Top 5 Tips for Using a Wood Lathe

Using a wood lathe is going to be extremely beneficial for your project, but you’re definitely going to need some tips and some understanding of what you need to do in order to use it properly. That way you’re going to have a great project when you’re done and you’re going to see the fruits of your labor. Not only that, but you’re going to want to get your lathe out and try again on yet another project in the future because you’ve got something great to show for your last experience.

Get a Sharpening Jig

If you are looking to get started using a wood lathe, you’re going to definitely want a sharpening jig to go along with it. You want to make sure that your tools are always going to be as sharp as possible and even though it’s not as simple to do it by hand, you’re definitely going to have a better shot at it if you have a jig to help you along. You’ll also love the ability to get things sharpened and ready to go all on your own without having to take them in anywhere or get someone else to take care of things for you.

Wood Lathe1Overall, your sharpening jig should be able to last you a very long time and it should definitely help you accomplish some great projects. Just make sure you’re keeping it in good shape as well and you’ll have no problem getting it to keep your projects looking great.

Stay Safe

This is the most important aspect of using a wood lathe. You need to make sure that you keep track of what’s going on at all times and that you’re always aware of what your wood lathe is doing. You want to keep all of the pieces in proper shape and that’s going to require you to do a little bit of work before you get started on your project. Make sure that you’re looking over the entire lathe before you turn it on to make sure there are no broken pieces and definitely that there is nothing damaged, cracked or otherwise less than ideal.

You want to make sure you always keep your hands away from the lathe while it’s operating as well. After all, you’re going to be using something that rotates up to 4,000 rpm and that could definitely cause a serious injury. Overall, the key is to be aware of everything that’s happening around you and everything that you’re doing. Know what you can and can’t do and what your lathe can and can’t do and you’ll be better off.

Know What You’re Doing

The next thing to know is everything you can about the piece of wood that you’re using. You need to adjust the speed of your lathe to fit that piece of wood and it’s going to depend on a number of factors. You should know the size, balance, length and condition of what you’re using because that’s going to play an important role in how you adjust the overall speed to get a good quality product. Too fast or too slow could result in damage to your end product or it could just take more time to accomplish what you want.

Make sure you know everything you can about the wood from the start and look over it carefully to see if you find any damage. If it is starting to decay, has loose pieces of bark or otherwise has something different about it, you probably should wait until you know what you’re doing a little better. If you’re new these things could be more dangerous.

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Wood Lathe2Make sure that you’re starting to remove the areas of waste that are larger before you start removing smaller areas. But also make sure that you’re not trying to get too much out of the area all at once. You want to make sure that you have something that looks good in the end and that isn’t going to cause you a lot of heartache. If you try to push out all of the waste all together you’re going to end up with a lot of heartache because it’s going to be tough and you’re not going to even succeed in the end.

What you want to do is start at the larger waste areas and then slowly work your way through the rest of the work. You’ll be able to get all of the waste off, but it’s going to take a little time. Still, it’s going to take less time to get the waste off this way than it will trying to push it all out of the way without really paying attention in the end.

Cut the Right Direction

Finally, make sure that you’re always cutting into your wood and going with the grain. This is going to provide you with a much cleaner cut and it’s going to help you have a much nicer end product as well. Sure you could go back and sand things down when you’re done, but if you use your lathe properly and cut through the wood properly you’re not going to have to do that at all. Why would you want to add in extra work on top of what you’re already doing? Why not take the time out and just do things right the first time around?

No matter what you’re doing a wood lathe is going to help you accomplish some really great things. You’re going to have a great looking project and you’re also going to really like the way that your project looks in the end. Not to mention, everyone else in the family is going to be jealous of the great things that you can do. All you need to do next is make sure that you’re making even more projects for all of them. They definitely make great gifts and you’ll be having so much fun making the stuff it’s definitely not going to feel like work for you to get it done.

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