Step 4: Turning

Picture of Turning
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Because we don't yet have a tool rest we won't be using proper turning tools for shaping, instead we'll be using shurform blades and wood rasps.

Use a mallet to knock the drive countersink into the work piece and then slip the piece between the chucks and lift the table so the work piece is securely held. Turn the piece by hand a couple of times to make sure it's centered. Now take a deep breath and turn the drill press on at medium speed.

Provided the wood did not fly out you can start rounding it with the shurform blade, once it's round, shaping can be done with the rasps.

and yes I really want real lathe now.

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padbravo1 year ago
Grat idea!... tks for show your way...
awesome thank you
neffk4 years ago
There's nothing like a home-made tool to make you appreciate the real thing! I had an identical experience.
dantimdad5 years ago
To also simplify turning, cut the corners off the square stock to make an octagon.  It won't stand nearly the chance of catching on a tool and will work into a round much much faster.
bigjano5 years ago
So simple and so amazing!!.

Thank you. Your creation rocks!!!!
hammy108095 years ago
you have the same drill presses as me, how much did u get for it? i got mine for 70 bucks at an auction
Do you think you could turn the press drill on it's side to work?
0087adam6 years ago
usually i cut out a square on the end of the piece of wood, a fairly small square and put it in the chuck, and use the hole thats already on my table to spin it. it works.
Great idea. I've been really wanting to try my hand at making turned wooden pens, but no way I was going to invest hundreds of dollars in a lathe just for that. This way I can scratch the itch for a couple of bucks. Only need the rasp, surform, and sandpaper blocks for the pen turning. Safe (slow speed) and cheap. Great combination :)
Glad you likeit, however, if you just want to turn pens Rockler has a tut. on doing it with just a drill press.
Great idea! 1st, I don't think there is any problem with the Morse taper working loose as the work piece should hold it in place just the way the morse taper on a regular lathe is held in place by holding the work piece in compression between the head and tailstock. That is assuming the work piece is properly installed and does not disintegrate or something. 2nd,I was glad to see that only a rasp was being used. Being experienced in turning wood, the first impression I got from looking at this set up made me cringe. Wood lathes are actually one of the most dangerous tools to use and many experienced turners come to grief operating them. For safety, the operator tries to stand aside and behind the work piece so that if the tool kicks back, he or she is not speared by it as it is thrown like a bullet perpendicularly from the spinning work. The operator also tries to stand with his body back behind the head or tailstock if possible so that if the wood disintegrates, he or she is not impailed by the sometimes large and leathal splinters. With this vertical set up, there does not seem to be any safe place for the operator to stand. Perhaps it would be best to set the drill press horizontally as someone else has already suggested just for safety's sake, if for no other reason. Also, it would not hurt to learn about lathe operations before ever turning the thing on. I don't want to sound like a downer because I do like the idea.
glorybe7 years ago
It is easy enough to add a tool post and you could even turn the press sideways so that the usual turning position is in use. I am all for this type of idea and have done similar things myself but I do advise that people keep turning speeds down and wear good quality protection for the face, eyes and throat when using homemade equipment or at least until they acquire some real hours of operation. Beginners are prone to injury and should seek aid from others.