Mini Lathe

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Project by Phil277 posted 12-08-2018 06:42 PM 1203 views 2 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Mini Lathe
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This design is based on a number of drill powered lathes I found on Youtube. The headstock and tailstock are clamped to the workbench. They have stops to ensure that the centers are properly aligned . When the stock is mounted between centers they are clamped between the bench dogs of the bench. The tailstock has a live center that has a morse taper so the two part tailstock has holes of different size to accommodate the taper of the live center. I had an adapter made at a machine shop to mount the spur center in the drill chuck. I need to come up with a better way to clamp the tool rest to the bench, the clamp can be in the way at times.

-- The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. From a sign on a surfer bar in So. Calif.

6 comments so far

View recycle1943's profile


4593 posts in 2428 days

#1 posted 12-08-2018 07:56 PM

I swear, if someone wants to use a tool in as many ways as possible, there are guys llike you that will figure it out. We all have an imagination, mine is strictly aimed at wood, your’s is evidently a lot more versatile -
nice adaptation and you’ll find the right mount for the tool test, it’s just a matter of time

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View wallkicker's profile


121 posts in 3960 days

#2 posted 12-09-2018 09:41 AM

Interesting idea. Nice job.

View Ivan's profile


16080 posts in 3673 days

#3 posted 12-10-2018 05:29 AM

Very smart!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View bushmaster's profile


3940 posts in 3088 days

#4 posted 12-10-2018 05:35 AM

Interesting, always fun to use something you designed and made.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View Dakkar's profile


357 posts in 2733 days

#5 posted 12-12-2018 05:04 AM

Yes, been there and done that. My drill had variable speed, so I installed a block with a screw and handle to allow easy speed adjustment. I turned a couple of hundred miniature bases for my dollhouse solar system models when I was selling them on Etsy. I did get tired of the noise, though. Real lathes are quieter, among other things. These days I’m looking for a good enough reason to buy a nice mini or midi lathe, though.

View Phil277's profile


225 posts in 3129 days

#6 posted 12-12-2018 02:25 PM

Thanks for the compliments everyone.
I built this just for the odd occasion when I need to make or sand some small items. I have a Shopsmith which I use primarily as a drill press. The Shopsmith has a lathe feature but it’s a bit cumbersome to set up for a project that should only take a few minutes to complete.


Pittsfield, MA

-- The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. From a sign on a surfer bar in So. Calif.

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