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Lathe purchase, no knowledge

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  • Lathe purchase, no knowledge

    Last week I ordered a Variable Speed Mini-Lathe from Steel City - Model 60100 with the bed extensions - it should be here next week. I have absolutely no knowledge about lathes and would like to learn. Because they are small, I thought a good first project would be to attempt to learn to turn pens.

    Can someone suggest a book that they have found helpful for learning about lathes, sort of like " Lathes For Dummies?" Also is my pen project a good first project or are there projects better suited to the novice?

    Thanks,
    Tom

  • #2
    Re: Lathe purchase, no knowledge

    Tom I don't know if there are many turners here on the Ridgid forums, but I do know that there are a bunch of over @ Family Woodworking.
    There are a bunch of pen turners and knowledgeable folks there who can suggest good books etc.

    Hope that helps
    Cheers! - Jim
    -------------
    All truth passes through three stages: First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. - Schopenhauer

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    • #3
      Re: Lathe purchase, no knowledge

      Originally posted by Tom W View Post
      Last week I ordered a Variable Speed Mini-Lathe from Steel City - Model 60100 with the bed extensions - it should be here next week. I have absolutely no knowledge about lathes and would like to learn. Because they are small, I thought a good first project would be to attempt to learn to turn pens.

      Can someone suggest a book that they have found helpful for learning about lathes, sort of like " Lathes For Dummies?" Also is my pen project a good first project or are there projects better suited to the novice?

      Thanks,
      Tom
      I, too, JUST got into pen turning as my first lathe projects (I've done two now out of walnut!). I don't know if you have one close-by, but the folks over at Woodcraft were very accomodating with my questions and gave me a thorough walk-through on the process, the needed hardware, tools, and accessories. Take a look at penturners.org . Good luck and happy turning!

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      • #4
        Re: Lathe purchase, no knowledge

        Here's a good online walkthrough on pen turning, from cutting the blanks to the finished product:

        http://www.hoistman.com/HoistMan/PenTurn.html

        It's really readable, has lots of pictures, and is practical. The only thing I chose to ignore and buy a dedicated accessory is the pen blank drilling jig. I got one from Rockler, which is great and wasn't expensive.

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        • #5
          Re: Lathe purchase, no knowledge

          Woodcraft has complete instructions online for each of the pens that they sell. Here's an example:

          http://www2.woodcraft.com/pdf/77B98.pdf

          You'll have to by the mandrel which is universal for any pen you make. You will also need to buy the bushings for each pen design.
          Last edited by zeker; 11-19-2007, 02:28 PM.

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