I became fascinated with wood lathes when I was in Junior High. I saved my money until I could buy my own lathe. Soon I wanted a bench or table saw, too. I decided to fit a saw blade to my lathe and make a table for it. The unit in the photo is not my first effort, but is an improved version.

Step 1: Blade Mount

My lathe uses a smooth shaft 5/8 inch in diameter. There is a flat spot ground into the shaft for attaching fixtures with a setscrew. Blade mandrels are available from various hardware concerns. This one slides onto my shaft and is secured with a setscrew. It has a 5/8 inch diameter threaded end with spacers, a washer, and a nut. Check your lathe. Some lathes use a hollow shaft with a Morse taper. You may need to get a special mandrel direct from the maker of your lathe.
<p>wow amazing</p>
Thank you.
<p>Great instructable. I hope many people build from this, and try to improve it. For those concerned about safety, post your own instructables on improvements to safety. Work through rules of thumb in safety calculations, strengths of materials etc.</p><p>At least that is a positive, that says, yes you can. Just use your mind, act and think in a safe manner.</p>
WARNING, DO NOT TRY TO RECREATE THIS!<br/><br/>I hate to rain on your parade but doing this to a lathe could result in SERIUS INGURY OR DEATH, a lathe is not designed to withstand these stresses and neither are the blade mounts.<br/><br/>-To the <em>instructibleler</em> ,It's nice that this have worked out for you, but other lathes may react differently to the stresses that sawing in this matter will create.<br/><br/>Possible results include: shattering of the blade, shattering of the axle. This simply means that the blade, axle and other tool and projectparts might shatter and fly out of the contraption with enormous amounts of energy.<br/><br/>I hope that neither you or anyone else get hurt doing stuff like this, remember DO NOT TRY TO SAVE MONEY ON SAFETY, you might end up regretting it your whole life.<br/>
I think you're on the wrong instructable, that sounds more like the 600 ton 10000RPM turbine one. <br> <br>How putting a blade on a lathe will make it shatter when it doesn't on a table saw is a matter for scientists to investigate. Might result in unimaginable weaponry. I like the concept of a little wood lathe generating enormous amounts of energy, perhaps wood lathes are the answer to the world's energy needs. Who would have thought. <br> <br>Two comments about safety - if using a morse taper (I realise this does not use one), a drawbar is of course essential - and a sled makes a table saw a whole lot safer (and easier to use). And is very easy to make.
I responded to Tubehacker01 when I got notice of your comment, but then found I had already responded to his post, so I deleted my new comment. I did check and the maker of the sawblade in the photos is marked as safe to 5,500 rpm. My lathe is capable of only 3,000 rpm. As regards the lathe shaft, the lathe is designed to handle a large piece of wood, even heavy wood, up to 30 inches long at speeds up to 3,000 rpm. I think the 5/8 inch shaft will be just fine with a 10 inch circular blade with carbide tipped teeth. <br> <br>The motor on my lathe is only 1/3 horsepower. Long before a dangerous situation might develop the motor pulls down and stops. <br> <br>I just wanted to provide some objective data. Thank you for your response.
Dangerous?&nbsp;Have you ever seen a Shopsmith? They have been this dangerous for at least 2 generations. This i'ble is simply recreating the Shopsmith Table Saw base. No big deal, really. <br /><br />And if you are really that concerned, please walk away from any motorized device with a blade. Come on now!<br />
Thank you for your concerns. I could agree with you if the blade ran with vibrations that signal trouble, but it runs vibration free. The blade mandrel was designed and made to do exactly what I have done with it here. My lathe is made from very sturdy cast iron.
Well, maybe my concerns were a little overstated, great that it worked out for you, however, anyone thinking of doing this should consider the possible consequences, agree?
no - i disagree. <br />driving a car is more dangerous.&nbsp; <br />Its probably more dangerous to use it as a lathe- have you ever been kicked back from a lathe?&nbsp;<br />Great solution. Exactly what we want to see here. <br />
I also appreciate the inventiveness but safety was thrown out the window. I would love to know younger teens have a safe place to draw ideas from, but after seeing this I wouldn't let my child use instructables without my super vision. I can't believe you have the bottom of a saw blade exposed. That is a huge no no. What if an article of clothing got sucked up in there, you would probably take a nose dive into the blade. I don't know if the lathe can handle this but I do know how dangerous a table saw is with all the extra safety measures. I understand you are use to open blades but be considerate that a lot of children visit this site and one may have the means to make this death trap. Once again for you it seems brilliant and I appreciate your inventiveness but be considerate of others safety. Not everyone has had the years of training you have. Oh yeah don't forget to tuck your shirt in before working on your table saw.
