Micro-Sized Miniature Lathe

22,335

128

45

Introduction: Micro-Sized Miniature Lathe

About: Travelling since 2013. I'm currently in Australia for some reason. --- I’m Calvin Drews, and I love to learn, experiment, invent, create, repair, and generally just do things myself. A sort of modern jack of …
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!

Centering

Finishing up


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.

Be the First to Share

    Recommendations

    • Plastic Contest

      Plastic Contest
    • The 1000th Contest

      The 1000th Contest
    • Battery Powered Contest

      Battery Powered Contest

    45 Discussions

    0
    nepheron
    nepheron

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    It already exists! :)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JK9iwXN-5AI

    0
    clusterflop
    clusterflop

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    No actually, the tutorial on Youtube is for another type wood lathe with a much larger sewing machine motor, not this micro lathe.

    0
    Dumchicken
    Dumchicken

    9 years ago on Introduction

    i was just wondering is your screwdriver grinded up?

    0
    Dumchicken
    Dumchicken

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    o and the other cup fell over :) :) :) :) :) :)

    0
    omnibot
    omnibot

    10 years ago on Introduction

    That's pretty cool. I've been considering a similar idea but with a cordless drill-motor, the motorcontrol is promising and the gearing should give more torque.

    0
    nepheron
    nepheron

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

     It depends on the torque. Power it up, and see how much force it takes to stop the shaft from spinning. Try it!

    0
    imthatguy1125
    imthatguy1125

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

     Tried it works ok but for some reason the foam wobbles really bad

    0
    nepheron
    nepheron

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Hmmm...

    Sounds like the foam is not anchored on the shaft properly. If it wobbles, then the foam is able to move. Your foam may be too long or not secured to the motor shaft enough.

    0
    imthatguy1125
    imthatguy1125

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

     Well it was hot glued on and I was using blue insulation foam, I tried florist foam but it was soft and rotting, thats probally because it was 2 years old, the insulation foam stops the motor so I need a stronger motor, I might just buy a cheap drill off ebay though 

    0
    nepheron
    nepheron

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Before you buy a drill, try using some new floral foam. Just to see if it works :)

    0
    imthatguy1125
    imthatguy1125

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

     tried it, works better but the foam had tiny holes in it(they were there before I tested it) Ill post some pics later

    0
    lieuwe
    lieuwe

    11 years ago on Introduction

    i built one, but i couldn't get it to stay on there, so i used hot glue, works like a charm, but how do you get your foam so smooth? when i stop turning it has holes all over the place, might be my foam tho...

    0
    nepheron
    nepheron

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Ok, rough foam is cuased by using a sharp tool. Are you using some kind of knife or blade? Foams gets smooth when the material is ground away. The very best tool that I have found for making smooth foam is a tiny flathead screwdriver.

    Cutting tools will only lead to a "pocked" surface.
    Blunt headed tools result in a smooth surface!

    0
    lieuwe
    lieuwe

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

     i used the exact same flathead as you, could it be the turning direction? does it have to turn towards you or away from you? and getting the foam into a cylinder takes a long time... i might experiment with hot screwdrivers sometime soon...