DIY lathe ? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 20 Old 04-20-2008, 03:58 AM Thread Starter
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Question DIY lathe ?

Has anybody built there own lathe?

I am currently in the process of building my second one,[pics in gallery]

Both are all welded construction out of standard steel sizes, with no machining of the bed areas etc. Rather careful clamping and welding procedures to ensure flat surfaces where required.

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post #2 of 20 Old 04-20-2008, 04:05 AM
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Cool.Any pix?
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post #3 of 20 Old 04-20-2008, 04:28 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JON BELL View Post
Cool.Any pix?
should be in the gallery under hughie or hughie 900

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/galle...r=3895&cat=500

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post #4 of 20 Old 04-20-2008, 06:10 AM
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Actually, I've built 6 or 7 for various work on custom pool cues. Also built a CNC lathe for cutting profiles.
Randy.

Be it by finesse or force... A square peg will go into a round hole.
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post #5 of 20 Old 04-21-2008, 09:16 AM
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I 1'st saw your pics in another forum.Looks like you got a nice thing going there.
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post #6 of 20 Old 04-24-2008, 02:13 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Actually, I've built 6 or 7 for various work on custom pool cues. Also built a CNC lathe for cutting profiles.
Randy, your a busy man, 7 is a lot of work.

hughie
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post #7 of 20 Old 04-27-2008, 02:53 AM
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That's over the course of about 12 years. My dad taught me growing up if you can fab it theirs no sense in buying it. But that number also includes 3 CNC lathes 2 sanding lathes for employees to sand pool cues on and a lathe thats just for puting the linen wrap on the handle of the cues. If I counted the failures into the mix it's closer to 15 or 16. Every one that didn't do it's job as well as I wanted was recycled into the next generation. Actually, I get as much enjoyment from the fabrication of the machines as I do from building the cues on them.

The first pool cue that I successfully built was made on a home made lathe that was built from a POS Harbor Freight lathe and my dad's 40+ year old Router. It's long been butchered for parts without even so much as a snapshot, which is sad, I wish I had kept it for posterity. The baseframe now holds one of my Jet BD1340's and the lathe head has been recycled into the support for the polishing disk on a shop built, billiard ball polisher for my pool hall... I'll snap some pics of the polisher when I get a chance.

It's funny to look back 12 or 13 years and think of how I wish I kept something that was "Just obsolete and in the way" back then.

Be it by finesse or force... A square peg will go into a round hole.
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post #8 of 20 Old 04-28-2008, 04:26 AM Thread Starter
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Randy,

I aggree about fabrication. I built a smaller version to test some of the aspects of the current project.Given the current price of similar lathes here in Australia, I should come in about 25-30% of the price of same.

This current one is modelled somewhat on a Stubby, but at the same time it has some different and more versatile features

I have used the idea of a sliding bed like the Stubby but placed it on a base bed and with that, a modified clamping arrangment. This will allow me to move and clamp the sliding bed anywhere I choose. This should do away with the outboard turning set up along with any outrigger bed like the Stubby has on the operators side.

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Last edited by hughie; 04-28-2008 at 04:28 AM. Reason: lousy grammer
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post #9 of 20 Old 05-03-2008, 10:38 AM Thread Starter
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up date

Here we go, finshed the welding process now onto the next stage. Building the banjo, cam locks etc.
Attached Images
    

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post #10 of 20 Old 05-03-2008, 01:36 PM
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aHHHHHHHHHH Hughie guess what i mist this to, can see the pics better in here as well the window most have been cleaned as i have the same glasses on nice work i do like it, you will have to come here and do me one, you worked from drawings or straight in with the tape.. LB
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post #11 of 20 Old 05-03-2008, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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LB,
Not really drawing, rather scribblings on a bit of second hand paper, plus a tape sorta plan as I go, Its all drawn up in my head.

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post #12 of 20 Old 05-03-2008, 06:34 PM
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Im much the same, have loads of bits of paper/sketch books with doodles, id rather get on and do it rather than spend all the time drawing it, rough sketch and sizes or near to then get on and proform alter as i go if need be, nothing set in stone. LB
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post #13 of 20 Old 05-05-2008, 12:55 PM
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I'm thinking about making a lathe from an old router but I've only minimal turning experience some 25 years ago and don't know much about lathes.

Can anyone recommend a good introductory book I can use to learn all the parts I need to pay attention to while building this thing?

FrankP
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post #14 of 20 Old 05-05-2008, 04:21 PM
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Frank A Router would not be a good idea. They run at too high an rpm. You can slow them down with a speed control unit but even running at 1/4 speed would still be 5000 rpm which is too fast.
I built my first one using a drill but this isn't a good idea either. Drills weren't designed to run constantly at one speed and will burn up rather quickly.
Treadmill motors work pretty well if you can find one of those with the speed controller. The downside is they always start at slow speed and you have to ramp them up each time.
It's hard to beat a good strong single speed motor with step pulleys. You do have to buy or build a drive shaft but these aren't that hard to find. They won't have a nice morse taper hole through them which is handy to hold many accessories.
All in all it's hard to beat the store bought lathes even though you can save some money.
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post #15 of 20 Old 05-06-2008, 06:38 AM Thread Starter
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Frank,

I agree with John, a router would not be suitable they are just too fast.

There a number of small well made lathes on the market for a very reasonable price. Failing that look around at second hand, here there is the opportunity to gain a lathe plus tools at a bargain price.

Buying the lathe is only the beginning. I bought a cheap chinese lathe first off, something like a Grizzly. The tooling would run to at least 4 times what I paid for the lathe and I have not bought the best. Just a few selected quality tools the rest regular HSS tools.

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post #16 of 20 Old 05-06-2008, 03:59 PM
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Thanks all for the input. I've actually been looking around for used lathes but haven't found too many in my price range. I expected I'd spend more on tools but thought if I could just build a lathe using what I have laying around I'd be able to get better tools.

I'll keep looking for now, or figure out ways to step down the speed from the router, perhaps.
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post #17 of 20 Old 05-07-2008, 05:14 AM Thread Starter
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[
Quote:
I'll keep looking for now, or figure out ways to step down the speed from the router, perhaps.
[/QUOTE]

Frank,

Ok you can step down the speed by using three pulleys.
Have a look at your local hardware or engineering tool supply and or perhaps your local wood working store. Most of the drills there, be they bench or pedestal will have a three pulley set up. Just pop the guard covering the belts and have look.

But maybe look around for an old washing machine motor. Old motors can be very cheap. But you will still have to build the rest of the lathe. ie headstock, bed, tool post and banjo.

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post #18 of 20 Old 05-07-2008, 09:51 AM
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Hughie,

That's exactly what I was thinking about for stepping down the router speed. I hadn't thought to look at other tools to see it done by "professionals" but I'll do that next time I'm in a decent tool shop.

I think building the lathe will be most of the fun. Plus, I think I'll understand a lot more about the lathe if I build it myself.

In the end, I may just buy one since I have so many projects and so little time, but the goal is still to build it.

FrankP
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post #19 of 20 Old 05-07-2008, 11:00 AM
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Hi Hughie

Very nice work on the lathes, Nice work on the bowls too.

Gerry
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post #20 of 20 Old 05-07-2008, 11:04 AM
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Hi frankp

I think you would have better luck with Hughies suggestion to look around for an old washing machine motor to use for a lathe. Router motors are built for high speed and low torque, but what you need is low speed and high torque.

Gerry
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