What are the points to look for in a lathe and what is the price range of a
solid unit for leg turning and maybe bowls. I did some searching and the ranges
are low, a few hundred, so I know there must be important features to consider.
Thanks for any help.
First things first - head over to rec.crafts.woodturning. A nice bunch
of folks and very willing to offer help.
When considering a lathe, you first have to decide on capacity - for
current needs/desires and a short way into the future. How long and how
large a diameter turning are you wanting to turn? Lathes are rated by
"swing" and "between centers" capacities. Swing = (distance from the
spindle center to the lathe bed) x 2. Another way to think of it is the
maximum diameter turning the lathe can make. Swings are generally 8",
10", 12", 14", 16", 20" & 24". Between centers is the maximum distance
the centers can be separated. This distance would equate to the maximum
length of a single section of turning - you could join turned sections
to effectively make longer pieces. This distance can be as short as 15"
or so up to 36" in standard configurations. Many lathes also accept bed
extensions so you can increase the distance between centers.
Second factor is money. How much do you want to spend *total* to get
into turning? The lathe is just the beginning as you'll need, at the
very least, a basic selection of chisels and gouges.
Post your message over on the turning group with your size needs and
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Offering a shim for the Porter-Cable 557 type 2 fence design.
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