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  • Writer's pictureJeremy

DIY Wood Lathe

Whew! So this project has been in the works for several months now (on and off) and I've finally had a chance to cut together the build footage I took. The baby machine shop now has a new member: a mini wood lathe!

This project came about in an interesting way. I have been researching hobby lathes with the intent to buy one eventually, and I kept talking about my findings to all my coworkers in the usual banter. I then won some amazon gift cards at our work Christmas party. Time passed and they went unspent and my research continued, until I ran across these micro bead making lathes that were less than fifty dollars. The concept of these simple micro lathes intrigued me, and in the office banter we came up with a fun challenge, the 100$ lathe project.

How much lathe can you build for 100 dollars?

It's kind of a stupid challenge, because for 150$ you could buy a ready made wood lathe of better quality than you could make. But that's not the point. This project is all about the journey, and not the destination. And I am probably going to buy a desktop metal lathe anyway...

So I kept that in mind when sourcing my components, trying to pick things that I can recycle into other projects down the line, but that work together as a wood lathe. It just added to the challenge and made it more fun.

Here's the shopping list for the major components:

Note: At the time of writing this, the motor controller had been discontinued from the seller I used, so I selected something similar to link here!

Instead of telling you what I did with those parts, just watch it here:

This was a fun challenge to do, especially since it didn't really cost me anything (thanks Christmas party!), and it gave me an excuse to practice my machining skills. And it actually turned out way better than I expected, so now I may need to make some actual lathe tools to turn things on it.

Have a good one!


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