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Would it be possible to make a wood lathe using a weed wacker motor ? Answered

 Would I be able to power a wood lathe just using a weed wacker motort? Would I be able to hook a chuck right to it or would I have to use a system of pulleys. I just want to be able to turn small wooden goblets and pens.


Re-design has some excellent links-  I would put a step pulley on at least the motor or the spindle (based on my experience building a disc sander) because you will want different speeds depending on your blank material and your confidence with lathe shaping)

Just go for it- the worst you can do is end up with scrap and experience- and please do an 'ible even if you fail, so we can all learn from your experiment!

Are you talking gas or electric motor.  If gas it would be hard to do and probably useless.

If you're talking electric then you might be able to do it but its gonna take some work.  You need at least a pair of 4 step pulleys so you can vary the speed of the lathe.  Most modern lathes use a variable speed motor AND a 3 step pulley or variable transmission.

Here's a diy wood lathe.  Think smaller but same principles apply.

Here's a really good version of a diy wood lathe from the Queen of DIY. 

It sometimes uses pull start and can be diffucult and hard to breathe while inside.

It's loud, and loud doesn't make for good concentration.  Good lathe work take concentration.

It's smelly.

You can't just turn it on.  You don't just turn a lathe on and leave it running.  You stop it occasionally to check your work or adjust the holder etc.

Torque gets lower when it slows down and it will slow down sometimes when you are working.

The motor will get covered with saw dust and cuttings and will be a fire hazard.

Other than that a gas motor would be perfect to run a lathe.  I'm sure it's been done before.

+1 on the fire hazard. Also carbon monoxide poisoning.

Buy or use a weed wacker and make sure it is a clutch powered one.(you can tell f it is one when you start it up the string will not spin.) find the clutch and break it in half where the cluth is and screw it to a borad then and make the other side and slide a screw bit in and use a piece of wood then make sure that the wood is steady by adjusting the other side where it wll slide.start the engine and it will start to spin. you can adjust the speed by useing tape and wraping it around the throtle adjuster by lostening it or tighing it. have fun!

 yes the power of the weed eater motor should be able to do what you want it to do 


8 years ago

Almost anything is possible.............and don't forget it!