Ok, I am ridiculously satisfied with myself at the moment. I took a perfectly good stainless steel bolt and turned it into a worthless example of Vise Grip activity.
Santa brought a mini lathe to the La Londe household. Unfortunately the fat bastidge didn't bring any tooling. Wanting desperately to play with the new toy I cleaned all the grease off today and then began to think about different things I might use as a cutter. I can tell you definitively and with authority that a stainless steel bolt is harder than a cheap cold chisel. LOL.
HOWEVER, a broken 3/8 HSS end mill can be turned into a crude mill bit by liberal free hand application of a bench grinder and quenching periodically in oil as it takes shape. I then proceeded to turn a perfectly good 2 dollar bolt into 10¢ worth of scrap stainless. I managed to turn the head into a nice cylinder, and even face the end square to the sides before my home made cutter got too dull because I pushed it too fast. OOooh! AAaaah!
So what was the first thing you ever turned on a metal lathe?
I have used a wood lathe to duplicate spindles and made dowels in my drill press in a pinch, but that was a whole different experience. I am entirely too satisfied with myself.