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 ...

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,


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    2 years ago

    Great work Andy. Really looking forward to the next part and how once it is finished you'll be able to make me the carved oak candle sticks but will they be ready in time for Christmas? Lots and lots of love, Sue xxxx