Wood Turning Lathe
As with the other tools in the wood turners armoury the reasons for purchasing a wood lathe can be down to specifics of type, availability, recommendation, size, budget and other deciding factors. This section of the site is here to assist in making some of those decisions.
Wood turning lathes come in various sizes, from small lathes custom built to manufacture pens to huge bowl turning machines.
Lathes are designated according to the maximum diameter of material that can be swung over the bed. A lathe capable of turning an 11-inch diameter disk of wood is referred to as an 11-inch lathe. The other dimension to be concerned with is the distance between the centres, also referred to as the centre to centre distance. This measurement determines the maximum length of material that can be mounted between the headstock and tailstock and suitably turned.
A small lathe with minimal lathe accessories is the ideal starting point for the beginner to wood turning. Shown below is a larger lathe to highlight the different components easier.
Power output of the motor is usually described in a lathes description in units of watts or horsepower. This provides the power to rotate the work piece from around 0 rpm to 3500 rpm depending upon the model type and manufacturer.
This is the driving end of the lathe. consisting of a internally tapered and externally threaded spindle which may be hollow or solid. The Wood to be turned is held using a spur center in the taper or a chuck or face plate threaded onto the spindle.
It is a circular metal (usually cast iron) plate which fixes to the end of the lathe spindle. The workpiece is then clamped to the faceplate, typically using t-nuts in slots in the faceplate, or threaded holes in the faceplate itself.
A chuck allows the wood to be gripped at one end by the chuck and its jaws while the other end is being drilled or hollowed out. Useful for hollowing out of wooden bowls and goblets where the tail stock would get in the way.
- Care Of The Woodturning Lathe
Your woodturning lathe should be brushed clear every day of any woodchips and wood shavings. Following cleaning the lathe rub the matalic surfaces of the lathe with a piece of oil dipped cloth to leave a film of protective oil on the surface, preventing corrosion of the tools surfaces