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Need Advice for New Toy, Rikon Wood Mini Lathe

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  • Need Advice for New Toy, Rikon Wood Mini Lathe

    Got this for Christmas while visiting in Penn over the holidays. No tools yet

    First, advice for shipping it to you is out of the questions! Nice try, though.

    It's a 1/2 HP motor, 6-speed (450- 3900, I think). Too heavy to tote from one spot to another so I'll have to get another stand. I also think I can combine scrollsawing into a project. Like pen boxes and decorative lips on bowls.

    So, here's where I need some advice.

    Changing speeds seems a pain (belt-drive), so would a motor speed control be a good choice for that?

    What about tool choice? I'm considering an inexpensive three-piece set from Sears just to get started. First attempt might be to replace the handles with a longer one. Will look into carbide replacable type when I get more experienced.

    Add-ons?

    Tutorials? found some on You-tube.

    Sharpening advice: how and with what?

    Books?

    Will definitely try pen turning. Where do I start?

    Bowls are also in the future. Rikon doesn't have a huge throat (or whatever it's called) but I think I should be able to make some decent size bowls.

    Any additional hints/advice is greatly appreciated. I'll be searching here for turning topics, too.
    Attached Files
    Mike

    Craftsman 16" VS, Puros Indios and Sam Adams!
    Scrollin' since Jun/2006

    My Gallery

    http://scrollcrafters.com (reciprocal links welcomed)

  • #2
    Starting out I would avoid cheap tools. The steel is cheap (soft) and they will not hold an edge. You will also need a grinder and sharpening jigs. I would start off with some easy wood tools. Just starting go for the easy start set.
    Scott
    Creator of fine designer sawdust.

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    • #3
      Mike check this out.

      google search for woodturning forums click here
      "Still Montana Mike"

      "Don't worry about old age--it doesn't last that long."
      Mike's Wood-n-Things LLC

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      • #4
        Changing speeds seems a pain (belt-drive), so would a motor speed control be a good choice for that?

        ------ Don't really know this lathe, however; some small lathes don't have motors that will react well to electronic speed controls.

        What about tool choice? I'm considering an inexpensive three-piece set from Sears just to get started. First attempt might be to replace the handles with a longer one. Will look into carbide replacable type when I get more experienced.

        ------ Check amazon & woodcraft for beginner sets. The one you are looking at is missing two very important chisels. At the very least you should have a roughing gouge, a good skew, a spindle gouge, a parting tool, and a bowl gouge. All of these should be HSS or powdered steel. You may spend some more for them, but they'll last much longer.

        ------ Carbide tipped (Easy Wood Tools) are good, also, but very expensive.

        Add-ons?

        ------ There are hundreds - Might want a couple of 3-inch or four-inch face plates for bowls and at least one chuck.

        Tutorials? found some on You-tube.

        ------- Mike's Google link is great - the wood turners forums listed there are really good.

        Sharpening advice: how and with what?

        ------ I use an 8-inch slow-speed grinder with a 100-grit wheel. I have a One-way Wolverine jig attached and the Vari-grind mount for the gouges.

        Books?

        ------ The only one I have is Malcom Tibbit's book - but all I do is segmented turning. I was lucky enough to be shown how. Ron Brown has some good DVD videos of different turning projects.

        Will definitely try pen turning. Where do I start?

        ------ Penn State Industries | Pen Turning | Pen Kits | Dust Collector

        ------ Pen Making, Bowl Turning, Wood Lathes, Wood Blanks, and Turning Tools for Woodturners | Craft Supplies USA

        Bowls are also in the future. Rikon doesn't have a huge throat (or whatever it's called) but I think I should be able to make some decent size bowls.

        ------- Actually, that lathe has a 12-inch swing (6 inches between the headstock tip & the bed of the lathe). You'll be able to turn up to 11 inches easily as long as you round off the piece you're turning.
        The good woodworker does not craft the wood for honor. He uses his craft to honor the wood.

