If you're new to woodturning, here's a few tips to get you started....
Woodturning can provide you with an excellent hobby and some say "addictive", however there are a few things you should consider before you embark on this skill.
Work space is an important consideration - woodturning requires some decent space and can be both noisy and messy so think about an enclosed area such as a garage, shed or workshop for doing this in.
It can be an expensive hobby - there are some substantial initial outlays for equipment such as a lathe, a lathe chuck or other fixing methods, tools, a tool sharpening system and safety equipment. You may also look into getting dust extraction and a bandsaw. A lathe can be a major purchase but you can pick up a good, used lathe fairly easily. It is common for a turner to start out with a basic or used lathe and then upgrade to a higher specification lathe as you become more committed to your hobby. You will also need a fixing method to hold your wood into your lathe. Most lathes come with a basic face plate or drive. However, a scroll chuck is a far safer and more versatile holding method.
It is always recommended to buy the best quality high speed turning tools that you can afford. With due care and attention they can last a life time (All these are available here and applies not only to woodturning but ANY aspects of wood work.) Poor quality tools or badly sharpened tools can lead to frustration and can often be the cause of a novice becoming disillusioned and giving up your hobby.
As an initial woodturning set, there are a few tools that are recommended:
~ a 3/4" spindle roughing gouge for initial turning square stock to round between spindles.
~ a 3/4" skew chisel which acts as a plane to create a fine finish (a 3/4" Spindlemaster would fulfill this function also)
~ a 3/8" spindle gouge to produce crisp detail on spindles
~ a 3/8" bowl gouge for shaping bowls and other face -plate work
~ a 1/2" round scraper for finishing a bowl
~ a 1/8" parting tool to remove the project with minimal waste
You can then add tools as you get more adventurous!!
Keeping your tools sharp is also very important and sharpening is a good skill to learn. There are different methods of doing this, from an inexpensive wooden block and abrasive discs to a comprehensive sharpening system.
Turning is an amazing way to vent your creativity. Turning a blank piece of wood into an object of beauty or function is a excellent source of personal satisfaction.