$ 5 tool rest for mini lathe

  • Advertise with us
Project by Bob A in NJ posted 10-12-2009 12:10 AM 2691 views 5 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Baseball bats are up next for Christmas presents. After realizing a 12” tool rest requires lots of lateral adjustments, I starting thinking how to “extend” the bar.
I bought a 36” long piece of angle iron, turned it corner side up and rested it on my 12” round tool rest. Then cut a 90 degree point on a piece of walnut scrap to support the other end. Then cut a dado in another piece to support the holder and to have a section to clamp onto the bench.

This helps make longer smoother tapers while minimizing adjustment time and maximizing turning time.

A simple holding fixture for the Louisville Slugger as a template is also very handy for this project.

Viola! Low cost and effective toolrest that saves a ton of time.

Bob Oct 11,2009

(With help from Troy and Jim)

-- Bob A in NJ

16 comments so far

View stefang's profile


15512 posts in 2910 days

#1 posted 10-12-2009 12:24 AM

Good idea, can you move it inward as the workpiece get smaller in diameter? This is not a subliminal criticism, as it seems to be working really well for you, I just wondered.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1878 posts in 3248 days

#2 posted 10-12-2009 12:25 AM

Now that’s using your noodle!! I like it!!

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

View Roper's profile


1372 posts in 3289 days

#3 posted 10-12-2009 01:01 AM

i love that idea, there is nothing more frustrating then doing a spindle that is longer then your tool rest. i am also wondering if it is on a pivot of some kind so you can move it in as the handle gets smaller?

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View Dusty56's profile


11807 posts in 3264 days

#4 posted 10-12-2009 01:07 AM

I was also wondering if it is adjustable in / out , up / down ? I haven’t done much turning , so I am wondering how you chose the height . Any info is most helpful . Thank you

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Bob A in NJ's profile

Bob A in NJ

1204 posts in 3575 days

#5 posted 10-12-2009 01:21 AM


Yes, I can adjust closer as the diameter gets smaller by moving the banjo.


Height is set at center line, can’t adjust this way but don’t need to.

-- Bob A in NJ

View Mike's profile


247 posts in 2958 days

#6 posted 10-12-2009 01:25 AM

Great idea.

-- Mike, VT

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 3134 days

#7 posted 10-12-2009 01:34 AM

Bob, what a great idea. I was thinking the other day that I need to get a longer tool rest myself. Your idea there may just work for me too when I am turning table legs and not having to reset the tool rest so often. A Big Thanks for this post.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View hairy's profile


2433 posts in 3108 days

#8 posted 10-12-2009 02:32 AM

Good thinking, Bob!

-- stay thirsty my friends...

View rosewood's profile


234 posts in 2917 days

#9 posted 10-12-2009 02:58 AM

nice smart idea,


View StevenAntonucci's profile


355 posts in 3514 days

#10 posted 10-12-2009 02:56 PM

Hey Bob-

Similar to what I did, but probably much faster to get done. I assume it’s stiff enough, but if not, you can probably make the same thing with a piece of black pipe.

-- Steven

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6823 posts in 3555 days

#11 posted 10-12-2009 03:23 PM

Hey Bob,

Looks like a great solution.

How’s the arm? Glad to see you’re in the shop.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View a1Jim's profile


115619 posts in 3153 days

#12 posted 10-12-2009 06:27 PM

Cool idea well done

-- Custom furniture

View brunob's profile


2277 posts in 3745 days

#13 posted 10-12-2009 06:36 PM

I might try that. Moving the short tool rest is frustrating.

-- Bruce from Central New, if you'll pardon me, I have some sawdust to make.

View Dusty56's profile


11807 posts in 3264 days

#14 posted 10-13-2009 08:09 AM

Thanks for the feedback : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 3903 days

#15 posted 10-26-2009 05:36 PM

more proof that the simplest ideas are often the best.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

showing 1 through 15 of 16 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics