Intro to Turning

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Have you ever found yourself thinking that woodturning looks like fun but you haven’t pursued it because you’re afraid getting started will be too costly or complicated?

That’s understandable. Turning is a specialized branch of woodworking with its own tools and skill set, and it can seem like an entirely different world even if you know your way around the rest of the shop. The good news is that it’s not as hard to get started as you might think. Here’s a quick-start guide to woodturning.

Lathe

No surprise here: You’re going to need a lathe. But which lathe? Besides the array of brands available, lathes come in a range of sizes. How do you know whether you should get a mini, midsize or monster lathe?

Your choice obviously will be influenced by your budget and the space available in your shop, but you’ll also want think about the kinds of projects you’d like to make. Do you want to turn pens and pizza cutter handles or big bowls and beefy table legs? Do you want the flexibility to turn just about anything, regardless of size?

Answering these questions is important because they relate to several key technical specifications that can help you narrow your search for a lathe.

Distance between centers: This is the distance between the drive or spur center on the headstock and the rotating center in the tailstock when the tailstock has been moved out as far as it will safely go. It

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