Suggestions please - lathe for tiny things

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Forum topic by tyskkvinna posted 1520 days ago 1802 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1308 posts in 1584 days

1520 days ago

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


1988 posts in 2130 days

#1 posted 1520 days ago

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

-- what a long, strange trip it's been...

View patron's profile (online now)


12955 posts in 1939 days

#2 posted 1520 days ago

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


1792 posts in 2924 days

#3 posted 1520 days ago

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


2531 posts in 2555 days

#4 posted 1520 days ago

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


833 posts in 1677 days

#5 posted 1520 days ago

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 , Illinois Please...can I stay in the basement a little longer, please!

View docholladay's profile


1286 posts in 1657 days

#6 posted 1520 days ago

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 gjd's profile (online now)


18326 posts in 2250 days

#7 posted 1520 days ago

Here is a source for mini lathes

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

-- gjd Southcentral Wisconsin

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

4983 posts in 2310 days

#8 posted 1500 days ago


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


32 posts in 1624 days

#9 posted 1500 days ago

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 1579 days

#10 posted 1500 days ago

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 1884 days

#11 posted 1500 days ago

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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