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diy bowl lathe from start to finish

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Forum topic by REO posted 01-24-2014 03:46 PM 1795 views 1 time favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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REO

614 posts in 739 days


01-24-2014 03:46 PM

Topic tags/keywords: lathe turning resource diy bowl lathe

Is there anyone interested in building a bowl lathe? I enjoy designing ,building, and using equipment! Any kind of equipment. I have seen several posts where people consider building their own bowl lathe. some take years to get the project done. Some give up and never have the chance to complete it. Most of the time that is lost is either in making mistakes or sourcing parts. I have worked on several of my own project that seems to go very well and then I find that I have made a mistake that will require dis-assembly or starting over, It can be very disheartening.

My thoughts for this thread:

1.Gather information and discuss: materials, drives, options, capacity. standardize as much as possible.
2. Provide a complete materials list and list possible suppliers.
3. Explore the possibility of bulk buying some of the components to lower the cost.
4. Provide a complete set of drawings available here in the thread free of charge for the build.

A bowl lathe is a pretty simple machine. a couple pulleys, a motor, a couple bearings a knee and a tool rest. Any one want to get together on this?


24 replies so far

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REO

614 posts in 739 days


#1 posted 01-24-2014 06:11 PM

Come on people, no interest? don’t believe its possible?

drawing…

actual part….

making parts…...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=P12E08byJ6k
almost finished..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=3GBvyQd4sb8

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TheDane

3809 posts in 2328 days


#2 posted 01-25-2014 01:21 AM

Roger … I have always been a bit of a gadget freak, so I appreciate your videos and the info in this post. I just can’t see my way clear to get into something of this scale. If I need to turn something big, I have a buddy with a VB-36!

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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REO

614 posts in 739 days


#3 posted 01-25-2014 11:34 AM

I haven’t set a size. The lathe shown isn’t a bowl lathe. I posted to give an example of what is possible. It is not difficult. I am trying to facilitate a venue where it could be fairly inexpensive. I also hope it will be a resource to get people up and running in a shorter amount of time. I think it could be completely scalable if properly done. kind of an A,B,C size choice thing. I had seen a frequency of posts about interest in bowl lathes and thought it might be fun. Over 200 “looking” for “something” about bowl lathes. Only one who said anything. I don’t know anyone with a big bowl lathe. I actually don’t know anyone in person with a dedicated bowl lathe of any size.

Please excuse the double post. somehow LJ’s must have autosaved before I was done editing and i cant get rid of this one.

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REO

614 posts in 739 days


#4 posted 01-25-2014 11:39 AM

I haven’t set a size. I don’t plan on being an “I” thing. If I did I would draw it up and just offer plans for sale. Hoping on group interaction. The lathe shown isn’t a bowl lathe. I posted to give an example of what is possible. It is not difficult. I am trying to facilitate a venue where it could be fairly inexpensive. I also hope it will be a resource to get people up and running in a shorter amount of time. I think it could be completely scalable if properly done. kind of an A,B,C size choice thing. I had seen a frequency of posts about interest in bowl lathes and thought it might be fun. Over 200 “looking” for “something” about bowl lathes. Only one who said anything. I don’t know anyone with a big bowl lathe. I actually don’t know anyone in person with a dedicated bowl lathe of any size.

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile

kaerlighedsbamsen

539 posts in 379 days


#5 posted 01-25-2014 12:48 PM

While a lathe is not on my list of machines to build in the near future i always find homemeade machines and tools exiting and often see innovative designs. Would appreciate to follow along on the side as the build progresses!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

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thesoninlaw

96 posts in 450 days


#6 posted 01-25-2014 05:00 PM

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Rick M.

