Introduction: Homemade Lathe for Drill Press

I always wanted to have a lathe for wood but I don't have much space in my workshop, so I decided to build one myself using my drill press. For this, I used an angle drill adapter and after many tests I saw that the result could be good.

The benefit of the angle drill adapter would be the absence of lateral stress on the drill press bearings.

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I would also apologize for my English as a non-native English speaker some terms are very difficult for me. Forward, Intractable!! I will be happy to answer any questions.

Step 1: Material and Tools



  • Mini Try Square
  • Japanese Saw
  • Stanley No 5 plane
  • Block plane
  • Caliper Mitutoyo
  • Gauge Veritas
  • Saw Metal
  • Chisel
  • Clamps
  • Rasping rifler and file metal
  • Ruler
  • Drill press
  • Handsaw Sanding paper
  • Forstner drill bits
  • Similar Dremel

Step 2: Lathe Bed

First of all, I started with the lathe bed. For this I used Elondo wood, a type of African wood, due to its hardness. I cut 2 pieces of (50cm x 9cm x 2cm)

Step 3: Headstock and Tailstock

For these two parts of the future lathe, I used pine wood making two equal pieces of 25cm x 9cm x 6,5cm. For joining them to the lathe bed I made a rabbet joint.

For the moment I don't fix any of the mentioned parts in order to be able to continue working with them more comfortably.

Step 4: Introduction of the Angle Drill in the Headstock

To insert the angle drill in the pine wood I measure the diameters of this and mark the wood to drill it. We have to fit the angle drill as straight as possible in the wood. This task must be very precise.

I make some small side cuts to the wood with the help of a hand plane in order to give it a more attractive touch.

Step 5: Joining

For the joining I use wood glue and in order to give even more strength I reinforce it with wooden dowels which I rounded them for a smarter touch.

Step 6: Fixing of the Angle Drill

To fix the angle drill to the wood I use a sheet brass drilling on it four holes and screwing to the wood.

Step 7: Live Center and Tailstock Handwheel

We look for the center between the headstock and the tailstock with the help of a bit drill. Once found, we make a hole where we will introduce a metal threaded rod (10mm). We sharp it at one end with a metal file.

In order to the threaded rod threads into the wood I insert a wood insert (threaded).

Finally, with a piece of beech wood giving it an octagonal shape, I use it as handwheel.

Step 8: Wooden Knobs

For this project I used two wooden knobs which are very easy to make.

We have to do two circles and divide them equally between 6 parts. Then we drill those 6 marked points and finally cut the circumference with a crown bit or with a saw.

To give it a more pleasant touch, we sand the piece and finally insert into the wood a wood insert (threaded).

Step 9: Joint Tailstock

Cut 3cm at the bottom of the tailstock and drill the center.

Insert a double thread screw and thread one of the wooden knobs made to the lathe bed. This system will help us to adjust the distance depending on the piece we are going to work.

The result was very good since it offers a very great resistance and strength.

Step 10: Tool Base

Using a piece of pine wood, mark the inner thickness of the lathe bed and cut the excess.

Calculate the center of the piece and drill a hole where we insert a double thread screw trying to be as straight as possible. I helped with my drill press and the result was good.

When we have this piece we will introduce it below the lathe bed and we will work with our future base tool.

I made it with beech wood. Mark a central line and with the help first of a bit drill and then with a chisel we will make a central guide where the double thread screw will slide.

Step 11: Tool Rest

We cut a piece of beech wood of (11cm x 3cm x 2cm) and on one side with the help of a block plane we make an angle of aprox. 15º.

Mark the center on the opposite side of the angle created and introduce a wooden rod forming a perfect angle of 90º.

Finally, with the aim of making it more durable to the erosion, I put a brass sheet fixed with double-sided tape.

Step 12: Final Conclusion

After several tests I'm very happy with the result since I will be able to make little jobs with it without taking up much space in my workshop and taking advantage of my drill press.