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Buying a new mini-lathe... advice please...

Discussion in 'Pipe Making Forums' started by KleinToit, Dec 4, 2013.

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  1. rx2man

    rx2man Member

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    I know everyone says to go bigger than the 7x12. I have a Harbor Frieght 7x12 and it has done everything I needed to do. If you want to go bigger and the money is not an issue then go for it, I am sure you will not be disappointed. I had to please the wife as well and the 7x12 is about all I could get away with. But it has done everything I wanted and can't complain.
     


  2. KleinToit

    KleinToit Member

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    Like most people, money is a big consideration (otherwise I would just buy myself a bucket load of Dunhill's and BST's). I think the 10" x 17" will do and it gives me an option to extend the bed by another 21" for turning almost anything.

    Another thing, should I just get a couple of loose chisel's or should I start off with a set? I'm thinking a set would be good as I will probably make more than just pipes.
     
  3. maddis

    maddis Sales Account

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    I think more important than the type/number of chisels, is keeping whatever you have sharp and knowing how to use it. Starting simple (e.g., a parting tool and a 3/8 gouge spindle gouge, or a smallish skew), is a good way to go. If you can keep those nice and sharp, and use them appropriately, you'll figure out what other tools you want/need depending on what you're trying to do.
     
  4. KleinToit

    KleinToit Member

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    I am a bit of a savant at keeping things sharp... Axes, knives, drill bits, even saw blades, so that would not be a worry. The safety thing is something that I am concerned about but not overly so. I found some M.I.T. video clips that shows some Lathe safety tips but most of it is pretty much common sense for me having worked with power-tools a lot (logging and a furniture factory floor-manager for a couple of years)
     
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  5. maddis

    maddis Sales Account

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    Sounds like you've got some helpful background that's gonna accelerate the learning curve. The one thing I'd point out, if you haven't used a lathe before, is that there is sometimes a very small boundary between the point of cut and the point of catch. Depending on the shape of the chisel you're using, and the angle at which you're approaching the turning axis, things can be perfectly fine one moment and a disaster the next - point being, understanding how relief, rake, and cutting edge are related and can be optimized is a huge help. You may know all this - I didn't and I think I was lucky not to be more seriously injured a couple of times.
     
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  6. KleinToit

    KleinToit Member

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    That is something I will have to learn, the two things I know is that there is never such a thing as completely safe power tool, and the other is that experience is a very good way to get into bad habits...
     
  7. t-bear

    t-bear Active Member

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    I have an old 6" Atlas with a 4-jaw chuck. It *barely* manages my pipes, but so far, so good. Would love to have an 8-10" lathe!
     
  8. Rodfather

    Rodfather Active Member

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    I have an older Sears metal lathe. It is of a smaller size that I use to turn duck calls on. It is extremely stable and accurate. I have been wanting to try a pipe, now I must give it a shot.
     
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  9. davidmackv

    davidmackv Active Member

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    Jul 21, 2011
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    I have the Rikon 70-100. It can be had for 350 on Amazon. I bought the extension bed. Here are a few things I have turned with it.

    [​IMG]

    Cherry French rolling pin 20 inches long
    [​IMG]

    walnut maple rolling pin

    [​IMG]

    Pizza cutter handle

    [​IMG]

    Shop mallet turned this out of a log out of the wood pile. So if I can turn a log you can turn a pipe.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014
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