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Saplings vs branches, heartwood


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#11 Rodney

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Posted 03 November 2018 - 09:29 PM

I do a few turned ones.  There are some things I would look for in a lathe.

First off you're going to want 36" or more between centers.  This is going to rule out a lot of the mini lathes unless they have a bed extension.  If you want to sell canes I've found it best to make them long and cut them to size when they sell.  I use my daughter's lathe that has about 30" and a home made bed extension.  It's not ideal.

Look for a lathe that has a threaded headstock with a morse taper inside it.  #2 Morse taper is easiest to find accessories for, older Craftsman lathes used a #1 Morse taper. Accessories are still available but you have to look a little harder.  Unless it's a really obscure thread size on the headstock most chuck manufacturers will make an adapter to fit it.

A lathe with a cast iron bed would be my first choice.

You want a tailstock with a Morse taper as well for the same reason.

A lot of cheap Asian lathes had square tube beds and a non-removable centers. Avoid those like the plague.  They're wasted time and money.

While you're waiting to buy a lathe you can accomplish a lot with a spoke shave or even a good sharp hand plane.



#12 KenVA

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Posted 04 November 2018 - 02:27 AM

Was looking at this one for a starter  https://www.costway....AiABEgLxhfD_BwE



#13 Rodney

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Posted 04 November 2018 - 05:27 PM

That's pretty much exactly what I was warning against.  Try to find out if the head and tailstocks have Morse tapers.  I didn't see those listed in the features. You're going to want to be able to switch out chucks, drive centers, etc. for different jobs.

Also in a lathe heavier is better.  The extra mass fights vibration.

I understand about budgets and wanting to keep costs down.  If you're handy it's not hard to buy and fix up a used lathe. I bought most of my machines used.



#14 dww2

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Posted 04 November 2018 - 07:35 PM

Rodney's 100% correct. That one is way too light. Might be ok for doing mini vases or something, but get any weight on it and it'll vibrate itself to pieces. If you decide you like turning and want to get a decent machine, you'll probably never find anyone interested in taking that one off your hands. This is the one I have. It is a very basic starter lathe. Definitely not as heavy duty as they come but nearly 20 years ago, it was the best I could afford (on sale it was about $500 including tax as I recall.) http://www.semesh.co...c17d1f116c7.jpg

#15 Rodney

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 01:22 AM

That looks like a copy of the Craftsman tube bed lathes.  Same basic design anyway.

The Craftsman ones been around since the 50s in various forms.  The Craftsman ones tend to be relatively common and affordable.  They do accept Morse tapers and have threaded headstock spindles.  Most likely a #1 Morse taper and 3/4x16 threads.  Accessories are easily available.

I'm not sure how long the bed is on them.  They're considered somewhat light duty by many turners but they are decent starter lathes.



#16 dww2

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 10:14 PM

Yeah. I don't really care for the tube bed. I found that the tool rest and tail stock don't seem as steady as they should be. But, like you said, it was a good starter lathe. The two biggest bowls I've ever done on it were both around 10-11 inches in diameter and they were maxing the thing to its capacity.

#17 Rob55

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Posted 11 August 2019 - 10:31 PM

Ken

If you have a 12” to 18” hickory or a holly over 4” in the woods; harvest it. The stump will yield the most beautiful staffs for years.




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