Lathe spindle tool rest

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Project by woodbutcher11 posted 11-27-2021 03:16 AM 644 views 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The tool rests that come with most lathes tend to be too short for spindle work , unless you are prepared to move them a lot as you work your way down the roughed out stock . To make the two support brackets that ride along the lathe bed I used a single piece of Ambrosia Maple that my son had given me. I did most of the cutting out of shape on the bandsaw and then drilled each bracket to accept a piece of 5/8” mild steel . The steel came from a big box store in a 36” length which I cut into 2 – 6” pieces for the uprights and then used them as uprights to attach the larger piece to . If you can weld or have a buddy who welds you could weld the horizontal piece to the 2 verticals. I don’t weld so I filed dadoes into the horizontal piece and connected the vertical pieces with bolt/washer/nut. A couple of threaded brass adapters allowed me to put some 5/16” threaded knobs into the body of each wooden bracket – one to allow the vertical steel to go up or down and one to connect to the lathe bed so the whole thing could move or be static. It works well and didn’t cost much.

3 comments so far

View recycle1943's profile


6261 posts in 2964 days

#1 posted 11-27-2021 11:37 AM

Dynamite concept and great build – a question, does the span allow for acceptable vibration and flex ?

-- 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 PCDub's profile


351 posts in 1586 days

#2 posted 11-27-2021 02:27 PM

I like that!

View woodbutcher11's profile


44 posts in 2821 days

#3 posted 11-27-2021 05:45 PM

In response to recycle 1943 – Yes the span seems to be robust enough that vibration and flex aren’t a problem , at least with the maple I use. Perhaps if you had to bear down with your tools on a harder species like walnut it might be an issue. My next project is a walnut display case on turned legs for my Granddad’s Robbie Burns walking stick so I will find out. ( by next project it falls sometime in the next year or so, God willin’.
Thanks also PCDub for your encouragement.

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