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KingAether

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Evening all,
I have recently been tasked with finding a new hobby and documenting progress, for various reasons, by my support worker and after a lot of thought i came to wood turning. I like that i can use recycled and salvaged materials, its a solo hobby, it smells like wood, its ideal to say the least but i'm getting overwhelmed, even with the small scope of my budget, at the options.
I'm sure you're bored of this question but its a minefield, searching and searching gives so many different answers, most of which only include amazon purchasable machines(or fleabay) so i'm hoping you lovely people can give better advice, or give any opinions on the commonly seen chinesium amazon/ebay names! Mostly looking for names i can keep an eye out for on the second-hand market really though i imagine.. I saw axminster has one for £200~ but would of course leave the the cost of any tooling in the red.

-I currently have at max £200, that's already pushing it a lot from what i would like to spend and due to circumstances its not likely to change any time soon
-absolutely no problems with second hand, i think my narrow search would be near impossible without the option
-Needs to be "small"; not portable small but enough to have some workspace left on a 7' x 2.5' bench.. In a 10' x 10' shed there isn't much real estate left
-Reliability over accuracy; ill only be making small things to practise and learn a skill so a mechanically well-honed machine is not necessary but something i can hope to rely on to last more than a few months is
-Noise isn't much of a factor, i'll wear earphones if needed and i'm not in a quiet neighborhood
Thank you if you read this and for any replies!
 

MARK.B.

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Dont forget you will need to budget for a chuck-tools- sandpaper-finishes etc on top of what you pay for the lathe. As with a lot of things you get what you pay for, and you do really need both a mechanically sound and reliable machine that does what it is supposed to do or you will soon find yourself getting very frustrated when you dont get the end result you would like.
Check your area for a Men in Sheds group,there you might get a better idea of what you need and a chance to practice and decide if you want to do this as a hobby before you spend your cash.
 

Duncan A

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I think you'll need to be patient and wait for the right one to come up. Not conveniently located for you but you could make small items on something like this one on Gumtree: https://www.gumtree.com/p/lathes/wood-lathe/1363410706.
Jet are a respected make, and that lathe is made under a number of other names - you'll come to recognise them.
Keep well away from anything like this (also sold under many different names: https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/193181666579?c ... gKLYPD_BwE

It would be best to join a woodturning club for a while so you are much better informed about what to look for. There's one in Christchurch, not too far from you. Even if you don't have transport, it may be worth contacting them - most clubs are very helpful.

Good luck
Duncan
 

KingAether

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Is this the same one as the link you posted? i think so, little bit more but much closer and comes with of the extras within my budget
Edit- its a rutlands 5-speed. Going to see if i can get it a little cheaper and it will be around half retail for the lot so i've messaged the gentleman about it
 

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RickG

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Hi KA,
Yes, that lathe is a good one. It's the same as those which have been marketed by Axminster.

You will also do well to contact a local wood turning club in your area. There will be people who would be happy to give you some beginner lessons and they may help you out with some tools.

It's very possible a member of a club may let you do some turning on their machine and tools to help you get started.

Don't forget you'll also need a grinder to regularly sharpen tools. For this don't use one with narrow grey wheels. Grey wheels will make lots of sparks and eat your tools and hard-earned ££ in no time. The wheels you need will probably be white in colour.
 

KingAether

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Thank you all for the links and advice, i have spoken to both the clubs in Christchurch for details and the people i spoke to at both seemed lovely and welcoming. I have been trying to build up to going but i am quite literally socially retarded, part of the reason for support workers setting the task of documenting my journey is to get feedback on myself so i can help myself to speak properly and correct certain patterns and hopefully feel more comfortable to put myself in social situations. I do plan to go to them but it likely wont be for a little while. I did some lathe work back in high school to hide at lunch-time though so I feel comfortable and confident to get back into it; like riding a bike i imagine.
RickG do you have a link to the sort of wheel you mean ? Curious if i would be able to buy one i could put in a drill with the tools in a vice to save buying a grinder to for now, though i do have sharpening blocks and stropping bits already in the house
 

RickG

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I can appreciate your wanting to save money on the grinding, but what you're suggesting sound dangerous. Sharpening tools takes a steady hand if you're going to do it without any jigs and rests.

The sort of grinder you need is one of these at minimum.
I've linked to the Amazon link, because it's cheaper from here than from Axminster Tools.