I am curious to know if you read any of the previous comments. All of your concerns were raised by various people in them. I always stand off to the right side when using this and use the miter gauge with my left hand, which gives you an idea of how far off to the right I am when using this. As one person mentioned, this is really no different than the table saw attachment sold for the Shopsmith. I have thought about ways to shield the blade, though. If you did read previous comments, you know my first exposure to circular saw blades was watching my father operate a commercially made saw that attaches either to the front or the back of a tractor. A table to the left of a blade about 30 inches in diameter rocked on a hinge point into the saw to cut sections of tree limbs for firewood. There was no meaningful guard on that blade. The operator simply stayed far out of the way of the blade. There was also no way to stop those saws quickly. I never saw or heard of any injuries from those saws.
Brilliant. <br>Of course it's dangerous. <br>But no lawyers were involved in its creation, use, or publication!
A certain amount of safety guards and precautions are necessary, but, after that, there is nothing like being a careful operator. The world changed when that woman spilled hot coffee on herself at McDonald's and won a pile of money after suing.
Great idea! A little dangerous, but that never stopped me before. I already have two table saws and no lathe. Any way to do the opposite? 5/5*
I've seen a make-shift lathe made from a drill press...the guy was making ink pens on it
I did something like that once (turn a pen on a drill press).&nbsp; I think others may have, too.&nbsp; Check <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Kit-Pen-Assembly-without-the-Right-Tools/">this link </a>for my Instructable.&nbsp;
Hey Phil. You very seriously need to consider putting a piece of something to cover the saw blade area underneath. All you need is one sliver of wood to drop down the hole, and be flung back at you and it could be bye bye femoral artery, not to mention the possibility of accidentally sticking a hand in there because it's open or getting a piece of clothing caught...
yes it is dangerous, i work in <a rel="nofollow" href="http://metalspinning.wordpress.com">metal spinning</a>and lost a finger when i was in college. like anything when you work with your hands. be sober and take EVERY safety precaution. <br/>
++++++ You are the first smart person on i've seen on this instructibe!<br /><br />SAFTY&nbsp;FIRST, DAMM&nbsp;THE&nbsp;EXPENCE, YOU CAN'T&nbsp;BUY&nbsp;YOUR&nbsp;FINGERS&nbsp;BACK...<br /><br />
yes very true, once they are gone there is little you can do!<br />
*ahem*<br /> <br /> <a href="http://www.wired.com/gadgets/miscellaneous/news/2007/07/xfinger" rel="nofollow">www.wired.com/gadgets/miscellaneous/news/2007/07/xfinger</a><br /> <br /> But, in all seriousness, you are correct; never skimp on the safety equipment.<br /> <br /> <br />
ive been trying to do this too.
By "do the opposite" I assume you mean adapt a table saw for use as a lathe. That might be tricky, but a lathe is not real complicated. In Germany I saw a foot-powered lathe that worked with a springy bough from a tree and a piece of cording that wrapped around part of the work. It was at a medieval craft show. The remainder was a sturdy wooden bed with metal centers at the head and tailstock. Someone did an Instructable on a nearly identical lathe. Someone else did an Instructable on a lathe powered by an electric motor. All you really need is a sturdy bed. Some 1 inch or larger iron water pipe will do. Clamp some short pieces of 2 x 6 inch stock in layers to make the headstock and tailstock. The tailstock spindle could be a 1/2 inch bolt or threaded rod ground to a point. Feed it through two nuts mounted on the top of the tailstock. Clamp something down over the threaded rod to keep it tight while the lathe is running. Use some shafting and pillow blocks for the headstock. If you use 5/8 inch shafting, you could buy a commercial chuck that mounts like the mandrel I used for mounting the saw blade in this Instructable. Make a toolrest from almost anything. Attach an electric motor. Buy a belt and a couple of pulleys.
