Building a REAL Lathe Part 1

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Blog entry by RexKrueger posted 10-08-2018 02:55 PM 1715 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch


There are a lot of DIY wood lathes out there, but most of those are small, low-power machines that won’t handle large pieces of wood, do bowls, or handle long spindles. I’m in the middle of building a REAL lathe with 16 inches of swing and 32 inches between centers.

By itself, this wouldn’t be such a big deal, but I’m going to build this lathe for LESS than $150 and I’m using common materials and tools that any woodworker either has or can get their hands on. I’m super-excited about this project and about bringing woodturning to more craftsmen.

Hope you enjoy the video!


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3 comments so far

View Andybb's profile


3500 posts in 2096 days

#1 posted 10-08-2018 05:04 PM

Rex!! I’m one of your subscribers and love your vids. Learning a lot from you. Welcome to LJ’s. Like I said in the comments I’d have to find a way to make that thing variable speed like I did with this one.

Waiting to see how you fashion the head and tail stocks.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View Planeman40's profile


1561 posts in 4253 days

#2 posted 10-12-2018 05:53 PM

This reminds me of when I was in school at Georgia Tech in the early 1960s. I was in the Aeronautical Engineering area when I came across a very large wooden lathe in the shop. The bed was two large wood rectangular beams, the tailstock was of wood with a steel rod for the center, the tool rest was of wood which could slide up and down the bed with a piece of flat metal to rest the tool on, and the headstock was a large variable speed DC electric motor bolted to the end of the bed. The motor shaft was the spindle which had a machined center for the work. This thing was about 10 feet long and the swing was about 3 feet. I was told this was used for making models for the wind tunnel. It looked to me like it would do the job nicely.

These days the headstock motor could easily be a motor from an exercise tread mill that is variable speed. Plenty of power too. I have one of these motors myself from a treadmill I got for FREE from Craig’s List. Haven’t done anything with it yet.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View Pat's profile


24 posts in 1260 days

#3 posted 01-19-2019 06:28 AM

That is very good cant wait till you use it.

-- Pat Elk Ridge Wild Woods

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