Wood Lathe Proposal

So I managed to win an auction for this wood lathe:


It’s a huge step up from the current Harbor Freight model we have, with a variable speed motor, 1 HP motor, and the ability to extend to 68" with a couple of other attachments. The extensions are particularly nice, since it will be easier to store when not in use. Home Depot has this at $588 dollars, a comparable Jet model is ~$800. The auction cost was $345 after taxes, fees, etc.

I’d like to proposal that we buy it for the Hive. I’m willing to do it at cost, and I think we should pick up a couple of other additions:

Extension, $130, lengths the table to 42 inches:

4 Jaw Chuck, $100:

Total would be $575, which is just under the retail price at Home Depot.

I vote yes.

I like the idea of getting the bigger unit for the wood working area…however my only reservation is where we are at money wise right now. I like the idea of expanding the wood working area however it is just a lot on the table right now. Is there other projects/ costs/ tools/ that are also in the work as well? I was just trying to get a whole picture of the “plans”.

That’s a valid concern. According to the last board meeting on Oct 10th, the hive had 30K in reserves.


Right now we’ve got about $1K in improvements currently approved for the woodshop. ($750 for the bench, $220 for the clamps) I’m asking for a bit more than needed on the workbench budget, in case there are unforeseen problems.

I’d also really like to be able to beg or borrow clamps rather than buying a bunch for the hive, although pipe clamps are on the wishlist because we current don’t have enough. I’m personally planning on buying whatever it takes to make up the difference between the 28 needed, and the 16 we’d have on hand. Right now if nobody else comes up with any that’s probably going to be another 12. If we can borrow enough from various sources, we might not have to spend anything on clamps.

So at this point we’ve spent less this year on the woodshop than the electronics ($1500) or metal shops ($4K). It’s probably not fair to compare, each has different needs. I’m planning on also using them, but I’m not sure what other guidelines to follow. I’ve been told that what we need is people to get things done, and I’m willing to do it. Further I’ve asked multiple members and been told that the way to do this is to put up a plan for a vote. If there’s another budgeting process, I’m all for it.

We’ve spent about 1/30th of the reserves, leaving enough for the hive to last for a year or two if all other income was cut off. I’m not sure that having years of reserves is as useful as having an improved space that will attract new members. If I seem to be advancing a lot of things, it’s because I feel there are things that could be improved upon, and I’m willing to do the work. I figure I can do that either at the hive, or at home, and I’d rather share things, than have a bunch of stuff sit around in my garage unused 99% of the time.

Also, just to reiterate, I’m fine with keeping the wood working lathe for myself. I know there’s been some discussion about getting a better one in the past, but that doesn’t have to be this one. I think this is a really good deal, and the expansion table makes storage much easier than other units, but I’m sure there will be others.

Cool, just trying to see if there was still more planed to buy or votes anticipated vs. Getting the area to a certain point right now. Are the extensions included in this vote as well or any other equipment that will be needed for operating?

Okay, just wanted to make sure I was being clear. Currently this includes the lathe ($345), an improved chuck ($100) on sale on Amazon, usually $160, and one extension ($130). Total of $575.

At full retail this would be $588, $160, $130, for a total of $878, saving $303.

This was not a planned buy, and if the hive is not interested I understand that the risk is completely my own in this one, and I did purchase it with this understand. Elly is completely right, nobody should feel pressured to vote for this in anyway. I’ll be happy to use it at home.

I would be open to looking at just the lathe for now and get the other items over a little time if you are setting the vote up for individual items.

Actually I was attempting to itemize.

The problem with doing it separately would be that the hold that comes with it requires screws to be driven into the piece to hold it in place. Further they recommend that nothing over 6" in length + 6" in width be used with it. So once you add in 1/2"-1" wood screws to hold the piece in place you’re down to 5" of actual work space.

The chuck addresses this. Instead of driving screws into the work, you can clamp down on the work same as the 3/4 jaw chucks on the metal working lathe.

I could definitely see not getting the extension right away. The advantage of the extension is that it opens up the work to things that aren’t bowls or candle holders.

So, do we have wood lathe turning tools? (gouges, or scrapers (much easier to use and, more importantly, to keep sharp))

Do we have face turning tools? The ones for spindle turning (like making mallets or pool cues) are not safe for face plate/chuck turning (making bowls, plates, vases, etc).

John S.

So quick update on this. The Hive does not own a Lathe. The HF model I’ve been talking about actually appears to belong to Matt M and might (or might not) be on loan. All I know is that it has his name and contact info. It explains why there is no information on this in the Wiki.

Further it’s extremely under powered according to Clay, who attempted to turn a simple pen on it. Since turning pens is one of the few things that it’s possible to do on that Lathe, that makes it pretty useless, IMHO. Finally it takes a non standard taper, which means that it wouldn’t be easy to add any sort of accessories to it.

I agree on cutting tools - I’ve always used my own in any shared situation. It’s a hard call, though:

  • In many cases, we have had a hive set of cutting tools for casual abuse and learning.
  • Learning how to sharpen these is an invaluable skill, and what better illustration than a set of tools that perpetually need sharpening.
  • On the other hand, a dull tool is dangerous on a wood lathe.
  • Most dangerous scenario is no proper tool is available so someone uses a cheap, dull hand chisel with a short tang and gets a high speed projectile.

I don’t know. Regardless, assume that everything at hive will eventually be used as 1. a pry bar 2. a doorstop.


“assume that everything at hive will eventually be used as 1. a pry bar 2. a doorstop.”

HAHHAHAHAHH This made my day, Lorin. Thank you. (and I hope you are healing well)

Perhaps the model used elsewhere of “the hive provides minimally useful stuff but if you’re really concerned with having high quality, you can bring your own” can apply here? I.e. soldering irons, welding helmets, drill bits, sanding disks, etc. ?


