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Forum topic by REO posted 11-20-2012 10:18 PM 2925 views 1 time favorited 47 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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REO

667 posts in 825 days


11-20-2012 10:18 PM

Topic tags/keywords: lathe milling diy lathe ornamental turning ot oval turning rope turning barley twists non traditional turning building a lathe lathe attachments lathe enhancements

This would be a post for those who may be interested in building a wood lathe from scratch. Possibly post some pictures or concepts that are already in use. What do you feel is necessary for a good wood lathe.Provide information on gimmicks or attachments that may or may not have good purpose or are just extremely cool that might be incorporated. The sky is the limit for ideas. what do you want your lathe to be capable of. It doesn’t have to be a traditional set up using hand tools for removal but I would like to stay away from CNC discussion.
To start off. I was weaned on turning sawdust. I have not had a traditional chisel type lathe ever. I have used them and even taught on them, just never had one of my own. I am a production freak always looking for a faster way to produce a quality product. The lathes I have had have been converted metal lathes or used parts from them to build lathes. I have built a few for specific purposes in the past. I have a desire to build a large lathe but keep the footprint down maybe something that is sizable to fit the need at hand. Most high end machines commercially produced out there and although they are excellent machines they are way overpriced.Don’t just move on because you want to work with skews and gouges! I am hoping that this will become a place for ideas that can make your turning experience more enjoyable. This thread will either sink or fly either way I am looking forward to what happens.


47 replies so far

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Gshepherd

1689 posts in 952 days


#1 posted 11-21-2012 06:32 PM

Reo, Just a few days ago I was browsing through Youtube and saw a video of a gentleman who built his own lathe and he did a fantastic job. He had used Angle iron for the bedways, The head and tail stock was from a old metal lathe. He estimated that it weighed around 500 lbs. He installed the motor underneath and used a belt to turn the head stock. It sure got me thinking. I have a Baldor 5hp VS motor setup in a Older Ritter edge sanding machine I have not used for 3 years now. Correct me if I am wrong here, VS on a motor is great but it is also hard on them correct especially at very low speeds?

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

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REO

667 posts in 825 days


#2 posted 01-09-2013 10:16 PM

There are several interesting vids on you tube concerning this subject. I am surprised that thwere hasnt been a little more reflection on this thread. I have several parts together at this point to build a lathe. Some things I am interested in are these:
I want to be able to easily raise the head and tail stock for larger diameter turnings when applicable
I will most likely include a rotating headstock so that I can run outboard or at 90 degrees to the bed.
The lathe will have copy capability.
barley twists and rope turnings would be nice.
variable speed from less than 1 rev per second to about 2500 rpm
able to use traditional tooling at times

I can do this on my own. I thought it might be entertaining for some to be able to have some of their ideas included. I am sure there are those out in LJ land that have been turning for many years and those possibly who have come across things that they wish they could do on their lathe. Pleas refrain from saying Just go buy XYZ brand. I am sure there are things that that brand aren’t capable of either. Please refrain form the make it CNC as well that’s no fun! This is your chance to have a hand in “building the lathe of your dreams” without getting your hands dirty.

Thoughts on the drive system
thoughts on the bed construction
headstock set up
?
I am in this for the challenge and the fun of it.
here are some videos of a lathe that I still have they are not so great but possibly they will supply some food for thought.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=49YzhwCKub0
www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PycgbO4tK0
www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwTwU9FNb4M
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1sf00vxB3M

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a1Jim

112933 posts in 2328 days


#3 posted 01-09-2013 10:58 PM

Not sure if you have seen this post?

http://lumberjocks.com/topics/25086

Here’s a link from that post. http://www.motherearthnews.com/do-it-yourself/homemade-wood-lathe.aspx

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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Rick M.

4506 posts in 1131 days


#4 posted 01-10-2013 08:16 AM

For several months I had planned to build a treadle lathe from scratch. What I ended up doing was buying a vintage lathe designed for a treadle and setting it up for an electric motor. While I’m not building the lathe itself, I am building the stand, jackshaft, pulleys, maybe even the bearings, and motor mount all from wood. Check my blog posts if interested.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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darinS

408 posts in 1618 days


#5 posted 01-10-2013 07:22 PM

I’ve been thinking of trying to make a spring pole lathe like Roy’s. Just got to wait for the weather to cooperate.

-- If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you!

View FeralVermonter's profile

FeralVermonter

100 posts in 722 days


#6 posted 01-10-2013 07:53 PM

Gonna keep watch on this one—I’m nowhere near building a lathe like you describe, but I’d like to learn how someday… For the time being, though, the lathe of my dreams will also be self built: I’m really enjoying the hobby, fantasizing about somehow making things for a living someday. So I’m thinking of a simple wood lathe, probably pulley driven. I’ve collected a few parts that might one day make it into such a construction. Love to restore a real old one, if I got the chance. I’m sure nothing I’ve said is at all helpful, really, but I look forward to learning from this thread.

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REO

667 posts in 825 days


#7 posted 01-10-2013 08:44 PM

Please do not take this as “helping REO build his lathe group”. I was hoping to start a place where suggestions and experience could help everyone even those who don’t participate in posting. I hope this will become an active pool of people getting answers to questions on their projects, and inputting information that can assist others. Whether updating an existing lathe for some reason or another or help starting from scratch. As I stated I want to stay away from CNC to keep it to mechanical solutions.

