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Tips for Turners

Tips for Turners




Lathe thread protectors can be made from plastic waste or water pipe.


Keep bed bars dry and clean, a quick spray with a PTFE based lubricant as you leave the workshop works wonders.


Do not use WD40 or similar on bearings, it dissolves their grease.




Use cup hooks to hang callipers & rulers etc near lathe to avoid loosing in shavings.


Small powerful button magnets are good for holding hex keys and other small easily lost items.


Garden tool, double hooks, make good hangers for tool rests.


Keep tool rests free of nicks for smoother tool control.


Allen Keys (long end) glued into a wooden handle then sharpened make small tools for captive ring making, or under cutting rims.


For small spigots a spanner makes a good accurate alternative to callipers.


For larger spigots, MDF or Ply wood cut with a ‘U’ shaped opening makes measuring easier for the turning of larger spigots, (make one for each set of jaws).


Cheap centre finders for bowl blanks can be made by scribing concentric circles, with dividers, on a piece of Perspex and drilling a small hole in the centre for a bradawl.


Short pieces of copper water pipe make good ferrules for tool handles.


Fix cheap plastic ruler to shelf/wall above lathe for quick setting of callipers etc.


When using plate jaws or similar to reverse turn a bowl or platter it is safer if the tail stock can be used for added support at least until the final cuts, a small rubber door stop on the point will avoid any damage to the work.


Jamb chucks should be made out of a softer wood that that you wish to grip.




Clean vacuum and extractor filters regularly, it really does improve the suction and avoids damaging the motors.


If like me you have a proliferation of power plugs and sockets, label the plugs with a permanent marker to quickly identify them (white markers are available for black plugs).


Weigh blanks to check drying process. Write weight on blank, it is in equilibrium with surroundings when weight stabilises.

If allowed, keeping indoors in an unheated room is better than a damp shed or garage.


To save unnecessary grief it is better to clean shavings off of clothes before going indoors.