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Glenn M
28th Nov 2000, 11:39 AM
Hi guys, great board, I have been trolling for a few days now and there is some great info and heaps of stuff to get me psyched up about buying a lathe.

So anyway, here is the inevitable question, what lathe should I buy. I must stress that $400 is my absolute top dollar and even that is stretching me somewhat. I do know you get what you pay for but I have to start somewhere if I am ever going to get started.

I have seen a couple of lathes so far...

GMF Lathe for $379, 1/2hp, 900mm, double thick steel rails (according to the sales guy) and a disk on the back with a tool rest that can be used for sanding and sharpening of chisels.

Sherwood Lathe for $380, 3/4hp, 900mm, stand (dubious as to strength) with a swivel stock head.

The GMF attracts me because it "sounds" as strong as all geddout. I also like the idea of the disk of the back of the motor to keep tools sharp with as I think that may be a problem area for me.

The Sherwood attracts me becuase of the swivel head. I have this obsession with turned bowls and platters and I think it would be a handy feature if I ever attempted a larger piece.

Or am I kidding myself on both machines? Any advice would be HUGELY appreciated.

Thanks

Glenn

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If all the world is wood turning, then who turned the world?

John Saxton
28th Nov 2000, 12:50 PM
Hi Glenn,Can I make a couple of suggestions?
First off save your money now and if you can either talk to any woodturners about or get involved with one of your local woodturning clubs(that is if you haven't already done so)where you will not only get sound advice but you may also pick up a quality second hand lathe.
Secondly by doing this you will pick up the skills required a lot quicker with all the inherent safety considerations that should be noted.
Whilst you are doing this you are in contact with turners who may steer you towards a good bargain in a lathe whether new or second hand.
Buying the lathe is one thing but then you are also up for the tools required which can run into some money,hence my suggestion of getting into a woodturning club where you can use their lathes and tools and with the guidance of experienced folk.
This is not meant in any way to deter you from buying a lathe immediately,its just some thoughts.
Cheers http://ubb.ubeaut.com.au/ubb/smile.gif


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Johnno

Glenn M
28th Nov 2000, 01:13 PM
Hi Johnno,

Thanks for the quick reply.

I will be joining the woodworkers guild here in Canberra but due to previous comittments I can't get out of, I wont be able to attend any of the Woodturning get togethers until February 2001 AND I JUST CAN'T WAIT THAT LONG!!! Hehehehehe

I have found another lathe today (not a lateh as I have said in my thread topic doh Here is the goss.

It's a Magno RWL-1000F 3/4hp variable speed, with swivel stock head, stand, cast iron construction and a set of 5 high speed steel chisels for $499 (I was figuring a $100 for a starter set of chisels anyway) and #2 Morse Tapers at both ends of the bed. Any thoughts on these or the other lathes?

Thanks

Glenn

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If all the world is wood turning, then who turned the world?

ubeaut
28th Nov 2000, 04:10 PM
Magno RWL-1000F 3/4hp variable speed, with swivel stock head, stand, cast iron construction and a set of 5 high speed steel chisels for $499

Don't want to burst the bubble Glen. But a half decent set of 5, high speed tools, will almost set you back that price. Something doesn't gell with this one.

Go to Fyshwick and have a talk with Graeme Bensley at Southern Woodturning Supplies (http://www.woodturning.com.au) or visit his web site by clicking on the highlighted text.

Graeme is a woodturner not a sales clerk. Unlike the idiot that told you the disk on the outrigger is for sharpening tools. http://ubb.ubeaut.com.au/ubb/mad.gif

Get the right advice from a specialist and that is what Graeme is. A specialist. He knows what a lathe is for and how it works and won't give you any bulldust. He can also help with club info, classes and almost everything you need to know about turning.

Might even have a second hand lathe or something better than what you have already seen. Be guided by him, he won't steer you wrong.

Hope this helps. If not then I guess you haven't seen Graeme yet.

Cheers - Neil http://ubb.ubeaut.com.au/ubb/smile.gif

Glenn M
28th Nov 2000, 04:34 PM
G'day Neil,


Go to Fyshwick and have a talk with Graeme Bensley at Southern Woodturning Supplies

Would ya believe it that is where I got the price on the Magno Lathe http://ubb.ubeaut.com.au/ubb/biggrin.gif

I am now definitly a wiser man thanks to Greame (if that is who I spoke to) because he showed me pictures of properly sharpened and honed tools and I now know the little number off the back end of the GMF lathe would NOT be doing me any favours for keeping tools sharp.

He also told me that the chisels were definitly not rolls royce, but they wern't carbon crap either (he did say they were HSS) and don't worry, I saw the chisels on the wall at $100 each so I know what to expect down the road.

Greame was a help but I do think he was keener to sell me something more expensive. Thing is I just can't afford it. The fact that I walked in with my leather jacket and motorbike helmet maybe didn't strike him as someone who was serious about buyng ( I am sure he gets a lot of wishers). The Magno Lathe looked like a good little number so I am quite interested in it.

