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18 –Parting thoughts

Of course, there have been people that look incredulous when I tell them I am building a wood lathe.
Some reasonably common responses: “Why the hell would you do that in this day and age”, and “they are so cheap from China, what a waist of your time”. 

To me though, it seems completely sensible. I like making stuff, and learning about how things work. If I didn’t love making things why would I want a wood lathe in the first place?

Making something that helps you make other things is very satisfying, particularly if you do it in a way that uses all your creative ingenuity. If you want to make something like this yourself, and you plan, as I did, to spend very little and to recycle other peoples landfill material, you certainly will have to think ‘outside the box’ as you put materials and things to new and unintended uses.

Anyway enough babbling. I hope you got something out of this write up, and look forward to any comments or questions you might have.

Final inspirational quote from the famous mechanist Dave Gingery with a qualifier: take care and don’t be reckless…

“It is interesting to note that most of our best ideas meet with opposition in our own minds as quickly as we conceive them. The objections we raise usually seem so reasonable that much of what we might do never gets done. If you don’t want to do a project just write down the first dozen or so thoughts that come to your mind and you will have at least a half dozen good excuses. If that doesn’t do the trick just toss the idea to the experts and they will usually be happy to kill it for you. If you really want to do it, though, it is most likely that you will find that it does not really cost very much and it is not nearly as technical and dangerous as established experts would have you believe.” (Dave Gingery).


MMMMM, lathelishous! – The fun testing bit.
Still lots to do- eg. need to make the tailstock! I want to make this banjo more rigid. Still need to make some proper fastenings for the lid – will use wing nuts for quick lid removal.  Here the lathe is clamped to bench – I will make some neater fastening system – the lathe will bolt to some multi-purpose bench dog type inserts.
Temporary sharpening station – upturned belt sander with high grit belt.  The small gouge came very cheap in a batch of second hand tools I purchased. I need to make some longer handles for them.
This will make a useful Mother-in-law’s birthday gift.

Responses to 18 – Parting thoughts

  1. gary

    Very impressive. Been planning to do something very similar for ages.

    One thing that isn’t clear – how do you attach your lump of wood to the end of the motor shaft? You don’t mention making anything specific and I can’t see how you’ve done it from the pics.

  2. Bongo

    Hi Gary,

    Basically I use a piece of aluminium that fits onto the drive shaft. I found this piece with the shaft, so it fits well. All I had to do was drill and thread some grub screws in there to hold it secured to the drive shaft.

    Depending on the situation, I sometimes screw the wooden bowl blank straight to this plate. Other times I fix, with screws, a disk of plywood to the aluminium. This acts as a faceplate – and I use small screws to attach this to the bowl.
    Thanks for the comment, hope that helps.

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