Shop built - wooden lathe

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Project by ShopBuilt posted 05-20-2016 09:56 PM 3339 views 12 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is a a really fun project! I started with an old little drill press for most of the mechanical parts and built the rest from MDF, maple and plywood. It seems to work really well and I well soon build some accessories for it like a 4 jaw chuck.

12 comments so far

View SuperCubber's profile


1016 posts in 2192 days

#1 posted 05-20-2016 11:13 PM

Always love your projects and videos, Ryan. This was an especially good/cool one. Looking forward to the next one!

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View bushmaster's profile


2703 posts in 2190 days

#2 posted 05-21-2016 01:54 AM

Great looking wooden wood lathe, Nice craftsmanship and well thought out. It certainly will do the job, Well done..

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View rastapunkscramble's profile


87 posts in 857 days

#3 posted 05-21-2016 05:36 AM

Pretty cool project. .. will be checking out the video soon!

View majuvla's profile


11697 posts in 2775 days

#4 posted 05-21-2016 08:41 AM

This is awesome maschine, very sturdy. I had several attempts to make my own lathe – it served but very unbalanced and I dismantled him and sell parts.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View helluvawreck's profile


30164 posts in 2774 days

#5 posted 05-21-2016 01:03 PM

It looks like a very nice build and is certainly an interesting project.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Oldtool's profile


2548 posts in 2098 days

#6 posted 05-21-2016 01:26 PM

Sweet. Looks like it’ll do the job fine, gave fun with this lathe.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View a1Jim's profile


116906 posts in 3485 days

#7 posted 05-21-2016 01:55 PM

Super build ,well done.

-- Custom furniture

View Planeman40's profile


1105 posts in 2668 days

#8 posted 05-21-2016 03:36 PM

Very nice lathe!

It reminds me of the large all wood lathe I saw in the Aeronautics lab when I was a student at Georgia Tech. It was about a 36 ” swing and had a large variable speed DC electric motor as a headstock. The bed was two long parallel wood beams. I never found out what it was intended for. Truthfully, wood lathes are very simple machines and there is no reason why a well made wooden lathe shouldn’t work just as well as a cast iron one. It would be nice if the headstock spindle and the tailstock could take Morse taper tooling, but you can’t have everything and keep it simple.


-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View MrRon's profile


4634 posts in 3151 days

#9 posted 05-21-2016 06:37 PM

One of the best wood lathes was made by Conover. It uses twin wood beams for the bed; the rest being cast iron; too bad they went out of business in 2002. Congratulations on your project; very nice.

View 489tad's profile


3310 posts in 2919 days

#10 posted 05-21-2016 10:47 PM

very cool! well done.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View drbyte's profile


778 posts in 3970 days

#11 posted 05-23-2016 12:39 PM

Very nice job. What size are your head-stock and tail-stock shafts/rods? You could always screw an adapter on them and use a short Morse taper center, chuck, whatever.

-- Dennis, WV

View sfglass's profile


25 posts in 711 days

#12 posted 05-26-2016 04:35 AM

Nicely done.

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