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Thread: How did you start?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    London
    Posts
    235
    Real Name
    Gowyn

    Default How did you start?

    I haven't used a lathe in eons if at all.

    So how did some of you get into turning? Natural progression from regular woodworking or just right into turning?

    How do I learn about what equipment to buy, how to use etc?

    I like to make small creative things like cutting boards, bandsaw boxes, boxes, challenging things. I'm beginning to realize that cabinetry doesn't really appeal to me as interesting and challenging as it is.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Victoria B.C.
    Posts
    466
    Real Name
    Gavin Villa

    Default Re: How did you start?

    I started not long ago in grade 8 highschool shop class and took an immediate liking to it. Personally I love the amount of creative freedom in woodturning.
    It takes a while to get to the point where you are happy with your pieces but is very rewarding experience once you get there.
    My advice to you would be to pick up a good starter lathe (A Beaver 3400 is a good choice) and learn as much as you can through books, magazines, articles, videos, and most of all other turners.
    Good Luck!
    "To become an able and successful man in any profession, three things are necessary, nature, study and practice."Henry Ward Beecher

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    sarnia ont
    Posts
    9,438
    Real Name
    Steve Morris

    Default Re: How did you start?

    at the age of 50+, i inherited a henry tools craftmaster lathe from my fil

    it didnt take me long to realize that there had to be something better than 3 speed with a motor on a hinge and vice grips on the tailstock, so onto a beaver 3400, 8 speed, 3/4 hp, chucks, outboard turning, somebody here recommended a 3400 as a great starter lathe maybe 5 years ago, still have it and love it
    my shop is a beaver lodge
    steve, sarnia, ont

  4. #4

    Default Re: How did you start?

    High school shop class, circa 1963. Loved it and thereafter intended to buy my own lathe someday. That day arrived in 1980 when I purchased a 12" Beaver. Problem was, I really knew squat about turning and soon grew discouraged by my pitiful efforts and sold it.

    1985 I moved to Prince George and soon made the aquaintence of a master woodworker/turner and found out that there was so much more to turning than I had thought, and I once again entertained the idea of getting a lathe. But I didn't. For 20 years I always had some reason to put it off, until my brother moved into an apartment condo and had to dispose of all his tools, including a 12" Delta lathe. I hadn't even known he had one! The price was right (free) and since I had a lathe I figured I should use it. Now I'm addicted.

    https://sites.google.com/site/whimsi...dturnings/home

    Today I took delivery of my new Nova DVR2024, paid for in advance by that little old 1993 Delta.

    To learn about what equipment to buy, how to use etc, ask other turners. Look for a woodturning club or guild nearby that you can join. Equipment companies are usually quite helpful and have how-to books and videos.
    http://www.leevalley.com/en/, http://www.woodturnerscatalog.com/, http://www.kmstools.com/
    As well there are lots of instructional videos on YouTube and some woodturning forums.

    You can spend many thousands on equipment for this hobby. Don't get carried away to start. I would suggest an inexpensive lathe. Delta, Craftex (http://www.busybeetools.com/categori...g/Wood-Lathes/) are good enough and affordable. I wouldn't get anything with less than 3/4 hp motor. As well there are often good used lathes for sale and with them you usually get the accessories too.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by Art in Prince George; 05-09-2012 at 11:04 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Vernon, BC
    Posts
    141

    Default Re: How did you start?

    Always thought I would like to try it, and then I found a used lathe (Delta LA200) with tools, chuck, lots of pen kits, lots of wood, grinder - and I bought it!

    Found a local club in my town and just went with it. Lots of firewood, but some good stuff. Lately, all I've used my tablesaw for is to cut segments for the lathe!!

    Lots of stuff on utube, depending on where you are, some stuff on craig's list or kijjii. Go ahead - jump right in...

    I's lots of fun.

    Check around at a tool place that carries the equipment to see if there is a local club. there's a Lee Vally in London I think. They sometime offer courses and would probably know if there is a club around.

    Good luck - make something - and post a picture of it!!

  6. #6

    Default Re: How did you start?

    All of us here were born with the need to turn. Its in our blood. It just took longer for some of than others to realize it. I always new I wanted to turn but got my first lathe only a few years ago I was 33 I think. I have always been a woodworker. My first Beaver for $200 now has me close to $1000 with upgrades, accessories, and even a spare breaver. I have no regrets. I just wish I could buy everything on my turning wish list now. There is a Lee Valley and Busy Bee in London. There is also Federated Tool. SteveM (Sarnia)might be able to help you out with a good Beaver. PM him. Bob Hamilton (see turning tutorials) is in Forest which is only 40 minutes from London.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Alberta
    Posts
    1,176
    Real Name
    Randy

    Default Re: How did you start?

