Using a Wood Lathe

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Using a wood lathe machine involves locking in the block of wood, adjusting the tool rest, putting on safety goggles and beginning at a slow speed to carve the basic shape. Begin using a wood lathe to rough out the shape with information from a woodworking craftsman in this free video on wood crafts.

Part of the Video Series: Wood Lathe Tips
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Dave Trull with the Trull Gallery, a custom furniture maker in St. Petersburg, Florida, and we're going to talk about how to use a wood lathe. We're just going to start with a simple, spindle turning that we've prepared previously, and we're going to mount it between the head stock and the live center. I'm going to go ahead and lock that down, and now we're ready to adjust our tool rest. What we want to do is get our height so it's just above the center line of our lathe, and then we want to bring our tool rest in as close as possible to the stock, but making sure it clears at the same time. Once it's in a good position, go ahead and lock down all three sections, and again, I double check to make sure we're clear of the tool rest. By having it as close as possible, that prevents any excess chatter from the tool vibrating from the distance. At this point, we're ready to begin our turning. Go ahead and put on our safety glasses, or face shield if you prefer... make sure my lathe is at it's slowest speed. It's going to be rough at first because you still have some corners here, and I'm going to use my large gouge to begin the turning process. When I start my cut, I like to come in high on the piece, pressing on the tool rest with the handle in towards my hip, and then bring it in until I start to get chips. And as you roll the chisel a little bit in the direction that you're going... and you can work from left to right or right to left. And as you can see here, we've just knocked off all the edges, and we've begun forming a sphere. Okay, that's the basics on how to use a lathe. I'm Dave Trull with the Trull Gallery, the fine art of furniture making.


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