How to Make a Metal Lathe Knob Turner





Introduction: How to Make a Metal Lathe Knob Turner

This is my finished  ball and knob turner. You can make knobs out of any material you want . Brass,plastic,aluminum,steel , wood .This style of turner i can create a ball  up to 1 1/4 inch round.

Step 1: Ball Turner Base Plan

Here are the plans for the base of the ball turner which goes into the cross slide  of the lathe .

Step 2: Machining the Base

pic#1 shows the 1 1/4 inch height i have to maintain and the end of the project.
#2shows milling the edges square
#3 shows milling the a edge slots that fit in the cross feed ..
#4 shows the top milled flush with the cross feed and it fits very snug.

Step 3: Hub for Turner Rotor

Step 4: Ball Turner Rotor Plan

Here is the detailed plans for the  cutter rotor

Step 5: Making the Rotor

pic #1 shows the rotor being drilled through with a  1/4 inch tap drill  and will be threaded  1/4x20
 #2 Shows boring a hole  1 1/4 wide by 3/8's deep to fit a bearing.
#3 shows the rotor with the 1 1/4  outside diameter  x 3/8's thick  x 1/2 inside diameter  bearing press fitted flush to the bottom edge.

Step 6: Milling the Rotor

 pic#1 shows milling the center of the rotor which will help the cutter slide on center of the rotor.
#2,3,4  Show milling the rotor to the correct size for  clearance   to cut the knobs

Step 7: Ball Turner Bit Plan

Here is the detailed plan for the turner bit

Step 8: Making the Cutter Bit Bracket

pic #1 , 2  shows milling the stock to make sure the edges are square
#3 Shows the milled slot for the carbide bit will sit.
#4 ,5  show the bracket milled to the proper thickness.
#6 Shows the 1/4 inch milled adjustment slots .

Step 9: 1/4 and 3/8 Inch Threaded Knob Arbors

 Here is the plan for the arbors for different size threaded knobs.

Step 10: Finished Video of the Knob Turner Turning a 1 '' Aluminum Knob



    • Pocket-Sized Contest

      Pocket-Sized Contest
    • Pro Tips Challenge

      Pro Tips Challenge
    • Paper Contest 2018

      Paper Contest 2018

    We have a be nice policy.
    Please be positive and constructive.




    What size lathe is this for? i need one for a 7x 10 lathe

    great !!!…
    but one question remains to be answered : how did you make the first knob as your tool handle ?
    A bit like the chicken and the egg, I must say…

    Great job.

    Thank you !…

    i actually had a knob i just put on there to make the first one . The threads didnt even match....

    nice !…
    have a good afternoon (or so …in europe it's already 8:30pm)

    I build another ball turner which is more like the ones you see online .Which i have to take the compound off .I can send you a link if you like ? please leave a comment if ya like ..

    I started reading the related sidebar and I was like related to outhouses and toilet and camping? Then I made it to survival and I cracked up! I was like yup, I have to agree it'd be tough to survive without balls!


    sorry i have a paragraph saved so i just copy it and paste it ...

    I figured the Instructables robot was on the blink.

    You've got BALLs!!
    one of those would make a really sweet shift knob.
    I'm thinking I could use this idea with a wood lathe to make wood balls.