I do not own a lathe and I have never done any turning. That said, I have always been facinated by it and have looked for a way to try. My local Woodcraft store is having a class on Pen Turning, costs about $70 including materials and use of tools. Is this a good way to start? Any advice is appreciated!
Its a slipery slope and he's over the edge. The fact that you are thinking about taking a class puts you in great danger. Give into the darkside you will. Is not the darkside the way for you? Calling you it is.
Yep, the Woodcraft class is a *great* way to see if you like it enough to invest in the tools needed to turn pens (or anything else) at home. I took two classes at Woodcraft before I decided to buy my stuff and it was certainly nice to watch somebody more experienced and be able to ask questions instead of just stumble around on my own. You'll still screw up at least a few blanks with or without the class but it's still nice to learn from someone else's experience.
Can't recommend the classes enough, but I do have a bias, as I am teaching some of the pen turning classes at the Appleton Woodcraft. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will give you my number and I can tell you more, answer any questions, etc. Unfortunately, I can't sell you my lathe!!!
I just wasn't fast enought to drag my butt up there to meet you. When we corresponded it was a pretty busy time for me. I have a lot of family in the Fox valley area, so next time I head that way I will drop you a line!