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What starter lathe?

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WoodPecker

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Hi All,

First post here.
I've never done any wood turning but I'd like to start. What would be a good starter lathe to get? I've been looking at some of the SIP models as I have a SIP table saw and it's great considering what it cost, what do you think? I'd also consider second hand if there was anyone over here with one for sale.
 

Woodythepecker

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Adrian, welcome to the forum. WoodPecker, not a bad handle.

I am not the one to ask when it comes to starter lathe's, but hang on tight, because there are many other members who are only to willing to give you their expert advice. There you go i can see one coming now.

Regards

Woody
 

jasonB

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I've goyt the Nu-tool version of the Axminster Perform CCL lathe which also comes badges as several other makes. For the price it is a very capable machine and the variable gearbox is a lot handier than fiddling about changing belts, but would advise on getting a decent chuck with whatever one you end up buying.

Axminstersare doing it with £48.00 off at the moment

Here are a few bits that I have turned on mine.

Also don't be tempted to buy the very cheap sets of turning tools, they are very poor quality.
 

Johnboy

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I would second Jason's recommendation, mine is badged Delta but looks the same. That Axminster price looks a good deal to me.

I have the SupaNova chuck and am very happy with it. Costs nearly as much as that Perform Lathe though!!

John
 

jasonB

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I,ve got the Axminster Clubmans chuck, they have got a tenner off that as well :D

Jason
 

WoodPecker

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Thanks for the quick replies

I've goyt the Nu-tool version of the Axminster Perform CCL lathe which also comes badges as several other makes.
It looks like SIP also have a badged version, On the SIP one the head can be turned to the outside for turning large bowls, does this sound like the same one?
 

jasonB

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Looks the same to me. 16-18" is about as big as you can turn with the head rotated as the rest won't reach much further, but its also handy when deep hollowing as you can see down the vestle easily.

Jason
 

SVB

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I agree with what has been said. I would suggest you have a look at some lathes and get the feel of the standard of finish as there is quite a bit of variety out there.

I don't know whether you are new to wood work full stop or just turning. If the former then keep in mind that the lathe is only 50% of the equation if you are buying new from scratch. Turning tools, a chuck and consumables all add up and should not be forgotten. A grinder is also required and one with a wide wheel is an advantage. I decided to buy a jig to help with shaping the tools when I sharpen them - not essential to start but does allow you to focus on the turning rather than wondering whether the profile you have just ground is at fault or the technique.

Also, do you have an idea of the type of turning you will want to do. If bowls are all you want to do then you may want to look at different lathes to if you really want to turn four-poster bed frames.

Sorry, more questions than answers but I hope it helps. If you haven't already, I would suggest getting in touch with your local turning club and attending a couple of meetings. Everyone has been in the position you are now and will all have an opinion.

If you want to know what I did in your place (I started last October and opted to go for the new route from a big supplier for the back-up / piece on mind that gave), I bought an Axminster M900 lathe (they are on offer at the moment for £350ish rather than £430 normally) and have been very pleased with it. In my view it was much better finished that the other clones with finely ground castings, better bearings etc etc but at a price.

I would also suggest a set of probably 6 tools (loads of posts on the web for what makes a good beginners selection) and a bench grinder (record power do some reasonably priced ones with a wide wheel in either 6" or 8") and you will be in business. A chuck can come later - keep an eye on ebay.

Above all, keep a couple of quid for some lessons. They will not only establish good habits early but short cut some frustrations associated with self / book teach!

And finally - welcome, have fun and let us know how you get on!

Simon.

(PM me if you want to phone and have a chat for any more advice although I am far from a professional!)
 

CHJ

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I have the Perform Model referred to above WoodPecker, it is virtually identical to many other branded items that are offered at considerably more expensive asking prices.

The only proviso I would make to a recommend is that you must be prepared to do a little work on the "rough edges" so to speak to tune it up.

As supplied it is obvious that in this version the components have been finished to a price, but I do not see that buying it under another brand name can guaranty a better machine.

