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Discussion Starter #1
I want to get a lathe to start turning duck call barrells and turkey strikers, does anybody have any recomendations for lathes? im on a college budget so i was considering one from harbor freight for like $200. What all accesories as far as chucks and chisels should i look in to?
 

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I don't make duck calls. I make turkey strikers though. I never invested money in a lathe though....I mean lets face it...is it worth it? How many strikers do you really need or use?

Regardless...I use a decent corn cob and drill down the center, then pick a straight stick just a tad larger than the hole, shove it in there. Round off the bottom of the stick, burn it a little bit with a lighter, clean it off. Then coat the whole thing minus the tip of the stick with a good heavy lacquer(dunno how to spell it) and there you go.

You have to play around with a few to get the sound that you desire, the depth into to the cob, length/diameter of the stick, the size of the cob, all produces different pitches.
 

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I have found that apple wood and hickory wood produce the pitches I like....but play around with a few and see.
 

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If you want a small lathe that will last for years and be a pleasure to use do not buy anything from Harbor Freigth. The tolerances are usually so poor on Harbor Freight machines that they are almost unusable. For a lathe tight tolerances are a must. Any vibration will make turning on it very unpleasant and possibly dangerous. I have two Vicmarc lathes that I imported from Australia that are amazingly well built machines but expensive. If I were to buy a small lathe just for calls, pens, etc. I would probably recommend the Jet Mini lathe with the Variable Speed option. It's going to be about $450 but will be a pleasure to turn on and last a lifetime. The variable speed would be must for any lathe in my opinion. As far as chucks go, to turn duck calls you can probably get by with the drive center that should come with the lathe and good revolving cone center for the tail stock. The minium for tools would be a good roughing gouge, a parting tool, small skew, and a small bowl gouge with a side grind. Check out Packard Woodworks.com.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks hitman, thats the input i was looking for.
ive made a couple strikers with corn cobbs just really wanted to turn some
 
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