Midwest Wood Art


 I do not claim to be an expert nor am I paid to promote or recommend products, but below I will list some resources I believe are great for beginning woodturners.


First and foremost, think, used……

AVOID Craftsman and Delta.  They are poorly made and hard to impossible to get parts for them.

Also, try and buy a VS (variable speed) versus a five-speed lathe
There are many very good lathes on the market. Don't consider anything with less than a 12-inch swing.   Jet and Rykon make very good wood lathes for the money, but they cost more than most lathes.  Rikon 70-105 midi Lathe or JET JWL-1221VS, 12" x 21".  I like these lathes for doing small work since it is well made and inexpensive. Grizzly lathes are okay.

Shop around for the best price! 

Recommendations for lathe tools/gouges:
There are so many name brands on the market, that it is impossible to say that one name is the best.  I own some of the top-name brands and like them, but for my school shop, I have found that the following work well without breaking the bank. Whatever you do, don’t buy anything except (HSS) high-speed steel.  Carbon steel doesn't hold an edge well and they will need to be re-sharpened too often and are subject to softening if you aren't really careful about getting them hot.  High-Speed (HSS) Steel does not have that problem.  Leave the Buck Brothers tools in the drawer or sell them to a collector.

DON’T BUY LATHE TOOL SETS!!!!!!! You will end up using maybe three out of the set and the rest just take up space in the drawer…

Four of the most used Turning Gouges
Don't waste your money of premium turning tools unless you use CBN wheels on your grinder. The Aluminum Oxide wheels won't sharpen the better tools as good as they will sharpen the cheaper tools due to the makeup of the metal.

I don't use carbide tools such as Easy Wood tools because they are just scrapers, but if you don't have a sharpening system, these will work, but be prepared to do a LOT of sanding.

​Hurricane Turning Tools, Woodturning Spindle Gouge, High Speed Steel, 1/2 Inches Flute
Hurricane Turning Tools, HTT-242W, M2 HSS, 5/8" Bowl Gouge

Rikon 1/2 HP Grinder with guards + 2 Spartan CBN Wheels
https://woodturnerswonders.com/collections/rikon-grinders/products/1-2-hp-rikon-with-guards-2-spartan-cbn-wheels  (Specify 80 & 350 grist wheels)

Wolverine Grinding System with VARI-GRINDjig

Sharpening: Sharpen often.  With a woodlathe, if the tool is just a little bit dull, it is WAY TOO DULL.  If in doubt, stop and sharpen. Sharpening: The easiest way to do this is with the following.  Don’t try and save money, just get this set up and sharpening will be easy and quick. Best for the price: (I wouldn’t shop any further!) 8in Slow Speed Grinder, Item #150780,
http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2080939/29437/8in-Slow-Speed-Grinder.aspx Wolverine Grinding Jig, http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2001998/2509/Wolverine-Grinding-Jig.aspx You will also need: The Vari Grind Jig

Chucks: ​I love 4-Jaw chuck's; and while is It is possible to do just about everything with a face plate and some turners won't use anything except a faceplate, I believe a chuck makes life so much easier.
Chucks normally come with 50 MM/2 inch jaws.  Purchase the optional 100 MM/4 inch jaws.  The tenon is four times as strong!
Nova chucks are my first choice of inexpensive chucks:

1" x 8 TPI Apprentice 4-Jaw Chuck 8 Piece Set:
http://www.woodturnerscatalog.com/p/100/1111/Apprentice-4-Jaw-Chuck-8-Piece-Set?term=chucks%20lathe1" x 8 TPI Self-Centering 4-Jaw Chuck: Grizzly.com Be sure and get the other size jaws......

For sanding: I use a drill and a Sanding disc holder:
Hook and loop sandpaper: Online Industrial Supply:

Cheap foam brushes for finishing:

Oddball stuff that you can't find anywhere else!

Drill bits and taps: