New to turning, new lathe

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So it looks like I'll be spending a lot more time perusing this forum. I took an intro to turning class at the local Woodcraft and really enjoyed it. I had been looking at and learning about different models, but my wife beat me to the punch and surprised me with a new lathe for Christmas. She got me a Nova 1624-44 which is already set up and just waiting to be used. I was looking at models with electronic speed control so I'm not too thrilled about the belt and pulley system but I do like the size, and the ability to rotate the headstock to do larger outboard turning.

She also got me some starter kits for pen turning and some bottle stoppers. I still need a few other accessories such as a centering vise, a pen mill, and a drill chuck. Oh, and some turning tools - she told the person at Woodcraft I already had chisels, but she was talking about my regular bench chisels, so I guess I need to get a good starter set.

I plan on starting with smaller stuff like pens and stopper, and my brother has already signed me up to turn some handles for his keg tap. After that - I am not sure, I guess will tell. Looking forward to it!

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welcome to the addiction john here is a bunch of stuff that i found usefull. let me know if you need help with anything sorry about the number of links but easest to get it in one big chuck then over a couple years like i have done. 


Tools(long handles allow extra stability and strength because you can brace it on you hips)

you can make your own tools I found these site’s to be useful


your own tools

making a texturing tool

making a minie cove cutting tool

texturing tool

3 point tool

arm brace for hollow turning

chatter tool

cheap e-z tool blades

home made e_z lathe tool

lathe chucks

center finders


wood line burner

use Formica scraps and the friction will burn lines on the wood


buying tools


buying e-Z tools

buying blades to make handles for

Robert sorby tools are very good steel that hold a edge longer

sandpaper cheap



wolverine sharpen jig

paper sharpening hone for grinder

home made paper hone

grinder tool rest great for sharpening

sharpening with two grinders one normal with regular stone, second white stone, second grinder reversed with mdf wheel and felt wheel rotating up for honeing.

sharpening arm and base

you can also just buy the base

how to sharpen your tools









craft supplies

Packard tools

pen state industries

30 cheap pen kits





Carl Jacobson has a lot of videos to study


eddie castelin teaches hoe to make lots of tools and jigs cheaply


making a wood pens


turning corian



finishes for turning

favorite finish is : shelack, boild linseed oil, denatured alch one part of each mixed together. it makes a decent finish that blends and smooths well, dries fast and is shinny.



BEESWAX WOOD FINISH (for bare wood)
1 pound beeswax
1 pint turpentine (odorless, if you can find it)
1 pint boiled linseed oil
Melt wax. Remove wax from heat source, then stir in turpentine and oil. Before applying to bare wood, warm the mixture to achieve better penetration. Apply with a soft cloth, let dry, then buff with a wool cloth. Old coats can be removed with an organic solvent such as turpentine. This can also be used on leather. (Another wood finish can be made with 1 pound beeswax and 1 pint turpentine, omitting the linseed oil.)


use full sites


tips and techniques

Christmas ornaments

project ideas


lots of good info


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John, I had a full sized Jet lathe for many years with the variable belt drive and found that I used just 2 or 3 speeds for 90% of my work. I don't think you will find the belt drive limiting. Buy full sized tools and chucks as you need them, that way if you ever upgrade to a more powerful lathe you won't have to buy new accessories.

Learn to make jam chucks and that will solve a lot of mounting issues. The more weight a lathe has, the less vibration it has. If you can add a shelf and weight it down with sand bags or a small engine block ;-) it will help your finishing cuts be smother, especially on smaller items.

I have not found a need for a centering vise, you can do just as well with 2 notched block of wood and a clamp. You will also need a face shield. It should be worn all the time you are turning but I have to confess, I only wear mine while I am rough turn a new blank, it keeps the chips out of your face. I do wear safety glasses all the time I am in the shop. I have found that a turners smock to be very helpful. First it keeps the shavings and chips out of your shirt which makes it more comfortable to turn and you take it off before going out of the shop and leave all the dust and shaving behind. This makes points with the one who vacuums.


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Can you explain? Are you talking about the stuff they make countertops out of?


yep just go to menards, lowes, any box store ask for Formica samples then when where every you press on the wood it will leave a burn.  i would cut a small grove in the wood first so your card wont slide around.  

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Thanks Duck! Your list has a few things that I know I'll need like a slow speed grinder and a sharpening jig. Thanks for the videos, I'll look them over.


honestly you can get by with a regular grinder thats what i use. just dont push down so hard remember your shaving the metal a tiny bit not grinding a new shape. if you look at the video where the guy is sharpening carving tools he has one grinder backwards with a paper wheel as a hone.  you can just as well use mdf and make your own wheel works just as well.  i found out the hard way after i had already  bought a paper wheel. 

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Yes, the samples work very well for burning a line in. They create good friction without transferring the heat to your fingers. Also any type of wire will work as long as you can stand the heat or tie the wire to dowels.



problem with wire is you can only put the pressure on the outside a card will allow you to burn a line in the bottom of a bowl or on the rim.  

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last bit of advise buy your tools with long handles or just buy the steel and make your own handles that extra length is very handy when you are working larger/heaver work.  gives you better stability and strength. because you can brace them on your hip rather then just with your arms.  you can turn longer and wont hurt your sholders as bad. 


also you might want to start doing stretching for your lower back every night you turn.  shoulder and back get a bit stiff and sore if you dont take care of them can cause disc problems. 

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Dang, Duck!

This thread alone is like a starter course for turning.

Great bunch of links.

I'M SCROLLING DOWN AND SAID THE SAME THING, "DANG DUCK"... LOL....I will save this thread for my OWN reference!!!!

John.....thar is a BUNCH of good stuff in Duck's post.  He has wayyyyy too much time on his hands! :P

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Another word about back strain. Most of the lathes I have worked with, outside of my shop are too low. My first lathe bothered my back a lot until I took a class with Dick Sing. While there was a lot of info in the class the best piece of advice was on lathe height. He is 6'2" or more and had the class lathe on blocks. Google it to get the specifics but I am 5'11" and have my Jet 1642 on 4x4 blocks to get it to a better height.

The first thing to make and use is a live tail stock center cover. If you forget to remove or cover the center you will end up with turners elbow. I find it easier to cover than to remove every time.


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I'M SCROLLING DOWN AND SAID THE SAME THING, "DANG DUCK"... LOL....I will save this thread for my OWN reference!!!!

John.....thar is a BUNCH of good stuff in Duck's post.  He has wayyyyy too much time on his hands! :P


i saved all those links to a word file seen lots of people say the same thing.  im start turning what do i need to know.  easer to open it and copy and paste the links each time.  took the time to do it once and now i can help anyone in a matter of moments. 

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Hi John nice lathe you have there! My neighbor just picked up one used a couple of weeks back. Did you know if you go to the Teknatool website you can see this little goodie:


Also I have purchased and like these carbide tools as well


Hope you enjoy your new baby!

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Thanks Wooddok. I saw that upgrade - a little rich for me at this point but we'll,see how it goes. For now I'm just figuring out what accessories I need (versus what I want ). I've made a few pens, and have some bottle stoppers, to make. I want to make some handles for some tools etc so I'll work on those. Interesting point about the height of the lathe, I'll have to pay attention to see if it's too low.

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