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Learner Les

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I think that this posting may cause a few explosive reactions from the woodturners out there but here goes anyway.
I have always fancied woodturning but never got around to it. Recently I mentioned to a former lathe owning friend that I was interested in woodturning but the expense of setting up with the necessary equipment was too high for something I may not like or be able to do. He agreed and said that once he had made a bowl for every member of his family there was nothing left to make so he sold his lathe and lost money !
So my question is:
What do you use your lathe for ?
I considered buying a cheapo Charnwood lathe just to try woodturning. Is this a good idea ?
 

Cutting Crew

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Hi Les,

Nothing explosive there, the answer's simple, you keep on improving until you can sell the bowls instead of giving them away.

If your friend with the lathe couldn't think of anything else to make, then probably turning wasn't for him anyway. It's all about enjoyment as well as making money.


CC
 
A

Anonymous

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Hi Les

I only turn the odd thing I need for my furniture such as feet or knobs etc. as my interest is more closely related to planks :lol:

However, my advice is don't get an yof those cheap sets of chisels. Decent chisels wiill be safer and keep an edge longer + you will enjoy the turning all the more.

I have a cheapo lathe and it does what I need

I'm afraid that's all I have to offer, I am sure more sage advice will be forthcoming from the woodturning fraternity

Cheers

Tony
 

Alf

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Les,

I'm no turner, like Tony my interests are more plank orientated. I use mine for the centre columns of Shaker candle stands, door and drawer knobs, tool handles etc. Also a good standby for pressies; bowls, candle sticks, dibbers, cane toppers etc etc etc. The list goes on. And after a bit they've forgotten you gave them a bowl first, so you can do another one. :lol:

I agree with CC, sounds more like the trouble was with your friend's imagination than possible things to make next. Luckily you'd have this forum to give you ideas if you needed 'em. :wink:

Cheers, Alf
 

trevtheturner

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Les,

A look at the gallery on this site will show you some examples of what can be achieved (none of mine on there 'cos don't know how to post the pics. yet! :oops: ).

In fact, if it's round and made of wood, given size limitations, it can be turned, including round tuits :shock: . What about clocks, chairs, plant stands, cake stands, standard lamps, table legs, coffee tables, chess sets, table lamps - the list is endless and you can let your imagination run wild on design, including techniques such as spirals and inlays and textured surfaces. Then there are pens to be made for presents after everybody has a bowl or two. Then when you have made one candlestick you decide to make a matching pair (see CC's avatar). Making one is okay - getting the second one exactly the same is not so easy.

I haven't yet made all of these, mind, as I've only been turning three years! :roll:

If you are not sure, why not do a short woodturning course? If you are keen, go for it (I'm sure you will be able to do it - 'cos I did, I think :roll: ) but try to get decent kit. Cheap kit can be - usually is - false economy.

Question of losing money? - some people spend thousands on their pastimes, e.g. the golfer who pays his annual club sub., green fees, costs of his clubs and balls, etc. - so, each to their own! But be warned - woodturning can be addictive. :wink:

Cheers, Trev.
 

Martin

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Hi Les,

The advice above is good - particularly the one about trying it first through a course. There are some good offers around, and you don't need to spend ages attending night classes to find out if turning is for you (eg many turners offer intensive 1 or 2 day courses).

I've only been turning for about a year, and like many on this group combine it with normal "plank" work. What keeps bringing me back is the challenge - as trev says there are many facets to the hobby.

What I particularly like is the ability to put a bare peice of wood on the lathe, and a few hours later (many hours in my case :oops: ) take off a finished item (something which doesn't happen often in traditional woodwork). Also, I find there's something immensely satisfying about seeing the streams of wood shavings coming off as you turn and shape the work.

The other bonus for me is that turning is relatively quiet - so I can do it at night after work without the neighbours complaining (the same definitely can't be said for some of my other machinery, which I restrict to weekend work). I also find it incredibly relaxing - a good tonic for me because the day job is particularly stressful sometimes.

Anyway, as I said, I'd recommend you give it a try first before investing in any kit. The costs are deceiving as it's not only the lathe you have to consider - you'll quickly find that you'll want/need a grinder, better chisels, chucks, revolving centers etc. etc. Before you know it you'll have spent £500+ (with the lathe representing perhaps only a fraction of that amount).

I started off with a Record DML36 lathe, which is a good starter lathe IMHO, good quality, reasonbly priced and with a good feature set. If you do decide to buy I would tend to avoid the cheaper end of the market as you mostly get what you pay for (isn't that always the case!).

I don't have any experience with the Charnwood - suggest you research it abit more before you buy.

Hope that helps.

Cheers,
Martin.
 

Philly

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Les,
I mainly make bits of furniture, but when I'm getting a bit bored of making pieces of wonky wood straight I have a go on my Draper lathe and do a bit of turning. It makes a nice change for me. I would'nt want to do turning all the time, but I do enjoy it now and again.
Also, wood is free for woodturning-you can pick up logs for free if you keep your eyes open. Hardwoods are a lot more fun than the sort of timber you can buy at B+Q! :D
regards,
Philly
 
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