maybe there will be some sales too. Thought I would keep the package (lathe, chisels chuck, stand) around $1,000 but will see….maybe used….space is a concern so unless I get rid of other equipment I will stick with midi size.

Thanks for your suggestions!

View pottz's profile

pottz

25663 posts in 2437 days


#7 posted 12-26-2021 07:07 PM

ive got a jet midi lathe vs with a bed extention and love it.good chuck as said,ive got the nova with various profiles.for tools ive got some hss but ive fallin in love with carbide tools,no sharpening and easy to use.it’s a rabbit hole for sure-lol.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

3899 posts in 4397 days


#8 posted 12-26-2021 07:16 PM

Penn Tools is having a sale on Benjamins Best at the moment:|

https://www.pennstateind.com/store/LCHSS8.html

Cutting tools – PSI Benjamins Best are a great place to start, great value for the $. Can afford to try many different types and sizes of tools. Their bowl gouges have parabolic flutes, an important factor. After a couple of years after you learn to sharpen and what tools you use the most go buy 3-4 hi $ tools – I prefer m42 to pm steel. Cron raz and D-Way are m42. Crown and Thompson are top pm tools.

- OSU55


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OSU55

3036 posts in 3442 days


#9 posted 12-26-2021 09:02 PM



I’m going to research midis from jet, rikon, nova. Looked at grizzly which appears to have some rebranded harbor level along with better quality ones. Maybe there will be some sales too. Thought I would keep the package (lathe, chisels chuck, stand) around $1,000 but will see….maybe used….space is a concern so unless I get rid of other equipment I will stick with midi size.

Thanks for your suggestions!

- Novum

The Grizzly lathes are on on the same level as other “mid brands” and are priced well (I live close to a whse and dont pay shipping). We have the same size Grizzly and Jet lathes as club lathes – one is as good as the other. They are not rebranded HF. You wont get everything for a $1000 unless you find some used deals. More like $1500 + for new. If you do flat work building a bench with drawers etc can save some $ depending on wood source. Not trying to be a downer, rather a realist. Its expensive to get started.

Lathe $600
Grinder and jig $500 – your done
Stand $200 +
Chuck $200 +
Cutting tools $150 +

Next comes something to cut. Recommend you get a chainsaw if you dont have one (another $300-$600) to cut your own blanks from “free” wood (which also means learning how to cut up logs, turn wet wood, properly dry it). Buying wood/blanks gets expensive.

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Novum

18 posts in 144 days


#10 posted 12-26-2021 11:31 PM

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WoodenDreams

1584 posts in 1364 days


#11 posted 12-27-2021 12:38 AM

I’d check 1st if there’s a local woodturning club near you. There may be a member that has a good used lathe for sale with some extra accessories. or facebook marketplace.

When I bought my lathe, I wrote down what I wanted in a lathe. Then searched for what I wanted. 1hp minimum, 12” swing, variable speed w/250rpm minimum low speed range, reverse, Ram travel 3 1/2” with measurement markings on the Ram and one with a longer warranty. Wasn’t worried about bed length since you can add a bed extension. The longer 3 1/2” ram travel was for drilling purposes.

I ended up with a Rikon 70-220vsr. Most everybody in the woodturning club I joined has Jet.

The Grizzly T25920 has 3/4hp which is probably a good lathe. But Grizzly only has a 1yr warranty and the minimum variable speed is only 650rpm. You might be happier with lathe that has a minimum speed with 250rpm or 300rpm

Have you checked out the starter sets or package deals, that PSI offers. they have a 3yr warranty. https://www.pennstateind.com/store/mini-lathes.html you’d have to check with them to see if they offer free shipping.

Several brands have a 5yr warranty. Reverse is nice but not necessary.

View RClark's profile

RClark

290 posts in 3638 days


#12 posted 12-27-2021 01:45 AM

I’m not a turning expert; far from it.

I bought my Jet 1014 back about 2005 or 2006. It’s a very basic machine, but I did only pay about $260 for it new. Right after I bought it, Jet released larger versions with more features. I do have the extension bed for it, and can turn items up to 40” long. I use it mostly for spindle turning (furniture parts).

Here are the features I wish it had:

- Electronic variable speed. I have to move the drive belt to change speeds, and I find that a nuisance.

- Indexing. It would be useful more than just turning projects.

-- Ray

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ibewjon

2932 posts in 4246 days


#13 posted 12-27-2021 02:31 AM

There are aftermarket indexing plates. Allisam I believe.

View Woodmaster1's profile

Woodmaster1

1958 posts in 4040 days


#14 posted 12-27-2021 04:38 AM

I have a 12” variable speed Rikon lathe with the extension. It’s a good lathe and have no issues. The woodworking club shop has 12” and 16” jet lathes for the use they get have held up well. I have a Oneway stronghold and talon chucks they are excellent chuckles. The woodworking club shop has nova chucks they are equally excellent chucks. Lathe tools start with a cheap set like Benjamin best to get started. Start buying better ones as you know which tool you use most often. Like you said it is a money pit. I belong to a turners and chiselers turning club that meets once a month where presentations are given on turning techniques by its members. A couple of my friends are excellent turners who have given me tremendous instruction now all I need to do is apply it which is where the challenge is.

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

3036 posts in 3442 days


#15 posted 12-27-2021 04:02 PM



So this grizzly is decent quality for the size and $$?
https://www.grizzly.com/products/grizzly-12-x-18-variable-speed-benchtop-wood-lathe/t25920

- Novum


Yes comparable to other brand similar lathes. I have to get into the turning/finishing process details to put things into context. There is turning, then there is sanding and finishing. Sanding needs lower speed than turning. There is hand held sanding, “inertia” sanders driven by the rotating wood (uselss IMO), and drill power sanding. My goal is to leave no visible sanding marks, and make the most efficient use of sanding media. This is done by “cool sanding”, keep surface speed of wood and sandpaper down and let the sandpaper work without overheating, and change it often.

650 rpm is too fast for sanding past ~ 2” dia. 250 rpm is fast for ~10” dia but can work. Find a midi lathe that gets down to ~250 rpm. I typically sand at 100 rpm lathe and drill speed of a couple hundred, and with bowls/platters sometimes turn the project slowly by hand while drill sanding. Smaller spindle work is done with hand sanding up to ~500 rpm depending on dia.

I would not recommend that lathe but the nova comets and a couple of other midi grizzlies I believe get down to ~ 250 rpm. Of course evs is a wonderful thing to have on any lathe. My Galaxi runs from 100-5000 rpm, no belt changes. Most lathes use 2-3 pulleys with speed ranges for each and those work just fine.

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