Router lathe from plywood

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Project by Lenka Design Workshop posted 01-05-2016 11:43 AM 2887 views 8 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Always wanted to have a machine that is designed to do perfect cylinder and cone shapes. This is what you need if you want to make scandinavian-style legs and other cylindrical objects with straight lines, e.g. lighthouses.

We have just finished building this machine. It’s very simple and is made from cheap components. I attach one photo and offer you to have a look at the video as it provides much more info on the design and how it works:

Description from the video:
Router-based lathe made from birch plywood that we made in our workshop. The Lathe is using router to remove wood without hand tools.
The tailstock can be extended to full length giving the capacity to load 1240mm blanks.

The following components were used to make the lathe:
+ Birch Plywood: 33mm,
+ 25mm shaft, spade drill bit, conical bearings, threadshafts, nuts with nylon,
+ Universal power adapter 12-24V 3.15A,
+ Shaft Drive: cheapest 18V chinese drill,
+ Router: Makita 3612c old version,
+ Router extension bit, CMT router bit

The tailstock is just a threadshaft that has a grinded conical end. It is fixed with nylon nuts. We had no live center at the time of making and yet the conical “dead” center works really well. We will put a lice center there in the future.

The next project with this machine is making a large lighthouse.

-- Our homepage:

4 comments so far

View ChrisK's profile


2037 posts in 3595 days

#1 posted 01-05-2016 12:32 PM

Handy build, have fun.

-- Chris K

View ohwoodeye's profile


2240 posts in 3667 days

#2 posted 01-05-2016 02:05 PM

Nice idea. Good video.
Well done.

-- "Fine Woodworking" is the name given to a project that takes 3 times longer than normal to finish because you used hand tools instead of power tools. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

View Northwest29's profile


1681 posts in 3004 days

#3 posted 01-05-2016 04:35 PM

Very well done! I have had something like this on my bucket list for a long time. Enjoy!

-- Ron, Eugene, OR, "Curiosity is a terrible thing to waste."

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


5974 posts in 2922 days

#4 posted 01-06-2016 03:40 AM

Interesting build.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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