Home made wood Lathe from Scrap - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

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post #1 of 5 Old 10-04-2009, 05:01 AM Thread Starter
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Home made wood Lathe from Scrap

Hi Guys,
Wondered what you thought of this? http://www.floweringelbow.co.uk/proj...oples-rubbish/ - it is a step by step process of making your own lathe from recycled materials. Has anyone done anything similar. What are some of the drawbacks / advantages?
Any tips / comments would be very welcome.

Last edited by bongodrummer; 08-03-2010 at 05:04 AM.
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post #2 of 5 Old 10-05-2009, 09:52 AM
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Wow, that's a good article. Wish I had seen it about 6 months ago, though I suspect what I paid for my lathe isn't much more than I would have spent building one. Good experience to build one, though, and if you use recycled parts, that much "friendlier" to the environment. I can always dig that.
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post #3 of 5 Old 10-07-2009, 09:40 AM
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I personally have not built one but I knew several people that have. Back in the mid 1980's, building a lathe was quite common for the 'large bowl' turners. As a matter fact, every home made lathe I knew of was strictly a bowl turning lathe with no bed. There was a craft college around Bellingham, Washington that developed a variable speed control system for them. I think it was based on DC motors, I cant remember for sure, it was a long time ago. Anyway, every home made lathe I knew of was excellent.

Consider the fact that a lathe is probably one of the oldest and simplest machines known to man. Basically, a modern lathe is nothing more than 2 pillow block bearings, a shaft and a motor. If you were to make the lathe of high quality components you will probably have a very good lathe. Make it with junk parts and you will have a junky lathe.
Many lathes I knew of used automotive/truck drive shaft steel, which I think was monel and mounted on steel rails on a solid concrete poured base. These were made for very large bowls, like in the 18 to 24" diameter category. The tool rests were usually made in a tripod configuration with a swing arm attaching it to the lathe.

Thats about all I remember off hand.

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post #4 of 5 Old 08-21-2010, 08:59 AM
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I don't think Daren has built one, but he likes foot-powered lathes and has made posts regarding them with videos and pictures. One of the guys he started a thread about is British also I believe, and I also believe he became a member of our forum. I'll tip Daren off to this thread and see if he can give you some input. Welcome to the neighborhood.

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post #5 of 5 Old 08-21-2010, 09:33 AM
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Robin Wood is the member from the UK who does a lot of foot powered lathe stuff. He has posted some videos here, after I found one and posted it. His site (and youtube channel) are worth a look.

I looked through that link on building your own electric lathe, I have seen similar and later when I find time I (or anyone) may link them. Here is one I had handy. I think one could be built to do the job, like Tony said many guys build them out of necessity for larger turnings.

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