    High school shop fall 1968 had a great instructor then life took over and didn't get back to a lathe until the fall 2008 . Relearn everything by reading and asking questions and watching videos such as Bob Hamilton posts here . Practice and don't forget safety . 1st rule , don"t forget to have fun .
    "Control, control , you must learn control ". Yoda

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Orleans, Ontario
    Posts
    1,674

    Default Re: How did you start?

    Grade 8 industrial arts in 1964 then continued through Grade 12. Turning was put aside for quite some time because life happens. On a whim, I bought an inexpensive MC lathe and some accessories about 17 years ago and got back to it. I am currently shopping for a big lathe to replace the MC (still haven't decided on which way to jump!!!) because I plan to keep turning in my woodworking repertoire.

    Ken

  9. #9

    Default Re: How did you start?

    Junior high school wood working class 1988. Finally had a place of my own to make a mess and bought a Delta 460 in Sept 2011. Now looking to upgrade to a Nova DVR XP.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Freelton, ON
    Posts
    721

    Default Re: How did you start?

    Really liked woodturning in high school shop class at Glencoe District High School late 50's. Bought a Rockwell Delta Homecraft about 1970 in Rosedale out of the Toronto Star Want Ads for $150. Still have it but not in use and needs some light restoration work. Entered born again phase of turning in late 90's with internet growth of WT info and purchase of a Oneway Stronghold Chuck after seeing Paul Ross demo green wood turning at the Canadian Home Workshop Show in '99 I believe. Joined Golden Horseshoe Woodturners Guild in fall of 2001, which lead to Presidency in Jan. 2003 and heavy involvement ever since. Member of the American Association of Woodturners since 2002 and have attended three national symposia plus various regional meetings and all day workshops at GHWG and surounding guilds. Some day going to make a list of all the individuals I have had the pleasure of seeing demonstrate. Have resisted temptations to make WT into a part time job with craft shows etc. but do take on the odd commission and donate regularly to fund raisers. Enjoy teaching and sharing what I have learned from others. Currently have a Oneway 3 HP 2436, Delta LA200, Delta VS Midi and the old Rockwell. As an aside I was speaking with Peter Kennedy, Eastern Manager for General and GI, yesterday and all new high schools in Ontario are being equipped with wood shops!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Waterdown, ON
    Posts
    1,543
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: How did you start?

    I used a lathe in grade school but took more of an interest in flat work. My plans were to outfit my small single car garage into a woodworking shop ... though space limitations have held up some of my grand plans and limit what I can actually do.

    On a whim I picked up a little $99 POS lathe and some pen making supplies at the 2011 Hamilton woodworking show. I've turned quite a few pens, a couple bowls and a few tool handles in the last year and really like it.

    I've just upgraded my lathe and am putting more focus into turning for the time being based on my space limitations. Once we move into a larger house I intend to put more effort into flat work again but will continue with turning.

    There is a lot of appeal in spending a couple of hours at the lathe and having a finished product to show SWMBO.

    AK

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Lindsay, Ontario
    Posts
    152

    Default Re: How did you start?

    Took a two day course at Black Forest Wood in Calgary. Bought a Jet midi and a couple of tools at the end of the class. Took them home to Red Deer and played as much as time would allow. Watched youtube videos, frequented many forums, and went from there.

    I found that the more I actually used the lathe, the better I got. One tool at a time until it felt good, then on to the next tool. (Except skews ... I still use that to open paint cans)

    In Red Deer there were no clubs handy so it was all self teaching. Now that I am in Ontario, where it seems there is a Turning Guild behind every tree, my arthritis is too bad to turn on the machine.

    A club or guild would be my highest recommendation to someone wanting to learn.

    Cheers,

    Tom
    One Of These Days My Ship Will Come In ....
    Knowing My Luck, I'll Be At The Airport!!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Riding Mountain Park, Manitoba
    Posts
    2,025
    Blog Entries
    26
    Real Name
    Lisa

    Default Re: How did you start?

    I grew up on the farm in the same yard as my grandparents. My grandfather was always puttering in the shop with everything from an old forage and anvil to a little old lathe...

    Of course he always had time for me so I don't remember a time when I did not dabble at woodworking of some sort. The first tools I learned to use on the lathe were home made, repurposed from some other metal...They worked...

    A very important lesson was that you could work with what ever you had...no need to wait to be able to buy something better...and you could make beautiful, useful things without having to purchase anything...

