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Homemade powertools #2: pen turning lathe prototype

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Blog entry by Sodabowski posted 08-16-2011 02:54 AM 12676 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 2013 days


#1 posted 08-16-2011 04:40 AM

Outstanding!!!

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

View Schwieb's profile

Schwieb

1568 posts in 2206 days


#2 posted 08-16-2011 12:14 PM

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 1341 days


#3 posted 08-16-2011 03:54 PM

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

1635 posts in 1732 days


#4 posted 08-17-2011 12:38 AM

Ingenious and resourceful
Thanks for the blog.
Scott

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View rance's profile

rance

4147 posts in 1905 days


#5 posted 08-17-2011 12:54 AM

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

2081 posts in 1577 days


#6 posted 08-17-2011 01:55 AM

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 1631 days


#7 posted 08-17-2011 02:49 AM

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

9668 posts in 1834 days


#8 posted 08-17-2011 09:36 PM

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

2081 posts in 1577 days


#9 posted 08-17-2011 09:47 PM

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

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View mafe's profile

mafe

9668 posts in 1834 days


#10 posted 08-17-2011 10:07 PM

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

2081 posts in 1577 days


#11 posted 08-17-2011 10:08 PM

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

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View mafe's profile

mafe

9668 posts in 1834 days


#12 posted 08-17-2011 10:43 PM

Skål (Danish).

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

View Sodabowski's profile

Sodabowski

2081 posts in 1577 days


#13 posted 08-17-2011 11:47 PM

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

Neither do I :p

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View mafe's profile

mafe

9668 posts in 1834 days


#14 posted 08-18-2011 12:29 AM

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

2249 posts in 1306 days


#15 posted 08-18-2011 12:41 AM

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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