Woodturning (rec.crafts.woodturning) To discuss tools, techniques, styles, materials, shows and competitions, education and educational materials related to woodturning. All skill levels are welcome, from art turners to production turners, beginners to masters.

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Default What would I be missing?

I have never done any turning since I have always thought that any
lathe worth having would cost too much and take up too much space in my
gara... er, shop. I have been reading some good things about the Rikon
70-100 Mini Lathe that have me rethinking turning.

All I am interested in doing is turning table legs. If I bought the
Rikon and the extension bed and a set of basic turning tools like the 8
piece set that Harbor Freight sells, what would I be missing? I can
lag screw the lathe to a work bench that weighs about 300 pounds.

Before I jump into it, I plan to take a basic turning class at the
Woodcraft store in Clearwater.

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Default What would I be missing?


"Olebiker" wrote in message
oups.com...
I have never done any turning since I have always thought that any
lathe worth having would cost too much and take up too much space in my
gara... er, shop. I have been reading some good things about the Rikon
70-100 Mini Lathe that have me rethinking turning.

All I am interested in doing is turning table legs. If I bought the
Rikon and the extension bed and a set of basic turning tools like the 8
piece set that Harbor Freight sells, what would I be missing? I can
lag screw the lathe to a work bench that weighs about 300 pounds.

Before I jump into it, I plan to take a basic turning class at the
Woodcraft store in Clearwater.


You would be placing yourself on a steep grade paved with banana peels. I
took up turning to make table legs, then fell into faceplate work, bought
another lathe, the tools required to do long reaches, another lathe, some
one-trick ponies for particular tasks and....

OTOH, there's not much else in woodworking that will allow you to spend an
hour in the shop and come up with a completed project.

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Default What would I be missing?


Olebiker wrote:

SNIP

All I am interested in doing is turning table legs. If I bought the
Rikon and the extension bed and a set of basic turning tools like the 8
piece set that Harbor Freight sells, what would I be missing? I can
lag screw the lathe to a work bench that weighs about 300 pounds.


SNIP


If you get the bug from your class, you will be missing a lot ot $$$
that will disappear going towards all the goodies and better equipment
you will want to keep turning.

If you don't get the bug after your class, buy the table legs. Turning
a couple of 100% matching candlesticks can be a challenge, and table
legs would be even more of one. Now to make 4 matching table legs as
a beginner would be a pretty good challentge. They are cheap enough to
buy. Like I said, if you don't really like turning buy the legs on the
'net and save your money.

Robert

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Default What would I be missing?

Olebiker wrote:

All I am interested in doing is turning table legs.**If*I*bought*the
Rikon and the extension bed and a set of basic turning tools like the 8
piece set that Harbor Freight sells, what would I be missing?**I*can
lag screw the lathe to a work bench that weighs about 300 pounds.

Before I jump into it, I plan to take a basic turning class at the
Woodcraft store in Clearwater.


By all means, take the class first if only to find out whether or not you
enjoy turning.

As for the Rikon, the only drawback that may not be obvious to you is the
limited power. If you put the extension on it and turn something that long,
you'll have to have a light touch - but you should strive to develop that
anyway.

--
It's turtles, all the way down
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Default What would I be missing?


Larry Blanchard wrote:
By all means, take the class first if only to find out whether or not you
enjoy turning.

As for the Rikon, the only drawback that may not be obvious to you is the
limited power. If you put the extension on it and turn something that long,
you'll have to have a light touch - but you should strive to develop that
anyway.


What about those Harbor Freight tools. Would I just be throwing money
away buying them?



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Default What would I be missing?

If I were you man, I would avoid those harbor freight turning tools
like the plague. The steel they use is pure crap and will not hold an
edge.

Steve


On 29 Nov 2006 06:06:45 -0800, "Olebiker" wrote:

I have never done any turning since I have always thought that any
lathe worth having would cost too much and take up too much space in my
gara... er, shop. I have been reading some good things about the Rikon
70-100 Mini Lathe that have me rethinking turning.

All I am interested in doing is turning table legs. If I bought the
Rikon and the extension bed and a set of basic turning tools like the 8
piece set that Harbor Freight sells, what would I be missing? I can
lag screw the lathe to a work bench that weighs about 300 pounds.

Before I jump into it, I plan to take a basic turning class at the
Woodcraft store in Clearwater.

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Steve wrote:
If I were you man, I would avoid those harbor freight turning tools
like the plague. The steel they use is pure crap and will not hold an
edge.


I disagree, I just finished turning a couple of bowls out of semi-dry
oak. The HF tools held an edge fairly well. Yes, the handles are too
short, but making replacements is good practice. I believe, like others
that practicing sharpening on HF tools has value.

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Default What would I be missing?

In past years I have bought three different sets of HF turning tools and
found each to be useful. I am not a production turner so keeping an edge
is not as important as being able to produce one. I resharpen
frequently anyway, because I'm never sure that any tool, regardless of
its pedigree is as sharp as it can be.

1. a cheap ($9 for eight) set good only to practice sharpening and
grinding or for sample bevels.
2. a set of three mini tools; gouge, skew and cut off tool of 'adequate
hss'.
3. a set of eight 'not bad at all hss' tools that many here have used
successfully either as is or reground to a particular shape. For fun. I
put a reground scraper in a Sorby handle and one local expert using it
opined "that you get what you pay for!"

