A wood lathe is an extremely useful tool for any decent woodworking workshop. It is a mechanical tool that spins the object that is being worked on around a horizontal axis at a high rate, thus allowing the woodworker to shape the object in question using various metal tools.
Typically these metal tools are attached to the tool rest, which in turn is attached to a rail, which gives the tool stability and precision that would be hard to achieve by simply holding the tool in your hands.
A wood lathe can be used for many different tasks, for example creating furniture legs, shaping bowls and plates, or making any other objects that have radial symmetry about one axis. Without a wood lathe creating such wooden parts would be very slow and tedious. With a lathe, however, these tasks are simplified immensely because the machine spins the object at a very high speed.
Usually, after shaping the wooden part using a metal cutting tool, the tool rest is removed for safety reasons, but the wooden part is left spinning. This is when the woodworker can take a piece of sandpaper and apply it to the still spinning wooden object, thereby removing any unevenness and coarseness of the surface caused by the metal cutting tool. After this process is finished, what you have is basically a ready-made wooden detail that can be immediately used in constructing whatever piece of furniture you are working on. This wooden part that you just created now only needs varnishing or painting.
In the hands of a reasonably skilled woodworker, creating an object such as a table leg may only take some minutes using a wood lathe. This greatly decreases the amount of time a person needs to spend on producing parts for furniture or whatever it is that they are making. And time is money, so eventually, getting the best wood lathe, with some practice, will save you a lot of money. That’s, of course, if your Workshop produces lots of wooden parts that require such radial symmetry.
A wood lathe is definitely one of the best and first tools to get if you are setting up a reasonably serious workshop. Perhaps not every amateur woodworker will need a wood lathe in their shed, but any production workshop will have a hard time producing anything useful without one.
Before buying a wood lathe for your shop, it is highly recommended to do some online research and find the best wood lathe that will fit your particular needs. Which one exactly you need will depend on your requirements, and particularly in regards to the size and the precision of the details that need to be produced. So, have a look on the web and make a good choice.