Moderators: Random Orbital Bob, nev, Noel, Charley, CHJ

By Chris152
That's really useful info, Nev - if I do get one of those I'd definitely look to cut down the bars. I've seen a couple of CL2/3 lathes on ebay but they're so far to travel and I'd want to see it working/ collect, but will keep searching.

One thing I've been wondering - if you're turning a plate or anything fairly wide, do you need to change speed as you move from the rim to the centre on account of the changing speed of the wood at each point? Working with clay (which I haven't done for years) I'd change the speed of the wheel to maintain more-or-less constant rate of removal of clay.

nev wrote:
The attachment blue-bowl.jpg is no longer available

That looks a beautiful bowl!

oh - and searching around the net this morning, I found this:

but can't find one of those nearby on ebay either.
By phil.p
Basically you run them as fast as the blank will allow you to. Variable speed is good if you are working out of balance stuff - people who haven't got it tend to think it's just there for speed and simplicity of gear change, but the best thing with it is you can vary the speed as you work. E.g. something might be out of balance at 400rpm and 600rpm but perfect at 500rpm, and two or three cuts later out of balance again so you can raise it or lower it a little again and repeat. Platters don't tend to be drastically out of balance of course.
By Chris152
Ah, right - I've seen videos describing advancing the speed with unbalanced blocks and then feathering back once they start to vibrate, but didn't realise you run as fast as the blank will allow. Some run from 0-800, others start at 400 - what is the advantage of the variable speed from 0-400? I like the idea as I could paint banding on at very low speed with that, but guess that's not the reason the 0-400 would be helpful to a woodturner.

All of which said, I get to go to the club Tuesday so maybe things'll become more real then - very excited!


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Sanding, texturing, alignment checking, there are many reasons to run slowly once you get into constructions and artistic turning and away from basic bulk material removal.

Spinning defective stock for the more decorative work requires considerable circumspection if you are not to have it 'Bomb' burst in your face, so high speeds can be very dangerous.

Look at this guide and the G forces involved if bits fly off.
By Chris152
Those figures are pretty sobering, Chas - I'm sure starting out with stable wood's important, as is staying out of the line of fire and safety kit. I would like to think I could move onto more fragile wood once I get proficient enough - I saw one beautiful piece on your site and can only think that working with 'defective' wood isn't remotely easy.

I'd been wondering about learning the basics in the most simple and safe fashion and then maybe doing a short course with someone who really knows what they're doing to build skills - could anyone suggest someone in striking distance of Cardiff? I wouldn't mind an hour or so drive each way, each day.
By Dave Brookes
Chris, wait until you have been to the club meeting, if it’s anything like the Didcot club, there will possibly be a few members who will say “come over to my workshop for a few hours” or there may well be someone who does training. There doesn’t appear to be any Registered Professional Turners close to you but you will find a complete list and location map on the AWGB website.
Have a great evening on Tuesday!

By Chris152
Well, I went along Tuesday and really enjoyed looking around and speaking to people, but didn't get as far as trying a lathe - they were all in use by the time I got there. But just watching and talking, I learned a lot.

My copy of Rowley arrived yesterday and I'm already about half way through it - what a great book. Having watched this link (from the turning forum links) ... ng-catches
I started to wonder just how strong my resolve to learn turning is! But Rowley goes through in detail the causes of such catches and understanding better made it all seem slightly less frightening. But even Rowley seems to alternate between saying how dangerous situations easily arise, on one hand, and the need to relax the whole body and mind while turning - not easily done for a beginner, I guess!

Anyway, I've arrived at this point - I think I'm not going to buy a lathe yet, but am going to join the club, get some guidance and practice on a fairly slow burn, and when I'm ready take the plunge I'll buy a lathe. If I can find someone nearby to give me a day or two of one-to-one training, I'll do that too. I didn't realise how remote turning with wood is from turning clay and now look back over this thread and my ambition to throw large plates, and realise how naive I was!

Thanks all,

By Dave Brookes
Chris, so glad you found the evening really useful and interesting. I agree, the Keith Rowley book is a mine of infomation and so is Two in one Woodturning by Phil Irons (on Amazon).
A good choice on hanging back before you take the purchasing plunge. There is so much to pick up that is not obvious at first and talking to the club members will reveal a lot of these.

By Chris152
Thanks Dave, I'll look out for a second hand copy of the book once I've got beyond the very basics. Meanwhile, there's a very strong draw to get something to practice on right now! I keep looking for second hand but haven't found a suitable one yet. Meanwhile, does anyone know the relative merits of the Record CL4 and new Coronet? I saw the latter last week in a shop and like the look of it, but I also like the very slow speeds of the CL4. How come Record are doing two lathes so similar in price and stats? I'm sure I'm missing something...


By Chris152
I'd not seen that comparison - thanks marcros. The most striking difference to someone who knows nothing is the weight, but the coronet has a more powerful motor. What's outboard turning on the coronet that the CL4 doesn't have? Apart from that (and the value of a spindle lock) I think I can see the advantages and otherwise of the rest.

Given how similar they are in price/ specs (if that's true), what would make you choose one over the other? (Apart from the obvious length/ swing.)
By Chris152
Thanks Phil - that looks a great machine, but has no variable speed control? The club I'm going to has all vs lathes and they seem so flexible.

I know this is like someone having their first driving lesson and checking out the prices of sports cars, but at some point I'm going to have to buy something...