Go easy on tools. They cost, and you don't need many.
The basic set is just a handful (4?), but you duplicate them in
different sizes, according to the work, and also for bowl vs. spindle
work. Then there's any number of bobbin furtlers and other gimmicks.
Start with the Axminster set
£60 quid for a sensible set of useful tools, in good metal, with good
handles, and at a great price.
Then buy another of the big gouges and the scraper...
Your lathe tools should be solid HSS, as they do wear and HSS reduces
your sharpening time. You'll need a grinder. One with the 10 inch
geared wet wheel is now very cheap. Tormeks are lovely, but what a
price! Woodturning grinding is _not_ the precision art that plane or
chisel sharpening is.
For spindle turning you need a big gouge with a fingernail grind on
it, not a bowl grind. So get the big Axminster bowl gouge and reshape
it (angle grinder) before sharpening it to a fingernail shape (it's
all in the Raffan book).
Also convert the supplied round scraper to a square scraper (cheaper
than a square scraper of equivalent quality). You might even (if you
have a chuck and are doing bowls) grind up another as a dovetail
Then you need some other tools: a toolrack (plywood with holes in) and
a good worklight. I like to work with a 150W halogen on a stand (cheap
Screwfix) over my shoulder. It's also a good place to hang my toolrack
- the base is fixed rigid and made heavier too. The rack needs 6 or 8
holes, so that every tool for a job is there and in its own hole -
saves hunting. Worklights are important - you need to put the light
just where you need it, often swapping side to side.
Raffan and Frid will then explain the virtues of a carving cut rather
than scraping, and the arcane art of "rubbing the bevel".
Sanding needs a bunch of decent paper. Cheap Hiomant rolls in a range
of grits (I start 80, then go to 240) or Hermes J-flex (lovely stuff)
for posh. Only use small pieces of sandpaper, in case of wrapping
Finishes (IMHE) are mostly shellac (in tiny plastic drip bottles) or
commercial friction polish, polished with wood shavings. Oil on
figured timbers first, or waxes afterwards too.
Safety gear is a faceshield (check you can breathe easily without
steaming up) and most importantly a turner's smock (easy home made).
Short sleeves, no fastenings to catch, smooth fabric and high collar.
I don't wear dust protection, because I don't make dust. When I do
(scraping, tropicals, sanding) then I do.