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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 8/03) If you prefer, you can download this table here as an Excel file.
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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).  
    
This is a list of the accessories necessary to equip a Taig lathe to turn pipe stems.
 
This is a list of the accessories necessary to equip a Taig lathe to turn pipe stems.
Though I have no firsthand experience with them, I have heard that www.cartertools.com is the best place to purchase this lathe and its accessories.
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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.
 
(The prices listed below are from that site.)
 
(The prices listed below are from that site.)
 
 

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