Here's a video that will tell you a lot more about how most people do it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzSbsvVSNuU

Thank you for telling us about your need for support. Most people at a wood turning club will be in their later years in life. Like all things they will be a mixed bunch. What I would suggest is to contact the club contact person and tell them about your problem. I'm sure they will have an understanding person who'll be only to happy for you to meet on your own terms at your place, or his. You can then try things out with his workshop. Then, when you're ready, you can arrange to go along to a meeting one night as his friend and be introduced to 1 or 2 people at your own pace.

This way you can also use the workshop of your new friend, to see if turning is really for you.

Coincidentally, I have 1 of these grinders myself. I'm thinking of upgrading to something better. When you're ready if you'd like to consider buying a grinder, you could buy mine and it would get you started.
 

KingAether

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Thanks again! Im not sure how i overlooked that one in my past searches for grinders, seems reasonably priced, can the wheels be changed out if and when they get ground down (thinking more the grey stone wheel) ? I like making my own carving tools but filing a file smooth can be tedious at the best of times, of course its not made for that kind of a work out but it would make that job a bit easier too for sure!
I will definitely keep that offer in mind, If i can find a lathe with a chuck under budget i imagine ill get one right away to make my own tools, i was expecting another £100+
 

marcros

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What are you planning on turning, spindles or bowls? Could I suggest doing pens, after you have got the hang of making square bits round etc. You will then end up with something that can use small pieces of wood, makes a useful gift or item for yourself and doesn't work out too expensive.

I think that I have some tools that I was given when I bought my lathe. If I can find them, you are welcome to them. They were nothing fancy, but are safe for small items (ie not converted files, but smaller sizes).

If you give me a couple of weekends, I will get the proedge out and sharpen them too. I may struggle to do it this weekend though.
 

KingAether

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That's really kind marcros, i would appreciate that. I was thinking both bowls and pens, i have a lot of smaller bits but also 30ft~ of 6-10' oak in the workshop slowely drying that i would like to get out of the way some time soon and i can't bring myself to turn it into firewood #-o
 

RickG

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KingAether":2z8v7lw7 said:
Thanks again! Im not sure how i overlooked that one in my past searches for grinders, seems reasonably priced, can the wheels be changed out if and when they get ground down (thinking more the grey stone wheel) ? I like making my own carving tools but filing a file smooth can be tedious at the best of times, of course its not made for that kind of a work out but it would make that job a bit easier too for sure!
I will definitely keep that offer in mind, If i can find a lathe with a chuck under budget i imagine ill get one right away to make my own tools, i was expecting another £100+
Axminster sell replacement wheels for that grinder. They don't wear down very fast. When sharpening you really need to work quickly as you don't normally want to remove too much metal. All you want is to freshen the edge.

You would do well to factor in getting a sharpening jig. The one I use is the same as the one in the video I linked to.
I too have some tools I can dig out and let you have if you get started.

The lathe you showed in the image would let you turn bowls up to about 6" in diameter, as well as pens and other small objects. You'd certainly have a good chance to get working on making things.

The next thing you'll need at some stage will be a bandsaw. You may not need this straight off, but it's very useful. Again, you need to look to get one secondhand.
Regrettably, getting set up in turning isn't a cheap thing.
 

KingAether

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Thats very kind, thank you and for the offer and for the help and advice! Good to know about the wheels, i know a machine like that is made for sharpening and not shaping but i have seen them get the job done albeit slowly. I've been trying to find a cheap band-saw second hand for a few weeks now, not in a rush for one but would help with woodwork in general for sure.

Right, definitely not cheap but i'm determined it will pay for itself this year, luckily i have a good in with a festival people due to a previous hobby so getting things on stalls and help with the social side of business shouldn't be to much of a problem come summer; thats the other side of learning a new hobby/skill, learning to become more self-sufficient :) including the lathe budget and what i've already spent on workshed bits im about £500 out so far but i'm being having to be patient for a great-deal on everything so at least i know, worst comes to worst, i could re-sell it all for a profit
 

KingAether

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Thanks again all for the advice and tips, the person who was going to pick up the lathe and bits in the picture fell through so im going to get it tomorrow morning for £175, seems worth a punt at that price for my budget
 

graduate_owner

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Make sure you don't buy one of those Clarke, Aldi, lumberjack, sip, draper etc lookalikes. All the same poorly made Chaiwanese rubbish, badged and painted differently. Poorwelding, gutless motor, etc. Don't buy.

K
It's the swl350.
Did I mention not to buy it?
 

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