Wood lathe Tailstock modification to drill with ease, VIDEO

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Project by bushmaster posted 07-03-2016 04:32 AM 3577 views 4 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

To make the hollow form that I have made so far, I have drilled the hole on the beginning hole on the drill press with forester bits. I tried to do it on the wood lathe but the with the hand wheel on the lathe It was impossible to drill into end grain. I was able to do it on the drill press, difficult there as one had to hold the hollow form as well as operate the drill press. Having to continually having to take the vase out to get the chips out, besides getting the bit stuck in the hole and hard to get it out. There has to be a better way to do it on the wood lathe.
I brain stormed and over heated my brain abit to come up with a simple solution, but had to draw a blue print up so I wouldn’t forget any parts. Machined parts from scrap iron I had in hand.

Once I came out with that all I had to do is make all the parts

Sounds simple but it took a number of early mornings to get it right, then assemble and it looks like this

The hand wheel is now set back a ways but still works as before, but now I have a handle that can be used with force simular to a drill press. the hand wheel can be used to lengthen the stroke for a second cut befor the tailstock is advanced. Here are some close up pictures.

One thing that you can see in the blue print but not visable in the pictures is the guide bushing and is secured with a screw.

I made a number of holes to adjust the position of the connecting link because I wasn’t sure what distance would be effective. The following video was the first time I used it and the outer setting worked well, give the longest travel. It was easy enough I drilled the hole quickly sitting down. Check it out any lathe could be modified.

Will post the finished project later, but I think I will make a lazer set up so I won’t cut through like the first time I tried,

So thanks for looking and hope you found this modification interest and will give you some idea’s, comment appreciated.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

13 comments so far

View Ivan's profile


15062 posts in 3375 days

#1 posted 07-03-2016 04:36 AM

It’s becoming more and more sofisticated.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View BobWemm's profile


2689 posts in 2434 days

#2 posted 07-03-2016 06:15 AM

Congratulations Brian. The power of the brain is awesome.
Well done mate.


-- Bob, Western Australia, The Sun came up this morning, what a great start to the day. Now it's up to me to make it even better. I've cut this piece of wood 4 times and it's still too damn short.

View crowie's profile


3195 posts in 2458 days

#3 posted 07-03-2016 07:21 AM

Mechanical Advance, Physics and on brilliant craftsman makes sometime look so very simple – WOW!!!!

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

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2640 posts in 1571 days

#4 posted 07-03-2016 07:59 AM

Is that all, Brian? Is that all? I would’ve simply spent two or three days trying to hog it out with a hand brace.

-- Mark

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23368 posts in 3613 days

#5 posted 07-03-2016 11:35 AM

Brian, you are a machining genius! I love it. Lots of pressure can be applied that way. It reminds me a quick change collet set up I have on my Southbend metal lathe!

Very smart way to solve that problem… always with you!!!

cheers, Jim

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

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

1126 posts in 3939 days

#6 posted 07-03-2016 12:15 PM

You’ve got a gift(s) for putting thought to paper to metal to wood. Love the inventiveness you show others. Thanks for sharing.

-- Scott, Irmo SC

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 2514 days

#7 posted 07-03-2016 01:32 PM

”Once I came out with that all I had to do is make all the parts”

Geeze, you make it sound like you’re making a p-nut butter sandwich. “See how easy it is kids? Now all you do is spread the p-nut butter on the bread and then …”

Color me Impressed !

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Sasha's profile


1059 posts in 1720 days

#8 posted 07-03-2016 05:19 PM

Impresses. Thanks.

-- Ganchik Sasha. Life is not a draft, tomorrow you will not redo......

View diggerdelaney's profile


516 posts in 4258 days

#9 posted 07-03-2016 05:54 PM

A great idea and better than having to wind the wheel every time just to drill a hole

-- Derek, Kent, UK,

View peteg's profile


4435 posts in 3330 days

#10 posted 07-03-2016 09:07 PM

Boy, that’s what I call getting your head around a challenge, fabulous engineering project Brian, reckon you’ll have a few of the guys having a go at this one

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View SteveGaskins's profile


760 posts in 3095 days

#11 posted 07-04-2016 07:24 PM

Brian, exceptional design. As a mechanical engineer, I’m very passionate about projects such as this one. Well done my new buddy, well done.

-- Steve, South Carolina,

View htl's profile


4816 posts in 1667 days

#12 posted 07-04-2016 09:10 PM

Heavy duty for sure!!!
Gotta love it.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View Woodknack's profile (online now)


12905 posts in 2888 days

#13 posted 07-05-2016 05:46 AM

My Goodell Pratt lathe has the connections for one of these but the arm is missing. I bought steel to remake it but haven’t gotten around to it (I don’t use the lathe so no hurry). Those lever arms fell out of style pretty quickly in the lathe world and I don’t really understand why. Apparently most people didn’t like them.

-- Rick M,

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