Budget Bowl Lathe

I salvaged an AC motor from an old water pump I found on the side of the road and want to use it to make a simple lathe for turning green wood bowls and cups.  I was thinking about using a floor flange as the face plate, a nipple for the shaft and pillow bearing blocks to support it.  This assembly would be driven by a v belt and controlled by the speed controller from a jig saw.  I attached pictures of the components and a simple cad drawing of the assembly.
Do you think this would be functional? Any recommendations?

Picture of Budget Bowl Lathe
mpictaggi3 months ago

i like the concept but the jigsaw speed control will probably not work with your motor i recommend a router speed controller that is rated up to 15amps like this one (https://www.harborfreight.com/router-speed-control...

also the direction the lathe turns could unwind the threading of the floor flange *very dangerous*.On a standard lathe the motor turns counter clock wise towards the tool rest to make sure this doesn't happen.

for reference a lathe turns between 250-4000 rpm. Most carving is done in the 250-1000 range while sanding and finishing is done at the higher rpms.

Toga_Dan3 months ago

if you can find a belt driven blower from a furnace, you have shaft, blocks, pulleys, etc.

Toga_Dan Toga_Dan3 months ago

I'd like to know how effective a floor flange is for this. Will it jam in place under the torque of turning? Or is there more torque in everyday tightening? RegardleSs, a couple options: use a pipe die to put pipe threads on a steel shaft, (may need to b annealed) Or weld a pipe nipple to the shaft. Or turn the pipe in a machine lathe to fit the bearing (if it doesn't leave the wall too thin).

grayhairguy3 months ago

This rely may be too late.. but here it is. This should work as a concept. However, pipe nipples are not sized to fit typical pillow block bearing sizes. Get a solid steel shaft in the size you need to fit bearings - maybe about 3/4 inch. A steel face plate will need to be built to attach to the end of the shaft. Perhaps a shaft spacer collar can be welded to a plate will holes to attach the wood block.

McMaster Carr is a god internet source for parts and materials.