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SCOTSMAN

5594 posts in 2336 days


#8 posted 01-10-2013 08:47 PM

Unless you have a good reason or like the challenge then buying a used lathe ready built would work out cheaper and better finished all round.I personally would never attempt to take on such a challenge as a lathe is hard to beat when properly manufactured by a big company and used prices make it a good option. If on the other hand your talking about a wooden pole lathe then that is a different thing altogether and would or wood be fun. Alistair

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

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REO

667 posts in 825 days


#9 posted 01-10-2013 09:18 PM

Scotsman not to exclude you but your post is exactly what I would like to avoid on this thread. it just takes up space and bloats the thread with nonproductive information. This thread is about the challenge! I can tell that you enjoy a challenge as well or you wouldn’t have some of the equipment that you do.

Kind of a side note, off topic but in the way of introduction.
One day a few years back a fellow who I didn’t know called me out of the blue and asked me if “We” could build a plane. I answered “yes”. The end result was ION Aircraft. They are no longer in R&D and he asked about “a” plane so I am no longer affiliated with the company. I designed the tail and the control circuits. I did much of the machining , welding and fabrication for the metal parts and fixtures. I also came up with the process to make the wings. It takes me about 40 hours from sheet stock to a full set of wings, rudders and elevator assemblies. Initially I was told by a well known aircraft company it couldn’t be done.

If through this thread people are encouraged to expand their horizons that is a good thing.

View FeralVermonter's profile

FeralVermonter

100 posts in 722 days


#10 posted 01-10-2013 09:27 PM

That’s all I was saying, REO: that I hoped this thread expands my horizons. I’m sure people could benefit by discussing the construction of all different sorts of lathes, not just big monster lathes built by those who are already relatively expert. REO, if you want this forum posting to be productive you may want to… I won’t say lighten up, but try going with the flow. The Internet is what it is, I personally think people are surprisingly good at staying on topic on LJ. I’ve found a ton of useful stuff in some of the more popular forum posts, and sure, I have to scroll past a bunch of jokes and comments, but that’s all part of the spirit of camaraderie and support that makes this site so much more enjoyable (and, because more enjoyable, more useful) than some others out there. Just my two cents, and I’ll keep my comments on this thread to myself in the future unless I have something specific and germane to say.

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

4506 posts in 1131 days


#11 posted 01-11-2013 05:08 AM

Making a lathe is not a monumental task, it’s just work and if you enjoy woodworking then it’s more like playtime. Now if you need a precision machine for cranking out duplicates then I would go buy a lathe but for hobbyist use a homemade lathe would be fine. Whether you turn pulleys from wood or buy them off the shelf, it’s an act of building something that different exist.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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REO

667 posts in 825 days


#12 posted 01-11-2013 07:45 AM

Well here goes for a starter. I have a VFD good for 2 HP 3ph from 220 volts Single phase. I have a 2 hp 1740 rpm inverter duty motor. I would like to get a range of spindle speed from about 2600 rpm down to about 60 rpm. The motor will very safely take from about 15 hz to 100 hz. giving me a motor speed of about 2900 to about 435 rpm. I will have to go through a reduction drive to get the lowest speeds. The trouble i have is that for the torque at these speeds the pulleys are huge! and it makes the assembly look slopy. So I am looking at the possibility of useing a 10 to one shaft mounted gearbox on the back end of the spindle and switch the drve belt from the spindle drive to the gearbox input.

For you guys that want toi do spring pole lathes do you plan to drive the work peice or do you plan to drive the headstock?

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Rick M.

4506 posts in 1131 days


#13 posted 01-11-2013 08:32 AM

60 rpm? Are you turning huge bowls? In which case would a 2HP be enough?

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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REO

667 posts in 825 days


#14 posted 01-11-2013 10:23 AM

most of the lathe motors out there must be rated diferently than a typical industrial motor. I have a one horse on the lathe in the videos and I have not been able to stop it. I had the same one horse on the lathe you se in my profile and we turned 2’ diameter X 16 foot long stuff with no trouble. the torque goes up as the speed comes down with a reduction drive. I dont forsee any trouble with the torque even turning outboard on big platters and bowls.

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REO

667 posts in 825 days


#15 posted 01-18-2013 04:10 AM

here is a little update ok it’ll be kinda big. I have included some jpg’s know how they will show up. I had the day off so I did some engineerin’.
some of the parts:

the motor is a 2 hp 1745 3 phase inverter duty.
a 220 single phase to 240 3 phase VFD
the spindle is 1 3/4” diameter and necks down at the rear bearing to 1 1/2”. If I find I need to reduce the inertia of the spindle for smaller turnings I can reduce the diameter in between.
I made the spindle long enough to keep the motor out of the way for turning on either end.it has a 1/12”-8 thd. I haven’t decided wheather to drill the spindle for the taper or to make an adapter that will screw onto the nose. |I am concerned about weakining the spindle for large turnings done on a faceplate.
I have used a 390H100 drive belt and sprockets motor is 22 teethe and the spindle is 24 teeth.
I can switch the drive belt from the spindle direct to the jackshaft and maintain the position of the motor. the jackshaft sprocket is 60 teeth. The secondary drive of the jackshaft is a 17tooth 40 pitch sprocket and that in turn runs to a removable 60 tooth sprocket on the spindle. It got a little less than compact with the reductions but without going to a second jackshaft or locating above or below the rotation plane it just had to be. The motor plate and the jackshaft have 3” of adjustment for take up.
The main column is 7” square tube with a 3/4”thick 9” dia base.
the whole head can index at 45 degree intervals and is keyed at these positions.

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