I've worked with a lathe maybe a few dozen times, making things like wooden salad bowls, goblets, baseball bats, and some other relatively simple items.

I'm looking to buy a lathe, and one of the first projects I want to make is a very large chess set (ie: 8" tall king) as a gift to a friend who is an avid chess enthusiast. I've found some stencils for the pieces I want to make with a lathe, but I've only ever used fairly simple lathes. I don't really know what to look for when it comes to a lathe with some sort of modular chisel guide that allows sheet metal stencils to be installed to act as a guide.

What type of lathe should I be looking for if I want to use stencils to create precise replicas of the same part multiple times?

Thank you.

1 Answer 1


I would recommend finding the lathe of your choice. I personally like my Jet, however there are many great lathes out there.

Then you buy a duplicator for it. Rockler has a duplicator that fits most standing lathes and will duplicate up to 39" material.

Here is a Grizzly attachment for their lathes.

So as I stated in the beginning. Find a lathe that meets your requirements (there are many to choose from, with many different options available). Then worry about your duplicating abilities. Unless of course you want to buy a dedicated duplicating machine (big bucks).

  • I didn't realize the duplicator came as a separate part, so this answer was particularly enlightening. Thanks!
    – Cloud
    Feb 25, 2016 at 16:15
  • 1
    Glad to be of help!
    – bowlturner
    Feb 25, 2016 at 16:16

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