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Project by bushmaster posted 06-24-2016 02:50 AM 2058 views 3 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

One of the main reaspons I built the SCRAP IRON LATHE was to be able to do larger spindles and of course hollow forms. So far I managed to make the previous vases that I posted by using the regular tool I had on hand. It has taken me awhile to find the time to design and make a system with materials I had on hand. The project was designed around a bar I steel I found in my scrap pile, it was a stack I had tied our horse to long ago. A ver unusual bar, square rounded corners that had been a rock drill, odd because they are always hexonagal. Notch the end for a clamp to secure a 5/16 lathe bits that I bought by mistake. Run the bare through two rollers to stop it from twisting, and support the end on a tool rest. I found some wringer washer rollers but settled on two rollers from my 20 inch planner. Wasn’t using them as I had a plywood and arborite platform to reduce snipe. So here are the basic parts. 1 inch pipe and nylon bearing to hold the rollers,

The drill rod is very hard so I had a very hard time drilling and tapping holes for the 8—32 threads for the hold down clamp.

To make the bolt threads for the tool rest I drilled a plug of metal off center as the 1 inch pipe wall thickness is not that thick.

For greater control I drilled and tapped holes on the tool rest and bolted two ball bearing to it. on pushes the bar against the bearings as you are boring, smoother cuts and better control.

The first time I used it was with the lathe bit, rough cutting and left ridges, I thought it would be great to have a scraper so back to the scrap iron shed. Luck would have it . I found a couple a planner blades from a sawmill site, high speed steel and 5/16 thick.

By the time I was finished this project I made more holder and more scrapers to use in the future,

And that is about it except for the finished project

I am quite happy with the system, had so much fine I cut the first vase in half from the inside, guess a lazer system next, seems to me the steady rest would be in the way?????

I made several videos while I was doing this project.

The first deals with the design in more detail, close up of the parts and a short demonstration useing the lathe bit.

The second is and encore presentation dealing with the scraper tools as I went along, demo using the scrapper tool, sanding and finished project. You may find some ideas.

I hope you found this project interesting, I found it a challenge, using the materials I had on hand. I finised today another addition to the lathe, will try it out and post it next week. Because of the complexity of it I acuall drew a plan.

Thanks for looking and watching the videos, comment appreciated.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

8 comments so far

View Ivan's profile


15182 posts in 3402 days

#1 posted 06-24-2016 06:13 AM

Beautiful vase and everything about this lathe is extraordinary so is this accessory.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2656 posts in 1598 days

#2 posted 06-24-2016 09:52 AM

Your head is definitely more than just a hat rack, Brian.
“Washer Ringer” is just what I thought of, upon first glance.
I have a pair of those roller board-support dealies that I never use on accounta the elevation clamps rusted out. I think you wrinkled my brain towards using them for something. (I’m finding it harder and harder to dispose of things that no longer serve their intended purpose. For instance: Microwave – transformer for high-voltage, lightening-style wood burning?; Coffee maker – there must me something in there, if only a timing mechanism; etc.
By the bye: I found an orphaned glider chair and a bunch of what I think are old lawn mower blades. The chair is easy – take it in the house. The blades, I wonder if they’re of a proper steel to make tools of. What are your thoughts on that?

-- Mark

View bruce317's profile


404 posts in 1358 days

#3 posted 06-24-2016 11:50 AM

Love the vases. Very interesting lathe & tooling.

-- Bruce - Indiana - Sawdust is just, MAN GLITTER!

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23518 posts in 3640 days

#4 posted 06-24-2016 12:26 PM

Excellent boring fixture.You are a man after my own heart. I love the metal work too!!

you definitely need a loop over the top with a laser so you can instantly see your wall thickness. I have one on mine and it is like cheating when boring blind. My laser was $10 from Target

cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View tyvekboy's profile


1930 posts in 3548 days

#5 posted 06-24-2016 07:46 PM

Great project and description.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View htl's profile


4844 posts in 1694 days

#6 posted 06-24-2016 11:03 PM

Love to see some one having fun making things that make things,
And not just things but beautiful things.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View OldGuysRule's profile


130 posts in 1508 days

#7 posted 06-25-2016 03:30 AM


I don’t think lawn mower blades would be good for any tools that need to be hardened steel. I’m sure you can use them for something. But, if you can get your hands on some old tiller tines well, that’s a little better steel !! I just changed out the tines on my TroyBlit tiller and was about ready to toss them when the little voice in my head said wait dummy you can use those for lots of different things. So, long story short I have a bunch of used up tiller tines waiting for their second chance at glory and a useful life.

I don’t throw out much of anything any longer. I’ve been looking at and old blender base lately trying to come up with a use for the motor in it. The switch is bad but motor still works!

By the way I still haven’t done any turning with the lathe I got from my cousin. Just one little doodad and that’s it. Summer has kept me away from any wood projects and out on the farm doing all that hot nasty work.

-- Rod P.........OLD GUY......Learning new things!

View crowie's profile


3274 posts in 2486 days

#8 posted 06-29-2016 10:59 PM

G’Day Brian,
While the vase is beautiful and shows off your skill & creativity;
sir, your ability to make, reuse, design and manufacture such useful tools is a huge credit to your ingenuity…VERY WELL DONE..

PS – Thank you for the time and effort to do the extra photos, build notes and videos, much appreciated!!

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

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