Just thought about everyone letting people know what type of lathe we are using for our turnings.
To start with, I generally use the Delta 46-700 lathe with a home made stand. I made an A-frame style base and filled it with about 60-700 lb of sand to dampen the vibration. Unfortunately, the workshop floor isn't the most level, but it seems to have helped immensely. The swing over the bed is 12" and the swing over the banjo is about 10 1/2". For anything larger, I usually take the headstock and brig it to the end of the bed and turn it outboard. I do have the option of spinning the headstock and enlarging the swing that way, but it seems easier to do it the other way to me.
Other lathes I have used are my Fathers that is a Jet 1236 lathe (basically the same as mine, although we haven't enclosed and weighed down the stand yet) and a the jet and delta mini and midi lathes. On several occasions, I have used friends Oneway 2436 and Poolewood 2000. Both are excellent machines and on the wish list. I have trouble deciding between the two, maybe I will have to get both:) (I am beginning to think I need a wish list to get things off my wish list)
I spent 5 years looking for the right lathe. The justification for buying a learning how to turn was cost savings. I need to turn about 100 stair rail spindals. With the cost of about 15 each that was a lot of money.
So I looked for a lathe that would allow me to turn spindals that were at least 44 inches. I needed a 48 inch bed. Tough thing to do and not spend well over 3 grand. I just didn't have $3000 to spend to save 1000. We all have to justify tools in our own way don't we.
I almost bought a old used comercial PM lathe. Looked great but, it would have been a bunch and the guy was till restoring its functionality. We could not reach a price on the tools so I kept looking.
I looked for a old shopsmith to be used as just a lathe, But if I did that I wanted to get a newer model so that the copy lathe attachment would fit. Didn't find one I liked.
It is a Record Power CL-3 48 lathe. The tubes are solid steel and are very very stong. For bowl turning the head rotated 90 degrees for almost an unlimited capacity and there is a aux tool rest thing that will allow that to be done very safe.
So far it has been a very good lathe and I bought it at a woodshow and got a good deal. Less than my budget of a 1000.
I haven't started the stair project yet, I am waiting for my skill to get just a bit better and for the redo of the shop. Right now I need to toss a few thing to set the Lathe up in its perminant home. I have it bolted to the strange bench I now have in the center of the shop. I have spent long hours there learning how to make precision firewood for Sonny.
I also recently inherited my late father's old Rockwell Beaver lathe that has to be at least as old as me. I don't use it, however, and have it stored in my barn for purely sentimental reasons. Someday if/when I have a bigger shop I will set it up and use it as a second lathe.
I DON'T have a Tormek for sharpening. I use a bench grinder and/or a 1" belt sander for sharpening.
I also use a SuperNova chuck. My HSS turning tools are Robert Sorby, Sheffield Leyland or Henry Taylor. I also have, from the inheritance, an old set of Craftsman tools, some Marples tools and a bunch of Swedish tools whose brand name eludes me. None of these are HSS but still quite functional.
Bill, i also got the exstension for it in case the need should arise
and i have to turn something longer.Your right though thats what i got it for is to do small things.I was is in the Beal sight and they have the supplys to make what they call treen ware,i`m interested in small stuff like that.I figure if i can make my wife a set of salt&pepper shakers worth 99 cents,she would`nt balk at me me when i spend hundreds of dollar worth of tools ehh! thanks for your reply. Carl
Proudly he proclaims!
My name is Robert and I have a Craftsman.
Yes folks I wanted the capacity,wanted the swivelling Head,wanted the length, didn't want to spend over $500.
Now... before you all scoff its a pretty solid chunk and free of vibration. Being supercritical it does appear to have some back lash in the gearbox and I would have preferred the headstock to have been hollow. But hey you got to make some allowances when your buying at the bottom end.
I learnt on a very basic Asian Model which when I moved over here sold for the same as I paid for it.
So far I've bought a Supernova chuck and a smaller tail stock center.
A curved bowl rest from Delta and turned the post down from 1" to 7/8" ...it really tees me off when everything is so close to standard but isn't!!!!.
Tools.... to my mind far more critical than the motor that spins the chunk...... Ashley Isles..which I dearly like..similar to Sorby...and an old set of Marples I came upon by chance that still had the original transfers on the handles. Never been out of the tattered original box.....but steel today is a lot more Hi Tech so I only use them for sentimental reasons!!
The only tool (with a motor) that I brought with me from UK was my Tormek....I think this was one small deciding factor that made Lou buy one and he has discovered the path to Nirvana.
all the lathes in the world and all the Tools in the world don't make for a pile worth a s... iffen the tool you are using is not sharp. Don't so much look for courses and instruction on technique until you have mastered really sharp for your tools.
That's my 2 cents.
Glad to see you back and around the old homestead here. Were you ever able to get anything out of that spalted maple section? Curiosity, as to whether it was me or the wood. I am about to give it another go this weekend, should plans come about, but weekend planning is about 10% accurate for me.
Hate to admit it, but I like the green color. Bought the Grizzly 40 inch (I think it's the G1067Z?). It's my first, and I could justify the $504 delivered price with SWMBO by saying it was big enough to turn posts for her new bed. The first Saturday I used it, the tool rest extension broke and landed on my foot. OUCH. So far, I've just goofed off with it. Turned some doug fir 4X4 into what passed for a candle stand. Got a piece of green oak on it now trying to find the vessel within.
For once I think I have beat Limey on the cheapest tool routine, actually the lathe cost me nothing because I uh..."borrowed" it from my husband, but for what it is worth, my lathe is a 5900 series Clausing turret lathe with a 46" bed weighing about 1400 lbs. It cost him $100 and the replacement of a leaf spring on my old pickup which had a tough time handling the weight. The 3 phase motor is replaced, a good 4 jaw chuck in the machine and a live center with a 1" shaft out there SOMEWHERE waiting for me to come along and give it a good home is all it needs.