Introduction: Making and Using a Hand Crank Lathe for Use With a Plasma Cutter
. We make alot of stuff out of metal and a good circle was hard for me to do freehand. Using a tool like the one we show you here makes it easy to cut circles and washers out of any metal using a plasma cutter. It could also be used for some welding or grinding applications or as a crude PTO. For safety I designed this to be operated by 2 people .One person focuses on the feed speed (the turner),and the other focuses on the plasma gun location. This current design relies on having a hole in the center of the (to be ) circle. I usually have to have a hole there anyway but I plan to experiment with magnets to hold my rough blank in place.
Step 1: Parts and Pieces
Step 2: Lay Out the Parts
To make this tool you will need a couple of pillow blocks. I had one that had been a disc sander in a previous life. You will also need a handle and some fasteners. To attach my circle blanks I have a shoulder bolt welded to the end of the shaft. This holds the blank flat so it don't wobble. The heat is far enough away from the wood to not be an issue and a piece of material will always be used as a hand rest and that piece will block the heat from the tool somewhat.
Attach the pillow blocks to the base using the shaft as a guide to centering and alignment. Attach a handle of some kind that spins as you turn it.This make it more comfortable than a solid handle. If your pillow blocks are not a snug fit for your shaft add some O rings. They can be gotten in any size from your plumbing store.
Step 4: The Lathe
Step 5: How to Use Our Hand Crank Lathe
Step 6: Making a Circle and a Washer
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