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Shop Built Bowl Lathe

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Blog entry by woodshopmike posted 261 days ago 1374 reads 4 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi All,

Just thought I’d share this. I built this lathe while I was restoring my Tannewitz Model FDS. The motivation to build such a machine was driven mostly by the fact that I couldn’t afford a $5,000+ commercial bowl lathe. The hollow sections of the lathe are filled with sand to reduce vibration and increase the weight.

The head stock is from an old Logan lathe. It has a #3MT in the spindle and the threads are 1 1/2×8. I bought a Vicmarc 120 chuck along with the 9” jaws for the lathe. I love this chuck! The tailstock has a #2 MT. The quill is from an old drill press, and it advances in the same manner as a drill press.

As far as the cost goes, I acquired many of the parts from friends and family for free. I also had unlimited access to a local friends machine shop. My cost was close to $750. Most of that was spent purchasing the VFD, brake module, controls, pulleys, and tooling for the actual machining of the lathe.

To date the largest piece I’d turned is a 19” x 4” platter. You can find more pictures on my blog.

Specs:
54” Swing
18” Between Centers
~1300 pounds
2 hp 3 phase motor
VFD controlled

-- www.woodshopmike.com, www.woodshopmikestudio.etsy.com



18 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112001 posts in 2181 days


#1 posted 261 days ago

Wow that’s totally impressive Mike,Great great job.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Dutchy's profile

Dutchy

432 posts in 772 days


#2 posted 261 days ago

Looks great.

-- My englisch is bad but how is your dutch?

View poopiekat's profile

poopiekat

3562 posts in 2338 days


#3 posted 261 days ago

Always glad to see home-built tools. I like how you used those aluminum extrusions for the jack-shaft. A very creative approach to solving construction problems!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View poospleasures's profile

poospleasures

296 posts in 1088 days


#4 posted 261 days ago

Really great looking machine. I would probably be scared to put a tool to that big hunk of wood. Well maybe when I grow up. I love to make things from scratch but don,t think could keep up with you.

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning. Vernon

View woodshopmike's profile

woodshopmike

112 posts in 267 days


#5 posted 261 days ago

Thanks fellas!

The 80/20 aluminum was an effort to simplify what was going to be an overly time consuming step. I was so close to being able to run the lathe that I couldn’t stand another long and drawn out component to this project. The aluminum counter shaft assembly idea came out of nowhere and it has worked out great.

-- www.woodshopmike.com, www.woodshopmikestudio.etsy.com

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

1884 posts in 1165 days


#6 posted 261 days ago

Mike

Very very nice. A guy here said he will make me one and he even came to my house to take measurements. That was back the first week of June. Hopfully he will be working on is sometime soon.
I know for one it is so very hard working from a lathe with a bed working from a wheelchair. I know it would be much easier working for the end like what you have.
I do think it would be easier to have just what you have but, have different lengths of bed (Like 20” 30” and 42”) to take on and off as I need.

If the other guy does not get to it I would happly pay you to make me one.

Arlin

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View Bluepine38's profile

Bluepine38

2876 posts in 1689 days


#7 posted 260 days ago

Very beautiful heavy monster, in my ignorance I first thought the headstock was from a wood lathe, with
a left hand thread outboard mount. A quick check of Logan Lathe showed me these were metal working
lathes with a very different set up. A lot of minor questions come to mind, but the main one is, are you
planning on putting a guard on those long belts? Thank you for sharing.

-- As ever, Gus-the 75 yr young apprentice carpenter

View woodshopmike's profile

woodshopmike

112 posts in 267 days


#8 posted 260 days ago

Arlin,

First and foremost, thank you for your service. Men and women like you give our country the glimmer of what pride our nation used to have. You have a huge heart and your Loving Hands Memory Boxes are a great offering to families that have endured so much.

I am honored that you like my lathe so much. I will say that it took me just over a year to build and about that long again to design. Granted I was doing all of this in addition to my tablesaw restoration and working a full time job. The only concern I have regarding wheel chair use with my lathe is the height of the spindle and available swing. I’ve never sat down and turned so I’m unfamiliar with the user interface. I can see how a multi bed lathe would have benefits. I also like your insight of turning from the end of the lathe. I obviously do this while I’m working, but I hadn’t thought of it’s application from the seated position.

I assume that you have seen the Independence lathe by Robust? It may be something to look into, as you can slide the headstock along the bed to allow for working in a similar manner to my lathe.

I hope things workout with the other individual you had take measurements. However if it doesn’t let me know and we may be able to work something out

Regards,

Mike

-- www.woodshopmike.com, www.woodshopmikestudio.etsy.com

View woodshopmike's profile

woodshopmike

112 posts in 267 days


#9 posted 260 days ago

Bluepine,

I am planning to add a belt guard. It will be the first project when I get free time from projects that are on the “gotta get done!” list. I’m planning to make the cover out of fiberglass. When I do get around to it I’ll be adding some brackets to mount my vacuum chucking manifold to.

What are you other questions? I’d be glad to fill in the question marks.

Regards,

Mike

-- www.woodshopmike.com, www.woodshopmikestudio.etsy.com

View Bluepine38's profile

Bluepine38

2876 posts in 1689 days


#10 posted 259 days ago

The fact you want to add a vacuum chuck to the lathe let me know why you did not hook your drive to
outboard end of the headstock. I was wondering why you did not mount your drive motor closer to the
headstock, but figured that you wanted to keep the weight low to help stabilize the lathe. Do you have
a locking mechanism on the drill press quill to maintain constant pressure on the workpiece? I have
sometimes used a handturned dowel between the tailstock and the workpiece to give myself a little more
tool maneuvering room on projects. Thank you for sharing and welcome to Lumberjocks.

-- As ever, Gus-the 75 yr young apprentice carpenter

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15443 posts in 1470 days


#11 posted 259 days ago

That’s a beautiful machine, Mike, and a great addition to your shop. Welcome to Lumberjocks.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View woodshopmike's profile

woodshopmike

112 posts in 267 days


#12 posted 259 days ago

Yes, there is a quill lock. It’s shown in the second photo. The lock is achieved by a screw just pressing inside a slot on the side of the quill sleeve.

I’ve heard of people turning a little spacer of sorts to afford more room at the tailstock side of a piece, but have yet to adopt it for my own turnings. Thanks for mentioning it, you never know when a simple yet effective tool can make a huge impact.

Thanks for the welcome guys!

-- www.woodshopmike.com, www.woodshopmikestudio.etsy.com

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

1884 posts in 1165 days


#13 posted 253 days ago

Thanks Mike

You are a quality guy.

Arlin

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3788 posts in 984 days


#14 posted 253 days ago

If I ever run across a good price on a headstock I’m going to build one. Probably won’t be as nice as this one though.

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

View woodshopmike's profile

woodshopmike

112 posts in 267 days


#15 posted 253 days ago

Rick,

Let me know if you ever do. I’d be happy to toss out ideas along the way. Also, you could just use to pillow blocks and have a machinist thread a spindle for you.

-- www.woodshopmike.com, www.woodshopmikestudio.etsy.com

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