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Thread: Tool Rest Recommendations

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Santa Rosa, CA
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    16

    Tool Rest Recommendations

    I'm pretty new to turning and would like to turn some smaller bowls. My lathe is a Jet Mini 1014 manual.. Y2K model. I'm looking for recommendations on curved tool rests for both inside and outside the bowl.

    Currently looking at a set of 4 from Penn that have the 5/8" post. The rests are, IIRC, 5/8 round stock with some support under them. Price looks great at about $70. They also have three straight rests of round bar.. short, medium and longer for $30.. also sounds good. I've seen others that were cast iron curved.. rough looking but.. what do I know? That's why I'm asking.

    Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Kapolei Hawaii
    Posts
    2,672
    Welcome to turning!
    I got that 3 bar set, and I like them BUT, those round bar rests in general are not the greatest rests to use. I prefer the rests that have the hardened rods on the top, like the Robust rests. My Robust is a short rest, awesome for pens etc. The long bar rests I use for roughing. I also have 1 of the curved bowl rests made of the round bar stock and that works well, since you really don't need to get that close to the work piece. For the price of the long bar set, I don't think you can get more bang for the buck.
    The 1014 is not very powerful, turning a bowl will be a challenge. Stick to stock 6" or less and you'll be fine. I love that lathe for boxes and such. I also have a Jet 1642, (got it later, had the mini for years) so bowls get turned on that.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Posts
    16
    Thanks Kyle. I've had the lathe for years and never used it. I had the opportunity to make a few items at a wood carving rendezvous on someone else 1014. A couple pens, about 4 wine bottle stoppers, a small Christmas tree and a 6 3/4" bowl. That was about as large a bowl as I could turn after rechecking it in, what I recall was, a Cole plate (?) Made a pretty nice bowl for a first try. Looks like I'll have to find something like a Cole plate for future if I want to do bowls.. although I've read they aren't very high quality. Not sure what else is available at a reasonable price.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
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    4,442
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Splaine View Post
    I'm pretty new to turning and would like to turn some smaller bowls. My lathe is a Jet Mini 1014 manual.. Y2K model. I'm looking for recommendations on curved tool rests for both inside and outside the bowl.
    Currently looking at a set of 4 from Penn that have the 5/8" post. The rests are, IIRC, 5/8 round stock with some support under them. Price looks great at about $70. They also have three straight rests of round bar.. short, medium and longer for $30.. also sounds good. I've seen others that were cast iron curved.. rough looking but.. what do I know? That's why I'm asking.
    Thanks for any help.
    Hi Bill,

    I have a couple of those same mini lathe and some bigger lathes. I've turned 8" bowls on a Jet mini with no problems. I also turned similar bowls on a less powerful lathe a long time ago. You should be fine if you have sharp tools and make controlled cuts without trying to muscle through.

    I have some curved rests but in my opinion you probably don't need one for a small bowl - a standard rest will fit nicely inside a small bowl without requiring too much tool overhang to be uncomfortable.

    There has been some discussion lately on tool rests. Robust rests always get good recommendations. I have a some and have quit using my cast iron rests. The Robust has a hardened steel rod at the top that never needs dressing and the body is shaped to let you put the rod very close to the work.

    I have some rests with larger round rods on top (Best Wood Tools) and I don't like them. The contact point can't be put close enough to suit me for some work.

    There are other ways than the Cole jaws to hold a bowl for finishing the bottom. One simple one is to make the opening slightly smaller than the main diameter, what might be called slightly "closed" so you can grab it with the jaws expanding rather than compressing. You can make a jam chuck from scrap wood. You can squeeze the bowl between something extending from the headstock and something on the tailstock. You can press the bowl tight against a piece of plywood, perhaps with a raised area cut to center the bowl, and use strapping tape to hold it in place. People make Cole jaw extensions for larger bowls. You can add a simple vacuum chuck.

    My favorite way is a different approach: hold the blank with a screw chuck, turn, sand, and even finish the outside and bottom including a recess for the chuck, then reverse and turn the inside. I may reverse again and hold with some method to remove the recess or more often, just make the recess a part of the bottom design such as with these:

    bottom_IMG_4687.jpg bottom_IMG_4749.jpg bottom_PC012804_e.jpg

    The recess in the last one is actually the three kind-of-triangular pieces left after cutting the 3-axis design. Amazingly, that was enough to hold the 18" platter to turn the other side.

    BTW, you can find instructions for the multi-axis base on Frank Penta's web site in his platter project download: http://www.frankpenta.com/index.php/...rojects/detail

    JKJ
    Last edited by John K Jordan; 05-19-2017 at 3:40 PM. Reason: Added Penta info

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
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    16
    Thanks John.. Part may take a bit to digest.. or I may seek help

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
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    4,442
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Splaine View Post
    Thanks John.. Part may take a bit to digest.. or I may seek help
    You are in luck then - there exists a critical mass of friendly people on this and other forums who enjoy nothing as much as helping! (or trying to help )

    JKJ

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