4022 posts in 1045 days


#7 posted 01-25-2014 05:16 PM

I talked about it for awhile but two things happened, first I got a bunch of other machinery that I really need more than a bowl lathe and second, I ran out of room in my shop. Someday I may revisit the idea if it’s feasible to build one that can withstand being outdoors. Perhaps build the frame from ipe and other weather resistant hardwoods and either scavenge a headstock/tailstock from a functioning lathe or build them from scratch.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

181 posts in 395 days


#8 posted 01-27-2014 04:19 AM

I’m going to build a lathe and tailstock with at least a 24-30” swing for turning large off center objects. Right now a 12” lathe only allows turning the things I want to 7” maximum….. I’d rather do the larger stuff.
The only thing I think I will have trouble making is a quill that will allow 6” of travel. I have access to a welding shop and certified welders, plenty of steel, a mill and lathe all free of charge… The MT will be another problem for me if I do it, but I also know a bunch of machinists that could bore them out…. My start date will be sometime in May, as I need to finish a couple other projects I’ve started…... ...... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

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REO

614 posts in 739 days


#9 posted 01-27-2014 02:28 PM

Nubs you are very fortunate! Most do not have the resources available to them. Last night I was thinking about doing a series of pop on modifications for a jet midi lathe tail stock to get the thread going. This may work as well.

I would be happy to put together some 3D concepts for you. If you would like.
I will need some basic dimensions.

Size of the bed slot.
Height from bed to center of drive center
You have already determined travel.
Do you want to have to turn the handle for all quill travel or would breaking it down to two or three sections of shorter travel with a total extension of 7” be acceptable?

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REO

614 posts in 739 days


#10 posted 01-31-2014 12:10 PM

thesoninlaw. do you have the drawings for that lathe? what have you turned on it?

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thesoninlaw

96 posts in 450 days


#11 posted 01-31-2014 03:01 PM

I do not have drawings for that lathe and I have not turned anything on it—It is someone else’s lathe I happened to see on FWW.
Dave

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Julian

515 posts in 1356 days


#12 posted 01-31-2014 04:10 PM

Roger,
Just curious; how much would a lathe capable of a 14” diameter cost?

-- Julian

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REO

614 posts in 739 days


#13 posted 01-31-2014 05:07 PM

It depends entirely on what you have available to you. If you have to have someone weld or machine pats for you. If you have some of the necessary parts already. The best way to go for |VS is with an inverter drive. locally I can get a 2 hp three phase motor for less than 50 dollars sometimes they are inverter duty. (I have a couple “toy stores” that I frequent. Often they have a VFD for about 125 but they go fast. watching Ebay pillow block bearings can be had for less than shipping some times but I suggest at least a flange bearing and better yet a piloted flange bearing for the headstock. I got two 2” recently for 28.00/pr. I have seen pillow block bearings break in similar set ups.Steel used to be cheap but it has skyrocketed the last few years so I watch Craigs list for stuff. I have my own equipment for machining and welding.

This lathe
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=3GBvyQd4sb8
was about 300.00 mostly steel. the vfd was 60 and the 2 hp motor was 25. I have some sprockets particular to this build from fleet farm. the cog belt was 10. The timing pulleys for the drive were about 30.

I know what I need and what I am looking for because I have the plans drawn up. The trial and error expense and effort is bypassed. That is why I thought a thread like this could be of benefit. A collaboration of people looking, watching, providing information and answers. We all have tools and equipment that we would like to have. For most of us they are a pipe dream because of cost or limited ability especially if you have to pay for mistakes! I would like this to be a place that makes it possible. With a clear direction and void of potential costly mistakes.

View William's profile

William

9070 posts in 1507 days


#14 posted 02-02-2014 03:06 PM

I’ve been wanting a way to turn large bowls for some time.
Price is a major issue though. The three hundred dollar lathe I have now required sacrifices to afford.
Anyway, I’ve recently been thinking about an article I read some time back about using the motor and electronics from an old tread mill.
My thinking is to remove the pipe bed from the spare lathe I have (a ridgid single tube lathe), beef up the bearings, build a stand alone took rest, and add the parts from a treadmill.
Has anyone else considered tread mill motors?

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

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Rick M.

4022 posts in 1045 days


#15 posted 02-02-2014 07:06 PM

William, my blog has pics/videos of a 1HP DC motor first running a GP lathe then later moved to a Craftsman. Fairly easy to set up and I have schematics for an mc-50 controller (most common type).

http://lumberjocks.com/wormil/blog/34487

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

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