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Get into fine woodworking with lathes that create beautiful details

Up until now, you may have limited your carpentry projects to the basics. You might fix a wall or build some shelves from time to time, but you tackled a craftsman project yet. While heavy duty tools like cutoff saws and drill presses are great for big and basic carpentry, fine woodworking will require more detail work. If you are constructing any items that feature cylindrical shapes, you will need to choose from a variety of lathes to help with shaping and forming tale legs, banisters and more. While you might think you can shape your project using bench grinders or heavy-duty sanders, you will find that they are too clunky for the kind of detail work you need to do in order to make furniture and home accents.

Lathes spin your lumber on an axis of rotation while they chip, grind and saw away material from your project. It's kind of like a giant pottery wheel for lumber, shaping and molding your wood as it spins. Of course, you control the depth and length of your cuts, but the lathe does lot of the hard work. Manual lathes are often operated using a crank or spinning pedal pushed by your feet. While not as popular today, many purists love manual lathes because it gives them a better feel for the wood. If you are starting a woodcraft hobby, a manual lathe may be the perfect budget-friendly tool for you.

Machine lathes are highly advanced now, and they can even be hooked up to a computer for a perfectly machined project. While computer-assisted lathes are typically seen only in commercial operations, some woodworking craftsmen use them to accomplish intricate designs that would take forever to do by hand. Most likely, you will have a machine lathe that operates with your assistance. You will still control the depth and length of cuts by hand, but the chisel or saw will move of its own accord and cut out the material using electric power, rather than the power of your hand or foot.

Your lathe will be most useful for shaping any long or circular-based project. Many craftsmen use lathes to shape table legs or chair spindles and other furniture components. Stair banisters and deck railings can become works of art when turned by a lathe. Even smaller objects, like bowls, cups and pens can be shaped and molded using a lathe. In fact, many woodworking enthusiasts are avid pen-makers, competing to see who can make the most perfect, finely detailed pens with the tool. Whether you need a lathe to help rebuild your staircase or to help you embark on a new pen-making hobby, Sears is here to help. With a great variety of lathes at any price point, you can start big or small as you choose the right lathe for you.

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