Looking to do something different

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PeteHB

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I posted this in the general forum and was rightly advised to repost here:

Looking for something different to do and have an idea I might like to take up turning so a couple of questions.

It is unlikely that I can get any instruction so is it realistically feasible to teach ones self ? If so what sort of exercises might be useful to understand the tools and equipment ( I have resisted the temptation to plunge into You Tube)

Having looked at what may be available SH ( I live in rural SE France) so would like as not buy new from Axminster. perhaps aiming to spend somewhere between £1,000 and £2,000 the closer to £1K the better. What should I be looking at.

One thing that might be a concern would be sharpening curved tools ( I am OK with chisels and plane irons, is it likely to be a problem are there jigs that would ensure I didn't ruin an expensive tool 1st time around?

My interest would eventually be in serviceable items such as bowls etc rather than pens.
 

clogs

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Pete,
I also lived in rural France....the SW actually.....
to suppliment my pension I used to buy and sell all kinds of wood working machines....
often upgrading them....new bearings and motors etc......
If you are not in a mad hurry there will be a good lathe along soon'ish.....
I had several go thru my workshop over the years....
Can't remember the make (but was French) I sold it to guy ur way for a similar amount..top end....
So proff quality then.....shoud have kept it but now have a Wadkin RS....
I'm sure you will find a turner near by...for a little tuition.....
Of course u could get a course in the UK for a few days by some proff wood turner.....
someone here will recomend.....
As for grinding....there are jigs available and a whole host of ways to do it....but u dont need to spend a fortune.....1/2 a decent staitionary belt sander will get u going....
U dont have to spend mega bucks buying a Sorby or Swedish tool grinder....
too over priced ...
All my life I have done my sharpening by hand but thats part of what I do.....
I would buy a cheapo set of gouges etc and learn on them before buying decent gear....
some of the Chinese stuff is plenty good enough anyway....
to much tool snobery around....
yes I do have a few decent makes but they came thru trading, not getting them new....
In my early days over 50 years ago all u could afford was a retempered and shaped metal files....(I'm not suggesting that for a moment) but there was nothing really else on the market that was affordable....
prob someone will also tell u who to look at on YouTube...there's loads of rubbish on there....
but if u look at the same vid a few times u'll get the idea....Just get something from the fire wood pile to start out.....
BUT please get something thats pretty round to start with....u just dont want lumpy bits sticking out when learning...

Now of course once u get started and like that kinda work the need for a bandsaw and other tools will drain ur finances....but thats all part of the fun....
good luck and have a load of fun....
 

Jacob

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If you are a beginner I'd recommend some of the older books such as Percy Blandford's Wood Turning Percy W Blandford - AbeBooks
They were written before it became a major DIY industry with associated major expenditure and complexity! Everything was much easier in the old days!
Old good quality lathes tend to be really good value - I got an Arundel J4 Senior for £100.
 

D_W

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I posted this in the general forum and was rightly advised to repost here:

Looking for something different to do and have an idea I might like to take up turning so a couple of questions.

It is unlikely that I can get any instruction so is it realistically feasible to teach ones self ?

Yes, it is. I did. curved tools can be sharpened freehand, or you can find jigs. I'd avoid jigs for anything other than establishing a baseline on straight tools and getting started. After that, no thanks.

What do you need to be able to teach yourself or learn?
1) the desire to
2) find something that you want to make, but you want to make well enough that you know not just what you want to make but what makes it nice vs. what makes it not nice
3) figure out how to make something nice once you know what that is, and then figure out how to make it nicer and quicker

There is incremental improvement in everything - what you want to make, how you make it, how accurate you'll be, your design sense and eye. Allow that incremental improvement and don't get impatient - everything is pretty much connected together. Freehand sharpening can become freehand making or freehand toolmaking. Do everything by hand that you can to get a feel and then later if it's not doable productively or because you get bored with certain things, then add machines to do it.

At the outset, this doesn't need to be every single thing. E.g., if you're making bowls, rough the large wet blanks with a chainsaw where appropriate.

I think it would be very difficult to watch anyone on youtube at this point and get good at anything. As you're around for a while, look at the number of people watching rob cosman videos for the last decade or paul sellers, same - and note how they improve little. It's not cosman or Sellers' business to make good makers, nor was it Chris Schwarz's - they're in business either to entertain themselves or get you to pay.

The rest of youtube is totally worthless stuff for the most part like stumpy nubs. It's just link through revenue generation and never addressing the fact that the video maker is completely incompetent and can't tell you basic things about design, making, subtleties. There are exceptions, but they're generally older (like curtis buchanan's series on making a chair) and they're not selling things or posted daily, so you're unlikely to run across them accidentally.
 

baldkev

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Keith rowley did a good book on turning, you should order that now and read it whilst keeping an eye out for a lathe. Often a lathe will come with tools, so dont rush out buying sets yet. The other thing is, in the book, it points out that most things can be accomplished with 4 basic tools. I.e a parting off tool, gouge etc.

It explains wood grain, how best to attack the different shapes, fixing workpieces ( chucks, faceplates etc ) and lots more.
He lays out good ways to start off so you dont jump in at the deep end
 

Adam Pinson

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I posted this in the general forum and was rightly advised to repost here:

Looking for something different to do and have an idea I might like to take up turning so a couple of questions.

It is unlikely that I can get any instruction so is it realistically feasible to teach ones self ? If so what sort of exercises might be useful to understand the tools and equipment ( I have resisted the temptation to plunge into You Tube)

Having looked at what may be available SH ( I live in rural SE France) so would like as not buy new from Axminster. perhaps aiming to spend somewhere between £1,000 and £2,000 the closer to £1K the better. What should I be looking at.

One thing that might be a concern would be sharpening curved tools ( I am OK with chisels and plane irons, is it likely to be a problem are there jigs that would ensure I didn't ruin an expensive tool 1st time around?

My interest would eventually be in serviceable items such as bowls etc rather than pens.
I'm self-taught, i watched probably a thousand wood turning videos before i even tried a lathe, by the time i could afford one i was quite knowledgable, and it didn't take long before i was making and selling stuff, i even made my first gouge sharpening system from pallets. This is the one i bought eventually, UK made....... Gouge chisel sharpening tool for woodturning,gouge+fingernail=2 jigs 8944717301833 | eBay
 

Jacob

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I was going to knock up a wooden sharpening jig but that is so cheap I might just buy it.
I do mine freehand on a sanding disc on the outboard end.
A lot of modern lathes don't have an outboard end which makes them half a lathe IMHO!
 

Rich C

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I guess I have half a lathe then.

Thinking about it you could probably come up with some sort of arbour to fit a grinding wheel to the headstock of most lathes.
 
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