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Homemade powertools #2: pen turning lathe prototype

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Blog entry by Sodabowski posted 1103 days ago 11345 reads 7 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: mini-tablesaw prototype Part 2 of Homemade powertools series Part 3: Quickslap pen lathe update »

Hey guys!

Back from the mountains (alas, too soon).

First this quickie blog post about what happens when you order a pen turning mandrel without owning a lathe. Being a cheap skate, and a long-time reuse-recycle-minded guy, I of course built myself a wee lathe with all recycled parts: motor from an old printer (or photocopier, can’t really remember, I dismantled so many of both…), pulleys and timing belt also from reclaimed hardware, so for the bearings (hidden in the block to the left of the mandrel and at the tailstock side), scrap ply and bits and bolts.
I of course bought a very decent mandrel from Ernie at Bear Tooth Woods, he can only be described as “the best” in every aspect, period.

After some thinking on why I always seem to lack the exact sized bit I have to use (Murphy’s law about woodworking), I ended up with this prototype.

The open pulleys with the timing belt enable for very quick disassembly and insertion of the mandrel.
For the tailstock pin I used a hard-drive bearing, which had a permanently attached screw that I quickly turned to a brad point on my drill press.

Cue an old bolt from old junk, a few scraps of ply, and you end up with a very functional and quite stable pen lathe at no cost at all.

So far so good for a quick-slapped prototype.

Check this out:

These are #6 and 7, the four previous ones were: #1 and #2 spalted beech, #3 made for mom (the first Chlorociboria-infested, tricky not to overheat it when sanding, I lost a bit of color in one place), #4 a sisty-made for herself, #5 a sisty-made for one of our aunties, #6 and #7 are here, #8 is the second Chlorociboria, which will be a full project post with lots of pictures and definately a keeper for my very freakin’ self (NFS!), and #9 is a tedious black palm which took me around two hours to slowly turn but that ended up very well.

Now for #10 which will be a Chlorociboria-infested too.
Yup, I love this mushy goodness.

-- Holy scrap Barkman!



19 comments so far

View MOJOE's profile

MOJOE

547 posts in 1896 days


#1 posted 1103 days ago

Outstanding!!!

-- Measuring twice and cutting once only works if you read the tape correctly!

View Schwieb's profile

Schwieb

1494 posts in 2088 days


#2 posted 1102 days ago

Very clever Thomas! I can see where some of your spalted wood will be going/

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View SSMDad's profile

SSMDad

395 posts in 1224 days


#3 posted 1102 days ago

Wow nice going on the lathe and great pens! Wish my mind worked that way at times. haha

-- Chris ~~Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past."

View SASmith               's profile

SASmith

1566 posts in 1614 days


#4 posted 1102 days ago

Ingenious and resourceful
Thanks for the blog.
Scott

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View rance's profile

rance

4129 posts in 1787 days


#5 posted 1102 days ago

I REALLY LOVE this kind of ingenuity. Keep it up! :)

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Sodabowski's profile

Sodabowski

2002 posts in 1460 days


#6 posted 1102 days ago

Thanks for the nice words guys, I just finished #10 and filmed the whole process :) Watch out for a LONG video series on youtube quite soon!

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View Woodbutcher3's profile

Woodbutcher3

364 posts in 1513 days


#7 posted 1102 days ago

This is right in Rance’s backyard.
I think you two must be twins by different mothers.
He build’s and blogs creativity.

-- Rod ~ There's never enough time to finish a project, but there's always time to start another one.

View mafe's profile

mafe

9486 posts in 1716 days


#8 posted 1101 days ago

Way to go.
You are always so wonderful creative, and can make noting into something.
I’m really impressed by the simplicity.
Best thoughts my friend,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Sodabowski's profile

Sodabowski

2002 posts in 1460 days


#9 posted 1101 days ago

@Mads, you’ll be able to give it a try next week ;)

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View mafe's profile

mafe

9486 posts in 1716 days


#10 posted 1101 days ago

I will love to.
We will take the beer at your place if that is a invitation.

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Sodabowski's profile

Sodabowski

2002 posts in 1460 days


#11 posted 1101 days ago

You got it, and I already have the beer :)

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View mafe's profile

mafe

9486 posts in 1716 days


#12 posted 1101 days ago

Skål (Danish).

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Sodabowski's profile

Sodabowski

2002 posts in 1460 days


#13 posted 1101 days ago

The almighty Google doesn’t understand what you just said.

Neither do I :p

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View mafe's profile

mafe

9486 posts in 1716 days


#14 posted 1101 days ago

http://www.awa.dk/glosary/slainte.htm
Try this…

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

1971 posts in 1188 days


#15 posted 1101 days ago

That us using the old brain matter. Good job.
Arlin

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

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