Whether you are a beginning woodworker or have been at this gig for quite some time, it’s likely that you understand the importance of wood lathes. These are the best tools for turning any detailed piece of woodworking. They are commonly used to create legs for furniture. However, they are also easily adjusted to complete mini projects like wooden bowls or yo-yos. In the shop, a lathe is truly a multipurpose tool that you will not want to be without.
Different lathes have different capabilities, so knowing what you plan on using the machine for is important before you make your purchase. Cheaper machines, of course, have less features and flexibility. However, buying the most advanced models may not be the best choice for your needs either. Understand your needs and check the reviews on each model before determining the best fit. When making your final selection, pay attention to the specifications, including the bed length, swing, horsepower and RPM. Whether or not the wood lathes you consider have variable speed can also make a difference in the successful completion of your projects. Finally, don’t forget to include the chucks, chisels and gouges in your initial purchase so you can get working right away.
It seems like there are dozens of companies that are in the business of making and selling wood lathes. Some common options include Craftsman, Delta, Jet, Oliver, Glaser, Grizzly, Rikon, Stabilax, Supenova, Powermatic, Ohio Forge and Tranpower. Unless you read reviews that suggest a particular brand or model is sub-par, your main concern when shopping will be price and features. You also may prefer a particular brand if you already have woodworking tools made by the same company. This can make learning the particular operation of your lathe much easier as the setup is often configured similarly with different machines in the same product line.
Working with your hands can be very fulfilling. Taking a simple block of wood and creating something truly useful and beautiful has a lot of appeal. Having the proper tools can make your hobby even more fulfilling. Wood lathes are one of the funnest woodworking tools in your shop, so take the time to make sure that you purchase the right one for your needs. One more option to consider is using your router as a lathe. It sounds odd, but there are articles online on how to do it. It’s probably not for the beginner.