Wood Turner From Junk Parts

Introduction: Wood Turner From Junk Parts

About: Check out ThriftStore Hacker on YouTube! Where junk makes neat stuff! Follow me on Twitter @ThriftStoreHack https://twitter.com/ThriftstoreHack

Hello again fellow builders!

This Instructable is how to make a mini wood turner from junk parts i had in the shop. All of the parts are really easy to find with minimal financial investment. I hope to use this to make some custom ink pens, pencils, and stylus after some practice.

Step 1: Parts and Tools Used

Not many tools were used to build this. Just a soldering iron to make some clean connections and my trusty cordless drill.

Parts used were sourced from scrapped previous projects and some building blocks i got at a garage sale.

Parts used:

- 12v battery. I used the 12v 9ah battery my shop light runs on.
- 250w 24v scooter motor. This was from a friction drive ebike project. scrapped motor from kids escooter.
- Some building blocks. They worked very well to make a straight track and bearing block.
- 2 skate bearings. Easy to find.
- Toggle switch, wire, and connectors. Easily picked up at auto pars store or scrapped out of an old car.
- Various hex bits and nut drivers. I have so many of these from cheap toolkits. They should provide a bunch of ways to hold projects i am working on.
- Coupling nut. Take your motor to the hardware store and match up the shaft with the coupler you need. Usually found in the specialty nut section of the store.
- Super glue. You can find it at dollar stores. The 4 pack of mini tubes are great.
- 10 pack of pencils. Try to find ones that are round. Great for practicing and learning how to use the machine.
- 2ft long board. I used a 2ft length of a fence board.

Step 2: The Bearing Block and Slider.

Using building blocks to make this took a lot of issues out of the build. The blocks build uniformly and line up reasonably straight with very good tolerances. Using a a bunch of 2x4 style blocks i built a long track to slide the block on. Gluing it to the board upside down provided a long somewhat smooth plastic track to run the bearing block along.

The bearing block was built at about the same height as the motor's output shaft. Using super glue i committed the ultimate crime to building blocks. I glued them together. I know... I am a monster but it made a solid block that slid along the track very nicely. I used some cardboard to pad the bottom of the legs on the bearing block and raise the block a very small amount to make up for the track being glued on upside down.

Step 3: The Motor and Electrical.

First thing. Pick up the coupling nut from the hardware store. Get a few of them to make more tools and try ideas to hold projects better. Take your motor to the store with you. You will find the coupling nuts in the specialty nuts section. Usually a section with a bunch of slide out bins containing all kinds of random fasteners.

After the coupling is installed you can use a pencil to line up the motor shaft with the bearing block and mount the motor on the board.

The electrical is basic. The negative wire on the motor goes straight to the negative on the battery. The positive wire on the motor goes to one connection on the toggle switch. The other connection on the toggle switch goes to the positive on the battery.

I am using a 24v scooter motor for this. Running the motor at 12v makes the motor spin slower and makes projects easier to manage. In the future i will look into a speed controller for the motor but this configuration works fine.

Step 4: Trying It Out. Practice Needed to Master.

To practice turning wood with the mini turner i picked up a pack or pencils. The eraser side of the pencil seats nicely inside the coupling nut. If you cannot seat the erase head in the coupling or the coupling keeps spinning off of the motor shaft you will need to reverse the polarity on the motor (reverse battery connections). With the motor spinning the correct direction the coupling will tighten itself to the motor shaft under load. The pencil will also do the same with the threads inside the coupling. I have found that wrapping a bit of electrical tape on the pencil will keep it secure.

I did not have many tools to use while trying the machine out for the first time. When i find more tools to use i will make another video and post it to YouTube.

Playing with a sanding block i was able to take the paint off of the pencil, sand the wood down, and smooth it out. Using a candle i waxed the pencil to prevent splinters.

Step 5: Modifications I Would Like to Make

This is a good system for working small things list pencils and tiny blocks. I would like to add a drill chuck to the motor shaft so it can grip all kinds of tools.

Modifications can be done to make the bearing block more sturdy but it has worked perfect so far.

A power supply can be made to power this off of AC power.

As i make modifications to the design and make wood turning projects i will post them on my YouTube channel.

Check it out, subscribe, and feel free to drop a comment or idea!

Thriftstore Hacker on Youtube

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    3 Discussions


    3 years ago

    I just watched a guy polish his pencil.


    Reply 3 years ago


    Awesome project though