Introduction: Home-made Woodworking Lathe From Repurposed Materials - Pallets and Old Washing Machine Motor Part 1

About: I am an escapee from modern life, now living by the sea in a forest garden in France. After over 20 years industrial experience, I quit my managerial position to study for a degree in Engineering. That done I …

For the project just watch the film. However, I would also like to write a few words about the materials I used.


The pallet or skid that was selected for the lathe bed was a heavy-duty one, the planks were about three quarters of an inch thick. Already screwed to the pallets upper face was a one inch thick chipboard panel. To make the lathe bed more rigid I screwed a vertical plank between the upper and lower faces of the pallet.


My neighbour gave me the electric motor which was from an old washing machine. This has a rated speed of 1425 rpm. NOTE: motors from modern washing machines have much higher zero load speeds and should not be used without modifications.

(NB There is already a great Instructable by Bongodrummer illustrating such modifications.)


Furnished by the same neighbour, the headstock was from a car plant production line conveyor system that he obtained at the time that the line was dismantled. However there are many possibilities for a suitable alternative even another washing machine motor bearing arrangement would work.

Part 2 ...will follow in the next few days, I am actually working on it now.

All the very best,