Handedness on the lathe
#8
  
Hi,

I have a lathe and have turned a few things for practice, but realized that I'm probably using the wrong hands to do so.  What I mean is that the left hand holds the butt of the chisel, while the right is the one which guides it at the toolbar.  Currently, I don't have designs on making bowls or vase type items, only spindles, table legs etc. 

How important is it to change how I approach turning?  Anyone else have this issue?  How have you resolved it?
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#9
  Re: Handedness on the lathe by nodima (Hi, I have a lath...)
(11-04-2019, 01:01 PM)nodima Wrote: Hi,

I have a lathe and have turned a few things for practice, but realized that I'm probably using the wrong hands to do so.  What I mean is that the left hand holds the butt of the chisel, while the right is the one which guides it at the toolbar.  Currently, I don't have designs on making bowls or vase type items, only spindles, table legs etc. 

How important is it to change how I approach turning?  Anyone else have this issue?  How have you resolved it?
I am right-dominant, so the left is used to anchor the tool to the rest, while all edge direction adjustments are made from the end of the handle by my dominant hand. The left aids the right in advancing the tool while maintaining a good anchor, but little more.   I work as do woodcarvers, hand against the other, holding the tool in the good hand, pivoting and pushing into the off-hand hold.  Only the wood's turning on the lathe, not just me. 

I work most spindles and all my chucked work toward the left to the greatest extent possible.  Giving the dominant hand the mechanical advantage just makes sense to me.  I even step left and turn right, using dominant on the right end of spindles.  Staying arm's length behind the working edge keeps the shavings off my clothes, too.
Better to follow the leader than the pack. Less to step in.
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#10
  Re: Handedness on the lathe by nodima (Hi, I have a lath...)
If you’re right dominant and work to the left is the headstock on your right? And conversely if you’re left dominant and work to the right is it best on your left? Or doesn’t it make a difference?
Jim

Remember the bird has a right wing and a left wing and uses both to fly. 
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#11
  Re: Handedness on the lathe by nodima (Hi, I have a lath...)
I started turning in a wheel chair and had to learn how to use both hands and I encourage everyone to do the same which makes turning much easier.
It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

Hi, I'm Arlin's proud wife! His brain trma & meds-give memory probs and has pain from injuries, but all is well materially & financially.  
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#12
  Re: RE: Handedness on the lathe by stoppy (If you’re right domi...)
(11-05-2019, 02:13 AM)stoppy Wrote: If you’re right dominant and work to the left is the headstock on your right? And conversely if you’re left dominant and work to the right is it best on your left? Or doesn’t it make a difference?
If you're asking me, the headstock is always on the left. Lefties are more comfortable, IME, when they go to the other side of the lathe and reverse rotation.  Puts the headstock on their right, but needs a setscrew to keep their chuck from unwinding.


When I used to turn outboard on Ol' Blue, I reversed direction to make it better for my right-hand method.  Leftie guys just let the piece rotate clockwise, and were more comfortable.
Better to follow the leader than the pack. Less to step in.
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#13
  Re: Handedness on the lathe by nodima (Hi, I have a lath...)
I am right-hand dominant, and do almost all of my turning with the left hand holding the tool to the rest, and my right hand guiding. At times, it is more convenient to turn left-handed, so I switch. You will learn that there are more than one way to skin a piece of wood. I've been known to straddle the ways to get the angle I want, have turned from behind the lathe, whatever.

GM
The only tool I have is a lathe.  Everything else is an accessory.
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#14
  Re: Handedness on the lathe by nodima (Hi, I have a lath...)
No disrespect to anyone, but it seems to me that this is akin to throwing a baseball. Whichever hand can do it best, then use that one. It is a good skill to learn how to use the alternate hand for those "occasional" cuts, that sometimes present themselves. But for day to day turning, use what works best for you.

For whatever it's worth, I am right handed and my right hand is on the handle of the tool, which controls most of the cut. The left hand just guides and gently pushes the cutter along the tool rest.
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