New lathe day - aka, renewed passion

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MiteyF

Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2018
Messages
146
Location
Bay area
Since I started turning pens a few years ago, I was working on a cheap Chinese 8x12 mini lathe. Once I got things shimmed and set up properly, it actually worked just fine for pens and other (very) small projects. Even trying to turn a bowl more than about 3" in diameter it would really struggle. After about 3 years, I could never quite pull the trigger on a new lathe, thinking "I don't even use mine that much, why spend $500-$1000 on a different one?" So about a month ago I posted the little guy on CL, thinking maybe if I didn't have a lathe at all, I'd be more likely to take the plunge and buy something new.

After about 3 weeks of hemming and hawing, it worked. I came home to a new Laguna sitting on my doorstep Friday. Besides some shipping damage (which I won't get into until it's all taken care of), I'm beyond happy with this thing! It's smooth and super quiet. The tailstock and banjo are smooth and tight. The variable speed works wonderfully (the old lathe had VS too, which is part of what spoiled me to it). Belt changes are super fast and easy. Everything's just.... lovely.

I found a guy locally who always has a stock of walnut, quite cheap. I threw a chunk on a faceplate and turned my first (small) bowl in months. It probably would have taken me 2+ days to finish with the little guy, between bogging and frustration, I whipped this guy out in 2ish hours today, between bolting on the faceplate and applying a finish. Not "fast" of course, but not bad for someone who's only turned a couple bowls ever. I'll get a picture tomorrow, it's drying.

The new lathe also meant I ran out of room on my bench, so I picked up a cheap butcher block Craftsman for now. That leaves the big bench open for more long term projects.

Now I've got a big pile of walnut and a couple blanks I've had around for a year+ that I just couldn't bear to turn on the little guy, and I can't wait to crack into it. And yes, there will be more pens soon too.

Passion renewed.



Now to go buy more lights :)

 
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mark james

IAP Collection, Curator
Joined
Sep 6, 2012
Messages
8,875
Location
Medina, Ohio
You are going to love the new lathe (after the shipping tweaks). And I love the garage. Just need to lose the car and add a bunch of more benches and tools and machines... ;) .

Just last night I had a buddy that was transporting a car from Western NY to Tuscon stay at my house. He has a great 3 car garage awaiting - just need a bunch of lathes and saws and he will be ready to go.

I'll visit in January; he says to wear shoes at all times (scorpions), and to be mindful of the rattlesnakes and spiders... Gee, this will be fun
 

MiteyF

Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2018
Messages
146
Location
Bay area
Thanks guys, I'm stoked to be back turning.

As for getting rid of the vehicles, motorcycles and cars will always be passion #1! In fact, I have another bike in my box truck, and a '62 VW back up in WA. I do have a mostly empty 24' box truck that I thought would make a decent workshop!
 

MiteyF

Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2018
Messages
146
Location
Bay area
Nah, one big lathe will do anything a turner needs from pens to bass drums. There's no one motorcycle that will fit every bill the same way!
 

MiteyF

Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2018
Messages
146
Location
Bay area
I've had quite a few bikes over the last 14ish years, and after buying my first Strom (in front of the Mini) I don't think I'll ever go back to having a bike without bags. At least not as daily riders. The white bike is my brand new 2018 DL1000, and the blue bike in the foreground is the wife's brand new 2019 Kawi Z650. I've got a set of bags waiting to get installed on her bike too, she's become an even more hardcore moto-commuter than I am.
 
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