Building a lathe from scratch is a complex and sometimes frustrating task. In hindsight, I believe that a good second hand propriety built machine can prove more satisfactory. However, I can give the sum of my experiences in producing a unit which is versatile and capable of producing high quality work.
In this article, I have included several drawings to help you better understand how to build the lathe. In addition, I've included several photo's showing my finished lathe. This article provides a broad outline on how to build this lathe.
A woodworking lathe is a tool that is used to turn rectangle and square pieces of wood stock around two other wood pieces. Most typically you will find these types of pieces in furniture and other types of wood project that will require a round edge. Going out and purchasing a woodworking lathe can be expensive and unnecessary. Making one yourself is a task that a lot of people can do themselves.
Large diameter holes that require precise and accurate alignment such as stern and rudder tubes can be best be cut using a boring lathe or boring bar. They are ideal for the job as it can be difficult to bore such holes. Usually, it is not easy to see the processing surface as the scraps are kept in the hole during cutting. This also prevents obtaining a surface with the correct roughness. Such problems are eliminated by a using a lathe.
Once a wood lathe has come into the woodworking shop there are a few things to consider as far as setting it up for work. It will likely be in use a fair amount of the time and the enjoyment of the tool will depend on the setup and installation. Here are six things to work on to make the craft more efficient and enjoyable.
A great advantage of the mini-lathe is that it can easily be moved by one person. Larger lathes generally require a fork-lift, shop crane or some other means, plus 2-3 people to move them. The following photos illustrate proper and improper technique for moving heavy objects.
When the wood lathe moves into the woodworking shop or when a new shop is set up around the lathe itself, lighting is a big consideration. Like most stationary tools, wood lathes are heavy, powerful and dangerous. This is only aggravated by poor lighting. With the alternatives offered to day, adequate lighting is inexpensive and easy to acquire.
Setting Up The Wood Lathe: Clearing the Shavings
One of the great problems of turning wood as well as other types of woodworking is the difficulty of disposing of large amounts of dust and shavings. This is of course aggravated if the workshop is in the basement of another area of the house, as are many workshops of amateur wood turners. Some thought is given here to the reduction of the shavings while dust will be considered in future articles.
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