Good Evening Everyone,
There are a number of books on the market about wood lathes and one of the very best books for beginners is Lathe Fundamentals: The Complete Guide by Popular Mechanics/Rick Peters ( New York: Hearst Books, 2006. ISBN: 978-1-58816-447-6. 192 pages). Many of the books published about wood lathes tend to be written by experts for people who have been turning for a long time or their coverage of all the aspects of wood turning tend to be rather uneven. Lathe Fundamentals covers every aspect of wood turning-from selecting a lathe, the basic types of chisels, and basic techniques. It also goes into more advanced techniques, has a very clearly written section on chisel sharpening and grinding, and an excellent section on lathe maintenance and repair. At the very end of the book are several projects that will help the beginning turner achieve a simple but well made project-it even has a section on pen turning. The book is also is well illustrated with numerous photographs that show step by step how to achieve a given activity. It's very clearly written with a noticeable absence of technical jargon, which I think at times can be a little confusing for the beginning turner.
If you are planning to purchase a lathe and get started as a wood turner, this book is the book you should read before making a purchase. If you plan on purchasing a lathe for someone as a gift, then you should definitely purchase this book.