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Forum topic by DKV posted 08-21-2014 03:42 AM 1376 views 1 time favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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DKV

3940 posts in 1967 days


08-21-2014 03:42 AM

woodturning. I love to watch the Youtube videos of the professionals turning chunks of wood into beautiful works of art. But, I have never been able to justify a lathe until recently. I want to make small knobs and handles to go with the projects I make. So, I started looking at small lathes. One of the first things I noticed was all the machines look alike…just like the Central Machinery lathe but with subtle, small differences. A piece of chrome, a bigger knob or handle but basically all the same. Sooooo, before doing heavy research and spending money I decided I would try to build my own to get a feel for my seriousness level. I didn’t want to buy one and then have it end up in the “not used” corner with the scrollsaw that I absolutely knew I needed. The below pictures show the lathe I made. Very restricted since I would seldom need more than the ability to chuck up a 2×2x8 piece of wood. Suits my purposes perfectly.

The only purchase was the cheap set of woodcarving tools from Hobby Town. The kit came with five small chisels of various shapes and sizes, two skews and three gouges. If anyone else out there has made their own lathe tell us about it. Did it convince you to buy one? Are you still using the homemade one?

-- This is a Troll Free zone.


17 replies so far

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distrbd

2227 posts in 1909 days


#1 posted 08-21-2014 04:56 AM

Very innovative ,and that Dewalt drill has a variable speed which makes your new lathe variable speed .

I don’t know if you have seen this tool called: lathe attachment for drill press ,it turns your drill press into a lathe , has a maximum work-piece capacity of 24” long,I must admit,yours is a lot more elaborate:

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

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AnonymousRequest

861 posts in 1012 days


#2 posted 08-21-2014 08:46 AM

Pretty cool DKV. They still make keyed chucks for drills? LOL

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Jake

850 posts in 1094 days


#3 posted 08-21-2014 08:51 AM

Thanks for the inspiration, I think I’ll make me a lathe like that as well!

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.

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REO

889 posts in 1537 days


#4 posted 08-21-2014 02:42 PM

this one is mine. number six over the years for my own. I still use it. don’t have time to play with it lately but looking forward to that day.

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waho6o9

7172 posts in 2040 days


#5 posted 08-21-2014 03:35 PM

Good job DKV and thanks for sharing.

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Wildwood

1882 posts in 1597 days


#6 posted 08-21-2014 04:19 PM

Electric drill kit lathes have been around for a long time, but an inexpensive mini lathe and tools well worth the price. Bully for you got enough gear there to be dangerous! Here is a challenge come back to us with a completed knob with that set up.

Woodturning more than just a lathe, turning tools, sharpening equipment and for knobs a mandrel, collet chuck, or four jaw chuck would not only speed things up but quality of things want to turn. The really expensive part of turning is time required to acquire the skills it takes to turn something nice or useful.

-- Bill

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distrbd

2227 posts in 1909 days


#7 posted 08-21-2014 04:24 PM

DKV,I’m thinking of copying your idea.What do you use for tailstock?does it spin freely or is it fixed/static?

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

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DKV

3940 posts in 1967 days


#8 posted 08-21-2014 05:25 PM

distrbd, I control the variable speed with the hose clamp, I use a square hole punch driven into one end and I put a long point on one quarter, 20 threaded rod. It all seems pretty solid. The small, cheap carving tools seem to work well enough. The only reason I built this was to insure my need for one before spending money. I do understand that for serious turners the costs far exceed those of just the lathe. Lots of money can be involved. So far it’s been fun. With the small pieces of wood I’m restricted to and the low torque rpms I don’t consider this to be very dangerous. Safety glasses and the tool rest well positioned make it all pretty benign. I probably have a better chance of being injured on my other woodworking equipment. Also, I now understand why turners use wet wood…not as much chip out although that can be controlled by going slow and easy. Anyway, its enjoyable.

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

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DKV

3940 posts in 1967 days


#9 posted 08-21-2014 05:35 PM

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

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oldnovice

5729 posts in 2831 days


#10 posted 08-21-2014 11:59 PM

Another drive source is an old sewing machine motor as most of those were variable speed. My brother built one before he bought a used Unimat about 20 years ago!

The Zyliss vise system has a mini lathe option but the bed length is very limited.

No that I have that out of the way I think that you have a good tool for the projects you want to do but be warned, this can be habit forming … ask any of the jocks who started the same way!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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DKV

3940 posts in 1967 days


#11 posted 08-24-2014 07:54 PM

My first oak tool handle using my homemade lathe. When my Capt Eddie “super turner package” arrives I will use it for one of the bars and make a second one out of walnut for the second bar.

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

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DKV

3940 posts in 1967 days


#12 posted 08-24-2014 11:56 PM

I’m pretty excited about having my own small lathe. I’ve done a couple of more things today that you may be interested in. On the other hand if you’re not interested let me know that also. Anyway, I got tired of always looking for a screwdriver to change my variable speed with the hose clamp I was using and made a jig with a knob instead. Now I can adjust my speed by using a knob…just like the expensive setups. Secondly, I am now using a remote AC switch to turn my lathe on and off. Now I can leave it plugged in without pulling the plug if I want to maintain the current speed setting. Lastly, as I was looking at my new chisel handle I thought the end looked ugly with the tailstock hole so I epoxied (is this a verb?) a nickel to the end and covered it up. What’s next? Not sure. Stay tuned.

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

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distrbd

2227 posts in 1909 days


#13 posted 08-25-2014 01:05 AM

That chisel handle came out very nice ,specially the nickel butt end make it look expensive .I would make the next one out of Cherry.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

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KPR

2 posts in 826 days


#14 posted 09-03-2014 07:26 PM

What did you use for the drill bit.. that looks like a square punch.. I haven’t been able to find anything even similar.. The best I can come up with is a spade bit!!

Thx—k.

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crank49

3981 posts in 2434 days


#15 posted 09-03-2014 07:53 PM



What did you use for the drill bit.. that looks like a square punch.. I haven t been able to find anything even similar.. The best I can come up with is a spade bit!!

Thx—k.

- KPR

I think that square drive is the outside punch part of a mortising bit.
At least I have a set of those and that sure looks like what I have.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

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