Wood Lathe

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Project by bushmaster posted 01-18-2014 01:26 AM 2922 views 13 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After I retired I got into wood lathing alot. I started with an old delta lathe. Had a great time and learned alot from experiance and tips from a friend. I had my sights on bigger things but that would come at a cost.. Lumberjocks build everything. So I invested $30. and built my own. All the steel I had scrounged up. The post that holds up a large 2 story house I thought would make a secure headstock just by boring a 1 1/2 hole though for the spindle and bolting two bearings to it. Lathed the spindle to accept 1 inch chucks and a step pulley. Next one I make will bore a hole through for a vacumm system. The tailstock I made from a heavy wall regtangular tube, drill stock, and machined the spindle from solid stock. Shrinking a #3 moris tapper in as my machinging skills are not that great. The live centers etc. are pushed out by backing the spindel off just like the real thing except as I found out when I was done you have to turn it opposite. The motor is a scrouged up tablesaw motor. I really like the power and stability. You can hog off up to a 1/2 inch at a pass with green wood. Its a great experience watching the chips fly with a sharpe bowl gouge. I hope this gives you some ideas for a lathe project. When I can find the steel I am thinking of extending the bed to the next post to do some large hollow tunings. The only disadvantage I have found is it can shake the whole house till things get in balance. Not a bad way to get your wife out of bed. most likely you won’t get breakfast.
Thanks for looking and I enjoy your comments, will answer any questions.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

18 comments so far

View NuclearGrade's profile


40 posts in 636 days

#1 posted 01-18-2014 01:31 AM

Great lathe.

-- Dan Wilson - Red Wing, MN

View ralbuck's profile


1022 posts in 1300 days

#2 posted 01-18-2014 02:03 AM

I do like it; but, when I get one it will be smaller. I also need it more portable! Good Idea though; if practical for you!

Shaking the house thing may not be such a good Idea!

“Sometimes, I wake up Grumpy, other times I let her sleep!” may be the beginning of a new set of “house rules”.

-- just rjR

View nayo's profile


243 posts in 926 days

#3 posted 01-18-2014 02:08 AM

Nice sawdust making machine!.
i too have to have one built from scratch, and yes mine shakes the whole shop till i get everything true, hope to see more of your finished projects.

View peteg's profile


3400 posts in 1857 days

#4 posted 01-18-2014 02:13 AM

That’ll get the job done just fine Brian, always real satisfaction in building your own gear, well done

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View chevybowtieguy's profile


21 posts in 635 days

#5 posted 01-18-2014 02:35 AM

Ingenuity at it’s best. Very nice.

-- - chevybowtieguy

View mtenterprises's profile


878 posts in 1727 days

#6 posted 01-18-2014 02:52 AM

Now that’s what I like to see!

-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

View Oldtool's profile


2147 posts in 1224 days

#7 posted 01-18-2014 03:06 AM

Great design and fabrication on this lathe. Enjoy the fruits of your accomplishments.

-- "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 HillbillyShooter's profile


5489 posts in 1326 days

#8 posted 01-18-2014 03:39 AM

Very resourceful and innovative—congratulations on a job well done.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

5660 posts in 1414 days

#9 posted 01-18-2014 06:35 AM

Very unique approach and looks like it works really well.


View GerardoArg1's profile


812 posts in 1027 days

#10 posted 01-18-2014 10:09 AM

Nice. Good idea. Congratulations.

-- Disfruta tu trabajo (enjoy your work) (Bandera, Argentina)

View jacen68's profile


54 posts in 2061 days

#11 posted 01-18-2014 03:58 PM

If this house is a rocking don’t bother knocking. Just don’t, bring down the house. Sorry couldn’t help the song references. Great.ingenuity.

-- So much to do, so little time.

View helluvawreck's profile


18711 posts in 1900 days

#12 posted 01-18-2014 04:30 PM

That’s a beautiful addition to your shop. Nice work.

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 SCOTSMAN's profile


5782 posts in 2619 days

#13 posted 01-18-2014 06:53 PM

A friend of mine who is a great woodturner, started out with a home made lathe and an electric drill to drive it. It worked too, but then he went through a few drills before he decided to buy one.LOL your having fun with your lathe I say good for you and that’s what it’s all about. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View punk's profile


174 posts in 1450 days

#14 posted 01-19-2014 01:47 AM

ilike it cheap but real nice

-- Punk in PA

View NormG's profile


4994 posts in 2038 days

#15 posted 01-19-2014 02:22 AM

Wow, great idea, custom built for a good use

-- Norman

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