(Tube) lathe

  • Advertise with us

« back to Jigs & Fixtures forum

Forum topic by totalrewind posted 08-12-2018 04:02 AM 740 views 0 times favorited 0 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View totalrewind's profile


54 posts in 2879 days

08-12-2018 04:02 AM

Topic tags/keywords: lathe sword handle drum sander jig trick knife handle sword handle rounding

“That’s not what he said! He distinctly said “to blave.” And, as we all know, “to blave” means “to bluff,” huh? So you’re probably playing cards, and he cheated…”—Miracle Max
Okay, so I had some oak sword handles I was doing for a guy and I needed a way to make them symmetrically round. Too many to shape by hand without considerable effort, and too strange a shape to put in a lathe (even if I had one).
Enter the tube lathe. (Or, “to blave”.)
I leave it up to you to decide which phrase best fits my ghetto yard-monkey setup.

Kind of hard to see what all is going on from the pictures, so I’ll try to describe what you are looking at.
So what I did was find a piece of tubing with an inside diameter slightly larger than the blade. (That’s the black pipe, which is from a steel baker’s rack.) From there I notched out a nice, tight slot for the hilt to keep the sword centered. This trick turned the blade into something at least round that I could work with.
To be able to turn it, I found a second tube (3/4 thin wall PVC) that the first would fit into reasonably snugly. It needn’t be exact as the next step is I clamped it into the pipe end of my vice. Tighten as needed if it’s loose.
NOTE: My vice was easy to move since it is on a piece of wood, similar to this recent Stumpy Nubs video.
Just tossed down some anti-skid and leaned on it and it did great. I need to remember this trick for other difficult drilling stunts.
For most people though it might be quicker and easier to pinch the pipe between a pair of v-blocks.
I tried a number of spiral/straight bits in the drill and they were way to violent, tending to pull the jig apart and chew up the handle. On the verge of giving up I decided to try a nice, large drum sander. Worked perfectly. Well, ‘duh’ on me.
One last note. With this particular sword, the hilt tended to cut into the PVC pipe as I turned it. I cut a slice of it and screwed it permanently to the inner tube to act as a stop collet to ride against.
Oh yeah, almost forgot to mention the shop vac hose tied on with rope… LOL!
Anyway, it works great. Just remember to go nice and slow, giving the sander time to digest the material.
This can also be found on my projects blog, here:

-- For more projects (not just woodworking) check out my project blog at

0 replies so far

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics