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How Do I Make a Homemade Lathe?

By C. Daw
Updated May 17, 2024
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A lathe is a tool, or a machine, that is used for cutting, drilling, sanding, knurling metal, wood, rubber or plastic pieces in order to make a symmetrical object out of it. In short, a lathe is used for shaping pottery, wood, metal, plastics, rubber, etc. Many things can be constructed by a lathe such as lamp bases, aluminum stock pots, bats, table legs, musical instruments, cups, goblets, plates, bowls, vases, candlestick holders, and so on.

There are many types of lathes: metalworking, woodworking, glassworking, metal spinning, ornamental turning, etc. Building a lathe at home is possible by following a few simple steps. For making a homemade lathe, some things are required such as a hand drill, drill stock metal, steel dowel rod, pillow block bearings, pine board, wood screws, welder chisel, and nuts and bolts.

To start making a homemade lathe, the first step is to cut a piece of metal and weld it onto the top of a steel metal rod. On this thick metal base, a woodworking piece must be attached for turning. For this, figure out the center point of the metal plate and mark it, which can easily be done by measuring from one corner to the one diagonal from it, and then repeat it for the other two sides. The mark that crosses in the middle of the steel will be the exact center. Now drill holes through this base metal plate around the center. Then dowel it so that the wood piece can be attached to this base metal plate.

Use four screws and pass them through the holes of the base metal plate and the woodworking piece that this homemade lathe will be turning. Now attach the pillow block bearing to the pine board, keeping a reasonable distance in between them. The lathe shaft is supported by the pillow block bearings during use, in order to keep it level. Let the end of the shaft and the metal base plate fixture pass through the pillow block bearings. Attach the shaft to the drill and then turn on the drill.

In this way, all the pieces are connected to each other. When the drill is turned on, the pillow block bearings will allow the shaft to turn, which in turn rotates the lathe metal base plate. In order to turn a stock wood piece with this homemade lathe, it must be secured to the lathe metal base plate with four solid screws. The screws must be placed through the drilled hole and tightened. This homemade lathe is now ready to turn wood pieces and shape them in any way that is wanted.

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Discussion Comments
By anon357904 — On Dec 08, 2013

I think that it will be better to use diagrams when such things like a machine is being talked about.

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