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post #1 of 8 Old 01-31-2008, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
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Homemade lathe

Hi you guys,

Since I work with metal, get along very well with mechanical systems, and love making or modifying my own tools I decided to build my own lathe . Now since my interest is only working with sculptural forms, I think that a bowl lathe will be the most adequate for what I want (at least for now). My stupid question here is what is the lathe bed for? The design that I have in mind is a column with the headstock on top and right in front of the operator with a swinging arm for the tool rest; no bed. Also, a swinging mechanism that would bring a tailstock down in case that is needed. My other stupid question is if you are not turning long spindles or pieces, what would you need the tailstock for? And/or (rather) how long can a piece protrude from the lathe before a tailstock is needed? Unless you guys come up with a killer reason, I am in love with the way my design will look like ...BTW it would only take a small space in my studio
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post #2 of 8 Old 01-31-2008, 11:57 AM
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Hi
If all you want to turn is bowls, you probably don't need the bed or the tailstock, and can simply put a spindle on a column, as you suggest. Really all you need is something to turn a large faceplate at a slow enough speed to be safe.

Gerry
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post #3 of 8 Old 01-31-2008, 12:16 PM
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Hello, I'm very interested in what you are going to build. Take a look at a Vega 2600 bowl lathe to give you some ideas maybe. http://www.vegawoodworking.com/

You may still want a tailstock for roughing out a bowl or form, just for added support/saftey. The lathe bed is used to attach the tool support/rest as well as some hollowing tools and steadyrests. Do you have any type of drawing?

Also check this out.. http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworki....aspx?id=26160

Last edited by jbksman; 01-31-2008 at 12:21 PM. Reason: added another link
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post #4 of 8 Old 01-31-2008, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbksman View Post
Hello, I'm very interested in what you are going to build. Take a look at a Vega 2600 bowl lathe to give you some ideas maybe. http://www.vegawoodworking.com/

You may still want a tailstock for roughing out a bowl or form, just for added support/saftey. The lathe bed is used to attach the tool support/rest as well as some hollowing tools and steadyrests. Do you have any type of drawing?

Also check this out.. http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworki....aspx?id=26160
Hi JB,

Thank you so much for the links I had already seen the homemade yellow one, but The Vega 2600 indeed offers a lot of ideas for what I want to build. I still have no drawings just some ideas. But as soon as I have some I will post it here in the forum for everybody to critique. Basically I want to make it as compact as possible since I do not have enough available space, but good enough to allow me to grow in the hobby without making or buying another one. I do not have enough experience or knowledge about turning and lathe yet, but it amazes me how expensive they are for such a simple mechanism (or so I believe)
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post #5 of 8 Old 02-01-2008, 11:56 AM
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Amalgam, my grandpa made my lathe in the 70s out of a maytag clothing press and washing machine. It's not perfect, but it does what I need, most of the time. I've toyed with making a large bowl lathe and think that the "yellow one" wouldn't be that difficult of expensive. If I only had a welder...of course I'd need to clean all the shavings from the lathe up to use it for safety too. Here's a pic of my lathe. 18" swing, 45" between centers, variable speed with the buttons from the washer and has reverse using the spin cylce dial.
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post #6 of 8 Old 02-01-2008, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbksman View Post
Amalgam, my grandpa made my lathe in the 70s out of a maytag clothing press and washing machine. It's not perfect, but it does what I need, most of the time. I've toyed with making a large bowl lathe and think that the "yellow one" wouldn't be that difficult of expensive. If I only had a welder...of course I'd need to clean all the shavings from the lathe up to use it for safety too. Here's a pic of my lathe. 18" swing, 45" between centers, variable speed with the buttons from the washer and has reverse using the spin cylce dial.
Hey Jb that grandpa of yours sure nows what he is doing, that lathe looks like a real machine. The guy that made the "Yellow One" claims that he built it with $200 and I also think that it should be very easy to build. BTW with all the money that you are going to save you can buy a welder . If you would live closer to me I would invite you to build one for each of us. It should be a fun project. I am going to look into the washer machine idea because I would like to have a reverse mode in mine.
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post #7 of 8 Old 03-30-2008, 09:40 AM
 
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That is just plain cool. At the moment I'm converting a Harbor Freight wood lathe into a billiard ball polisher.
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post #8 of 8 Old 03-30-2008, 04:10 PM
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I just watched David Marks turn some hollow vessels and he sits on his lathe bed while working on the inside of the vessel!!

Jim
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