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by making a tool rest, and using actual wood type lathe tools may be a help,
you may need a steady rest to support the pipe as it is worked on, but by cutting it instead of using the pliers that would basically heat it up and I think that is why you got the rough surface,
I turn some plastics in my metal lath and just use the cutters and it will turn ribbons of plastic off with out heating it,
but it is good to see you thinking and trying things, when I first started I did many things similar before I could afford to buy premade tools, and still make many things for my own use,
but the concept is not nessarly new, a shop smith is basically a drill press on it back,
I am sure there are more, these I just found in a few Min's,
Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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