I'm not sure I'd be much help on grinding lathe bits. I haven't done that myself since school. I'm more of a mill guy, and when I do turning, I mostly just use inserted cutters. I'd be happy to offer what little experience I have, though!
I won't be able to attend the Wednesday meeting (I haven't even been able to check out the place in person yet), because I work nights. I'm going to try to make it by soon-- seems like you folks would be into some interesting projects!
I'd probably want to build a CNC lathe, since I already have a mill at my own shop. Or maybe do a conversion on my old Hardinge. I really won't be able to get into that project for a while, anyway; it's just something I'm kicking around for down the road.