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New to wood turning and need advice on a lathe please !

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Woody1000

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Hi all, great site and lots of useful information...
I'm new to woodturning and looking to introduce a lathe in my workshop, I have never turned a thing but I know that I'm going to love it as I love wood working in general and from experience with tools I want to stretch my budget and get the best lathe I can for around £500. I looked at the SIP 01940 which looked a decent machine but not sure of the SIP quality ! So any help and advice here would be greatly appreciated. Tony
 

Noggsy

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Hiya mate and welcome to the forum. I started turning last year and I find it totally addictive. A few things really helped me and I'll try and give you the benefit of my experience as a recent beginner;
- Visit (and join if possible) a local turning club. Turners seem to all be a great bunch, very helpful (even if five turners will have at least six different ways of doing things ;) ). I got to try out a few different types of lathe, albeit after I had bought my first lathe (the basic Aminster variable speed for £170).
- Get a copy of Keith Rowley's book
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Woodturning-Fou ... 977&sr=8-1
This is a bit of a bible for beginners and it certainly helped me to understand why I was catching (and making bowls fly across the room!).
- Bear in mind that your budget will need to encompass other essentials as well as a lathe...I didn't understand this and it stretched far beyond the two hundred quid for my lathe, much to the delight of my wife.
My essentials if I was buying again now would be;
>A lathe (with variable speed and a decent swing over the bed of at least 10 inches)
>A scroll chuck with a screw-chuck and a set of jaws. I've got the K8 and K10 from Axi and both are very good. Get a decent and easy to use chuck from the beginning because it gives you lots of options for holding the workpiece
>A decent, but basic set of tools. If I was starting again, I would buy Crown or Robert Sorby and would buy individually a small parting tool, two bowl gouges (for different grinds), a spindle gouge, a skew chisel and a roughing gouge. That is enough to get you started and you can add as you go along. All turners will say that they have loads of chisels which they never use, so I have been advised to get good with the ones I have before getting carried away and buying loads
>A grinder and jig to get good, repeatable angles on your chisels. This is absolutely essential I think and I have found it to be as important to practice sharpening as it is to practice turning. I have been very fortunate to have a couple of very nice and experienced turners who live nearby, so I have been shown the basics and then been able to go to them when I was making cock-ups and didn't know why. If you don't have access to this, then going to a club becomes even more important. I think it twenty minutes of someone showing you the best way to sharpen a chisel saves hours and hours of trial and error and massively improves your end product. There is loads of info on these boards about grinders and you might already have one and be very experienced in using it. I bought a six-inch Record grinder and put a white and pink wheel on it, along with the Axi sharpening jig, which I use for most of my turning tools (I also have a Tormek wet grinder that I bought first, but I wouldn't do that if I had my time again).
>Decent quality sandpaper, sealant and finishing oil (again, you may already have all of this).

My experience is that you can buy cheap tools, but you will end up replacing them if you spend any time at all on turning. The Axi set I bought at the beginning were ok, but I am now working through and buying better makes to replace them. I think your £500 budget is ample, but not if you spend more than £300 on a lathe. I would go to the turning club, talk to the guys there and you will probably get offered second-hand stuff far cheaper (and often better quality) once they know you are looking. Also, go to the for sale board here and ask for people's opinions about what you need in here. I bout mostly new and have realised since that I could have saved a fortune.

Whatever you do, I'm sure you will enjoy yourself and you have definitely made a good start by coming in here and asking for advice. I am no authority on anything and the above is simply my limited experience which I hope helps in some way. Good luck.
 

