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Many people, like me when I was trying to figure out what tools I needed to start pipe making, do not know the difference between a metal and a wood lathe. The difference is mainly one of precision. I wood lathe has only a bar upon which to rest chisels that you operate by hand to shape the wood. A metal lathe, by contrast, has a tool carriage that precisely move a cutting bit along a constant, though adjustable, diameter. Both a wood lathe and a metal lathe will turn a variety of materials, they simply derive their name from the material that are most often used for.
 
Many people, like me when I was trying to figure out what tools I needed to start pipe making, do not know the difference between a metal and a wood lathe. The difference is mainly one of precision. I wood lathe has only a bar upon which to rest chisels that you operate by hand to shape the wood. A metal lathe, by contrast, has a tool carriage that precisely move a cutting bit along a constant, though adjustable, diameter. Both a wood lathe and a metal lathe will turn a variety of materials, they simply derive their name from the material that are most often used for.
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Coming back to what I use for the precision work needed for turning a good tenon, the Taig, I have put together a listing of all the accessories one needs with the Taig for doing stem work: (prices as of 8/2003).
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This is a list of the accessories necessary to equip a Taig lathe to turn pipe stems.
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Though I have no firsthand experience with them, I have heard that [http://www.cartertools.com http://www.cartertools.com] is the best place to purchase this lathe and its accessories."
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(The prices listed below are from that site.)
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Part No. Description               Price
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L1017         Micro Lathe basic unit
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                (factory assembled)            $ 170.65 OR
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K1019         unassembled               $ 142.50
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1021A         Motor 1/4HP 1725rpm 1/2"arbor $  75.00
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1022         Motor mount bracket       $  5.00
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1023         Mounting board 12"x18"       $  5.50 OR
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1024         8"x24"
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1060         4-jaw self-centering chuck    $  66.00
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1092         Jacob's chuck 1/16"-3/8"      $  9.25
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1095         Tool bit set 6 piece       $  25.20 OR
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1097A         left hand tool bit       $  4.50
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1150         Drilling Tail Stock       $  35.50
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1151         Needle Bearing Center       $  13.50
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1162         Pulley set for 1/2 arbor (specify: belt 500)
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                                              $  22.25 OR
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                (specify belt 350 if using mounting board 1024)
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Total assembled $ 427.85 Total unassembled using alternative parts $ 379.00
 
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