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Old 09-25-2017, 10:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Default Still use a wood lathe?

I am close to pulling the trigger on purchasing a metal lathe and i have a question for those like me who started with a wood lathe and made the switch to metal.

Once you purchased your metal lathe, did you still find a need for the wood lathe?

My space is very limited so I'm looking for ways to maximize the space I have, and not needing the wood lathe would help tremendously, but I don't want to get rid of it if there are legitimate reasons to keep it.

Thank you,
Chris
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Old 09-25-2017, 10:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Just my opinion. Keep your wood lathe, and turn your wood blanks on that one. Use your new metal lathe for acrylic/plastic/ebonite/metal or other NON-wood materials. Have fun!

Reason for my comments: You will need to keep your material lubricated while turning on the metal lathe.
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Last edited by Dalecamino; 09-25-2017 at 11:03 AM. Reason: additional comment
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Old 09-25-2017, 11:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Thanks Chuck.

Does turning wood on a metal lathe have adverse effects on the lathe?

Chris


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Originally Posted by Dalecamino View Post
Just my opinion. Keep your wood lathe, and turn your wood blanks on that one. Use your new metal lathe for acrylic/plastic/ebonite/metal or other NON-wood materials. Have fun!

Reason for my comments: You will need to keep your material lubricated while turning on the metal lathe.
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Old 09-25-2017, 11:29 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CKormann View Post
Thanks Chuck.

Does turning wood on a metal lathe have adverse effects on the lathe?

Chris


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalecamino View Post
Just my opinion. Keep your wood lathe, and turn your wood blanks on that one. Use your new metal lathe for acrylic/plastic/ebonite/metal or other NON-wood materials. Have fun!

Reason for my comments: You will need to keep your material lubricated while turning on the metal lathe.
Just makes a mess to clean up. Your cutting tool is mounted in a stationery tool holder on the tool post. There is a tool rest available that can be mounted on the ways so you CAN turn with hand held tools. But why do that? I just don't want wood shavings on my metal lathe.
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Old 09-25-2017, 12:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Why do you want a metal lathe ? are you going to make stainless steel pens ? are you going to make threaded parts or taps and dies ? There are a number of things that a metal lathe will do but be sure of the reason why you want one . They are expensive and there is a learning curve to using them . A metal lathe will get you precision in your depth of cut but you will loose the "handcrafted" part of making pens . Now before you metal heads start beating me up , did your metal lathes make you a better pen turner or pen maker ? did it help you turn a more beautiful pen ? how do you like making a smooth curve or a clean cove ?
A wood lathe is the perfect machine for making pens , you create the beauty with your hands holding a tool . Other then hard metals a wood lathe can turn anything a metal lathe can turn . There are times a metal lathe is needed , like when I need to make a tap for some odd sized nib section but for turning the pen itself I can turn the body faster and easier on a wood lathe then on the metal lathe .
A metal lathe won't make you a better pen turner , imagination will make you a penmaker , hone your skills , work on your designs and get everything you can out of the tools you have .
OK guys flame suit on .... flame away !!!
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Old 09-25-2017, 12:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by ldb2000 View Post
Why do you want a metal lathe ? are you going to make stainless steel pens ? are you going to make threaded parts or taps and dies ? There are a number of things that a metal lathe will do but be sure of the reason why you want one . They are expensive and there is a learning curve to using them . A metal lathe will get you precision in your depth of cut but you will loose the "handcrafted" part of making pens . Now before you metal heads start beating me up , did your metal lathes make you a better pen turner or pen maker ? did it help you turn a more beautiful pen ? how do you like making a smooth curve or a clean cove ?
A wood lathe is the perfect machine for making pens , you create the beauty with your hands holding a tool . Other then hard metals a wood lathe can turn anything a metal lathe can turn . There are times a metal lathe is needed , like when I need to make a tap for some odd sized nib section but for turning the pen itself I can turn the body faster and easier on a wood lathe then on the metal lathe .
A metal lathe won't make you a better pen turner , imagination will make you a penmaker , hone your skills , work on your designs and get everything you can out of the tools you have .
OK guys flame suit on .... flame away !!!
No flames here buddy!
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Old 09-25-2017, 12:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Old 09-25-2017, 12:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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I started my pen making on my old Craftsman 12x36. Once I got the wood lathe, I just use it for drilling, squaring, CA application and assembly. With all that oil, it gets nasty fast and is almost impossible to get all the wood chips and dust out of. I would never turn wood on a nice metal lathe. Oh, and a wood lathe is much faster, even with a power feed. So, my advice is to find space for both lathes and use them for what they were designed for.

Regards,
Michael
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Old 09-25-2017, 12:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Yes, keep both until you are sure the metal lathe will do everything you want.
I use my metal lathe for wood all the time. Just set up a shop vac for collection but I only cut soft metals with carbide so don't need a lot of oil.
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Old 09-25-2017, 01:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Yes, keep both until you are sure the metal lathe will do everything you want.
I use my metal lathe for wood all the time. Just set up a shop vac for collection but I only cut soft metals with carbide so don't need a lot of oil.
My only experience is with my ancient Craftsman--it has oil everywhere. Of course, it has Babbitt bearings, so it really likes the juice. Perhaps a newer machine would be easier to keep clean.
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