Building a lathe

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Blog entry by Jackdaw posted 07-22-2017 12:44 PM 851 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hello, here’s my lathe build, as it is so far. I think I like building tools as much or more than building things with the tools, except building tools to build tools with! So this is almost all junk material. The plywood for the head and tail stock and the ways is reclaimed from forms at work. The 2x also from discards from work.

The headstock bearing is a bicycle bottom bracket. The headstock pulley is a cast iron pulley from the dump. It had a round hole which I filed square taper to fit the bike spindle. I got it quite true which made me happy. The spur center is a scabrous weldment on a crank/spindle nut.

The motor is a nice 1/2 horse that a buddy gave me, very nice of him, the guys at work wired it and put a switch on it before he decided he didn’t need it and gave it to me. Really cool of him. It came with a sliding mount bracket that I took a crummy picture of. It clamps with wing nuts allowing me a choice from the four step pulley.

Of course the link-belt is new, I stole it from my tablesaw…I could use a 50 foot roll of that stuff $$$! I also bought all-thread ant assorted nuts etc. I could use a load of all-thread too.

Still to be done: the tailstock center, 1/2” all-thread with nuts and jam nuts, a way to set the tailstock to the ways, and a tool rest.

I’m going to try to finish it up this weekend.

Thanks for looking!!

2 comments so far

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3477 days

#1 posted 07-24-2017 02:08 PM

That is quite a challenge and it looks like you have a good start.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Jackdaw's profile


18 posts in 1668 days

#2 posted 07-24-2017 10:32 PM

Yah, it’s gonna be pretty small, not quite mini. I just went and measured and it’ll swing 8” and take 14+” between centers. I don’t know if it’s going to be underpowered. The slow speed works out to 575 rpm and fast 1150 rpm. So I don’t know, I’ve done very little turning and don’t know from speeds. I hope it works well. It’s smooth anyway.

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