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Hello Friends,

Needing a little advise in regards to gifts for my groomsman.  I'm in the process of making valet boxes, in variations of ash, walnut, and cherry (will show the whole builds later), but I also want to include something inside of them that I made as well.  The issue comes with what else?  I'm thinking of buying a mini lathe which would be perfect for making some bottle openers, pens, etc. What kinds of things have you all made?  Looking for some ideas.

Cheers! 

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I’d go with pens. A mini lathe and an easy wood tool, and a drill will get you going. You can cut the blanks with a handsaw, flatten the ends with sandpaper. A drill chuck that fits your lathe and pen chuck will make it even easier. However, depending on how complex your wedding is going to be, it’s best not to try to do too much. 

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On 7/23/2020 at 6:42 PM, Chestnut said:

Nova Commet II, Just bought one came with a good chuck and some marginal tools. Was very affordable, i bought some carbide tools to go with it as the included ones are just too small.

One of the local tool suppliers here sells these guys.  Do you think it'll be suitable for a beginner or should I get something that I could grow into in the future? 

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9 hours ago, Askland09 said:

One of the local tool suppliers here sells these guys.  Do you think it'll be suitable for a beginner or should I get something that I could grow into in the future? 

It’s a nice lathe and is very capable for its size. I have the original comet and it’s still going strong. The Comet II has a slightly larger capacity and offers electronic speed control and is reversible. If I ever upgrade my lathe it will most likely be replaced with a Comet II. I personally have no desire to turn larger bowls or longer spindles than the Comet II can handle. (Well, I WISH I could turn bowls like @MarkJ but that’s another story)

 

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(John, you're makin' me laugh).

The Comet II and similar small lathes are good choices for getting started.  They are popular, and for a lot of people it's all the lathe they ever need, but there is a good resale market. 

The Comet II is a Nova lathe and I like that brand, but Jet and Rikon models are also popular.  As John mentioned you want electronic variable speed and reversible.   A high top speed is desirable for small items like pens, but a low bottom end (200 or less) is good for sanding.  I don't remember the stats, but as I recall when Chestnut was shopping the Comet II  ticked off a lot of boxes.  

How long do you have until the big day?

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11 hours ago, Askland09 said:

One of the local tool suppliers here sells these guys.  Do you think it'll be suitable for a beginner or should I get something that I could grow into in the future? 

What Mark j said above. He taught me what i know any way.

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6 hours ago, JohnG said:

It’s a nice lathe and is very capable for its size. I have the original comet and it’s still going strong. The Comet II has a slightly larger capacity and offers electronic speed control and is reversible. If I ever upgrade my lathe it will most likely be replaced with a Comet II. I personally have no desire to turn larger bowls or longer spindles than the Comet II can handle. (Well, I WISH I could turn bowls like @MarkJ but that’s another story)

 

May need to get one of these myself. Was talking about these with my wife and now she wants me to make her some candlesticks. Sounds like a good enough reason to buy a lathe and get turning

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