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Aug 4, 2021 - 7:29:09 AM
5682 posts since 12/20/2005

I've been thinking about getting one.
Nothing elaborate or anything. Something that won't blow up while I'm using it, dependable and inexpensive.
Harbor Freight has one, Amazon has several, for around $300.

All I want to do is make spinning tops for my Grandchildren.
I've been making some with a hand drill and a belt sander. It's slow and often frustrating.

I'm sure the safety aspect, wholly or partially, depends largely on correctly using it.

Not sure if I want to go this route or not.

Aug 4, 2021 - 7:35:13 AM
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5682 posts since 12/20/2005

So far, I have made these 3. But it is slow going.


 

Edited by - Leslie R on 08/04/2021 07:36:22

Aug 4, 2021 - 7:35:34 AM
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Jbo1

USA

1034 posts since 5/19/2007

Any tool is dangerous if not treated with respect. For lathes probably the most critical aspects are to make sure the material is securely fastened, and that your cutters are very sharp. Others with much more experience will chime in.

Aug 4, 2021 - 7:38:32 AM

Jbo1

USA

1034 posts since 5/19/2007

And regarding the hand drill, there is an MMA fighter who talks about nearly losing his testicles with the drill! He was working on a patio over his head, he was on a ladder and he put the electric drill in his pocket!!!! It went off and, well....

He said he had to reverse the drill to release his boys, and then he had to drive himself to the ER.

Stay safe out there.

Aug 4, 2021 - 7:42:40 AM
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5682 posts since 12/20/2005

After that, I would have got rid of everything on my property remotely resembling a tool of any kind.

Aug 4, 2021 - 7:43:15 AM
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DC5

USA

20025 posts since 6/30/2015

Lathes are no more or less dangerous than any other power tool. You have a spinning piece of wood that you are applying a chisel too. I've had pieces shatter, and I've caught chisels and had them nearly torn out of my hand, but I'm not afraid to use my lathe. Personally I would recommend taking a class at an arts center or trade school, if you cannot find someone to instruct you. It saves a lot of time, and learning how to properly use the cutting tools can save a lot of startling situations.

Aug 4, 2021 - 7:45:48 AM

94 posts since 10/5/2019

They really aren’t that dangerous. They have to be used carefully like all tools but I have one that I’ve had a lot of fun making bowls and especially pens with. They are fun to experiment with and I’m trying to make a yoyo now. Hopefully some day I can make a banjo pot…

Aug 4, 2021 - 7:57:16 AM
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412 posts since 12/30/2012

I would recommend a full face shield when turning, i guess you could say to "save face". lathe turning is a lot of fun.some woods turn more easily, say apple as opposed to hickory. low rpm until the piece is rounded off.

Aug 4, 2021 - 7:59:13 AM
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DC5

USA

20025 posts since 6/30/2015

quote:
Originally posted by richard baskowski

I would recommend a full face shield when turning, i guess you could say to "save face". lathe turning is a lot of fun.some woods turn more easily, say apple as opposed to hickory. low rpm until the piece is rounded off.


Also a respirator of some type, especially when sanding.

Aug 4, 2021 - 11:02:27 AM

3810 posts since 4/22/2018

quote:
Originally posted by Leslie R

After that, I would have got rid of everything on my property remotely resembling a tool of any kind.


Sounds like his tool was the only thing left not resembling a tool after that incident.

Aug 4, 2021 - 11:03:14 AM

3810 posts since 4/22/2018

quote:
Originally posted by DC5
quote:
Originally posted by richard baskowski

I would recommend a full face shield when turning, i guess you could say to "save face". lathe turning is a lot of fun.some woods turn more easily, say apple as opposed to hickory. low rpm until the piece is rounded off.


Also a respirator of some type, especially when sanding.


Cue our friend from Florida......

Aug 4, 2021 - 11:05:03 AM

3810 posts since 4/22/2018

quote:
Originally posted by DC5

Lathes are no more or less dangerous than any other power tool. You have a spinning piece of wood that you are applying a chisel too. I've had pieces shatter, and I've caught chisels and had them nearly torn out of my hand, but I'm not afraid to use my lathe. Personally I would recommend taking a class at an arts center or trade school, if you cannot find someone to instruct you. It saves a lot of time, and learning how to properly use the cutting tools can save a lot of startling situations.


What Dave said...... I've not used a lathe for some years now, but a bit of basic tuition really is invaluable.