I just need something to get me started and once I know for sure that I am a mad keen woodturner then I will gradually upgrade my chisels and eventually buy a couple grand worth of wood turning fury... But for now I just want to get into it at a price I can afford.

Thanks for the advice guys (and any gals), I am keen for more!!!

Glenn

[This message has been edited by Glenn M (edited 28 November 2000).]

John Saxton
28th Nov 2000, 06:28 PM
Glenn,Having noted that you cannot get to your woodturning club until February, then perhaps you might ask Graeme,(if you decide to buy from him)to give you some lessons if he can spare the time or failing that perhaps you could through your local library get access to woodturning books and videos to give you a start with some of the facets of turning.
I can recite a couple of instances whereby people have bought lathes and proceeded to turn without any prior knowledge much to their own chagrin.....one bloke was found on the floor of his shed after a piece of wood came adrift and flattened him.....another bloke took a chunk out of his hand with the chisel....both these guys are now good turners deciding to swallow their pride and get some instruction.
It goes without saying that even the most careful of people can still have mishaps,you yourself may well be a very careful person but please take care.
Cheers http://ubb.ubeaut.com.au/ubb/smile.gif


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Johnno

Iain
28th Nov 2000, 08:06 PM
Carbatec Melbourne still have the scrapers for sale at $50 each, usually $140. Courtesy of Record going over to ATC.
Neil and know more about the quality but they are big buggers about two feet long, telephone for availability 1800 653 777

RFNK
28th Nov 2000, 10:40 PM
Glenn, The $100 HSS chisel set would definitely be a standard Chinese set you see all over the place. They're actually not bad, especially for a beginner. You can grind the blazes out of them as you learn to grind tools and buy some better tools once you've got the hang of it. There's nothing wrong with the way they cut, they just don't hold an edge for quite as long as the better P & N tools etc. I use my old set now as blanks to shape tools for special jobs.

oges
29th Nov 2000, 07:47 AM
Reading this im sure glad I told my mother not to buy me the $140 GMC Lathe she saw in some hardware dogologue for Christmas, will get the knowledge of a wood turner via courses etc.. before i move into this field of woodworking i think http://ubb.ubeaut.com.au/ubb/smile.gif

Glenn M
29th Nov 2000, 08:58 AM
Hi guys, thanks for all the great responses.

Don't worry, I have been reading up on lathes on the web for about the past three years, always yearning, never getting.

I also plan to buy the book Fundementals of Woodturning (I would have bought it yesterday because Southern Woodturning Supplies had a couple of copies but I was on the motorbike) I also do plan to do a course as well, but at the moment a course would chew at least a couple of hundred dollars into getting the lathe in the first place http://ubb.ubeaut.com.au/ubb/biggrin.gif

I have read plenty about accidents too, if you have a look at Lathes in the Accident Database over at www.woodworking.org (http://www.woodworking.org) there is a few. Lok at some other accidents too, particularly with nail guns OUCH!

Again, thank you all for your advice, I am always keen for more. Most of the time I am checking out American woodworking sites because there is so many, but they usually don't have the same brand of tools that we can buy here, or if they do it is expensive stuff and outta my league.

Glenn

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If all the world is wood turning, then who turned the world?

STEPHEN MILLER
29th Nov 2000, 09:21 PM
Looking for a lathe under $400 try www.timbecon.com.au (http://www.timbecon.com.au) or www.toolsfortheboys.com.au (http://www.toolsfortheboys.com.au) the lathes sold by these 2 companies are made in taiwan but should be quite suitable for the beginner ml900 comes with variable speed 1/2hp motor 900mm bed for under $400 this is what I have. I have seen the sherwood at timber and woodwoorkig shows is the same as mine that came from tools for the boys head does swivel but locks down very well cast iron bed is of quite good quality better than tube base on GMC etc comes with own stand . Apoint of interest woodfast lathes are made from grade 10 cast iron easy and soft to machine but not noted for its stengh this is obtained by the size of the casting used work in foundry that made woodfast beds so hope this helps .You pay for what you get the sherwood or similar is a good starting point ,I started low got a shed full of spanners socket sets pressure guages etc working as hydralic fitter you need all this. so a cheap lathe is a start for me as a beginner in wood turning. Steve.

[This message has been edited by STEPHEN MILLER (edited 29 November 2000).]

Jeff
30th Nov 2000, 01:48 PM
I must weigh in here...when getting your lathe make certain you get a full face shield, anything less is unacceptable. You will also need some way to keep from breathing the dust. These are truly the first "tools" you need to get. Anyhow, I suggest you get a machine that has a minimum of 3/4 horsepower, more is better. And don't kid yourself, if you have an ounce of creativity you will end up totally ignoring the manufacturers guidelines and beat the hell out of your machine, so get one that is tough. Also, look to the future....can the machine be upgraded or will you have to replace it? Eventually you will (and should) consider a vacuum chuck system...can that be adapted easily? I reccomend you get a swivel head lathe, but remember that means additional tool rest capabilities. By all means, find a way to get a good solid machine or don't get one at all! Good Luck

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"Turning wood into treasures"

Graeme
1st Dec 2000, 09:57 AM
Hi Glen

Don't worry 'bout the jacket & helmet, I own seven bikes and currenty get around on a 1998 Buell Cyclone, so it follows I have a jacket & helmet myself. I see you've been getting good advice from the fellows here so I won't add anything else to that.

