Cheap Lathe Conversion

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Review by BillyUP posted 03-01-2008 03:08 AM 4373 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Cheap Lathe Conversion No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

There was a yard sale ad that said: “Lathe with tools, $40”, so I hustled right out.
I found a “Junk” French or Canadian lathe that is only good for turning Spindle work, but came with about $300 worth of new Craftsman tools. The tools were an assortment of things I did not have.
I converted the lathe to a “Buffing machine”, using a threaded rod that is screwed into two turned wood blocks. I will be adding more buffing wheels by simply moving these two along the shaft. I can replace this shaft with another with different pads in only a moment.

-- Imagination is more important than Knowledge

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8 comments so far

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#1 posted 03-01-2008 03:21 AM

wow thats a great deal. even if it doesn’t work so great at least you got all those extras with it.

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#2 posted 03-01-2008 03:41 AM

now isn’t that smart!!!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

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#3 posted 03-01-2008 11:35 AM

Pretty good catch there.

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#4 posted 03-01-2008 12:08 PM

innovation.. good idea

-- making sawdust....

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Scott Bryan

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#5 posted 03-01-2008 01:34 PM

Great find and you turned someone else’s junk into a gem.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

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#6 posted 10-11-2009 07:02 PM

HI, your a lucky man. I am looking to do the same thing, and that is to do some buffing with the same kind of set up. I have no knowledge about buffing; I would like to understand how to buff and get the same look as those who buff guitars. If you know how or anyone reading this. could help I would appreciate it.

View BillyUP's profile


20 posts in 4569 days

#7 posted 10-12-2009 03:51 AM

I added a third pad to the shaft to complete the “Beall” system. After using for awhile, I find the central shaft to be in the way of freely manipulating a piece for comfortable buffing. Also by extending the shaft to make more space between pads, causes excess flex and vibration. The use of a single pad off the headstock is much better with no worry of bumping finish against a portruding shaft. I like the “Long Buffing Adapter made of machined solid aluminum that is 8’’ x 1 5/8” and threads onto 8 TPI shaft. The time lost changing the 3 pads is offset by the faster buffing time. You can see this at the “Craft Supply” web-site and I expect others. Also check out the “Wood Buffing System” on the same page. It’s shameful at the number of fantastic turnings, I see, with a poor sanding and finishing job. It makes such a difference!!


-- Imagination is more important than Knowledge

View a1Jim's profile


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#8 posted 10-15-2009 03:25 AM

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