Introduction: Build Your Own Wood Lathe in 30 Minutes

Picture of Build Your Own Wood Lathe in 30 Minutes

Step 1: To Build Your Own Wood Lathe in 30 Minutes You Need!

Picture of To Build Your Own Wood Lathe in 30 Minutes You Need!

Step 2: In This Instructables I Am Going to Share a Brilliant Idea About How to Make a Power DIY Mini Lathe.

Picture of In This Instructables I Am Going to Share a Brilliant Idea About How to Make a Power DIY Mini Lathe.

Step 3: We Will Will Need Next to Nothing to Make It.

Picture of We Will Will Need Next to Nothing to Make It.

Step 4:

Picture of

Step 5: Most of Those Things You Can Either Find at Home or Buy in a Shop.

Picture of Most of Those Things You Can Either Find at Home or Buy in a Shop.

Step 6: Make a DIY Mini Lathe at Home Yourself!

Picture of Make a DIY Mini Lathe at Home Yourself!


jesito (author)2016-10-10

Motor and chuck come from a Banggood kit

matthewm1970 (author)2016-06-09

For future instructables, I would suggest that a video and a few pictures are not enough. Generally, on this site I expect to see a complete list of necessary supplies (including the source) and a complete step-by-step set of written instructions. A video is a nice add-on but cannot be the only source for info. Otherwise there's no benefit coming here over YouTube. As Jim noted, this really just looks like an ad for your youtube video, which isn't appropriate, in my opinion. I'd like to see you build this out with full information so I can build this - I'd love one for my workshop but even the video didn't contain enough information on supplies and process for me to do that.

I agree. However, there actually are a lot of Instructables that have a video as the only source of info, so it is acceptable, if not preferred.

I find videos very helpful because I can see it being done, which is often easier than making sense of written instructions. That is, when I can concentrate long enough to watch a video. This one was short and to the point, the way I like it. But, since I have no clue what he was talking about, it is useless to me without the writen instructions.

BrentM26 (author)2016-06-09

Just a thought here, but you could connect the motor to the chuck via a belt drive instead of mounting the chuck directly. That would give you the option "change gears" with a bit of tinkering.

ThisIsMyNameOK (author)BrentM262016-06-18

I don't know much about the subject, but your idea sounds good to me, because all the lathes I can remember watching my dad work on had belt drives. It might be a little more difficult and time consuming I guess, which doesn't fit the "30 minutes" part of the concept, but it makes sense otherwise.

Technoaussie (author)BrentM262016-06-09

Quite impractical to use belts, pulleys and bearings when the concept is making a wood lathe in 30 minutes!. Considering that electric motors commonly come at 2400 or 2800 RPM as well as the cheaper low speed ones, finding the right motor is part of the fun of creation. Both my father and I have used vacuum cleaner motors to build both metal and wood turning lathes.

andrewty (author)2016-06-17

A potentially useful instructable ruined by a lack of detail and a fundamental misunderstanding of how electric motors work !

half star rating .

ThisIsMyNameOK (author)andrewty2016-06-18

The video does help. It's still not quite detailed enough for me, but it's enough to get the general idea anyway.

frozedog (author)2016-06-09

Uhhmm, Haven't you heard that A Picture is worth a thousand words. If you can't figure out how to build this simple lathe from the pictures...I'd say you have skills issues. I kinda LIKE having just pictures instead of hearing some benign ramblings of someone. Just give me the Meat and Potatoes and I'll figure out the rest!!! Sheesh!!!!!

ThisIsMyNameOK (author)frozedog2016-06-18

Maybe you haven't heard that this site is called "Instructables"?

I can't figure out how to build this from the pictures because I have never done this before and I don't have any knowledge of how it is done. You could say I have "skills issues".... which is why I kinda NEED to have instructions with the pictures.

You know, you had "skills issues" once yourself, unless you were just born knowing everything you need to know to make this "simple lathe"- which is highly unlikely.

desertwalker (author)frozedog2016-06-09

Hi Frozedog,

Just wondering what RPM the motor needs to be, I can't seem to find the details in the picture. I thought you might know as the picture is apparently worth a thousand words.

Electric motors run at fixed speeds. The only way to increase or decrease their speed is supply more or less voltage to them. A common way to slow one is to use a transformer.

If you have an electric drill (not battery powered), you could use that for motivation. Motivation is what drives people to invent when they can't copy. Not intending this to be sarcasm mind you!

3967 (author)Technoaussie2016-06-09

you can use the PWM-Module from cheap eletric accu drills. you can remove the spring from the trigger so it stays at a certain speed.

LenoxMontana (author)39672016-06-16

You could do that, but attach the spring to a foot pedal for easier control.