jumps

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Noggsy":eixtxrw2 said:
Hiya mate and welcome to the forum. I started turning last year and I find it totally addictive. A few things really helped me and I'll try and give you the benefit of my experience as a recent beginner;
- Visit (and join if possible) a local turning club. Turners seem to all be a great bunch, very helpful (even if five turners will have at least six different ways of doing things ;) ). I got to try out a few different types of lathe, albeit after I had bought my first lathe (the basic Aminster variable speed for £170).
- Get a copy of Keith Rowley's book
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Woodturning-Fou ... 977&sr=8-1
This is a bit of a bible for beginners and it certainly helped me to understand why I was catching (and making bowls fly across the room!).
- Bear in mind that your budget will need to encompass other essentials as well as a lathe...I didn't understand this and it stretched far beyond the two hundred quid for my lathe, much to the delight of my wife.
My essentials if I was buying again now would be;
>A lathe (with variable speed and a decent swing over the bed of at least 10 inches)
>A scroll chuck with a screw-chuck and a set of jaws. I've got the K8 and K10 from Axi and both are very good. Get a decent and easy to use chuck from the beginning because it gives you lots of options for holding the workpiece
>A decent, but basic set of tools. If I was starting again, I would buy Crown or Robert Sorby and would buy individually a small parting tool, two bowl gouges (for different grinds), a spindle gouge, a skew chisel and a roughing gouge. That is enough to get you started and you can add as you go along. All turners will say that they have loads of chisels which they never use, so I have been advised to get good with the ones I have before getting carried away and buying loads
>A grinder and jig to get good, repeatable angles on your chisels. This is absolutely essential I think and I have found it to be as important to practice sharpening as it is to practice turning. I have been very fortunate to have a couple of very nice and experienced turners who live nearby, so I have been shown the basics and then been able to go to them when I was making cock-ups and didn't know why. If you don't have access to this, then going to a club becomes even more important. I think it twenty minutes of someone showing you the best way to sharpen a chisel saves hours and hours of trial and error and massively improves your end product. There is loads of info on these boards about grinders and you might already have one and be very experienced in using it. I bought a six-inch Record grinder and put a white and pink wheel on it, along with the Axi sharpening jig, which I use for most of my turning tools (I also have a Tormek wet grinder that I bought first, but I wouldn't do that if I had my time again).
>Decent quality sandpaper, sealant and finishing oil (again, you may already have all of this).

My experience is that you can buy cheap tools, but you will end up replacing them if you spend any time at all on turning. The Axi set I bought at the beginning were ok, but I am now working through and buying better makes to replace them. I think your £500 budget is ample, but not if you spend more than £300 on a lathe. I would go to the turning club, talk to the guys there and you will probably get offered second-hand stuff far cheaper (and often better quality) once they know you are looking. Also, go to the for sale board here and ask for people's opinions about what you need in here. I bout mostly new and have realised since that I could have saved a fortune.

Whatever you do, I'm sure you will enjoy yourself and you have definitely made a good start by coming in here and asking for advice. I am no authority on anything and the above is simply my limited experience which I hope helps in some way. Good luck.
wot Noggsy says =D>
 

Woody1000

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Hi Noggsy, I really appreciate your response and time taken to write it, I have already started to look around for clubs in my area and I think that's a great start. Will post on here how I get on. Thanks again. Tony
 

Aled Dafis

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I'd agree totally with what Noggsy said.

From your £500 budget you'll need a decent chuck package, the Axminster K10 package is good quality and value at £130

http://www.axminster.co.uk/axminster-ax ... k-(starter)--package-deal-prod833376/

And either buy individual tools or go for the Robert Sorby starter set at £100, these are great quality tools, I bought a set when I started turning about 8 years ago and still use these tools virtually every time I'm at the lathe (even though I have a few more tools by now)

http://www.poolewood.co.uk/acatalog/Rob ... gains.html

Plus a 6" grinder (Record Power is pretty well regarded at around £50) and a sharpening jig/setup which you could make for pennies or buy a ready made jig like the Axminster Storme at £89

http://www.poolewood.co.uk/acatalog/Rec ... nders.html

http://www.axminster.co.uk/axminster-st ... rod819724/

Unfortunately that lot doesn't leave much for the lathe...

Cheers
Aled
 

Phil Pascoe

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Try to find a club, or at least other like minded people, and try a few things first - there's no point whatsoever in buying a lathe with huge bowl turning capacity ( not that you'll get one at that price), then deciding your future lies in lace bobbins and pens!
 

Woody1000

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Thanks again Gents, load more very useful info which I appreciate, my £500 budget is for the lathe itself and I'm not sure to go for SIP 01940 variable speed or try and pick up an older lathe on EBay like a union graduate ! In my experience cheap tools are just not worth buying and I'm not sure if the SIP brand falls into that categorie ?
 

Blister

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Hi Woody

O dear , you do have a problem ,
I think the Union Graduates are over rated , they have very small capacity and were mainly for school use so are not very high , most I have seen are raised up
on blocks to get a good working height

I am not a fan of Record Power products ,but have owned in the past a CL4 VS and for the money I think they are good value

http://www.recordpower.co.uk/index.php? ... ct&seq=319

maybe worth saving up for a while and getting one of these

They do come up on ebay sometimes at around £400 to £500

A independent review here from Woodturning Mag

http://www.recordpower.co.uk/index.php? ... ct&seq=319

Is this something you think you will stick with long term ?

If it is , now is the time to think quality and long lasting

Allen
 

Noggsy

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Woody, I've never used SIP so I can't say anything about them. Jet lathes are well thought of and Axi do this one for a shade over your budget;

http://www.axminster.co.uk/jet-jet-jwl- ... rod801450/

You probably know, but Axminster have incredible aftercare (they've just picked up my bandsaw, taken it to Devon to fettle and got it back to me in about 10 days for example). I really love the little lathe I've got, but if I had your budget, I'd get this Jet one from Axi.
 