I had to modify the head clamping lugs to achieve a satisfactory clamp and the variable speed drive pulleys were a little rough resulting in the rapid shredding of the supplied vee belt until the burs etc had worn off. The Drive shaft did not have any lubricant(grease) in it as supplied (manual does warn about the essential need to lubricate properly), and the tailstock is not perfectly aligned with the headstock. (not a problem to date but is something on the 'toit' list to sort before any small turning is attempted.

It can be seen in use HERE and the links to my turnings gallery will show what it is capable of producing.
 

Happy amateur

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Woodpecker

Have posted a private message to you
I will be in Leitrim next Wednesday 5th October.
Can give or leave for you some English catalogues if of any use

Happy amateur
 

CHJ

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CHJ":39zy040s said:
...snip..and the tailstock is not perfectly aligned with the headstock. ..snip..
Done this morning, took about an hour to complete.
Tested the headstock for alignment with bed (OK)
Tested tailstock and found that the bed location lugs were not equally located on centre line of tailstock barrel, adjusted the tailstock side location by filing about 0.75mm off the central 'location' lugs on one side to enable tailstock to be moved over, checking that the barrel stayed parallel to bed, original thoughts were to bond packing pieces to side that now has gap but in practice works fine 'as is', as long as tailstock is registered on the 'master' side of the bed before clamping.

Turned a couple of 1 cm spindles of varying lengths with no problems. Oh ! except that Santa Claus has not delivered a small Steb Centre yet so had to resort to some hot melt glue on headstock centre prongs to get reliable drive.
 

WoodPecker

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Yet again, thanks for all the replies, after reading through the posts it would probably be a good idea to give you some background info:
I'm not new to woodwork but a bit out of practice. 18 years since I left school, did wood work up to Leaving cert level (A-Level) Got top marks in Irish Republic for my project, then went to follow a career which had absolutely nothing to do with woodwork :roll: . Anyway, I'm finally in a position to build myself a workshop (not built yet, house first). I have a fair collection of hand tools (power and acoustic :lol: ) and a table saw, anyway gotta go will check in tomorrow.
 

Lin

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Adrian, Glad you found the forum. The guys and gals here are great and full of info.......
Lin
 

WoodPecker

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Lin,

Thanks for the tip. :lol:

Happy Amateur,

I only read your PM this morning, I logged on Sat night while waiting for herself to get ready but didn't have time to check the PM, sorry about that, but thanks for the offer.
 

geoff_tulip

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hi there -
since you are from the same neck of the woods i would be glad to show you my lathes and show you what limitations to look out for - you can have a go on the lathes and get a feel for what type of turning you would be interested in - spindle or bowl. i would be glad to advise on tools etc -
the offer is always there for anyone else interested in starting turing -
if county down is too far away i run a forum for woodturners in ireland and uk and you may be able to get someone handier who is a bit more local to you.
you can see the forum @
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/irelandwoodturners/
 

SVB

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WoodPecker

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Hi Simon,

Looks interesting allright, looks like I'd have to collect it if I won and the ferry would cost about €220 for a 1 day trip, I wouldn't have the time to make a weekend or few days break out of it at the moment.

Geoff,

Thanks very much for the offer, I'm busy trying to get our house finished at the moment so that we can move in. Maybe after Christmas a trip to the mourne mountains may be on the cards :wink:
 

Les Mahon

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Woodpecker,

One alternative is to try http://www.buyandsell.ie a quick search for lathe just now turned up a good list!

I have a Record DML36 that I bought last year - I can't say I'mout it but it works.

Also Are you aware that the Irish Woodturners Guild Anual convention is on this week end in cork - and you post reminded me that I have done nothing about going! must make a phone call!

Les
 

WoodPecker

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Les,

One alternative is to try www.buyandsell.ie a quick search for lathe just now turned up a good list!
I had a look all right and as you said a good list came up, certainly more than I've seen in the past, If I was going to chase up on from the buy and Sell I'd have to leave it until after Christmas, which is what I think I'll do.
 
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