How to Use a Woodworking Lathe
How to Use a Woodworking Lathe
With proper technique and practice you can make some remarkable pieces on a wood lathe. The wood lathe will allow you to complete a piece in a few hours. A wood lathe is a tool that turns wood to be cut or grooved with chisels. Using a lathe is a mixture of common sense, craftsmanship and knowing the machine.
How to Use a Woodworking Lathe A woodworking lathe is the most difficult of all the woodworking machines in the shop to learn how to use correctly. This doesn't mean that you should for go purchasing one. With proper instruction and a lot of practice you can do some very amazing things with a wood lathe. The big advantage of a wood lathe is you can do an entire project in just a couple of hours.
Wood lathes can be used to create functional furniture components, beautiful decorative wood projects such as candlesticks and bowls, or even toys such as tops and yo-yos. These machines range in size from hobby models that fit on a work bench to large industrial-sized machines weighing hundreds of pounds, but they all share some basic elements. Here are some instructions for using these unique machines.
A woodworking lathe is the most difficult of all the woodworking machines in the shop to learn how to use correctly. This doesn't mean that you should forgo purchasing one. With proper instruction and a lot of practice you can do some very amazing things with a wood lathe. The big advantage of a wood lathe is you can do an entire project in just a couple of hours.
When I first started learning how to turn wood, a good friend took me into his shop and started teaching me all about turning metal on a metal lathe. Little did I know he had already purchased the old wood lathe he would be giving me for Christmas. Woodworking lathe requires a lot of refinement when you use it, compared to operating any other woodworking device. However, once you get used to it, it gets easier. Normally, when you use the lathe it is paired with a piece of bear stock held on each side.
All dimensions and prices are given in US units. Where many variations of a particular model exist I have attempted to reflect the manufacturer's "base" model with a note in the comments column indicating the availability of others. For reshaping certain pieces of wood or metal, one shop tool you absolutely can not get by without using is a bench lathe. Unless you are an experienced and skilled machinist, you will must likely be using the lathe to work with wood. Read on to learn more about the bench lathe, what it does and how it works.
Woodturning can be a very enjoyable hobby, and if one focuses on learning good fundamental woodturning basics, it can be a safe hobby too. The same wood turning techniques needed to turn spindles such as table legs, bed posts, stair rail spindles or finials can be applied to turning bowls, attractive pens, bottle stoppers and more. While this one article certainly cannot cover every aspect of safe woodturning, if the budding woodturner can learn and consistently implement all of the following points, their woodturning skill will develop quickly.
The “extreme” power tool for many serious woodworkers is a wood lathe. A lathe is also one of the oldest woodworking tools. A bow-powered lathe was thought to have originated in ancient Egypt. I have a chest made by an ancestor, well before the advent of powered tools, and it features beautifully turned posts, evidence of the skills of early craftsmen. Luckily, I also inherited a full set of “antique” turning tools many years ago. A lathe can be used to create many different objects ranging from furniture legs, to candlesticks, and other decorative turnings. A lathe can also be used to turn large objects such as posts, tiny, fancy writing pens or it can be used to turn wooden bowls and other items. Lathe turning takes a bit of skill and practice, but it's easily learned and one of the most enjoyable woodworking techniques.