Lathe Duplicator for Mini Lathes

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Review by Karson posted 11-22-2008 06:33 AM 30505 views 2 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Lathe Duplicator for Mini Lathes No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I’ve got this Penn State Lathe Duplicator I have mine mounted on a Ryobi Mini Lathe. I believe that it works for many brands.

It’s not an all inclusive duplicator like the Vega. If you can make a pattern in something about 1/16” thick then you can fit it into the holding mechanism. Here are the Penn State templates

This is a brass pattern of a small spindle that I’m making. The spindles are for a Vintage Sleigh I’m making.

You mount your blank in the lathe.

And turn it down. This is a rough turn that then needs to be sanded smooth.

The cutter is either a High Speed Steel or a carbide cutter. I make mine out of solid Carbide router bits. Cheaper than buying theirs. But then you need to be able to sharpen carbide. I use a cutter in my Dremel style tool to cut them down to size and a green wheel to sharpen the carbide and then a diamond sharpening stone to get it smooth.

Sanded smooth.

Eight spindles taking about 5 minutes each. And all the same design. 4 Cherry and 4 Sapele

A great tool for making pens and other small turnings that need to be the same.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware †

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16 comments so far

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

3977 posts in 2965 days

#1 posted 11-22-2008 07:39 AM

Is it hard to calibrate/center and square to the ways? Thanks for the pictures.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Dusty56's profile


11743 posts in 2589 days

#2 posted 11-22-2008 07:44 AM

Another excellent review ! Thank you very much , Karson . I wonder if it will fit my JET mini lathe as well …...Oops , Nevermind , JET has their own special jig …thanks for posting this and have a great weekend : )

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

View Napaman's profile


5415 posts in 2978 days

#3 posted 11-22-2008 07:48 AM

that is amazing…i clicked on the PSI template link…I am not sure I “get” how it duplicates…does it run on an patter and is automatic??? or are you controlling it…

BTW…get ready for lots of bottle stoppers this weekend!!!

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View doyoulikegumwood's profile


384 posts in 2893 days

#4 posted 11-22-2008 07:52 AM

you push in on the back of it and move it back and forth kindof like making a key i think

-- I buy tools so i can make more money,so ican buy more tools so I can work more, to make more money, so I can buy more tool, so I can work more

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11295 posts in 2776 days

#5 posted 11-22-2008 11:36 AM

Thanks for the posting Karson. I may have to get one of these.

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 2840 days

#6 posted 11-22-2008 02:00 PM

I looked at these when I bought my Penn State lathe, but wasn’t quite sure. Thanks for the review, it looks like it could be a useful tool.

-- Working at Woodworking

View Karson's profile


34946 posts in 3302 days

#7 posted 11-22-2008 03:27 PM

It’s all hand operated. Your hand pushes it in and slides it along the pattern. You basicly push in as you follow the template. But you don’t want to cut too much because the small pieces of wood bend easily and you won’t have a true copy.

I sharpen up the carbide cutter by honing it against a small Diamond hone that I carry in my pocket in a leather pouch. I sharpen kitchen knives and pocket knives with it usually.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware †

View lew's profile


10397 posts in 2656 days

#8 posted 11-22-2008 04:13 PM


Thanks for the information and pictures. It looks like the duplicator does an excellent job and very quickly, too.

Looks like you are taking advantage of the the Mrs. “kitchen good mood” to acquire some new toys! How many more do you think she will let you get? :^)


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Karson's profile


34946 posts in 3302 days

#9 posted 11-22-2008 04:16 PM

Douglas: To calibrate the jig to the center line of the lathe. (The center of the chuck and the center of the live center) It’s quite easy.

You chuck a piece of wood in the lathe, longer the better. Without any templates in the duplicator you turn a spot on each end of the piece of wood. You want to make sure it’s round and not just take off the corners.

You then measure the diam or the two spots. If different then you lightly tap the base of the duplicator to slide in on the spot that is thicker. You want to go in 1/2 the distance of the difference. If you get within a couple of thousands you might stop or you could be anal about it and make it right on.

The stylus that is under the cutter is what follows the template.

It is what follows the template. Some one mentioned like making a key. Very good analogy. The stylus should have the same shape of the cutter. If the stylus is round you could never get sharp corners. But with a “V” shape stylus and a “V” shape cutter you always get a slope at the edge You would need to us your own tools to do a parting or a 90 deg edge.

The stylus is moved in and out to control the size of your piece you are making. If my stylus was further out then the piece being made would be bigger, but have the same profile.

When I’m making pens I adjust the stylus so that the cutter just clears the metal pen adjustment blocks that control the size of the pen. I don’t want my cutter hitting the metal. I’ll sand down to the correct size.

I’ve noticed that the two ends of the template that I made are a little different shape. I could adjust the template by filing, or I can use sandpaper at finishing time to make the two ends of my turning look the same.

If I needed to move the bead shape than I’d have to make a new template.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware †

View Karson's profile


34946 posts in 3302 days

#10 posted 11-22-2008 04:17 PM

Lew these were old tools. When I started making pens.

The cane lathe is the new one.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware †

View Grumpy's profile


20222 posts in 2752 days

#11 posted 11-24-2008 12:36 AM

Very nifty Karson & all the same, thats the great benefit.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View JonJ's profile


163 posts in 2741 days

#12 posted 11-25-2008 04:31 PM

Thanks Karson! I am (still) getting ready to build another mechanically bowed keyboard instrument that will use an endless belt on rollers, and I’m going to have to make at least 60 tiny wooden rollers to guide the belt at each string. For my test prototypes, I’ve been doing 1 at a time, but this style duplicator is perfect for when I have to do them all. The most helpful thing for me though is the idea about the old router bits…I have several broken ones, plus some bent saw blades I can “pull thier teeth”. I love to use broken stuff to build new stuff!

-- Jon

View cosmicturner's profile


403 posts in 2297 days

#13 posted 02-16-2009 07:11 AM

I have had one for years and it works very well I use it on a CarbaTech Lathe have made several hour glasses and it did very well. A handi attachment but then that is what is fun about lathes all the endless gizmos.
Happy Turning

-- Cosmicturner

View gurnie's profile


342 posts in 1936 days

#14 posted 11-12-2012 06:34 PM

Do you need to have the lathe mounted to a table in order to attach the duplicator? I have a JET mini lathe (1014) and i have the stand for the lathe. The lathe is not mounted on a table. Does this mean I can not use the duplicating adapter?

-- Please visit my Etsy site, or You can also follow me on my artfire blog:

View Karson's profile


34946 posts in 3302 days

#15 posted 11-12-2012 10:10 PM


The duplicator is mounted on the rails of the lathe. The Ryobi lathe that I’ve got it mounted on had a set of clamps that hold the lathe steady rest. I used them to hold the base of the duplicator on the round rails.

For the mini lathe I think they have mounting pieces for different lathes.

But the duplicator is not mounted on the table it attaches to the lathe itself.

Good question!!

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware †

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