What Can A Wood Lathe Do?

What Can A Wood Lathe Do?

Woodturning is a hobby that many people enjoy. You can turn wood on a lathe to make bowls, vessels, and other interesting shapes. Woodturning is often seen as an art form because of the time and effort it takes to produce what you want your piece of wood to look like when you are finished turning it.

There are many different types of wood lathes to choose from depending on what type of work you plan on doing with yours. To learn more about what can be done with a wood lathe read the rest of this post!

What Is A Wood Lathe?

A wood lathe is a machine that’s designed to hold and rotate pieces of wood. The turns made on the lathe make what would be round, square, or rectangular blocks into what are known as bowls, vessels, or other shapes.

There are different types of woodturning tools such as gouges and chisels which can be used to create these shapes. The tool is dragged or pushed across the wood piece and what it cuts out of the material can be turned into what you want your wood to look like when you are finished turning it.

A variety of different types of woods can be used on a lathe, including hardwoods such as maple, cherry, and walnut. Softwoods can also be used on a lathe, though they are more prone to splitting or breaking which is why hardwood is typically what people work with when woodturning.

The process involves cutting the block of material into what’s known as rough turning which removes excess mass that would otherwise make it difficult for the piece to spin on the lathe.

The wood piece is then cut into what’s known as final turning which removes what remains of excess material and creates a finished product that looks like what you want your completed project to look like when it’s done.

Types Of Wood Lathes

There are a few different types of wood lathes that a person can use.

The smaller wood lathe is called a mini-lathe. The piece of wood that the worker is turning can be no more than six inches wide and four feet long on a mini lathe. These are what people use to turn fishing lures, pens, and many other small objects.

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The benchtop lathe is a bigger version of the mini-lathe. It is what people use for larger projects that require a lot more room to work on, such as bowls and lamps.

A metal lathe has some similarities with a wood lathe in what it can do to an item of material that someone wants to be turned into something else. There are also differences between them which you can see in this article.

The last is a full-size lathe which is what people use to turn big pieces of wood into furniture legs, baseball bats, and other big projects. This kind of lathe has legs and it is quite powerful and heavy. They are also the most expensive.

What Can A Wood Lathe Do?

A wood lathe can turn wood into many different things. There are so many projects you can work on and what you decide to make will depend on your skill level.

You can use a wood lathe to create bowls, platters, spoons, lids for jars; just about anything that is round or has an even edge. You have the option of using different types of cuts with the bowl gouge. There are also other tools you can use to get the desired shape.

For furniture, you might need a bigger and more powerful lathe that will allow for longer lengths of wood pieces. This kind of lathe is what most people think about when they hear “woodworking equipment.” They are also expensive but tend to be worth it. They will not bog down or struggle with big projects.

A woodturning machine, or lathe, is an important tool for any serious furniture maker. The ability to shape and turn wood is what allows you to create the desired final product.

How Much Does It Cost To Buy One And How Do I Get Started With This Craft?

Woodturning machines range in price from $150 to more than what most people are willing to pay. The good news is that if you don’t have the money upfront, there are financing options available. Some woodworking equipment manufacturers offer a trade-up option where you can upgrade your lathe over time as your skills improve.

We covered why wood lathes are so expensive in this article.

The best way to get started is by visiting an event. There are many woodturning events held around the country. What you will learn here will be invaluable for your business in the future as well.

Getting started with woodturning can cost anywhere from $600 to a couple of thousand dollars. The most expensive purchase will be the wood lathe.


Woodturning is a hobby that many people enjoy. You can turn wood on a lathe to make bowls, vessels, and other interesting shapes.

If you are interested in this hobby, I highly recommend that you read the rest of our blog posts. You will learn more about what can be done with a wood lathe.

You may even find it inspiring enough to start turning your own pieces! Thank you for reading our article about what can a wood lathe. We hope to hear from you soon.