Noob Startup Equipment

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rayzir

Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2010
Messages
5
Location
Montana
I'm looking to get into the hobby (as if I need another one...LOL), and I've been saving my pennies. I almost have enough for to buy my first lathe. I'm looking at the JET JML 1014VSI. But just having a lathe won't let me turn. I need the addons. Namely chisels, pen turning starter kit, and sharpening gear. Unfortunately, the lathe will pretty much deplete my funds.

I'm looking at a Pen Turner's Starter Kit from WoodTurnersCatalog. Are these starter kits a good way to get the much needed supplies/tools? Or is there a better way to stretch my dollar? Should I piece-meal it?

As for sharpening, by the time I invest in an 8" grinder and the jigs, I'm looking at $250-300. Is there a down and dirty way of sharpening without the grinder until I can scratch together more funds? Is hand sharpening an option? How often do you have to sharpen your tools? Is it feasible to use a local sharpening service? Or will I be there every 20 minutes?

Basically, I need to know what I need to get by. I can add equipment over the next few months to round out my arsenal.

Thanks for the advice, y'all.
 
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glycerine

Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2009
Messages
3,462
Location
Fayetteville, NC
do you have a belt sander? Some people also sharpen on sanders. Also, once my tools started wearing down, I started taking more material off of my blanks with my sander as well so that I would spend less time dulling my tools on the lathe. Sort of takes away the fun of turning, but it's just something I had to do since I didn't have any way to sharpen. I am working on making a jig right now and actually bought a grinder as well so I wouldn't have to use my sander...
As far as the starter kits, I can't say, but I DO have a used Turncrafter Pro and I think it's great!
 

JimB

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
4,537
Location
West Henrietta, NY, USA.
I have the same lathe as do many others on here. As for chisels, I didn't have much to spend when I started so I bought the set from Harbor Freight for less than $50. It has 8 tools and I still use them all. You don't need to spend that much on sharpening either. I have a $25 6" grinder and made my own sharpening jig from scrap wood like many on here do.

As for the starter set, I think you will get mixed responses. I never bought one as it seemed they had some good things in them but some of the things I didn't want or need.
 

Lenny

Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2009
Messages
3,461
Location
Searsport, Maine
This is what I did ... (the starter set) http://www.woodturnerscatalog.com/store/Pen_Making___Starter_Sets___Pen_Turning_Essentials_Kit___pen_essentials_kit?Args=
It has everything to get you started less the chisels.

You might want to consider Turning Between Centers rather than using a mandrel.(search this site for some excellent tutorials)

A gouge, a Skew, and a parting tool are all you would need to start out. I think 3/4" or 1" are better choices than the smaller ones. If you want an inexpensive SET of high speed steel look at these...
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=47066

Or look on ebay for individual chisels (about $25-30 each)
As for sharpening... yes you can spend $$$! and maybe you will want to at some point... but you can also buy an inexpensive 6" grinder on the cheap that will get you going. Sharp tools are a must... learning to sharpen them properly is just that .. a learning proccess! (Eventually)Get one good aluminum oxide wheel and check out the thread about homemade grinding jigs.
Don't forget to check craigslist as well. you can often find some good deals.

You are one the edge of a slippery slope! We are here with a hand at your back to guide you.... (or push you over the edge) :biggrin:
 

Sberger

Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2009
Messages
113
Location
Rockport, TX.
Just be sure that you get HSS(High Speed Steel, I think) for your tools. You only need about 5 basic tools. Grinders can be found for about $25 for sharpening. Watch a sharpening video. Woodsmith has a good video on sharpening. Safety glasses, a few shop supplies and you are off. Get some cheap Slimlines and give it a try. I have a Turncrafter VS and it is fine. You will also need a mandrel.

Steve
 

broitblat

Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2006
Messages
3,226
Location
Bellevue, WA, USA.
If you're just doing pens, I think you can get away with only a spindle gouge and a skew - but get those in a good quality high speed steel. Then, if those are the tools you are using, you should be able to have good success sharpening on a sander or a low cost wet sharpening (I started on a delta that ran about $40, I think)

-Barry
 

parnelli_97

Member
Joined
May 26, 2009
Messages
42
Location
Georgia
I bough a carbide tool set. They have not needed sharpening since I bought them in August. They are still near razor sharp. My HSS tools have needed sharpening every 7th or 8th turning. Less If you do acrylic or hard wood. Also I do not have a grinder, I use a normal sharpening stone then I switch to 600 grit sandpaper and the tool ends up razor sharp with a mirror like finish. So as far as a grinder, save your pennies and buy a cheap diamond stone at Harbor Freight. Then watch Criagslist for a used grinder.

Here's a link to the carbide tools. I love these.
http://www.pennstateind.com/store/LCPM3CAR.html

And my HSS tools are old Craftsman set I got from Craigslist. They are built like a Sherman tank. I have yet to find a mid level HSS set that are as thick and sturdy as these. (a little secret a lot of people buy those cheapo Harbor Freight lathes and a decent set of tools. I bought the cheap lathe on craigslist with the tools for $60, kept the tools and re-sold the lathe, the next day, for $60)
 
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Boodrow

Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2009
Messages
33
Location
Pasadena,Texas
I've got the little variable speed drive lathe from Harbor Freight $120, the HSS tools from HF $10, the HF 8" Drill Press $60, and bought my 1MT Adjustable Pen Mandrel from Wood Crafter I think $20. The only thing that I've had to replace so far is the Live Center. I wasn't real sure if I would really get into turning pens or not so I didn't want to drop a fortune before I was sure. Turns out I'm pretty much addicted, I can get a project done in about 30 minutes which works out well with my ADD....LOL. I'm looking at up grading my lathe now but I plan to use the Little HF Lathe as a dedicated buffing and finishing tool. Just my two cents, good luck and have fun!!!:biggrin:
 

workinforwood

Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2007
Messages
8,158
Location
Eaton Rapids, Michigan, USA.
The lathe choice is a good one. Pen starter kit...waste of money in my opinion.

Purchase Lathe
Then...
Dead center 60
Live center 60
3/4 gouge
CA glue or finish of your choice
Dial calipers

Decide what pen are you going to make?
Lets say it's a slim...
7mm drill bit, and 7mm barrel trimmer
(2) slim bushings from Johnny CNC
Done.

Now you want to make some cigars?
10mm drill bit
10mm barrel trimmer
Cigar bushings from Johnny CNC
Done

Keep it simple, spend your money once. No need for a mandrel that you will have to replace and the factory bushings are cheap and wear out fast. You just drill the blank. Glue in the tube. Barrel trim it. Install Johnny bushings in each end. Stick it on the lathe between the 60 degree centers and turn down to size. Then start do the next barrel same way.
 

snyiper

Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2009
Messages
1,601
Location
St Inigoes, MD
I am new to turning also, this is what I did. Old lathe 1937 - I have a set of HSS lathe tools but only use a skew and Carbide tipped tool like the skogger sold here by a member (excellent tool BTW). I do slims only right now so several here on the board have kits very reasonable as well as blanks, wood -landfill lumber comes to mind Acrylic - Exotic as well as others have great selection and corian - corian king comes to mind. This is just a short list of people I have used there are many more on this board. I use a scary sharp type system to sharpen, this is a piece of 1/2 thick marble with 500 and 1000 grit sandpaper glued to it. Color blade edge with marker and sand at the right angle!!(remember I only have a skew to sharpen). Get a bunch of extra tubes and get a mandrel from JohnnyCNC or adjustable spindle from pen state. Manny on the forum is the Glue guru hit him for CA. Again these are people I have dealt with and are members and are awesome!!!
 
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