    Alas the treasure trove that was the shop burned down..(forge chimney) and the big brand new shop just wasn't the same... Grandpa was always kinda lost in it.
    How hard can it be? Guys do it everyday

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Toronto Ontario
    Posts
    3,255
    Real Name
    A.B. Normal

    Default Re: How did you start?

    How did I start, well it all started with Diann buying a used Rockwell lathe, and me having to repair it, make a stand, add a motor etc.

    Then one day I needed some pegs for a couple of Morris chairs, so I made those.

    Joined a turning club, made some more stuff however I found that I'm only a turner of things I need, tool handles, furniture parts etc.

    I'm not a creative turner, I'm a flat worker that occasionally needs round bits..............Regards, Rod.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Elora, Ontario
    Posts
    750
    Real Name
    Dave Bell

    Default Re: How did you start?

    My parents bought me a Rockwell 3400 lathe back in the early 1970's and installed it in the basement of our old farm house. Spent many nights turning on the lathe until I went to college in the early eighties. Some time after my departure from home the lathe was sold. Not until the mid 90's did I go out and buy a variable speed Delta (46-700???) lathe when I had my own home and shop. Primarily the lathe was purchased for spindle work that was used on flat work projects.

    I've also owned 2 Delta Midi lathes 46-250 which I started making pens on. These have been sold.

    Up until @ 4 years ago I added another rockwell lathe to my collection again. 46-200 It also came with a duplicating attachment. Restored now.

    I've since added a Oneway 1640 to my shop.

    I have a pair of Delta 46-460 lathes now. One is a travelling lathe and the other is for teaching and pen turning.

    I am looking towards upgrading the Oneway lathe to a 2436 in the near furture.

    Dave

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    In the T.A.R.D.I.S.
    Posts
    588
    Real Name
    Richard I(n) Smithville

    Default Re: How did you start?

    LOML bought me a Delta Midi for my birthday a few years ago. It's been down hill from there(LOL).



    PS: Now I am the happy owner of a 3400.
    http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y108/RichardF/Scarborough009-1.jpgAn expert at anything was once a beginner.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Huntsville, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: How did you start?

    I started only a few months ago because of some videos I watched on YouTube and because I found one cheap on Kijiji (an old 37" Mastercraft). Now I'm turning nearly every day and am loving it!

  18. #18

    Default Re: How did you start?

    I had not used a lathe at all growing up through the 70-80's in the academic track, and only really remember seeing one hidden away in the basement at my uncles farm. I have worked with wood since a teen with my dad and grandfather to make flat stuff and houses.

    Then my wife seen some pens in WOOD magazine back in 2004 and that issue had a review of mini lathe's of the day. She said I needed to make her some of those pens, and I responded that I need one of those lathe's to do that. Xmas seen a new Jet 1014 VS under my in-laws tree (we where visiting for xmas that year). Then I joined the GHWG a couple of months later and seen that pens are only the tip of the iceberg. I then in 2008 got a Craftex CT128 when the company I worked for gave me a gift certificate for a place of my choosing for 20years of service. I was looking to do bigger stuff, so got them to cover the lathe. They thought it a little odd that I didn't ask for the latest large screen HDTV or HD handycam, but I was happy.

    My shed is now full of various species of bowl blanks in various stages of drying, and other shaped blanks awaiting inspiration.

    Lloyd

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Belle River, Ontario
    Posts
    10
    Real Name
    John

    Default Re: How did you start?

    My wife and I were at Art in the Park (Art show in Windsor) a couple years ago one of the vendors had several beautiful turned items including bowls, the wife said you could do that I replied yes I could if I had a lathe. So I started the hunt on kijiji ended up with a Craftex B2338, happy with it so far however I could see upgrading for larger bowls. Satisfied for now as I only get to turning once or twice a week.

    I also joined the TVWTG members offer lots of advice, the info you receive and demonstrations you are able to see are interesting and helpful.

    John

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Vancouver
    Posts
    153
    Real Name
    Shikyo

    Default Re: How did you start?

    The last fall.
    I had never touched any lathe before the last summer. When I started wood working in the mid 70, Woodward's dept. store sold Rockwell Beaver tools, such as 9", 10" TS, 6" jointer, 12" bandsaw, radial arm drill press and lathe. I wanted all of them, however, I wasn't earning that much money.
    I got a 10" saw and a 6" jointer from them. Since Craftsman bandsaws and drill presses looked much better than Beaver's I got them from Simpson Sears. I didn't go after any lathe since I wasn't interested in making any furnitures with spindles.
    When I built the whole kitchen cabinets two years ago I upgraded all of my tools, except the drill press.
    The last year, I wanted more tools, so I got an American built scroll saw and a Nova 3000 lathe.

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