18 years ago
drill press wood turning, found turning addictive, and I'm planning to
purchase a lathe sometime soonish.
I have a small shop, and I favor small projects. I'm thinking of a "hobby
lathe" since I'm more likely to turn spindles for doll furniture than
people sized stuff.
The spread on the Taig lathe in the Lee Valley catalog got me thinking about
buying a *metal* lathe instead of a wood lathe. I've since done a bit of
reading about that one, and the similarly sized Sherline.
I'm always building things out of whatever materials I can scrounge for free
(not much budget), and I constantly run into situations where I wish I
could fabricate a bit of something. I have a $200 bandsaw, and have built
a lot of things out of angle iron and bar stock (using fasteners... I
can't weld), but that's about as far as my metalworking experience goes.
So what I'm looking to get out of this post is a sense of just what people
*do* with metal lathes, and what I could learn to do on something like a
Taig lathe. Other than issues of scale, what can I do with one of those
big $20,000 industrial lathes that I couldn't do with a small hobby
I've been googling around, but I just don't have much of a sense of this.
Other than a few really obvious things, like the turned brass finials on my
fireplace, I can't look at the world around me and say "that was made with
Most of the FAQs for this group are just too far beyond my experience to
make much sense. Bookstores have woodworking sections, but I've never seen
diddly squat about metalworking. I've been thinking about taking some
classes at the local community college, but I'm a truck driver, and my
schedule is extremely irregular. Plus they don't seem to have anything
that's geared toward the weekend swarf maker.
Anyway, I'm sorry I'm blathering on so. I've about decided to get a metal
lathe no matter what, but it would be nice to have a list of things I can
tell SWMBO I can make with the thing.