Buying a Wood Lathe – Review

Buying a Wood Lathe

Wood Turning


Taking up the hobby of wood turning and you are considering buying a wood lathe there are many considerations to think about and the following are some of them:

What am I going to make with it.
● Are there many different models.
● What do they cost.
● First time user what is the best beginner lathe.
● How to use a wood lathe.

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.turned-box1-wpturned-box2-wpWhat to Make

This could determine the type of lathe to be consider from the range of lathes on offer.

To produce spindle type products such as legs for chairs a long bed machine.

For turning bowls and the like a large clearance be tween the centre line of rotation to the bed of the machine.

And should both facilities are require the lathe would need to be a large tool.

Different models

There are two main types a bench top wood lathe and a free standing model, both come in different sizes.

From miniature designed to produce very small components to the very large professional woodworkers lathe that can handle both long spindle work to bowl tuning projects.


The price range for wood lathes is large and can be purchase from a relative moderate price to a very expensive one.

So it is wise to investigate the features of the lathes that are in the price range considered to be invested in this purchase.

Beginners problems

The desire for a beginner to try another avenue of woodworking such as wood turning can be difficult.

Reading all the literature is a good start but it much better to have some hands on a machine to reassure the beginner it is the answer.

There could be clubs locally that are prepared to teach woodturning, these will give the beginner and insight what is involved.

How to use a lathe

There are a great many you tube videos an every aspect of wood turning and the following one is considered a very good illustration of one aspect of it.

The video is quite long but is well worth the time spent:


Choice of wood

This can be determined by what is being made, for a repair or something original.

The previous video showed how to produce a chair or table leg in detail.

This was shown using a soft wood but could have also been a hard wood.

The other type of lathe wood is to produce bowls and platters, this of course requires the use of a chuck.


Here the turning procedures require a different approach and also other types of woodturning chisels.

The power of the lathe and the ability to have a range of wood lathe turning speeds are also to be taken into consideration when buying a wood lathe.

The following video gives an explanation of some of the basics of bowl turning:

Having watched the above video that should give an insight what can be produced using a wood turning lathe.

The following video that follows is a detailed description of how to produce a box.

This procedure requires some chisel procedures once learned can be applied to other procedures.


It also what type of chisels are required for the different type wood turning to be undertaken, but whatever is bought buy the best that can be afforded.

Another consideration is safety, wood chips can leave the cutting operation at speed so protection for the eyes is important.

A full face mask is recommended as breathing in wood dust is also considered a hazard.

Ear defenders are an option but will only be required if the lathe action of cutting is noisy.

Gloves are not required as they can be danger if caught in the revolving material and so cause untold injury.


Consider carefully the operations that will be undertaken on a wood turning lathe and purchase the best wood lathe for the money available.

The type of wood lathe wether it be table top wood lathe or if there is sufficient space in the workshop a free standing model.