When I submitted my instructable "The smallest workshop in the world" a lathe latter addition was presented as an add-on idea to the tool bench, after someone asked me... "Where is the lathe?"
At first I did a quick sketch lathe idea using a power drill for motor, just to show that a lathe was possible also to be added on that tool bench.
But then my visitors started trying to perfect the design idea with many positive comments.
It was on popular demand that I ended up sketching a woodworking Bench Lathe, as many visitors to my instructable where asking me for it.
There positive comments, feedback and rating votes, encourage me to publish this
"Bench Lathe 3 in 1" instructable.
So I started a research on how a lathe should be. I search for different ideas, for various parts of it and studying the mechanisms of other lathes in the market, as I wonted the bench lathe to be completely made out wood.
I was not ready to build the real thing as I have not the time at this moment, but I decided to give a workable 3D design that is easy to follow and to be build.
There are no exact measurements in the drawings firstly because I work in metric system and we all know how frustrating is to convert it to imperial (fractions do not much up, plywood thickness is 18mm for me but in U.S. is 19mm 3/4), and secondary because you can build it to measure your own space and needs. I will provide though the general measurements of this project.
I think that the 3D images I provide with the instructable are detailed enough to give you an accurate account of what is going on, how to build it and how to change its measurements.
The trick as I see it, is to find the right components that fit together to build the lathe's headstock turning mechanism. It should not be expensive, so everyone can build it, should be very safe, be solid and sturdy and with very good turning results.
I ended up designing a lathe that has also some add-ons like a faceplate to turn bowls. Has also the versatility to be used as a grinder/sharpening station and as a sanding station with its attachable disk sander and table.
The lathe I design is big enough to turn an 80cm (31") leg on it, but it could easily be extended either with a bed extension or by simply build longer.
So here it's what I came up with, I hope you enjoy and be inspired from the instructable.
Step 1: Materials & Hardware:
The materials I used for this lathe are very basic:
Mainly everything is made out of plywood always 18mm (3/4") thickness, except some parts that you could replace it with hardwood like the headstock, and 2 pieces of 2X2 pine wood stock for the lathe bed (base), the 2X2 stock length can be determent from the length of the lathe you decide to build.
1 Bench grinder
2 Pulleys (3 step)
1 Double ended mandrel
2 Stop collars
1 Drill chuck
1 Headstock spur drive center
1 Plate flange
1 On/off switch with box
6 Flanged bolts
Various size woodscrews
2 Screw down threaded inserts
Bolts / washers / nuts / butterfly nuts / t-nuts
1 Threaded rod
1 Coupling nut
2 Acrylic guards
1 Steel wear plate