A Homemade Lathe, in Afghanistan

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Project by David posted 03-28-2011 07:41 PM 16484 views 17 times favorited 80 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So sitting around BS’ing the other day and my buddy turns to me and says, “You know, I’d like to do some turning. Do you think you could make a lathe?” LOL he obviously knows how to challenge me. A few days later this is what I come up with. The frame is made from scrap 2×6’s we had. The head is a 1/2” HD Dewalt drill, which spins at 600rpm. Its single speed but who cares, I’M IN AFGHANISTAN, lol. To hold the stock, we have a lag screw in the chuck of the drill, which acts like a screw chuck. and on the tail we fashioned a bolt, sharpened to a point, mounted in some bearings we found.
For a tool rest I used a piece of 3/8 steel bar that was lying around. For now all we have is a bench chisel, which I’m going to lengthen the handle and regrind, and we have a gouge made out of some pipe we had. This things works WAY better than I had expected, lol.

-- “Don’t tell me what can’t be done, tell me what you want done then shut up and get out of my way and let me do it!”

80 comments so far

View wood_maestro's profile


117 posts in 1729 days

#1 posted 03-28-2011 07:55 PM

yankee inginuity at it’s best. keep up the good work, and please stay safe.
God Bless you all.

-- wood maestro....... Be Well, Do good work, and Stay in touch

View MRlonghorn's profile


29 posts in 2404 days

#2 posted 03-28-2011 07:58 PM

carry on!!! that is amazing stay safe and dont forget the PPE.

View mafe's profile


10515 posts in 2125 days

#3 posted 03-28-2011 08:01 PM

So cool.
Inovative and well done.
Best thoughts,

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

View dbray45's profile


2887 posts in 1812 days

#4 posted 03-28-2011 08:03 PM

Well done and Keep safe.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View David's profile


9 posts in 1665 days

#5 posted 03-28-2011 08:06 PM

nice job improvising with what you have access to!

Thank You for your service.

-- "Delay is preferable to error." ~ Thomas Jefferson

View ChrisK's profile


1406 posts in 2117 days

#6 posted 03-28-2011 08:18 PM

Great job! Thanks to you all for your service!


-- Chris K

View woodman1962's profile


150 posts in 1724 days

#7 posted 03-28-2011 08:45 PM

That looks like it will do under the conditions keep up the good work and stay safe


View Mike Gager's profile

Mike Gager

663 posts in 2303 days

#8 posted 03-28-2011 08:58 PM

nice job!

View Verna's profile


202 posts in 1809 days

#9 posted 03-28-2011 08:59 PM

Where there’s a will, there is a way!!! Great way to keep the gray matter working.

Thank you ever so much for your service, and please be safe.

-- Verna -- Indianapolis, IN

View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

1046 posts in 2843 days

#10 posted 03-28-2011 09:03 PM

That’s American ingenuity! God bless every one of you. Thanks for your courage to serve the nation.

-- Max the "night janitor" at

View drsongs's profile


43 posts in 1688 days

#11 posted 03-28-2011 09:09 PM

That’s very cool – Nice job.
God Bless.

-- Respect your tools so you keep all your fingers to play guitar... and Thank God daily.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 2151 days

#12 posted 03-28-2011 09:27 PM

good work and under the condition´s very well done :-)

thank´s for sharing
stay safe

View QuietStorm81's profile


3 posts in 1709 days

#13 posted 03-28-2011 09:37 PM

God. This makes me want to donate tools to you men just to aid the effort. Hell, all that time in the sun out there why NOT turn some stuff?

Godspeed men. Well done.

View Dale 's profile


412 posts in 2216 days

#14 posted 03-28-2011 09:51 PM

Woodworkers are everywhere, nice lathe. Thank you for your service and I wish you “all” a safe return to the good old USA.

-- Dale West Central Pa. Do it all, before last call.

View ptweedy's profile


75 posts in 2429 days

#15 posted 03-28-2011 10:08 PM

you might go to the local blacksmith and have him make you some tools. the cost wouldn’t be much. phil

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