You may not notice your own subtle transition from self-taught beginner to intermediate craftsman, but it’s easy to spot some of the signs –- such as modifying your existing equipment to give it more functionality or high-end features. Toolmonger reader Nick Johnson did just that with his lathe.
One major problem with mini-lathes — when making a cut, the tool holder may drift along the x or y axes. Nicer lathes include a locking mechanism to prevent this sort of drift, and so I’ve added them to my mini-lathe.
Not everyone would be able to do this mod, and not everyone would miss it — but Nick has progressed to the point where he can not only tell the difference but construct the proper mounts to rectify the issue.