LumberJocks

Homemade lathe

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Blog entry by oscorner posted 06-16-2007 12:03 AM 22820 reads 1 time favorited 33 comments Add to Favorites Watch

In the hopes that this may spark some interest and maybe be the answer to someone wanting to try turning without spending money on more than a few 2 X 6’s, some nails, (2) 2 X 4’s X 8’, some twine and a bungie cord or two and of course…a set of gouges or some files will work too. The first step is to build an “A” frame or super saw horse, approximately,52” long and a comfortable height for yourself, like so:

This is a picture of mine, but I have added two 2 X 12’s on each side an two end pieces, that I use to clamp logs to to shave the bark off of, now. Also, it is missing the two 2 X 4 arms that were located at each end apon which the bungie cord was streched across. The bungie cord served the same purpose as a sapling would or did in the earlier made treadle lathes.

Second, you take a 2 X 6” piece of wood and make two (a head and tail stock ) with a 1/4” all thread rod going through the center. One all thread is stationary while the tail stock has two nuts jammed to allow you to screw the threaded rod through the piece. The head and tail stock are held in place with wedges that go through the 2 X 6 and under the two 2 X 6 cross rails as can be seen in this picture:

Also, seen is my advaced tool rest that I made towards the end of my use of this as a lathe. The original was just a 52” piece of wood cut at a 45 degree angle that ran the whole distance of the lathe. The problem with this was that there was no adjustment, so as the blank was rounded and became smaller the tool rest got farther and farther and the support for the gouge was less and less.

This picture shows the threadle that I made. The 2 X 12 was what I stood on to keep it from wandering and there is a groove at the end that the twine was tied to. This end went under the cross beams and on the opposite side of the lathe. The twine ran from the end; wrapped around the blank that was suspended between the two 1/4” all threads and up to the bungie cord. You made your cuts when you pushed down on the threadle with your foot and backed the tool off as you released the treadle(the blank turned away from you). If you did not back the tool from the blank, it would ride up as the blank spun upward.

This last picture shows one of the two of my final head and tail stock upgrades. I used two 3.5 hp lawnmower engines. I used my 1/2” drill to turn the shafts and used a file to shave them into a point. I also had to use the 1/2” varible speed drill to turn my stock, thus my threadle lathe became a motorized one. With zero to 500 rpms, I was in high cotton! Of course, that was before I purchased my Rigid lathe.

I turned the oak burl with the homemade lathe and a baby rattle and my chisel whacker. It gave me the confidence to continue turning and answered that question of whether or not I wanted to start turning. I hope this has been educational. One other note…there is also a brace visible in the bench that was added later. I wish I would have taken pictures when it was first built, but who knew there would be a LumberJocks site to post it on way back then. LOL.

-- Jesus is Lord!



33 comments so far

View scottb's profile

scottb

3648 posts in 2993 days


#1 posted 06-16-2007 12:07 AM

Awesome… I’ve been wanting to make one, just so I can do some turning outside on nicer days!

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2827 days


#2 posted 06-16-2007 01:42 AM

this is wonderful… thank you so much for digging out these pix and posting the “how to”.

Fascinating!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Karson's profile

Karson

34878 posts in 3067 days


#3 posted 06-16-2007 01:55 AM

Probably wouldn’t be sold in Woodcraft. But it gets the job done. Great Job Mark.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Paul's profile

Paul

649 posts in 2759 days


#4 posted 06-16-2007 02:21 AM

An aerobic work out and woodworking, too!

-- Paul, Texas

View mot's profile

mot

4911 posts in 2702 days


#5 posted 06-16-2007 02:23 AM

Turning in the Park! I can see the new fad now!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 2752 days


#6 posted 06-16-2007 05:18 AM

Awesome OS….I never really thought about making my own…..I’d like to try my hand on some really big stuff but couldn’t see buying one of the big boys…..I have a gas engine with a throttle cable…..WOW…this is going on the list…..variable speed….5 hp…...I wish I had time to do it right now…....ggrrr….maybe late fall…more like next spring.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker http://www.capecodbaychallenge.org

View scottb's profile

scottb

3648 posts in 2993 days


#7 posted 06-16-2007 06:31 AM

I could repurpose the old 3/4 hp craftsman motor from my grandfathers old table saw (presently in service as a buffing station)... though there is the cool factor of taking the lathe back off the grid…

I did see a 6’ bowl that was turned on a lathe powered by a (or simply attached to a) tractor wheel… just use the lug nuts to attach a mounting bracket, and the car could double as a lathe… oh what would the neighbors think?

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2965 days


#8 posted 06-16-2007 12:24 PM

A poor man will always find a way to do it when he wants to.
Now I suppose your trying to figure out what to make with all that lumber just sitting there. LOL

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View TreeBones's profile

TreeBones

1823 posts in 2689 days


#9 posted 06-16-2007 06:43 PM

Great inspiration for those of us that are turning deprived.

-- Ron, Twain Harte, Ca. Portable on site Sawmill Service http://westcoastlands.net/Sawmill.html http://westcoastlands.net/SawBucks2/phpBB3 http://www.portablesawmill.info

View miles125's profile

miles125

2179 posts in 2672 days


#10 posted 06-16-2007 06:55 PM

I like it!

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View oscorner's profile

oscorner

4564 posts in 2977 days


#11 posted 06-17-2007 12:56 PM

I actually used a weedeater string dispenser, drilled four holes from the sides and used lag bolts as a means of holding the stock on the head stock end. It was wicked! I found that an 11/16” socket fit perfectly on the flyweel of the motor and that is how I attached the drill to the motor. By going this route I was able to understand the evolution of my commercial lathes even better than I would have otherwise. The bungie cord style and pole lathes have been know to be able to turn up to 1000 rpms! If you search the web for pole lathes you’ll be amazed at the work that can be done on them.

I’m glad you enjoyed it.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2965 days


#12 posted 06-17-2007 01:05 PM

I had a chance to try a pole lathe at the Ozark Folk Center in Arkansas. It was fun, but I like my old Craftman lathe better. After using using a power lathe, it would be hard to go back, unless we run out of electicity.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View PanamaJack's profile

PanamaJack

4473 posts in 2743 days


#13 posted 06-19-2007 02:41 PM

O’s this is a cool tool! Did you make it, or modify it to you wanted?

Did you actually have a plan or did you copy someone elses?

-- Carpe Lignum; Tornare Lignum (Seize the wood, to Turn the wood)

View oscorner's profile

oscorner

4564 posts in 2977 days


#14 posted 06-20-2007 04:47 AM

This site is where I got most of my idea of building my homemade lathe: http://www.btinternet.com/~e_methven/woodcraft/downloads/spring-pole-lathe.pdf. If you do a search on pole lathes there are several sites with lots of information. I hope this helps.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Karson's profile

Karson

34878 posts in 3067 days


#15 posted 06-20-2007 05:28 AM

You mean there are other people who think like that. LOL

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

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