Graeme
Southern Woodturning Supplies

Glenn M
5th Dec 2000, 11:49 AM
Hi guys,

Sorry I haven't replied for a few days. Well it looks like the second visit to Greame has helped me make my descision in regards to the Magno lathe. For my budget as well as the comfort of having the supplier being local if I have any problems it looks like the Magno will be it. The Sherwood is at a similar price and sounds almost identical but I want to be able to call up Greame if I need help, not be put on hold with an online store or wait days for an email to be replied to.

Now I just got to get the cash together and buy the damn thing before greame gets sick of me http://ubb.ubeaut.com.au/ubb/wink.gif

Thanks for all your help everyone, but I am still open to ANY advice.

Glenn

p.s. While we were at Greames store my wife discovered a pyography (you know those thing s you can burn fine designs into wood with) pamphlet... Uh, I think I may be another couple of hundred bucks out of pocket ni the near future *sigh*

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If all the world is wood turning, then who turned the world?

oges
5th Dec 2000, 12:05 PM
Well thats different from what I usually get from the girlfriend, she finds all these wonderful things that I would make for her 'if i loved her', but get 'that look' if i tell her it requires me needing a new tool to make it http://ubb.ubeaut.com.au/ubb/biggrin.gif


Brett

Glenn M
5th Dec 2000, 12:20 PM
LOL oges!

My wife is the type that would actually try her hand at woodturning but something like the pyographer is something she would be very interested in trying as she is very much the art and craft type.

In fact one of the reasons I have been using to convince her that I need a lathe is that I can get heaps of practice making her the wood tops for her tassles that she makes http://ubb.ubeaut.com.au/ubb/smile.gif

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If all the world is wood turning, then who turned the world?

Jeff
8th Dec 2000, 02:37 PM
gee guys, my girlfriend is not like that at all. She always gives me money to buy tools, likes to sand out all my work, admires every piece of wood I turn, and cleans up the shop for me every day. Oh wait, that is the girlfriend I dreamed I had!

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"Turning wood into treasures"

Glenn M
2nd Jan 2001, 11:13 AM
Hiya folks,

Sorry I haven't replied for a while. Like I said earlier I am going to buy the Magno Lathe from Greame at Southern Woodturning Supplies, I just got to wait for him to open his doors agin on the 15th of January... I can't wait, must have now http://ubb.ubeaut.com.au/ubb/tongue.gif

I'll also be getting the chisel sharpening jig he has to mount on a grinder to keep my chisels sharp. Most new starters I see on various forums get frustrated becuase their work is crap and when people ask them when was the last time they sharpened their chisels the answer seems to be "never". I don't want to be one of them.

For christmas the in-laws bought us a nice 10fx10f garden shed so now I actually have somewhere to put the lathe as well as all my other tools *yay*.

I actually met Les Fortescue (sp?) down in Tuggeranong at a local exhibition of woodturners and would have loved to talk to him for ages but I was actually feeling quite sick in the guts on that day. Seemed like a pretty nice bloke and didn't mind having his ear bent for the short time that I did talk to him. Gave me a couple of good tips too.

Hope you all had a great New Year and gots lotsa bits of wood to turn into shavings.

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Glenn
www.woodworkbooks.com (http://www.woodworkbooks.com)

[This message has been edited by Glenn M (edited 02 January 2001).]

Glenn M
16th Jan 2001, 10:11 AM
Well crap! I was all psyched to get myself down to Southern Woodturning this week and tee up a lathe when the completly unexpected happened.

Last night on the way home from the in-laws I hit an echidna with my motorbike while I was doing 100kmh. I didn't go down (only just) but the little critter left about half his back in my front tyre so I am now up for 250 bucks to replace it. This means the plans for the lathe are now very much on hold so I can build that money up again. What a sh!tter http://ubb.ubeaut.com.au/ubb/frown.gif

Oh and the echidna..? Well with a bike and rider weight of over 400kg's at 100kmh there can be only one conclusion, sorry little guy.

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Glenn
www.woodworkbooks.com (http://www.woodworkbooks.com)

oges
16th Jan 2001, 01:37 PM
Glenn sorry to hear about the unfortunate event, shouldnt the federal government pay for the tyre seeing as its a national animal? LOL http://ubb.ubeaut.com.au/ubb/biggrin.gif


Brett

Glenn M
16th Jan 2001, 01:52 PM
Hey, now that is a great idea!! Oh wait, they will probably fine me for killing it http://ubb.ubeaut.com.au/ubb/frown.gif hehehehe

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Glenn
www.woodworkbooks.com (http://www.woodworkbooks.com)