Hello fellow Lumber Jocks! I’m starting a little blog series on my work-in-progress DIY lathe. In short, I want to build a lathe to turn a few pens, without spending ~$60 some on specifically pen turning materials and ~$200 on a lathe.
So, I want to try turning. I’ve always considered myself a handyman-esque person, and I had that urge to build! The tipping point was when I found a few blogs such as AfriGadget, StreetUse and Future Perfect. Their owners travel a lot, and they notice ingenuity, mostly on the streets of third world counties. They also highlight how things are different in different cultures/countries. Either way, the amount of ingenuity I saw inspired me to make my own lathe.
The first thing I think of is getting my dremel into my workbench/vice combo vertically. (Sorry, I forgot to take a picture :( ) Not the stablest of plans, but its enough to screw a wedge (yes, a wedge…hey, I had the ‘fever) 1×1cm tapering down to nothingness onto the screw mandrel, and sand that puppy. Oooh, I sand it good. It takes me a while, but I’m a proud new owner of a button. The next time I get my mini-hacksaw, and use that to rough out a cylinder, and then a chisel for finer work, but still a lot of sandpaper.
But I wanted more. I take a board, a drill and some zipties. This is what I come up with.
I make a few things (I even manage to turn Purpleheart!)
It’s all very nice and fun, but it’s still not enough! The vibrations are horrible, and the dremel keeps sliding around. I want to turn some pens, damnit! So I make a list of what I need to make/get for to turn a pen. It goes something like this:
o Make a solid mount for my dremel
o If extra support is needed, tailstock
o 7mm rod for slimline kit
o Nut to hold blanks tight
o Mounting system to dremel
o Jig to drill straight holes without a drill press
o Way to cut reasonable blanks
o Milling system
o Pen kit
Now I have my to-do list and lathe plans have replaced dancing sugarplums, I’m off. I think about a pulley system, but I deem that to be to complicated. Maybe next time.
But there is one thing I have already learned – No matter how, when or where, turning is always a magical experience!
Here’s a sneak peak at a future post:
P.S – Is there any place that you know of that I can buy a slimline kit and bushings, without paying $6 for shipping?
P.P.S – Clicky on the images to enlarge them!
Cheers, ‘till next time,