beginners buying advice

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sean.brock

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Hi Everyone, this is my first post so hopefully its in the right place.

I'm really wanting to get into woodturning, and have bought the Woodturning Foundation Course book and am waiting for it to be delivered. Im looking for a cheap lathe that would be good to start with (ie not too expensive). Can anyone recommend anywhere to buy from (UK or northumberland), or a nice beginners model. It's hopefully going to be a birthday present.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Sean

ps does anyone know of any woodturnign courses in northumberland
 

Paul.J

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Hello Sean and welcome. :D
Well it seems your off to a good start by buying Woodturning Foundation Course. :D
As for a lathe depends really what you want to turn,and your budget i suppose.
I went for the Perform from Axminster.Been good so far.
Take a look at Chas's lathes owner guide to see what other people have.
Paul.J.
 

Bodrighy

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As a relative newbie myself I'd go for the best that you can afford but remember that as well as a lathe you need tools. Also possibly a chuck tho' you can make a start without one. I'd watch this thread as there is a load of experienced turners on here who will guide you with good advice.

Welcome and hope you get turning soon. :lol:

Pete
 

greybeard

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You're right at the top of what will almost certainly become a very very steep and slippery slope, and believe me there are some of the best pushers in the turning world around here!

Okay, warning over!

Do a course if poss, self-taught can be a long and frustrating road.

The Lathe - get to see as many as you can before you buy, and I mean in the flesh cos you've got to get a good idea of size/feel, convenience of switches, ease of locking levers use, etc etc. Maybe even the colour - youve got to live with it for a while until it's absolutely necessary to buy an upgrade!
The actual turning is almost secondary - they all let you do that!
Bear in mind it must fit into whatever space you have available!
At the very least try and wait until you've started the course before buying.

The Chisels - you can pick up a set of 3/4/5 chisels for about £25 upwards, often on Ebay where the 'previously owned' ones tend to sell at about half what they cost (but not always!!).

Now you can turn!, and now the wallet depths get seriously tested! With a bit of luck you'll still have change from £100 if you've shopped carefully in the 'previously owned' area, or maybe a bit more, but £100 should do it.

You may then decide that you need a chuck. Or maybe another chisel or three?!

At this point you're already gathering speed on the slope.

Be aware that a chuck can easily cost more than what you've already spent. And here's something to think about. You'll see a steady stream of lathes (various) and chisels (numerous) on Ebay, but you won't see too many chucks.

The Chuck - The cheapest chucks start - new, and not much less as 'previously owned' - at about £40 and go easily up into 3 figures.

Read around this site - there is a phenomenal amount of info to be absorbed.

Finally, have a very early think about protection (your face in particular!), and the dust generated by sanding - you realy don't want that stuff in your lungs. Find out about masks and so on - maybe another b/day present?!

Good luck
 

CHJ

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Welcome to the forum Sean, you are not on your own at the top of the slope there are a few others just over the brow.

One piece of advice I would give is, do not rush into buying lots of fancy tools and gismos until you have spent some time with just 4 or 5 of the basic profiles.
This will give you a chance to decide which suit your method of working and you will slowly see a need for something a little different, but this may not be any of the exotic offerings, and you can cover an awful lot of ground with similar basic tools ground to differing profiles.

One other aspect you may not have considered is sharpening your tools, this is something fundamental to turning and may be a little frustrating to begin with, once again expensive jigs are not essential if budget is tight and workable solutions can be made fairly easily as shown in Keiths book.
 

PowerTool

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Hi Sean,and welcome to the forum :D
Whereabouts in Northumberland? I believe there is a woodturners club at Ashington,or there is always Jimmy Clewes for training courses.

Andrew
 

sean.brock

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hi again everyone,

Thanks for all the advice, didnt think id get many replies overnight soi that was a welcome suprise this morning.

Andrew, I live in stakeford, and idea who or where to contact in ashington, I tried a few places like shcools and colleges but to no avail.

Thanks again

Sean
 

wood yew believe it !

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sean try buying yhe wood turners magazine, bout 4 quid and in there you will numerous pages devoted to courses/clubs, your bound to find something in your area, you may even find a club near to you where you can pop along to to look at all the bits and bobs that have been mentioned so far ! btw a big hello and welcome!!

atb dave :wink:
 
A

Anonymous

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hi Sean and welcome....

Have you tried the AWGB and Northern Federation of woodturners websites?

Google for each if you haven't...
 

duncanh

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Hi Sean

Northumbrian Woodturners meet at Keenleysides in Bedlington Station on the 2nd Friday of each month at 7.30. They also have bi-monthly demos in the wood store of the shop. The next meeting is Friday 11th May and is a club competition on the theme of box or container.
The Saturday after that (19th May) is a demo by Jimmy Clewes which should be well worth going to.

I've been a member since last September but have been attending the Saturday demos for around 2 years. I'm one of the younger members at 36 and probably one of the least experienced but I've always been made welcome.

Keenleysides sell turning supplies and usually have a decent amount of wood in stock. They also sell lathes and tools:). There's usually a list of equipment for sale from club members on a board as well.
I think a couple of the more senior members give tuition.

I believe that there's also a club in Blythe.

I'm based in Newcastle and you're welcome to come round and visit if you want. Mail me at 'duncan at juggler.net'


Duncan
 

sean.brock

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this is all great guys, everones being really helpful. I popped into keenlysides this afternoon after work and i'm going to come to the meeting in May and the demo as well.

Just gotta hit the books until then
 

Bob Chapman

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Hi Sean,

I agree with the advice to buy the best you can afford, but don't forget to look at second-hand stuff if you get the chance. Lathes are very simple machines and assuming the motor works (pretty obvious if not) then about the worst thing that can be wrong is that the bearings are shot. New bearings are not expensive and are fairly easy to replace. Take your time and look around. Try to avoid any lathe that needs a spanner to move the toolrest or the tailstock - it'll drive you mad!

Bob
 

Losos

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Hi Saun,
Welcome to the forum. My lathe is about as simple and cheap as you can get. I would recommend you buy something a bit better even to start.

Mine doesn't need a spanner to set the tool rest & tail stock, but it's still a fidly and sometimes near impossible task, :roll: so look at how you move and lock these items, you'll be glad you did :)
 

duncanh

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Sean - in case you can't make it to the meeting tonight and haven't already heard - Jimmy Clewes will apparently not be there next weekend and instead there's a hands-on day instead.
Whilst Jimmy would have been inspirational the hands-on may be of more use to you.
Unfortunately I can't make it to either of them but hope to see you at one of the later ones some time

Duncan
 
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