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The Bare Minimum DIY Lathe
by psymansays on April 26, 2010
Table of Contents
License:   Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike (by-nc-sa) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Intro:   The Bare Minimum DIY Lathe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
step 1:   Find an old hand drill, in good working order, and disassemble it. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
step 2:   Build the active center point, and sliding block. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
step 3:   Fin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Related Instructables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
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http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Bare-Minimum-DIY-Lathe/
License:   Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike (by-nc-sa)
Intro:  The Bare Minimum DIY Lathe
 Hi, Guys.
   I was cleaning up my work area, and found a project that I had left in a half-finished state: a super-simple lathe. Well, I finished it up, and got my lovely wife to take
some photos, and video, in case anyone else needs something like this. This also doubles as a wheel grinder or wire-brush buffer!
Image Notes
1. Active center point, on a sliding block
2. Wire Brush wheel
3. Grinding wheel
4. Double-sided coarse wood rasp. Can cut coarse, or even coarser.
5. Donor drill
6. 2x6
Image Notes
1. Center point
2. Bearing
3. Bearing
4. 1/4"-20 bolt
5. #4-40 set screw (3/16 hex stand off)
6. Strong aluminum mounting brackets
7. Zip ties keep the pipe in place, when the shaft is disassembled.
http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Bare-Minimum-DIY-Lathe/
Image Notes
1. Set Screw
2. Punk Rock!
3. 1/4"-20 bolt
Image Notes
1. Chop Stick test piece
2. Chuck Holder!
3. A/C cord
step 1: Find an old hand drill, in good working order, and disassemble it.
 I found this solid metal-cased old drill at my local thrift store, with a damaged power cord. When i took it apart, I found several great mounting points I could use to attach
the drill solidly onto mounting brackets.
I built the brackets for strength and rigidity, hence the 90-degree bends wherever possible, to stiffen the mounting. They are carefully measured to mount the drill level,
pointed straight down the center of the 2x6. The height at the center of the chuck is exactly 6" from the base.
I attached the electrical cords to a good appliance cord with wire nuts designed for use in home wiring, the yellow ones with the "wings" on them, that you would get at a
home improvement store. Since this project uses the 120V A/C from your wall outlets, electrocution/fire prevention are high priorities. I drilled a hole for the chuck key to
be stored in, and secured the electrical cord to the 2x6 with a construction staple.
step 2: Build the active center point, and sliding block.
The sliding block is just another piece of the 2x6, with aluminum guides along the bottom, and the aluminum mounting brackets screwed down to it. This slides along the
base 2x6, but with significant friction, which is as designed.
Those who've seen my DIY router guide will note that I obviously re-used the rotating 1/4"-20 bolt and bearings assembly that previously housed the Dremel router bit.
Since that's true, please reference the instructions from step 3 of www.instructables.com/id/Cheap-DIY-dremel-compatible-router/step3/Prepare-the-rod/ . (In the text edit
boxes on Instructibles, copy/paste does not work.)
Instead of mounting a router bit to the end of the rod, mount a smooth point to it. I used one of those chrome-coated brass spikes that you can attach to clothing for that
"punk rock" look, since I had some around. I bought mine around 10 years ago, at Evangeline's in Sacramento, CA (You don't *know* me! lol). They were about $5 for a
twelve-pack, as far as I remember.
The mounting brackets here are designed, again, for maximal strength and rigidity from the aluminum that they're cut from. Also, the height at the center of the shaft is
the exact same height as the center of the drill's shaft, 6", when the block is mounted flush against the longer 2x6.
It would be best to use a C-Clamp to hold the block to the longer 2x6, when doing heavier-duty work.
http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Bare-Minimum-DIY-Lathe/
Image Notes
1. Center point
2. Bearing
3. Bearing
4. 1/4"-20 bolt
5. #4-40 set screw (3/16 hex stand off)
6. Strong aluminum mounting brackets
7. Zip ties keep the pipe in place, when the shaft is disassembled.
step 3: Fin.
 Assuming that each assembly is working well, you're done now. Feel free to try out your new lathe. Wear eye protection, because pirate eye patches aren't as sexy as
people make them out to be, in real life.
The next few add-on modifications you should think of would be adding a solid rest for your lathe tools, as you'll find the tools bounce a lot without something solid to work
from, and also, a chuck that can fit spin up pieces, that mounts into the chuck on the drill. Something with a big hex input should work best.
Image Notes
http://www.instructables.com/id/The-Bare-Minimum-DIY-Lathe/
1. Chop Stick test piece
2. Chuck Holder!
3. A/C cord
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Comments
6 comments Add Comment
 rimar2000 says:  Apr 27, 2010. 3:16 PM  REPLY
Very good work!
 psymansays says:  Apr 27, 2010. 7:25 PM  REPLY
 Thanks :)
 depotdevoid says:  Apr 26, 2010. 11:18 PM  REPLY
NIce one!  I could use a better description of how the sliding block works though.  What keeps it from moving once you're got it in place?
This looks like a great use for the old drill and old dremel I happen to have lying around, only I have no idea where I'd put it in my shop!
 drawe21 says:  Apr 27, 2010. 6:38 AM  REPLY
Put 2 eye hooks in the end and hang it from the wall when not in use.
 depotdevoid says:  Apr 27, 2010. 7:05 AM  REPLY
Love to, but the walls are full . . . I need to take some lessons from the guy who built the Tiny Workshop and use my space better.
 psymansays says:  Apr 27, 2010. 8:30 AM  REPLY
Thank you for your interest in my 'ible.
The block stays in place mainly by friction, because the guides are a tight fit over the longer 2x6, by design, but, a C-Clamp can be used as well,
provided you add some "feet" underneath the main 2x6, to give the end of the clamp room to fit underneath.
I store this up on end, against the wall, so it takes as little space as possible.