Woody1000

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HJi John,

I live in South Woodham Ferrers near Chelmsford..

Thanks for the advice once again Gents...more brain storming for me I think !
 

John. B

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Woody here's two clubs near you, certainly worth having a look.

A few members of my club are also members of these clubs, (mine is Fairlop)

IMO you will go a long way before finding a better place for advice in all aspects of Woodturning.

CHELMER VALLEY WOODTURNERS (East)
Secretary: Roy Sargeant, Mid Essex
Telephone: 01268 734852
E-Mail: roy.sargeant@blueyonder.co.uk
Website: http://www.chelmerwood.co.uk
Meetings: 3rd Wednesday of Month Time: 7.00pm
Venue: The Methodist Hall, Moulsham Lodge, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 9NJ

THAMESIDE WOODTURNERS ASSOCIATION (East)
Secretary: Brian Pitcher, Mid Essex
Telephone: 01277 651672
E-Mail: bj.pitcher@talktalk.net
Website: http://www.thameside-woodturners.org.uk
Meetings: Second Thursday of each month
Venue: "The Fold", Laindon Road, Billericay, Essex

John. B
 

Blister

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Woody1000":2s9cwc1c said:
Hi all, great site and lots of useful information...
I'm new to woodturning and looking to introduce a lathe in my workshop, I have never turned a thing but I know that I'm going to love it as I love wood working in general and from experience with tools I want to stretch my budget and get the best lathe I can for around £500. I looked at the SIP 01940 which looked a decent machine but not sure of the SIP quality ! So any help and advice here would be greatly appreciated. Tony

CL3 VS

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/320893052630? ... 1423.l2649
 

spasm

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Hi Woody,

I have owned that modle or very similer to it they seem to of changed the tail stock "good to as the one I had didn't grip the lathe bed very well" the lathe has a 6" long reach face plate didn't think to much about it at the time. It was to push the work piece out past the motor if you want to use a smaller face plate you will have problems finding one that pushes the work out further than the motor. Another problem I found was the banjo would flex when turning out board. I did turn quite a few 12" platters with the lathe with out to much troble.

i no longer have the lathe i soon found it wasn't suted to my needs I wouldn't buy another one form sip think i'd look for a good second hand one at the moment i have a woodfast M410 payed £750.00 for it but it is a totally different machine to the sip.

Rob
 

inaspin

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Hi Noggsy

I to am new to this forum but not new to woodyurning and i would just like to add my twopence worth, I think Noggsy and the other guy's have given you some fantasic advise here and i only wish that I had had it when i first started. I have made some horrendously expensive mistakes
purchased one lathe new supposed to be french but made in china which nearly made me give up turning i thought i was useless untill a friend with over thirty years experiance had a go on it and said you will never make anything of quality on that, sold it through a local tool auction after only three months and lost over £140 on it but was glad to do so and that was just one of my mistakes.

I geuss what i am trying to get across to you is to take on board all this advise slow yourself down buy wisely and buy once, consider a good quality used lathe which will serve you far better than a poor quality new one, don't stock your tool rack with all the latest must haves as most of them are unnecissary but instead get youself some decent dust extraction as i now consider this to be the most important piece of kit in my workshop.

Hope all goes well for you.
Regards
Inaspin
 

woodyturner

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Hi Woody
I to am new to this forum but not new to tuning I have two friends who purchased new record lathes and both of them had no end of problems with the motor one a CL3 the other a CL4 vs they did move there production over to India and I don't think I need to say any more on that one I purchased a record bandsaw some time ago and some of the castings just fell apart so I had to make all new ones I have had Record lathes in the past some 10 to 20 years ago and they were great and I now have the Record Maxy but they are made in Oz so if I were going for a Record now I would only buy an old one I hope all this waffle makes sense to you it don't to me LOL

Regards believe it or not I also am known as Woody
 

Wildman

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hi and welcome to the forum. Not sure I can offer advice however I do have a lathe for sale. It is a Coronet Major Standard, and includes a table saw and planer plus morticer and all the basic kit, drivers centres faceplate etc. and is well within your budget. I may even be able to deliver as travelling to Eurotunnel on tuesday but otherwise a long way to come as I am in Devon. I shall be away for most of May but if any interest you are welcome to veiw after I get back. Only selling because I needed a 6ft plus bed for a project. The coronet major is a very versatile machine and is in very good condition. PM is you require further details, will advertise it on my return from France at the end of May otherwise.
 

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