Suggestions please - lathe for tiny things

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Forum topic by tyskkvinna posted 05-26-2010 03:05 PM 2626 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 3219 days

05-26-2010 03:05 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question lathe

Hi all,

I’m looking for suggestions on a lathe to get to do work for my miniatures. (1:12 scale) I want to do some things, like exterior work, which are bigger but I really want to make furniture. Spindles for legs that are 1” long and .125” would not be unreasonable at all. And certainly, if possible, it would be easier to work on a longer piece of wood and then cut it off. But you know – tiny parts, tiny scrap.

I’m obviously thinking table-top for this.

Am wondering if anybody has suggestions for one that would be comfortable working on the small scale. I know most CAN, if I really wanted to I could do it on my giant CNC lathe. But it would be nice to work on something that is suitable to size.

As a sidenote – if you have any other tool suggestions that would make working tiny easier, I’d love to hear them!

-- Lis - Michigan - -

11 replies so far

View hairy's profile


2783 posts in 3766 days

#1 posted 05-26-2010 04:01 PM

I’m not sure if this is what you’re looking for.

-- My reality check bounced...

View patron's profile


13641 posts in 3575 days

#2 posted 05-26-2010 04:11 PM

ryobi made a tiny lathe for a $100 ,
i don’t know if it is still available ,
it had electronic speed control .
maybe check HD .

good luck .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View darryl's profile


1795 posts in 4560 days

#3 posted 05-26-2010 07:08 PM

i have a Jet mini and really like it. my bottle stoppers are only 2” long as compared to what you are describing.

there is also a bed extension for the jet mini should you want to work on longer pieces in the future.

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2539 posts in 4191 days

#4 posted 05-26-2010 07:23 PM

Here is exactly what your looking for. This site, Micro Mark specializes in tools for miniatures and model making…if you are looking for tools and supplies for miniature/model making you will LOVE this site! I love miniatures and model making, I one tried to pursue a career as an architectural model maker. I haven’t been making models much lately now that I have the space to own wood working tools..I build everything 1:1!


View Triumph1's profile


921 posts in 3313 days

#5 posted 05-27-2010 12:34 AM

I would have to agree with Darrly on this one. The Jet mini has been around for a long time and has proven itself. There are a ton of accessories that fit it (chucks, tool rests, etc) and it also has a indexing head. You can splurge on the variable speed also and you won’t break the bank.

I actually just went up one size when I got mine to the Jet 12 x 20 . I wanted the small size but also wanted the room to grow in the future. I have absolutely loved this lathe so far. Being mostly a “flat” woodworker it has been a great “learner” lathe for me.

Oh…and happy belated birthday:-)

-- Jeff , Wisconsin Please...can I stay in the basement a little longer, please!

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3292 days

#6 posted 05-27-2010 12:52 AM

I have the Jet Mini lathe and I love it. I also purchased the bed extension and I can go fairly long spindle work with it. It is a good tool. The only thing that I would like is if it had a longer tool rest, but that can be purchased as an accessory.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View Bureaucrat's profile


18340 posts in 3886 days

#7 posted 05-27-2010 03:36 AM

Here is a source for mini lathes

Looks like 10” between centers is the smallest they carry.

-- Gary D. Stoughton, WI

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 3946 days

#8 posted 06-16-2010 01:06 AM


I agree with hairy that you might try,330&p=50260 as well.


-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View mole's profile


33 posts in 3260 days

#9 posted 06-16-2010 01:38 AM

And, for people in the modeling world..I heard that they mention this Unimat thing,
but you have to check whether the kind of wood that the machine (the powerful model?)
can deal with is suitable for your modeling task or not :}

View 4woodturning's profile


187 posts in 3215 days

#10 posted 06-16-2010 01:53 AM

Harbor freight has a mini lathe super cheap Here if you want to tool by hand..or more machined like a metal lathe Here good luck.

-- Jeff, Missouri ,"Just because your not bleeding, dont mean your turning safely!"..............

View PutnamEco's profile


155 posts in 3520 days

#11 posted 06-16-2010 02:29 AM

Proxxon is who I think about when someone mentions precision miniature woodworking.

Or if your more into making on for yourself, google “fonly lathe”. which is a small Dremel based lathe.

-- “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt

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