Aug 4, 2021 - 11:58:23 AM
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Brian T

Canada

18580 posts since 6/5/2008

There was a Wood Turner's Guild in the city where I worked. That's the group where I would start. You will learn more, and faster, than any other way.

Aug 4, 2021 - 12:09:08 PM
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Enfield1858

England

128 posts since 8/1/2020

@Leslie R - I've never used a wood lathe, only metal lathes, drills, milling machines, shapers, etc.  But here's what my dad said to me when he bought me my first pen knife (I was 7 at the time).

"A pen knife - like any cutting tool - should be kept SHARP.  A blunt tool will never work well, makes every job harder than it needs be, and is more dangerous than a sharp tool."

And by 'keeping my knife sharp', he meant 'as close to a scalpel as you can get it'.  All of my experience in the following 67 years has confirmed that he knew his stuff.

As an interesting side note;  at school, at that age, we used both pens (wooden handle, push-in steel nib, dip it in the inkwell!) and pencils - so, naturally, I took my knife into school to sharpen my pencils - and between lessons, I'd be stood in the corner over the waste paper bin, with a queue of other kids behind me, waiting for me to sharpen their pencils!  And the teachers?  Never batted an eye-lid . . . laugh

Mind, my dad told me when he gave me the knife, "This isn't a toy - it's a tool;  and if I catch you larking about with it, it's going in the bin."  He meant it, too.  It was a different world, then.

Jack

Aug 4, 2021 - 3:53:34 PM
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wizofos

USA

6118 posts since 8/19/2012

Suggest you also learn how to sharpen your tools. The worse thing that you can have on any power tool is a dull cutting edge. A dull tool is the fastest way to get hurt there is.

Aug 4, 2021 - 7:17:47 PM

2559 posts since 10/17/2013

I have heard that a decent size machinist lathe will produce better results than a woodworking lathe. 

My dad once got his thumb smashed by a piece of PVC that he was trying to drill with a drill bit on a drill press. The clamp failed to hold the PVC firmly, and WHAM! 

 Dad lost his thumb nail, and I gained a whole new respect for drill presses that day. 

 There are horror stories on just about any woodworking tool, if one wants to make themselves sick.

 There was a Hangout member who detailed how his table-mounted shaper made quick work of his hand. 

 This is the thread which includes said story, if you have the stomach to read it:

https://www.banjohangout.org/archive/325034/1

 

Here is the comment, copied for those who want to read it right away. I take no responsibility if anyone faints dead away.

 

bohemian - Posted - 11/29/2016:  11:22:45


 

Ken and Wizofos.. bummer.. hope you both heal well and quickly.


 

 


 

Please excuse one hand typing.


 

 


 

I am currently enjoying a second go round of repair to a crushed left wrist.. this was not shop related.. and occurred 32 years ago.


 

Hit by a car.. busted everything up in my left wrist.. 2 operations, wire cages, steel pins.. the route.  A year's worth of casts and so on.


 

 


 

It came back to haunt me last year, finally could not handle the immobility and subsequent pain.


 

 


 

Ended up at the Health Sciences Univ in Portland Oregon to have a do-over 2 weeks ago ..  On my way there tonight (5 hr drive)...


 

Stitches and cast  to be removed and smaller cast and therapy to follow.


 

 


 

But that was not the biggee...  This two weeks after I got my custom made Bart Reiter Grand Concert.. direct from Bart...


 

 


 

1992.. in my shop   using a shaper.. wood clamped in a jig I had used hundreds of times... jig broke right hand went into a huge spinning cutter.


 

Zing.. spurt, spurt, spurt..


 

Grab leather tourniquette, got it..


 

Plastic baggie for the pieces.. got it..


 

Ice, got it..


 

Phone the Hospital .. done


 

Called wood working neighbor explained condition   too busy to drive me, his words..


 

Towel over right hand...


 

Cranked up the Chevy truck.. 17 miles to the hospital..


 

80 mph plus.. chased by CHP last 5 miles..


 

Drove under Emergency entrance canopy.. cop jumps out weapon drawn..


 

I removed the towel, he split.


 

I went inside to check-in.. lady did not bother to look up.


 

Explained I had called about injury.


 

She said.. "take a seat"


 

I said in a firm voice.. no. "now" and removed the towel


 

She fainted


 

I was hauled into a room and given a pro style tourniquette and baggie put in fridge..


 

Emergency doc came around in about 45 minutes and said he needed to take off my right thumb and index fingers at the first knuckle and the middle finger at the second.


 

A nurse came over and said.. decline and wait 15 minutes until another particular surgeon was available.


