Wednesday, June 18, 2014

How to Make a Mini Lathe

I have been asked, "why don't you just use a lathe?". Well, I have always wanted a lathe but never owned one, so I thought I would try make one. When beginning any new project it is best to start small and simple which is why I chose to build a mini lathe. The base and bed are both made of plywood. After I carefully aligned the headstock and tail stock I added oak slides in preparation to add the spindle and tailstock barrel.

I used a threaded rod, ground one end to a point on my grinder and fashioned a hand wheel. This was very simple, and did not take much time.

This is a spur drive centre for the headstock.  To make it I took a coupling nut, ground one end to make three points.

To make sure the drill was positioned properly I inserted a long rod into the chuck of the drill and used a telescoping gauge for accuracy to align the drill. 

To align the head and tail stocks I slid the tail stock into the spur drive centre to make a mark so I could begin drilling.

Lastly I used a coupling nut and hammered it into the tailstock.

Here are my first three pieces I turned. From top to bottom, the first was a piece of fir that cut very easily as it is a soft wood, but the end result was not my best. My second piece was oak hardwood. I did it just for fun just to see what would happen, and it turned out better than I thought. Finally I got serious and turned a small tool handle which was not bad for my third try.

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