If you want the best turning, you'll be firmly referenced to the toolrest.
Keeping things steady there is what allows them to be round. Doesn't even
have to be you holding the tool, really. 680 on squares from 5 to 15
diagonal works fine.
I use a pin chuck. Bore a 1" hole in where I want the center to be and draw
the tailstock up tight. Makes for a nice stable relationship between the
piece, the tool and the rest. Another non-player.
Well, I don't rest my roughing gouge on the banjo. It's too low. The rest
should allow me to traverse a sufficient diadonal to reduce in diameter so I
can move the whole into the space I've created underneath.
I've got three myself. The one that came with, a shorter one for stuff
that's short, and a curved one for trimming inside. Don't really need the
third, but it's great for tool control on a continuous peel, where I might
have to move my rest a couple times.
Then listen to the voice of experience. You can't turn too slow - no motion
is called carving, though. You can turn too fast, and that's dangerous.
What makes you a turner is the shavings you make, and they're the same at
any speed, as long as you can maintain control.
:> I can't stress enough how important the variable speed is, When:> roughing to round, being able to take the speed up to the point:> things start to wobble and bounce, then backing it off slowly 'til:> it stops is so much more convenient than playing trial and error:> with belts and pulleys. I can turn at the best speed for the cut:> and my comfort level and change speeds at the turn of a knob.
: Can't tell you how _unimportant_ it is to speed up the lathe. Can be
: important to get it slow enough to keep it from dancing, but since you can
: cut at any speed
Ever try to turn a pen at 200 RPM? it can be done, I guess, but
you'll get a much finer finish if you turn it at a much higher
-- Andy Barss
Of course, it can cost as much as you've got- plus a few dollars you
don't. But it's quite possible to make do with less expensive
Let's see- over three years, I've added Delta turning tools (set of 8-
free with the Midi lathe), a Grizzly four-jaw chuck ($50), a five
piece set of carbon steel tools ($15), an outside caliper ($8), a face
shield ($15), and a drill chuck with a morse taper ($30). Already had
a grinder that is working fine ($50 ten years ago), and made the rest
(toolrests, specialty tools, etc) myself out of scrap metal.
The setup works just fine- though it is, in fact, less shiny than
others I've seen. :)
Just wanted to chime in, to let the OP and others know that it does
not have to be prohibatively expensive to start turning. The Midi
lathe ($265 on sale) and the big Delta gap-bed ($675 used) were by far
the most expensive components of the hobby. I do have to sharpen
tools slightly more often, but it's never been a problem for me- in
fact, the cheap carbon steel tools take the keenest edge.
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