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        • #5
          Changing the belt not a big deal. Most of the mini lathe's have made it fairly easy.
          You can get some decent tools from Penn ind. Tony gave some good advice.
          Rolf
          RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
          Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
          Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
          And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

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          • #6
            Do you have a Woodcraft nearby? I took classes there when I started. If not, does Highland Hardware have classes? Not sure where in Georgia you are.
            Steve in Richmond, VA with a DW-788

            Comment


            • #7
              LCHSS8-Chisel-8-Piece Set

              Thanks for the info tgiro, et al. I found an inexpensive chisel set at Amazon made using HSS which includes the type you mentioned. I also ordered a 3-piece caliper set.

              Regarding sharpening. I saw one video where the guy just used 1200 grit sandpaper to keep a sharp edge. Any thoughts on that?

              I also found the Penn State site and see lots of goodies. I'm collecting my turning links for future reference.
              Mike

              Craftsman 16" VS, Puros Indios and Sam Adams!
              Scrollin' since Jun/2006

              My Gallery

              http://scrollcrafters.com (reciprocal links welcomed)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by SteveK View Post
                Do you have a Woodcraft nearby? I took classes there when I started. If not, does Highland Hardware have classes? Not sure where in Georgia you are.
                There is a WoodCraft north of Atlanta, about 2 hours away. Found a local turning group which I may try to attend once in a while.
                Mike

                Craftsman 16" VS, Puros Indios and Sam Adams!
                Scrollin' since Jun/2006

                My Gallery

                http://scrollcrafters.com (reciprocal links welcomed)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by MikeDingas View Post
                  There is a WoodCraft north of Atlanta, about 2 hours away. Found a local turning group which I may try to attend once in a while.
                  The turning group will be your best resource. I was lucky to have a knowledgeable uncle when I was much younger, and I got re-educated by many different turners over the years. Just last year I was shown some really neat sharpening tricks by the resident regional expert at my local (only 56 miles away) Woodcraft store.

                  In parting I will leave you with three very important words "Ride The Bevel!"
                  The good woodworker does not craft the wood for honor. He uses his craft to honor the wood.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    So glad you did not go with the cheap tools. A bunch of years back a buddy was deploying and left his lathe and tools with me for about 6 months. His tools were dull and I had no clue how to sharpen them. I can't tell you how quickly that turned me off on turning. It was several years before I made another attempt.

                    As for the turning club, that is your very best resource. Once I got my own lathe and decent sharp tools I went to work. I read and watched videos, but I was missing something, I just couldn't quite get it figured out. Our pastor once said if you want to be really good at something, find people who are experts and hang out with them. I joined the local turning club and ended up with a couple of really good friends. One of them took me under his wing and taught me a lot, got me over the hump.

                    Since then, I've helped a few more people get a start in turning and make their 1st pieces.

                    Tom
                    Hawk G4
                    http://www.scrollsawer.com/gallery/s...00/ppuser/4243

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      As stated above Join the local turning group! Ride the bevel is the other gem.
                      Here is a link to an excellent series of turning lessons
                      SB Tools’s Videos on Vimeo
                      The second link is to our turning club president's series
                      SB Tools’s Videos on Vimeo
                      Sharp tools are crucial and depending on the wood dull quickly. Personaly I am not a fan of the carbide tipped tools, they do not provide the finish that a well shapened tool provides.(That could be just me)
                      I have spent a small fortune over the years on my sharpening system. And I now use the setup shown here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNr3U6Fdaa0 and this sytem in combination with the wolverine Geiger's Solutions - Pro Sharp 4X Video. And switched to CBN wheels
                      Rolf
                      RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
                      Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
                      Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
                      And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Regular safety gear is a must, but also add a full face shield.
                        A book I like deals with fixtures and chucks, apply named
                        Fixtures and Chucks for Woodturning by Doc Green.
                        No point in concerning yourself with turning tools if you can't hold wood on the lathe safely.

                        Good luck Mike, sure is fun to turn, and I'm sure you will find projects to combine turning & scrolling.

                        Book link:
                        http://www.amazon.com/Fixtures-Chuck...res+and+chucks
                        Last edited by Wood Dog; 01-04-2015, 09:44 AM.
                        Gloria ............... Two memorable things to say in life, "Hello" for the first time, and "Good-bye" for the last.

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