First Lathe: What to turn...

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Forum topic by Bill Hall posted 10-01-2008 05:32 PM 1240 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Bill Hall

166 posts in 4877 days

10-01-2008 05:32 PM

Topic tags/keywords: lathe

Hey all. I bought a PSI Turncrafter Pro and it’s now sitting on my doorstep at home (must…resist…urge to…leave….work). So, I’m looking for ideas as to what I should turn first. I’ve only “helped” turn a mallet thus far, so I’m a super newbie. I look forward to your ideas!


8 replies so far

View MrWoody's profile


342 posts in 4786 days

#1 posted 10-01-2008 09:56 PM

Your first turnings will be toothpicks unless you start with a definite plan. Most of the books I have suggest: roughing a blank down to a 1 1/2” or 2” dowel about 12” long. Divide that into 3/4” segments and turn coves in every other one. Then turn beads on the others. It’s practice for coves and beads.

-- If we learn from our mistakes, I'm getting a fantastic education.

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 5311 days

#2 posted 10-01-2008 10:16 PM

Check out wood magazine, & look for woodturning videos.

They show some very good beginner projects.

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

View lew's profile


13317 posts in 4767 days

#3 posted 10-01-2008 10:23 PM

As MrWoody says, some practice in turning dowels, beads and coves first. Then some bottle stoppers, Christmas tree ornaments or pepper grinders are all progressions from the practice work.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Roper's profile


1389 posts in 4724 days

#4 posted 10-01-2008 10:51 PM

i agree you need to get a lot of practice doing beads and coves so spindles are good to work on , but if you want a good first project a mallet is pretty easy. have fun with your new “toy”.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View UncleBen's profile


37 posts in 4963 days

#5 posted 10-02-2008 12:20 AM

As soon as I get a lathe (not in the near future) I know I’ll be making a hardwood carvers mallet as my first project.

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 4734 days

#6 posted 10-02-2008 01:53 AM

Chuck up a piece of wood and turn nothing. Use the tools and learn what each does and what you can do with it. After that is done you will be able to make anything your abilities let you make.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View Bill Hall's profile

Bill Hall

166 posts in 4877 days

#7 posted 10-02-2008 05:59 AM

Here’s my first turning…a black walnut votive holder finished with amber shellac. I have a lot to learn, but darn if I ain’t hooked.


View TedM's profile


2002 posts in 4744 days

#8 posted 10-02-2008 10:30 PM

heeheehee… we got another one :)

WARNING! Woodtuning is very addictive and detrimental to the health of your other woodworking projects. Just ask my wife!

btw, great first turning! My first didn’t even make good firewood! ;)

-- I'm a wood magician... I can turn fine lumber into firewood before your very eyes! - Please visit and sign up for my project updates!

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