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My dad just got a metal lathe. What are some cool things to make on it? Answered


As a starter project, I might suggest a rod with a captive ring! those things are really neat, and can boggle people for quite a while.

In the future, how about a cotton candy machine?! I've got plans for one up on the site here

Hope you have fun with your lathe!!


Can you explain the "rod with a captive ring" a little better? btw good ideas everybody thanks!

it is a rod that widens at both ends with a ring stuck in between, like seen here

captive rings.jpgmetal captive rings.jpg

Hello : I just bought a lathe this week and am a novice. I like your idea of the stuck ring. I was just wondering if you had any instruction? Thanks in advance for your response C

Thank you fort your reply. I'll try and make one this week. Good timing with your reply I also just got my computer back online. Thanks again and have a great week

I am 14 and Me and my brother (8yrs) are soon to inherit two. But they are old an you can't do anything really fancy because they are manually operated. What should I do?

Lightsaber props. Check out the Slothfurnace for some great tutorials.

Ironically, I don't have a lathe, but I have many uses for one. It appears as though we are in opposite positions.

Personally, I would use it for turning large exterior threads, and for shaping knife handles. But I suppose that isn't very cool.

If you are in the mood for a little destruction, you could build a small cannon.  Actually , you could build a large one depending on the swing of the lathe and the length of the bed.  (skill being an important factor as well)


8 years ago



8 years ago

whats a lathe? i think...i'v seen one but probably never knew the name.

as long as its simple, because it would take alot of time for a detailed one. dont get me started on the horse either Revo

steam engine. a small one that uses an electric coffee pot heater for fuel.

There's a great site with lots of beginner lathe and mill plans called ProjectsInMetal.com.

Here's a screenshot of the site, and one of the beginner projects - a soft-faced hammer!

There are lots of other projects ranging from Beginner to Advanced. Hope that helps!

Projects In Metal Screenshot - Small.JPG100_0059.jpg

you could make keyrings!

i say the coolest thiong you will ever make on a metel lathe would be a lightsaber

one of the first things I made on a lathe was a fake bullet. Used aluminium and brass. then just had to drill and tap the shell body, and have a proper size protrusion out of the bottom of "the bullet part" that you can run a die on. connect them together and poof. you have a bullet. The coolest thing I have ever made on a lathe is a miniature cannon. Thing works great and goes off like a gun!

First get used to centreing your tool so that you can work for long periods without chipping the tips - cut with a positive angle wherever possible ( not with the tip touching first... maybe will add image later to explain if you'd like) when you're used to the machine, work on screw threads and grooves - they're not that hard but have so many uses. Finally I'd say work on radiuses - you'll learn the fine hand skills that'll turn your work into an art. Hopefully you have some other machines available (bench grinder + bandsaw + oxytorch) for making home made lathe toolbits

Oooh.. toothpicks, chopsticks, barbecue skewers...

Rings! I make them all the time out of a nut (as in nuts and bolts) and they turn out just as good as ones in the store. Another cool thing is fake bullets


9 years ago

Platters for a tesla turbine.

In dobro guitars, there is a cone that acts as a speaker of sorts. If you can spin them out of aluminum and sell them, you can make quite a pretty penny.


9 years ago

How about another lathe? Check out Dave Gingery's books.

Rocket housings and nozzles.

You could try making a candlestick or pen casing perhaps. Or cup/goblet, except you would have to bore out the center.