This is a tiny lathe I made last weekend. The motor is from a small hand vacuum motor and is directly attached to the chuck. It won't work with wood, but foam composite from a sign making shop works great.
The power supply is from an old mini radio TV. I believe it's 12 volts and .85 amps. The case is made from scrap Plexiglas, which I get for free from the same shop I get the sign composite from. The fancy on-off switch was attached to the motor when I got it.
Everything is stuck together with JB weld and Loctite super glue ( I swear by this stuff).
This whole project cost me nothing but time, a bit of solder, JB weld, and Loctite. All-in-all about $1.00 worth of bought materials.
It turns very fast. Great for making small wine glass shapes, chess pieces, and barrel shapes from foam composite.
I hope you enjoy the video and slides!
EDIT This project was so easy, I've decided to make an 'ible for this... I will be using a tape player motor because those are easy to get and will work better than anything of the same size.