HF is all about separating the bargains from the junk. YMMV.


Turn to Safety, Arch
Fortiter


http://community.webtv.net/almcc/MacsMusings

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Steve wrote in
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On 29 Nov 2006 17:22:07 -0800, wrote:


Steve wrote:
If I were you man, I would avoid those harbor freight turning tools
like the plague. The steel they use is pure crap and will not hold an
edge.


I disagree, I just finished turning a couple of bowls out of semi-dry
oak. The HF tools held an edge fairly well. Yes, the handles are too
short, but making replacements is good practice. I believe, like others
that practicing sharpening on HF tools has value.



Then you can practice sharpening to your hearts content, because
you're going to be doing an awful lot of it, with those turning tools.
The steel of these tools is inferior to other quality tools. Bottom
line you get what you pay for.


What Harbor Freight set are you talking about? I bought the eight piece HSS
set some time ago (two years) for about $39USD. I wanted to practice free
hand sharpening on tools that wouldn't make me cry if I screwed them up. It
seems I learned to sharpen free hand very quickly and didn't screw up the
tools. I'm still using them and I don't think I sharpen them any more often
(that I notice) than my Sorbys, Taylors, Crown etc. and I always turn with
sharp tools (grinder is within 18" of the lathe). Did you or do have the
HSS set and speaking from experience or are you just knocking HF?
I think a set of HSS tools for $39USD is a bargain for a beginner, turner
that turns infrequently or likes to regrind tools to custom shapes, etc.
They are also a bargain for a turner with shallow pockets.
Hank



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"Olebiker" wrote in
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Larry Blanchard wrote:
By all means, take the class first if only to find out whether or not
you enjoy turning.

As for the Rikon, the only drawback that may not be obvious to you is
the limited power. If you put the extension on it and turn something
that long, you'll have to have a light touch - but you should strive
to develop that anyway.


What about those Harbor Freight tools. Would I just be throwing money
away buying them?


If the set of HF tools is the HSS set that sells for about $39USD, buy
them. I think all other HF turning tools are carbon steel and I recommend
you avoid them. There is nothing wrong with carbon steel, but they require
sharpening after very little usage. That in itself is not a problem, but
grinding carbon steel takes a lot of care; turn it blue and it's gone. I
bought the HF Hss speed steel set a few years ago to practice free hand
grinding. I found they held an edge about as long as my 'better tools' and
I use them quite often.
I wouldn't put a lot of money into turning tools until I knew if I liked
turning or not. Get some experience and then buy the tools that you
require.
Penn State Industries has a similar set for a bit more money. There is
nothing wrong with the tools, but I don't do business with them (they
****ed me off awhile ago).
The Rikon sounds like a pretty good mini lathe. I've seen them, but never
turned on one. The appear to be similar to the Jet or Delta mini.
Good luck and I hope you end up a turner.
Hank
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Hi Dick

Don't know where you have been reading al those good things about the
Rikon lathe, I haven't heard much good or bad about this lathe really.
I do think it's a good idea to take some turning classes, just so you
get to know the basics, and also the safe way of doing things.
Now going back to the Rikon lathe, it hasn't been out very long and
there are just not many people that have therefore much experience with
it.
Basically it is a lot like the General International, but the spindle
and tail-stock are just 1" higher for a larger swing, however the motor
is still only 1/2 HP, and on all the mini/midi lathes the 1/2 hp motors
are really only marginally strong enough and burnout is not uncommon
for that reason.
You as of now planning to only turn table legs, spindle turning does
not need the larger swing, so no good reason to go for that, price wise
the non variable speed mini/midi's are all in that ballpark, give or
take a couple o'dollars.
I personally would prefer the Jet or Delta mini/midi lathes, they are
more of a proven quality, and you could sell one tomorrow so to speak
for little less than you paid for it.
Design wise there is not much of a difference between all those small
lathes, except for the placement of the bearings and pulleys, the
Jet/Delta have the pulley between the bearings, and therefore the
bearings are a little farther apart, the Rikon/General International on
the other hand do have the pulley behind the bearings, and the bearings
are closer together, not a lot of difference, but when turning hollow
forms like goblets etc., the play in the bearings/shaft is noticeably
more on the closer place bearings, also the motor pulling the pulley
down behind the bearings does lead to more shatter on the frond end.
Maybe not a lot to complain about, but if you would like to turn
something that is not supported by the tailstock, it is something to
keep in mind, but would not matter turning spindles, nor make it
better.
Just my 2 cent ramble
..
O yes the HF (also sold at more places) toolset is a pretty good deal,
it does not stay sharp as long as my Oneway tools, (nor get as much
steel or handle), but unless you turn some more abrasive wood or bark
you'd barely notice it, but you sure notice the difference in price,
and will not be a handicap in learning to turn or sharpen.

Have fun and take care
Leo Van Der Loo

Olebiker wrote:
I have never done any turning since I have always thought that any
lathe worth having would cost too much and take up too much space in my
gara... er, shop. I have been reading some good things about the Rikon
70-100 Mini Lathe that have me rethinking turning.

All I am interested in doing is turning table legs. If I bought the
Rikon and the extension bed and a set of basic turning tools like the 8
piece set that Harbor Freight sells, what would I be missing? I can
lag screw the lathe to a work bench that weighs about 300 pounds.

Before I jump into it, I plan to take a basic turning class at the
Woodcraft store in Clearwater.


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