M2aestro (author)Technoaussie2016-06-09

It is simply not true that electric motors necessarily run at fixed speeds; that that would depend on the type of motor. Some a.c. induction motors run efficiently at lower speeds with much reduced power output if you reduce the A.C. frequency in proportion to the reduction on voltage, in a constant volts/Hz control, for example. Too low a speed can result in cogging in many motors. Many d.c. motors can be run below rated speed if not required to deliver so much torque for a long period of time without extra cooling, and some can be run a bit above rated speed if properly cooled. Some windings and bearings, however, suffer (blow out) if run at higher than rated speeds, and also could fail without extra cooling. Really efficient commutation helps with the heat problem, and there are various means to smooth chopped commutation power sources to deliver cleaner power to the motor (displacing some of the heat problem to your power conditioning electronics.)

frozedog (author)desertwalker2016-06-09

Theanswer to your question is Sooo obvious I'm curious as to why someone of your obvious high intelligence level needed to ask. I was clearly stated in the 1,000 words of text provided by the picture. I guess you missed it.

I DIDN'T!!!!!

Tdogm6 (author)desertwalker2016-06-09

Need more rpm, add more voltage?

M2aestro (author)Tdogm62016-06-09

Nope, not on a synchronous induction motor! If you are in a safe heat range for the motor, and the armature could stand the higher speed (would not throw winding, for example, and bearings were OK, then a higher drive frequency with the proportionately higher voltage would deliver more speed (and power). Nothing wrong with pulleys, a larger breadboard for this lather, a percussive drive to a jackshaft, etc to use an appliance motor and mechanical advantage changes to change speeds. If the 30 minutes lather doesn't do the job for you, then bring yourself up to really old technology levels and use pulleys or gears, the former being much cheaper and simpler to implement. If you want many speeds, then get a set of sheaves matched for no change in belt length or else provide a single drive sheave with multiple driven sheaves and a slider on the motor to accommodate the diametral change in the driven pulleys. I'm sure you could figure that out.

DavidO29 (author)2016-06-09

It would be great if you added some text to this. Parts list with links would be awesome

swimspud (author)DavidO292016-06-15


christopher.leblanc.98 (author)2016-06-11

cool ,,, i just happen to have all the parts needed ,lol

rnorton2 (author)2016-06-11

nice ible i always wanted to build one and never could fully wrap my head around it, i do have two questions, where do you find a chuck? and what are the specs on that motor?

rhare1 (author)2016-06-09

I just bought a wood lathe from a shop in Chicago for $20 and I got a drill press thrown in for free.

Technoaussie (author)rhare12016-06-09

Do you want to sell them?

MariP6 (author)rhare12016-06-09


Cayotica (author)2016-06-09

looks good, but I think 30min. is pretty optimistic. Believe it or not, I was just on YouTube last night looking at hand made lathes, missed this one, thanks for the link.

claw75 (author)2016-06-09

if you didn't like it look for another one, who designated you as the "instructables" police?

deckerenterprises (author)2016-06-09

Personally, I think he has an idea, he took the time to share it and if you don't have constructive criticism relayed in a positive way just go to the next link. Why try to shut him down when he is adding to the discussion.

TonyI5 (author)2016-06-09

I would like to make a couple of comments about the construction process if I may.

I think the general idea is very good. However, the manner of construction is not so good.

1) Never drive screws into end grain timber. Always screw into cross grain. There is no real strength in end grain fixings.

2) Never drive screws down through the length of the upright support. Always screw through the base board into the support.

3) Make sure the motor support upright is wider than the support bracket. Cut a rebate into the support that is just wide enough to accept the motor bracket. Don't forget the end grain rule. The rebate must be cut square to the centre guide and level to the base board. The bracket must be a close fit in the rebate. I'm English, that is how we spell centre.

4) You'll need more than two screws to support the tail stock support bracket.

5) The head stock support will have to be re-designed to prevent any unwanted movement when machining is taking place. A wider block is probably all that is needed.

6) What isn't obvious is how you fix the whole to your work surface.

Sounds like Jim has an axe to grind. Did someone throw his toys away?

DANIMAL45 (author)2016-06-09

It works, but anyone who has worked with wood lathes knows how important work holding is. Lathes are designed to keep the wood piece that you are working on held tight because when they come loose, it could be very bad for anyone nearby. The tailstock portion of this lathe looks like it could easily come loose and allow the work material to come flying out.

isetia1 (author)2016-06-09

Nice and brilliant

LynneDe (author)2016-06-09

Cute lathe. Looks more powerful than I thought it might be. :)
Could you please share where you could get the motor, mounts, rod? Thanks!

In looking at the photo with the chuck, I expected it was going to be made with an adjustable power drill. Thanks and blessings on your efforts.

Ilovegold (author)2016-06-08

Cool I was looking to make a lathe but the last one someone put up was going to cost to much

About This Instructable




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