Turning advice

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PeteHB

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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.
 

Stigmorgan

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@PeteHB go ahead and dive into youtube, it's totally possible to teach yourself, other than a day spent with a fellow member of this site I am completely self taught from YouTube, I still have a lot to learn but I can produce some passable pieces, it's a fun and addictive hobby, £1000 would buy you a pretty decent machine and kit depending on the size of lathe you want, this would depend on how big you want to be able turn, my lathe is Record Power and will turn a 9inch bowl blank and a spindle up to 24inches in length and I think it's perfect as a first lathe as the 9 inch bowl limit prevents me from taking on bigger stuff that I could get myself into trouble with, it's always good to be aware of the difference between RPM and speed.
 

Terry - Somerset

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Were you based in the UK I would strongly suggest you join a local woodturning club - members usually very helpful with advice, hands on evenings etc etc.

Whether these exist in or around Grenoble I don't know - but there are certainly a few local woodturners who would either be able to help or point you in the right direction.
 

Phil Pascoe

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get yourself a newer edition of this - https://www.google.com/search?q=woo...l4j0i390l2.20828j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
A Sorby 447 jig is among the best if not the best for gouges. Even pro turners use jigs, it makes economic sense in time and steel to use them. You can grind freehand but more often that not you'll end up grinding away three or four times as much steel as necessary and that makes no sense on a £50 or more tool. Also, if you stop to sharpen in the middle of a job you don't really want to go back into it with a totally different shaped grind, adequate in other circumstances it might be. With a jig and means of setting the tool to the exactly the same protrusion you need remove only hair's breadth of steel to renew the edge. (Many experienced turners keep identical tools ground differently for different purposes, but that's another subject.)
 

Richard_C

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I'm sure you will get good advice here, but you maybe better posting the same question in the lathes-woodturning forum below.

I started out just before lockdown and am self taught, the Keith Rowley book suggested above is good, you really need to read it all through then "read a bit- do a bit" and it all falls into place.

You tube is helpful, you soon get a sense of the sane vs insane, if someone fixes half a tree to their lathe and waves a huge tool at it (some US you tubers perhaps) maybe move on. Martin Saban Smith did a good series for beginners.

Allow about £500 start up on top of lathe cost for a chuck, a few mid range tools and odds and sods. You can spend more and more, you might do well to get a set of standard tools (typically 5) and learn to use them all before you branch out into more specialist ones. My lathe cost about £300 and is good enough, belt change, may trade up one day but time and skill are the limiting factors not the machine.

At my age, 69, really good lighting is a must.

I started with spindle turning and moved on to small bowls. Perhaps too soon, on reflection I should have spent more time learning and anchoring one technique at a time.

Counter to most advice I freehand grind, using a red wheel on an ancient machine. Yes you make mistakes but they get fewer. The only difficult things are my 2 bowl gouges but you learn.

I spent quite a long time on the UK workshops lathe forum just reading old posts and threads, a good way to pass a dark evening or few and you absorb lot of information. I think there are over 600 pages, didn't read them all.
 
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Jameshow

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Why not get a myford ml8 and get it shipped out to France.

The genius of the ml8 is it's simplicity - Nothing to go wrong. If a modern lathe goes wrong your a long way from help....

You can often get them with a load of tools.

Just a thought.....
 

Orraloon

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As others have said its best to find other turners to learn the basics from. Some of the youtube stuff is good but there is a lot thats not going to help.
This guy is worth watching and is one of the worlds best turners.
Richard Raffan sharpening scrapers - YouTube
He also has written a few turning books so look for those.
Regards
John
 

HamsterJam

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Better to learn in person if you can but Axminster did a series of beginners wood turning with Colwin Way. These cover the basics including the lathes etc.
Edit - can be found on YouTube and their website.
 
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JBaz

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Being naturally thrifty (alright - mean!) I learned a lot from making my own handles for chisels that I bought new from China (with replaceable inserts - £15-£25) or second hand at farmers markets/car boot sales.

The wood came from pallets (the crate type used for stone slabs - usually from India) which are made of surprisingly tough hardwood. For ferrules I use 28mm copper offcuts from plumbers. If there are nail holes in the way, they can be drilled and plugged before turning.

Of course, you have to have some tools to start with, but you will soon be replacing every wooden handle you own - screwdrivers, umbrellas, saucepans, doors, the thingy that goes on the end of pull cords ...... hours of fun and pleasure.
 

mikeduvar

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There is a woodturning school in Aiguines run by Jean Francois Escoulan - his website is escoulan.com. There are open days 21 - 23rd May this year. Aiguines is situated in the Gorge de Verdon about 230 km from Grenoble - very well worth a visit, details of the event are published on the website. A couple of useful online sources in France for lathes and woodturning tools generally are: bordet.fr and ftfi.fr
 

kinverkid

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There are a couple of YouTube channels I watch when having my tea break. Woodturner 21 a production woodturner that rarely posts these days but is impressive to just watch and Peggy at PF Woodturning who generally turns a bowl each week. Neither of them make any real attempt to teach although Peggy tells you which tool she's using. It's a little more like learning by repetition or comparing technique but I also find it relaxing before going back to the coal face or as my wife puts it 'pithering about in the garage'. 'IT'S A WORKSHOP' I whisper. Stigmorgons suggestion for Sean's/Shawn's/Shaun's channel Worththeffort is a good one for going into more detail with an emphasis on teaching techniques.
 

Shan

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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.
Pete, I'm living in Portugal and purchased a 2nd hand lathe here. Bought a half decent set of gouges new and pretty much self taught. Did my 1st bowl at school some 40 odd years back and the seed was sown. It's a real blast turning bowls for sure.
Haven't really looked at you tube too much but spent a couple of hour's watching a guy who turns for a living which was helpful. Seemed to go about his business in a pretty much matter of fact way and not probably by the book. Remember him sharpening a gouge free hand and I hadn't seen as many sparks since the 5th November! By contrast, watched another guy who makes bespoke bowls etc and he had the full works. Tormek sharpening system with jigs and a very nice lathe. Probably setup cost in the region of €6 or 7k.
I got my lathe and tool's for about €1000. Handy having a chainsaw to cut up trunks as well. As for sharpening I'm using my belt sander turned upside down with zirconium belts. Bit unorthodox but works for me. Don't have a jig, I go free hand.
Good luck with getting started.
Shan 🖒🖒🖒
 

Chisteve

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+ another for making chisel handles that’s how I’m starting made from old beech wooden planes and getting better with the skew chisel after finding a good quality one eventually now experimenting on more difficult turning

Also whiting a lot of YouTube as mentioned above
 

chris.s

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Don't do it you will get adicted I started with a £25 bead lathe as I wanted to shape a length of dowell to restore a table skittles game and now I'm sat in my motorhome having picked up three lathes on the way, now the one thing I've never seen in advice to beginners is get a centre finder makes things a lot less wobbly.
 

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