|Project by Litrenta||posted 10-30-2013 05:01 PM||10221 views||16 times favorited||14 comments|
Well I’ve always wanted to dabble in some wood turning but I could not justify the money or space for getting a lathe. After going to my local community centers woodworking shop and playing around with the lathe I was hooked. Again, not wanting to spend the money on a real lathe I dug up an old shopnotes that I remember seeing them build a mini lathe. I almost had every single piece I needed laying around the shop so I was sold. All I needed was some threaded rod, a couple pieces of aluminum, 2 bearings and 2 pulleys which cost me less than $100 to make this. The motor is a 3/4 HP Delta drill press motor that was dismantled and given to me for free.
The build was relatively straight forward from working off the plans, it was just a bit difficult to find the pulleys anywhere locally but I was able to go to a small engine shop which ordered them for me. The grumpiest owner I’ve ever met in my life but he got me the pulley and belt so I can’t complain.
The lathe runs pretty well and I was able to do some small spindle turnings which I am practicing for my next build (coffee table with turned legs). The only problem and I would love if someone might have some good ideas for me is the way the motor is mounted. In the shopnotes plans, it says to put the motor on a hinged platform so use the weight from the motor to pull tension on the belt. I found that the motor jumps around and flexes the wood quite a bit. I actually use a couple clamps to clamp the platform to my bench to stop the vibration. I think I might come up with a different solution where the motor is resting flat behind it and have some play in and out from the lathe bed so I can tension the belt that way (similar to a drill press tensioning system) and then lock it in with some knobs.
Either way, it’s definitely curbed my turning appetite for now but I’m already scouring Kijiji for some second hand mini lathes. This will do for now though!