I actually plan on making a lathe in my welding class in the spring. I have also seen spring lathes and like them a lot, but I plan on doing metal. Thats pretty much what I had planned. I got a free (dumpster) motor thats a little under a horse. I'll definitely do an ible about making it
You can do metal on a spring lathe as well. Your foot controls the speed. The spring is just for the return (non-cutting stroke).
Yeah, but I don't have enough power to keep it up for 30 mins
turning wood might want more than a horse motor,my craftsman had 1hp on it and it would bog down very easy when the furnace kicked off i got a 1.5 from it . for metal work 2 horse wont turn much have to gear it down and then get a rough finish,when you build the head for the lathe make it 2x stronger than you think it needs to be,you do not want to be near a 20 lb chunk of metal when the head self-destructs .
The lathe I bought has a swing of about 4 inches over most of the bed. The first few inches next to the tailstock allow a swing of about 6 1/2 inches. That means I can turn pieces 8 inches in diameter over most of the lathe bed and almost 13 inches near the headstock, as in turning a bowl. See the Instructable I did on enlarging the arbor hole in a regular saw blade to 1 1/4 inches for use on a Sawsmith radial arm saw. I needed a faceplate with a wood disc about 11 inches in diameter. Make sure your lathe has a way of fitting a larger disc to a faceplate.
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*cough* BLADEGUARD!!! *cough*<br/>
I first began to use circular saws before bladeguards were anything but a novelty. Basic safety procedures and alert caution are better than bladeguards any day. The only injuries I have had from a circular saw ever were light scratches incurred while changing or otherwise handling a blade. During those events the saw was not running and there was no power to it. But, in our politically correct, lawsuit happy world, we have come to expect bladeguards.
I agree with that. I'm more concerned about the underside though, with the giant expose saw blade under the visibility of the table top...
There is no reason to reach under the table while the machine is running or even get close to doing so. It would be easy enough to add a panel in front of the blade where it runs under the table. Years ago American Machine and Tool made a line of very inexpensive power tools that worked pretty well, including a bench saw. It sold for $9 new at the time! (I think their planer/joiner was $19.) It had an open front with adjustment levers for tilt and cutting depth right in front of the blade. That could have been dangerous.
In today's society, no one wants to take responsibility for there own safety. This is partly due to the OSHA attitude that no one can look after themselves so a guard or switch or brake or some other device that can fail is now responsible for your safety. Manufacturers are terrified to produce a product that may even look like it isn't safe. All due to people refusing to accept responsibilty for their own actions. You are now seeing this in the multitudes of drones that mindlessly inform you they can see the blade, so therefore it must be unsafe. In my mind and attitude a majority of guards are quite unsafe in several different ways. The most important flaw in a guard or cover is the false sense of security it gives people. They can't see the danger, so they tend to be more careless.
Thank you for your comment. It also reminds me of a radio broadcast about new safety features on automobiles, like ABS brakes. Drivers with various additional new safety features on automobiles tend to take additional risks they would not normally take. It is too easy to rely on a safety feature rather than on caution and good sense. I check to make sure my guns are unloaded before I handle them, but I also keep my finger off of the trigger and do not point the barrel at anything I do not intend to shoot.
One can certainly make a bladeguard to go with the saw table. I made one for my old tablesaw, which can be adapted to various configurations. It is not too hard to form and bend polycarbonate plastic (&quot;Lexan&quot;) using a heat gun, or even a propane torch if you are careful.<br/><br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.bolis.com/amillar/category/project/tablesaw">http://www.bolis.com/amillar/category/project/tablesaw</a><br/>
that looks like one mean saw blade!
All saw blades are mean and should be treated that way. This one is usually mounted on my radial arm saw. It looks just as mean there. I have a rule for myself that I keep my hands and fingers at least six inches away from all parts of the blade. I avoid standing in-line with the blade's line of cut, especially with the radial arm saw where the blade could catch something and kick the motor with spinning blade back toward me or my hand. I also think a lot about avoiding any situation where something could drag my hand into the blade. After using a power circular saw off and on over 40 years I have never had a hand or a finger come into contact with a spinning saw. I did get a couple of scratches while changing a blade. But, even then I have the power to the saw disconnected.