Yes, the lathe and chisel are mine. I haven’t used it in a little while, but I have made dozens of pens on it, and even a cup about 3" in diameter, so it’s ok for smaller projects. Andrews lathe would have almost triple my lathes power though.

The best part about Andrews lathe is the ability to receive chucks (my harbor freight has a weird threading on the head so the only way to do face turning is with the faceplate that came with it). The ability to add extensions is pretty nice, but longer projects like that need a steady rest (~$50) or else the vibrations will shake your work-piece to bits.

If we are going to invest in hive lathe chisels then we should either get the ones with carbide replacement tips, or high speed steel along with a sharpening jig.

The carbide ones are nice because they last a long time and don’t need to be sharpened. Just buy a replacement tip. I’ve never owned them so I don’t know how long they last. I would need to research but I think a decent ballpark would be $100 for a decent rougher that can do most any spindle turning. I’m not sure but I think they can also do some face turning.

Andrews estimate of $60 for a steel chisel set is accurate but sharpening lathe chisels on a grinder without a jig takes a fair amount of skill. And when turning on a lathe you should resharpen steel chisels every 5-10 minutes or so for a good finish. The jig would allow beginners to sharpen their tools but they can be a little expensive (about $100 from rockler http://www.rockler.com/oneway-wolverine-grinding-jig?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=&utm_content=pla&utm_campaign=PL&sid=V9146&gclid=CjwKEAiA6YDBBRDwtpTQnYzx5lASJAC57ObMnizrEbZwa2TkkQkqLFUKulR7DSJcVGuZBaYbAccocxoCVZ7w_wcB). One benefit to steel though is that if the edge gets ruined (likely due to an inexperienced sharpener), it doesn’t take long to put a completely new edge on. Ive put a new edge on my scraper a few times and it only takes maybe 10 minutes of work. I think if we keep the lathe chisels from being use outside of the lathe, and teach everyone who wants to use them how to sharpen, they should do alright.

In summary, I like the idea of getting Andrews lathe and a 4 jaw Chuck to go with it, and I could see getting a carbide rougher, or maybe a set of steel chisels with a sharpening jig.

Matt Malarik

Yes, the lathe and chisel are mine. I haven’t used it in a little while, but I have made dozens of pens on it, and even a cup about 3" in diameter, so it’s ok for smaller projects. Andrews lathe would have almost triple my lathes power though.

I believe Clay was able to finish, but struggled with the lathe stopping multiple times, something the higher power motor would address. I believe yours is 1/3 HP, while the Delta is 1 HP.

The ability to add extensions is pretty nice, but longer projects like that need a steady rest (~$50) or else the vibrations will shake your work-piece to bits.

Totally forgot about a steady rest. OTOH, I’ve got some steel that I could fabricobble something like this out of. I’d like to give that a shot before asking for more money.

In summary, I like the idea of getting Andrews lathe and a 4 jaw Chuck to go with it, and I could see getting a carbide rougher, or maybe a set of steel chisels with a sharpening jig.

Matt Malarik

If you like the idea, and you’re not going to be at the meeting Tuesday, please vote “Aye!” here. :wink:

I vote yes on Andrews lathe

Matt Malarik

I like the lathe and the Nova chuck.

I think a set of carbide scraper bowl tools ( roughing, small diameter round, and diamond scrapers, and a parting tool (easy to sharpen)), all with long bodies and long handles) would be a better bet for the Hive 1 3 general use tool collection.
Safe for spindle and bowl turning both, no sharpening (except the parting tool).

and, if you want fancier stuff, bring your own.

I vote yes for the lathe with the Nova chuck.

Yes I was able to use it - and any hardwood was problematic. It’s a neat small work device over all though. I wouldn’t want to turn anything over 2" on it though.

If we add an extension to the new one, a floor stand would be nice, but a long metal plate running the length of the tool that can be clamped to the work surface would work too. Or bolt it to a cabinet/bench. Any one of those would work, but I’d much rather have the first or the third option if people are doing good work. The first and third options also allow for easier clean up.

As for throwing tools - I’d suggest that the wood lathe should be an item that required training and cert to use. Much like you can bypass welding certification by laying a good bead and setting the machine up, a lathe test (prep and turn a candlestick/bottle opener/toothpick holder/pen?) could bypass the need for training.

A sharpening jig would be a very welcome idea, but we need the right wheels (Al2O3 grey and pink) on the grinder or it will be exceptional easy to blow the tempering on a tool.

The PSI/Benjamin’s Best 8 piece tool kit on amazon – I paid $62 - they are currently $75 ¯_(ツ)_/¯ – is what I think is the $/performance point over cheap HF tools($35ish and I’ve purchased those with the temper already broken and loose handles) and there’s nothing much better until you’re buying carbides at $230 for a set of 4 mid-side Tommy G’s or investing money in Easy Wood Tools or Simple Woodturning Tools. Then there’s the question of do you want mini, mid, or full size, depends on the person and the need. A set of mid or full size to keep at the hive that can be sharpened and used appropriately (do people trash the Metal Lathe or End Mill tools?) us a good idea.

I’ve turned over100 maple and ash baseball bats in my life and never used a steady rest on wood - only seen them on metal. I’m not saying they’re not useful.

Caliper/divider set would be nice

We have a caliper/divider set I got for the metal lathe. They could certainly do double duty for wood and metal. They are in the tool box by the metal lathe, 2nd or 3rd drawer.



I would suggest a separate caliper set for the woodshop.
Just to keep the wood and metal tools separate.

John S.