 

I did.


 

And this brash abrupt overly self assured doctor fresh from Harvard said he thought there was a chance to save them if I was willing to try with the possibility of removal in a week.


 

He then asked if I wanted to be knocked out or watch.. I chose to watch..


 

Very skilled guy, particularly in fitting the parts and locating all the rubber bands..


 

A week later.. fingers were pink though they said musical instrument playing was highly unlikely.


 

I sold my collection of mandolins, the Bart Reiter, my collection of Guitars.. Martins, Spanish flamencos , classicals etc..


 

Then I got mad.. damned mad.. this is not going to happen to me...


 

I bagged the wimpy, expensive therapy and developed my own.. three months later  I was back to playing ..not well but playing.


 

I demonstrated same to doc.. he  was not surprised.. over our time together he came to know me...


 

It took a couple years to get about 90% back but with some areas lacking feeling. I'm happy.


 

 


 

There is light at the end of the tunnel.


 

But be wary of spinning metal with sharp edges.


 

I now paint.. and limit my contact with sharp spinning metal.


 

Good news is that I now have another Bart Reiter Grand Concert one serial number digit away from my original.


 

 


 

jjhildrethstudios.com


 

 

 

 


Edited by - bohemian on 11/29/2016 11:27:4

Edited by - okbluegrassbanjopicker on 08/04/2021 19:21:22

Aug 4, 2021 - 8:07:44 PM
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bubbalouie

Canada

15226 posts since 9/27/2007

Click for Large VersionI worked on a copier lathe turning base corners. I filled garbage pails with them. Runs of 10,000. 2000 pcs a day. 

Aug 5, 2021 - 6:38:03 AM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

14498 posts since 8/30/2006

I love my lathe, Leslie. I still have a 48" Craftsman leaned up against the wall, AND I have the duplicator for necks, I just don't like hearing a router all day

Go to the local community college and purchase some adult education. They might have a mill.
University of Colorado , Boulder had a nice shop for some Ogsbury prototypes.

I have one cabinet shop I play banjo for. I get Cherry ends @ 2 x 12 x 24, for a song.

Aug 5, 2021 - 7:12:19 AM
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dat

USA

31166 posts since 7/26/2006

Years ago someone posted using a riding lawnmower rear wheel hub as a lathe for turning a banjo rim, it worked.

I’ve always thought about getting a large, no more than I would use it I also thought about building a treadle lathe

Aug 5, 2021 - 7:23:27 AM
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figmo59

USA

34224 posts since 3/5/2008

All things in life have a form of risk to them..

You halfto decide which risks are right for you...

Ymmv...

Aug 5, 2021 - 7:29:31 AM
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figmo59

USA

34224 posts since 3/5/2008

Fer lathe work..
No loose ..or dangling clothing or items...

So I conclude.. that if you are male...neckid lathe work might not be good...

Edited by - figmo59 on 08/05/2021 07:31:19

Aug 5, 2021 - 8:05:50 AM

5682 posts since 12/20/2005

Well, there goes that idea.

Aug 5, 2021 - 8:11:16 AM
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dat

USA

31166 posts since 7/26/2006

quote:
Originally posted by figmo59

Fer lathe work..
No loose ..or dangling clothing or items...

So I conclude.. that if you are male...neckid lathe work might not be good...


Some women too, I remember Phyllis Diller saying one time that at her age her bra size was 38 long

Aug 5, 2021 - 8:23:08 AM

483 posts since 5/29/2015
Online Now

There are local wood working guilds as mentioned above that have lathes that you can use as part of membership. Woodcraft stores offer day long courses in wood turning. John C. Campbell Folk School offers week long immersion courses in turning.
Every year, I watch and re-watch several youtube videos on safety with the power tools that I use.
Sharpening skill with lathe tools is essential--simple jig+grinder. There are newer lathe tools with replaceable carbide tips.
---this is enough to get you exploring the topic on the internet.

Aug 5, 2021 - 10:44:04 AM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

14498 posts since 8/30/2006

Turners do it with aprons on

Once there was a Maytag wringer base mounted with an aluminum potter’s disc, great pottery wheel

This always gives me the idea of making a turret lathe for rims and I’ve mentioned it several times here with no interest, I guess it’ll have to wait

I have a nice 24” tabletop drill press that has the torque you need

The tops look like love to me


 

Aug 5, 2021 - 11:03:36 AM
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Helix

USA

14498 posts since 8/30/2006

Treadle is great, try a 48” flywheel

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