As a retired carpenter of 40+ years, I have seen the evolution of safety devices for power tools. I have also seen a number of severed fingers and a thumb or two (none of which were mine, fortunately ). Though I appreciate the idea of making a tool a multi-tasker, dismissing some obvious safety devices makes me cringe. A blade guard, completely boxing in the blade and a large, prominent kill switch would help alleviate some of those concerns.
A couple of people asked about blade guards in the earlier comments and I gave responses then. While I would never discourage blade guards, my first experiences with circular sawing blades involved one about 24" in diameter mounted on the back end of a tractor. It used a tilt table and was for making firewood from brush. Blade guards on that were almost non-existent. It had many years of use in our family and everyone knew to keep hands and arms far from the spinning blade. The unit in my Instructable gets very minimal use. My main saw is a 1972 vintage radial arm saw with no drop down blade shrouds like one sees today. I just learned never to get my fingers close to the blade, not even in its path, but always off to the side by several inches. I use pusher sticks a lot. Safety devices are great, but each time a new one comes along we want to condemn all earlier models made without it as unsafe when people used them safely for years. Someone has a new table saw that senses changes in electrical capacitance and locks the blade immediately. I expect the day will come when someone will call any saw unsafe that is not equipped with that feature.
I'm not trying to comment on your skills or the caution you use with your lathe/saw conversion. This is after all, an Instructable, and I believe there is an obligation to point out to anyone that doesn't possess your skill or knowledge, and who might attempt to duplicate your instructable, there are some real safety issues that they should know about. I have read several Instructables that I was tempted to try and then after reading some of the comments, I became aware of dangers unknown to me beforehand. With that knowledge, I was able to reconsider and in some cases revise the instructable to eliminate a potential hazard that may have injured me or someone else. I feel that is one of the benefits of having member comments following the instructable.
In the last frame I did tell users to read on table saw safety practices before using a table saw. When I started, there was no Internet, but I have several articles on table saw safety I clipped from Popular Mechanics and Popular Science. They all advised keeping hands and fingers far away from blades. Those were the days before blade guards, too.
This is the scariest contraption I have ever seen. Where are the blade guards? Especially for the exposed portion of the blade below the table. This could be a death trap without them.
This is a great idea and a great instructable!<br/><br/>The actual idea is very similar to the Magna ShopSmith. Check them out if you'd like some more ideas. there is a thriving shopsmith community too, if you were looking for parts or photos of parts and pieces in operation. <br/><br/>(i have a ShopSmith VII, which isnt technically the same breed as the vaunted shopsmith V and 5xx series... but i grew up with one and like it just fine.)<br/><br/>the ability to raise and lower the table (for deeper or shallower cuts) is great, and your hinge system is very simple and robust! <br/>another option would be using threaded rods as post for the table-top, and nuts at the corners of your cleat-base, with sprockets welded/attached to the nuts, and a chain around the outside. then rig an oversize &quot;wheel&quot; rim to one or two of the nut-sprockets: turning them would cause all four posts to raise or lower in unison (assuming the sprockets are ll the same size!) <br/>many thickness planers use a similar system for adjusting the bed/blade depth. obviously you would need some stabilizer posts too so the table top isnt wobbly, but that could just be plywood perpendicular to the table that slides through slots in the cleat base.<br/><br/>but the hinges are surely simpler!<br/><br/>for some more ideas:<br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.shopsmith.com/">shopsmith main site</a><br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.shopsmith.net/forums/index.htm">shopsmith community forum</a><br/>
and NOW i see that you even mention the shopsmith in your comments. *sigh* eager beaver misses the worm. or something like that. <br/>
Oops! I just overlooked what you wrote about thickness planers and mentioned thickness planers. We humans are a strange and funny lot.
Hey, we have all been there and done that. Do not let it bother you. Thanks for your comments. I like your idea about the threaded rods and the chain. I think I have seen that on some thickness planers.
That is extraordinary! The concept itself has that feel of "it's so obvious", but only after someone like you has created it. The I'ble is sufficiently detailed that someone else (lucky enough to have a lathe!) could reproduce it. Well done, sir, well done!
Thanks. I think of this as my homemade Shopsmith. They basically put a saw table on a lathe. There are ways to make your own lathe. If you simply need a saw, mount a motor and a bearing mandrel. Then you can build a saw table over it.

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Bio: I miss the days when magazines like Popular Mechanics had all sorts of DIY projects for making and repairing just about everything. I am enjoying ... More »
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