Hobby Lathe for Turning Cork Handles?

I was looking at an import "Hobby Lathe" that seems to get good reviews from previous purchasers.

I figured out how to securely attached the butt end of a fly rod or any fishing rod for that matter to the chuck.

However, the lowest rpms is 750. I was wondering if that would be considered too fast AND somewhat dangerous given the application.

Anybody try using these "hobby lathes" for turning cork handles?

In the meantime, I'm going to see if I can reduce the rpms aside from the manual, etc.
i know nothing about turning cork, but since it's so fragile, i would imagine that the faster speed, the better. when i turned some old growth cedar on a lathe, my teacher had me goin pretty fast. just my .02 cents.
I know this is an old post, but I too was considering using a wood lathe for turning cork handles. I currently own a Pac Bay power wrapper which will turn cork, but one needs the upgraded chuck (approx $140). I figured why not just get a lathe and be able to turn wood as well. The other thing this would help with is keeping my wrapper free of cork dust when I use it for finishing. If you check out the Pacific Bay Rodsmith XL Power Rod Wrapper - RW-XL, it turns at 4000 RPMs so 750 will definately not be too fast (I think mine is the lower model turning somewhere around 600 rpms). If you already bought the lathe, I'd appreciate knowing how it worked out for you. Seems better to me to pay the extra hundred for a regular lathe then to by the upgraded chuck.


I use sandpaper to turn cork rather than using standard lathe tools. I will use a rasp to start the process without bearing down on the cork. Then I switch to sandpaper and run the grits down to around 400. You can go finer if you like. I use the tool rest with the rasp. I use no tool rest when I use sandpaper. I actually prefer emery paper when it is available.

Rpms on my lathe range from 350 to 3500 rpm. I do not own a hobby lathe. I running a WoodTek model with 6 feet between centers and a 14 inch capacity on the outboard side with outbound tool rests. It took 6 men to lift it off of the truck when it was delivered to my house. Once it was in place, it stayed there. It is bolted to the floor. Maybe I should invest in a little hobby lathe to turn pen blanks and fly reel seat spacers.


Idiot Savant
I have a Jet Mini-Lathe that I use for turning cork grips, reel seats, etc, it does it all. I too start with a rasp then course to fine sand paper to shape the grip. Use some sort of dust collection, shop vac will work in a pinch.
Roper- Those little Jets look like they would be perfect for working on fly reel seat spacers and cork handles. I keep hearing good things about those lathes.