As I mentioned last week this lathe is very quick to build, don’t make it anything other. I’ve stripped it back to nothing but the essentials and then used screws to fix it all together. The design could be improved to make it more attractive, or maybe a bit more user friendly, but I have decided to share the plans in the form of what I’ve built; it works and will give you a very good starting point.
Before you knock one up I want to emphasise the importance of having a stable bench to work off.
The plans are as basic as the design. They show the overall dimensions as what I’ve used and how things are laid out. There isn’t a lot of detailing here and that’s because it’s intended that you can adjust things to suit the materials you have to hand. The main body of lathe has ‘feet’ beneath it so you can hold it down in your vice. Cick on the plan images to see larger versions.
The central section of the tail piece will need a few extra shavings taking off the thickness to allow it to slide within the body. The tail piece extends below so once in place I secure it to the face of the bench with a holdfast, if that’s not an option for you then just clamp it to the bed. I then give the back of the tail a thump with a hammer to ensure it’s knocked tightly to the work piece. For the two centres I’ve simply used a couple of lag screws.
If I were building it again I would beef up the tool rest as currently it’s a little flimsy under heavy cuts. This is left loose to keep the tail piece adjustable and allow everything to be dismantled quickly. I haven’t included any drawings of the treadle or bungie. Mine are currently extremely primitive; it’s a stick for the peddle, around 32″ long with an over sized hole that sits over a nail in the floor. If you plan to use this a lot then I would recommend improving it with a common A-frame design.
My bungee – which is just a bungee strap with the little metal hooks on the ends, has it’s two ends secured to the ceiling with a length of rope tied to it at the centre. The ceiling here is 7′ and I’m managing to get about three revolutions of the work piece. I could get more if I set the bungee back from the lathe so there’s a bit of experimentation possible there.
Read more about the bench top lathe.