On return from that family holiday I scoured eBay looking for wood lathes. Everyday I would log on and see what was new out there, but they all seemed expensive. I didn't want to spend a lot of money, I didn't know if I would enjoy it, or be any good at it. Then one day it was there. It wasn't a great looking lathe. It was a fairly common Chinese made lathe that seems to have been produced for GMC, Ryobi, Dynalink and many, many more (mine was Brook Crompton).
It was very simple. Four speeds changed by a pulley, with a disc sander on the back of the headstock. I loved this lathe for two reasons, it was local and came with some tools, plus it was cheap, I guess that's three things.
I paid about $150 for it which I thought was good, especially when I found it came with three Robert Sorby tools as well as a pack of cheap tools. All I needed to learn and practise. I bought some cheap pine to play with and I was off and running.
This was my first effort, its abstract but I just wanted to combine steel with wood and make shavings.
After a few months I had realised the limitations of the lathe without a chuck and bought one of those (I will review that later). Then it was a pen mandrel, and lots of pen parts! But I needed to upgrade and after twelve months I did (I will review that to sometime). This old machine went back on EBay, and sold minus a few of the tools for $100. All in all I had found a hobby and a passion all for the bargain price of $50, I love bargain!
What was your first wood working toy?