Got a new Jet model 1236 lathe delivered today and, as expected, it came w/
extremely poor directions. I have read that this was the case on the forum
and so it wasn't a surprise but, of course, a disapointment none the less.
So anyway... Anyone out there reccomend a site for info re. the setup
and use of this lathe? I've never used a lathe before so anything basic
would be good. Thanks!!
I purchased a Jet 1236 in August of last year and had no problems setting it
up. The assembly directions were pretty straight forward with a single
caveat. There are 2 VERY similar sized washers. The larger ones are used to
bolt the top assembly - the ways and headstock to the legs and the smaller
ones to bolt together the legs. Other than that it took less than an hour
to put it together and make dust.
What was a bit of a disappointment was the lack of maintenance instructions.
Perhaps common sense is assumed to be a part of the purchaser's makeup. My
own maintenance will be to take of the pulley cover and inspect the belt as
well as clean it up at least every 6 months and replace the belt once a year
or sooner if needed.
As you have never used a lathe, several suggestions come to mind. 1 Visit
or join a club. Usually friendly folks that are eager to help out. 2. Go to
the library and check out some books and videos. Raffan's book - Turning
Wood is a good one which focuses primarily on how to use the lathe.
Conover's: The Lathe Book: A Complete Guide... is also good focusing more on
the lathe rather than technique.
rec.crafts.woodturning is a great resource for more info. Also, there is a
http://www.newwoodworker.com/JWL1236tips.html that is specific to the
1236. I've used a few of the suggestions there.
First step is to make something round.
Get a piece of wood and make it sort of square. Hardwood is best, but a 2x4
will do. Find your drive spur. That's the thingy with the point and cross
blades on one side and the morse taper on the other. Take a mallet and drive
it into the approx center of one end of the wood. Put the drive spur in the
head stock. Put the live center in the tail stock. If you don't have a live
center, use a dead center. Hold the piece of wood so that the indentations
you made in the end of the wood line up with the drive center and bring the
tail stock up and align the point of the center with the center of the wood.
(see why they call it a center?)
Move the tool rest up to the wood so that it clears when you rotate the
piece by hand. There should be about a 1/8 inch clearance at the maximum
diameter of the wood. The height of the tool rest should be about mid point
of the stock.
Put on your full face shield, or at least safety glasses. Personal note: I
have hurt myself more in the short time of owning a lathe then I have in 40
some odd years of working with woodworking tools. Be careful. Start the
lathe on a slow speed. If there is a lot of vibration shut it off and check
the mounting of your stock.
Pick up your largest gouge. Hold it firmly, but a death grip is not
necessary. If you are right handed, you will be holding the right hand at
the end of the handle. It will be tucked into your side. Your left hand will
hold the gouge up near the working end but outside the tool rest. It not
only steadies the tool, but acts as a depth gouge. Bring the tool up to the
wood with the handle low until it touches the wood on the bevel with a tick
tick as the wood rotates. Now slowly raise the handle until a chip comes off
the wood. Rotate the gouge a little to the left and move your body so that
the tool moves along the length of the wood. Stop the lathe and survey your
work. You should have a square with all the corners knocked off. Start the
lathe and do it a few more times. Rest the round part of the gouge lightly
on top of the stock. Does it bounce? If so you are not round yet.
This will get you started doing something with your lathe. It's the first
task for most turning projects. There is a great web site, I think in
England that will take you through the basics. I don't have the URL
bookmarked, but maybe somebody will come up with it. There are also a lot of
the subscribers to the news group that have instructional information on the
web. A search of the archives will produce a lot of information. There are a
number of books and videos available. The best way to learn is to have
somebody show you. Go to the AAW site at:
http://www.woodturner.org and see if there is a club near you. Most have
Good luck, have fun, and be safe.
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