# Just made myself a woodworking Lathe

Discussion in 'Workshop Tips and Secrets / Tools' started by ultralajt, Dec 10, 2016.

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1. Dec 10, 2016

### ultralajt

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Couple weeks ago I was forced to build a tool handle for my daughter. It was a wood-print carving knife.
I decided to make it by wood-turning, so I install some parts on my drill press to achieve kind of "poor man" Lathe:

I found that turning wood is not just a way to make some round items from the wood, but it is kind of fun to do and it is also a stress relief, when you focus yourself on the process and enjoy to see how a shape came out from wood stock, using your imagination and chisel in your hands!

So, I decided to build myself some sort of "hobby" wood-turning Lathe instantly!

I made s design sketches taking to account, that it should be build from materials I already have in my workshop... two by two square(50x50x2mm ) aluminum tube and ~3/4" (20mm) thick plastic board (PVC).

This was preliminary design (I change come things while building parts in the workshop):

Then I start milling plastic parts on my DIY CNC Router and assemble them..:

Then I mill some aluminum parts from 2mm thick plate for bearing covers and covers that hold M10 nut in a tool rest:

Last edited: Dec 10, 2016
2. Dec 10, 2016

### ultralajt

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Bearings carry the horizontal threaded rod, as I wanted to have possibility to move tool post parallel to the part axis by turning a handle at right end of the lathe. I will make a removable tool holder later...
Rod is M10 and I need to turn diameter down to 8mm for cheap roller skate bearings (22/8/7mm.. D/d/w) and to make thread for a M8 nut, to fix bearings firm to the rod.
I push a rod trough a hole made in a piece of hardwood clamped into the bench and drive it by hand drill on the opposite side. I use a file to bring down the diameter from 10 to 8mm until bearing fits just riht. Then I cut rod to length, and turned it around to do the same on the other end. I tap also M8 thread at each ends.

In about three afternoons I finish the Lathe! I was pretty happy when first part ever went out without problems. Machine works as expected!

This was the first try. I was a bit too reserved with turning as I was worried that wood will came off the lathe and hit me in the face if I start roughing part any faster.
But fear was not needed here as it went perfectly for the first time:

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3. Dec 10, 2016

### ultralajt

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Maybe someone would like to ask me if this is really a thing that fits in the HBA forum?

Well, sometimes wee need to make some round parts also for our airplane. There are many handles in the homebuilt airplane that can be made of wood ad it will look nice in the cockpit. Also, from time to time, there is a need to replace old worn out handle from a file or chisel, and we can make it new right now, without driving into the first hardware store..

Yesterday I made two wooden handles from firewood! :roll: :gig: :ban:

Mitja

Last edited: Dec 10, 2016
4. Dec 10, 2016

### Little Scrapper

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Very impressed! Really looks like you took the time to design a nice idea and it worked great!

A lathe is a handy tool for building building jig and fixture parts for homebuilding.

5. Dec 10, 2016

### Turd Ferguson

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How you'll have to start turning parts using laminated stock. Can really get some neat looking airplane parts.

6. Dec 10, 2016

### ultralajt

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Another try... this time a hollow container with a lid:

7. Dec 10, 2016

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I think it is a good reminder that when the need arises for special tools and fixtures, a little creativity can solve your need without necessarily spending a lot of money.

8. Dec 10, 2016

### Autodidact

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That's a very nice lathe design. If it were sold at Home Depot for $100.00 I would buy one. No, make it$89.99! One way this could be relevant to aircraft is that you could have them manufactured and sell them all over America (as long as the quality was not impaired over what you have made here) and use the profits to buy more airplanes!

9. Dec 10, 2016

### Pops

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I turned a mahogany control stick grip and a grip for the flap handle for the Falcon F-12 that I built with my wood lathe. I mixed some warm epoxy and dipped them in it. They came out beautiful. Several thing you could use a wood lathe for in building an homebuilt airplane

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10. Dec 11, 2016

### choppergirl

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My dad always said a lathe was the only tool that could "make itself", but it escapes me as to exactly how. A lot of parts in a lathe don't seem round, at all. And how are you going to make the electric motor and magnets...

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11. Dec 11, 2016

### Turd Ferguson

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Yeah, a lathe can reproduce itself. Not very efficiently. A milling machine can reproduce itself. Not very efficiently (it can produce 90% of it's weight very efficiently, which is higher efficiency than the lathe). I still chuckle at some of those old machine shop axioms. Another good one is you need a new machine to make precise parts. Humm, they made those precise new machines with older less precise machines.

CG, lathes existed >500 yrs before electricty was invented. They don't really "need" a motor. I have a metal turning lathe that came from the manufacturer without any provisions for a motor. It was intended to be powered by overhead line shaft, which may have gotten it's power from a variety of sources. The line shaft in my Grandfather's shop was driven by a Model T engine. It was difficult to get gasoline to his neck of the woods so he ran his Model T engine on natural gas.

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12. Dec 11, 2016

### Autodidact

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A "lath" is of course a long thin strip of wood, or a leaf spring if used that way. Tie a string to one end of a cantilevered "lath", wrap it around the spindle, and then tie the other end to a foot pedal of some type, and you have a "lathe". You don't even need a spindle, just wrap it around the work piece. Next step up is the treadle, which allows the work piece to rotate in the same direction all of the time. The first bearings were just sharpened points pushed into a hole of some kind - here is an example of an old lathe with the very basic conical bearings - just look closely at each end of the spindle (from http://www.lathes.co.uk/weisser/):

I've also read accounts from around 800 AD of people hunting whales in open boats which must have been quite an adventure - better to be a lathe operator and buy the oil than the poor sod who had to go and get it!

Last edited: Dec 11, 2016
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13. Dec 11, 2016

### Turd Ferguson

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Imagine running that for an 8hr shift. No wonder people were physically fit back then!!

14. Dec 11, 2016

### ultralajt

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15. Dec 11, 2016

### TFF

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The original auto machine shop I use to use had the original belt driven tools. Had a giant 8 ft diameter exposed winding electric motor central to the shop. Belts went up and across to the machines. Third generation ran it and the forth wanted out. They had the modern tools which was what was mostly used, but they did a lot of vintage stuff with the old tools. When the dad retired, he took the new stuff to the home shop. The good stuff was in the building when they demolished it. Every once in a while I could get a story out of the old guy working on Offy Indy cars.

You can make threads with a lathe; screws, bolts, and nuts are pretty hard to hand make. Not so many wood ones are good , Using screws beats blacksmithed nails in machines every time. Furniture for looks, different story.

16. Dec 11, 2016

### BJC

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"Place your orders for Mitja's custom Stearman control sticks."

Nice job. I applaud your inventiveness.

BJC
.

17. Dec 15, 2016

### ultralajt

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I made this "nut cracker set" today:

18. Dec 15, 2016

### ultralajt

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The video is not there anymore... :cry:

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19. Dec 17, 2016

### bifft

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I bought my lathe, but built the "motor". http://user.xmission.com/~bifft/lathe/

It is a good workout. Only "airplane" parts I've made so far is a "nose piece" for my AOA sensor mount and the cups to go over the bolts on my nose wheel tow bar.

Ultralajt's is a real beauty.

20. Dec 19, 2016

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