Intro: Cheap Lathe Tool
I needed a larger lathe chisel to try my hand at turning bowls but I didn't want to spend a hundred dollars on an experiment so I decided to try and make my own.
Step 1: Getting the Parts
The following is a list of the parts I used:
Shaper blades - I used 1" radius carbide blades. I got a set of three for less than $10
A 18" 3/8" square tubing at the big box hardware store. A got a piece 3' long for about $5.
A number 12 bolt, split washer and nut.
A piece of 2x2 for the handle.
Glue - I used liquid nails because I had some laying around. Epoxy would probably be better.
A rivet, should be able to find one for a few cents.
Total cost for one chisel about $7
Step 2: Cut the Tube to Length
I cut the tube in half to 18" and saved the other half for a future chisel.
Step 3: Drill Hole to Mount Blade
Step 4: Mount the Blade
After the hole is drilled bolt the blade to the tube. I set the blade about 2/3s of the way on to the tube. Then cut any excess bolt away.
Step 5: Carve the Handle
I actually used my new tool to turn the handle. Use your imagination to shape it to best fit your turning. I cut the 2x2 about a foot long. I based that size on the fact that that was as long as I could feed through my band saw.
Step 6: Drill the Handle
Now you need to drill the handle to accept the tubing. I just clamped the handle in my vise and drilled it with a hand drill. Pick a bit the will create a snug fit. Too loose and you may have trouble getting it tight. Too small and you may break the handle when inserting the tube. I used a 5/8" bit and it seemed to be about right.
Step 7: Insert the Tube
Now apply glue liberally on the tube and insert it in to the handle. I also drilled and inserted a rivet through the handle and tube to make sure that it won't turn.
Step 8: Done!
That's pretty much it. Allow the glue to dry and go out and use it.