SWMBO gloat

I took the wife and girls (ages 1 and 3) to the Chicago Woodworking Show on Saturday. I don't know if the inspiration came from that or where, but today, my wife got started talking about me making bowls. She's not too hip on what I have in the shop (she didn't know I had a band saw), but somehow she figured out I don't have "that thing that makes bowls", aka a lathe. I got practically ordered to get a lathe.
Wife: You should get a lathe. Me: No, you can't make me. Wife: I think you should get one. Me: Okay.
Well, it went *something* like that. Anyway, I've been interested in acquiring a lathe for a while, and have just kind of had my eye out for something to come around. Now that the seriousness factor has gone up from a 3 to about a 6, I'm trying to decide what direction to go in. Like all woodworking stuff, I know there is a $100 version and a $2000 version. Based on your experience, what would you recommend for a novice woodturner, lathe-wise? Mini-, Midi-, or Full-size? (or as Mike Myers might say "wee, not so wee....and frickin' huge). I haven't turned anything since junior high shop class, so would I need anything past the lathe with live center & face plate and a set of basic turning tools (gouges, skew, and parting tools?
I see where Grizzly has a 14" x 40" with stand for $188 delivered. The bed is stamped steel, which doesn't excite me. For $353 delivered, you can move up to a 12" x 35.5" with pivoting headstock and cast iron bed, which sounds more like it to me.
todd
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Well I am no lathe expert by any stretch but I can tell you that the 14x40 will limit the scope of bowls you can turn and the stamped base on my HF lathe sucks. Puff

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Hi Todd, After a long time searching, scanning the catalogs and shopping on ebay, I just built one. Check it out here.... http://www.angelfire.com/jazz/kb8qlrjoe/page5.html It aint beautiful, but it works for me till I win the lottery :-) Hope this helps. Joe
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"Wood" suggest that you ask the same question at rec.crafts.woodturning news group. You can also ask about turning tools, chucks, techniques, etc.
Another good resource is is to check out the classes at Woodcraft or other wood working stores in your area. Another option for buying a lathe is to look at auctions. Sometime you can do well - sometimes not. The main thing about buying a used lathe is to make sure the bearings in the head stock and tail stock are good with no play.
MIchael - another novice.
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Let me restate what I *think* Todd's question is, because I am interested too.
What features should I look for in a lathe, under what circumstances would I find that particular feature useful, and what retail price point should I expect to see this particular feature.
For instance, i have noticed that as you pass the $1500 mark, machines start to show up with Electronic, Variable Speed motors, When would I find this feature especially useful?
-Steve

on
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woodturner,
"wee,
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sounds
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go to groups.google.ca then type rec.crafts.woodturning, and then put your question into the search box, there is lots of information on this subject there.

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I've only beeen turning since last October but variable speed will allow you to slow down the rotation on unbalanced pieces.this can come in handy at times when you wish to turn something either large &/or wet. You will likely also want to get a chuck and maybe a couple sets of jaws for it. Comes in handy for turning bowls and such. Sharpening equipment and perhaps a jig for putting the edge to fingernail bowl gouges is very good unless you're particuarly adept at freehand sharpening. Figure about $200 for gouges and such - roughing gouge, 1 or 2 bowl gouges perhaps a scraper or three. A bandsaw is probably the only other large ticket item and you're set to go.

somehow
all
junior
center
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todd wrote:

You are a hard sell. :-)
I would suggest (in order of preference): 1. Take a class (local adult ed, Rockler, etc.). Understand what kinds of stuff you are interested in and buy to fit those needs. The instructors are usually a good source for this kind of info. 2. Read everything you can get your hands on to get the same info as above. 3. Spend the two large and hope for overkill.     mahalo,     jo4hn
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todd wrote:

You really need to figure out how much you have to spend. There is always a bigger, neater, more expensive lathe than the one you have. Figure that decent tools will average $50 each unless you make your own. If you are ordered to make bowls, then swingover dictates the size of the bowls and bigger is better, figure 1" less that swingover is the biggest bowl you'll really be able to turn. Slower is better and that's why it's nice to have variable speed. It isn't a requirement, but it sure is nice. Cast Iron ways are better than steel tubes, but solid is the bottom line. A swivel head is nice, but if it loosens up with use it stops being a nice feature. If you take this over to Rec.Crafts.Woodturning You'll start our weekly arguement on spend more and cry once, or spend some and outgrow it then get what you now know you wnat. DAGS and see how that works out. Find out where the local turners are and find someone to teach you haow to turn. They'll be happy to help and you'll scare yourself less. BTW, You suck! Ordered to get a lathe, that's the fastest way to waste time and money I've come up with, except maybe planes. %-) Dave in Fairfax
--
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