Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Constructing a rudimentary lathe

I'm currently working on a hard edge sculpture that I will share next week.  This sculpture required machined cylindrical forms and I do not have a lathe, but I do have a drill and a bench vice...
So here follows the steps I took to construct a lathe. It is not the most accurate of lathes, but for my purposes it worked.

The materials sourced from my off-cuts box.

Cut and shaped base. The width specifically sized for the drill's clasping area.

The top part cut and shaped.

And we are done.

This worked fine for the chubby small cylinders but the long ones did not track center, so I had to make a center end peg. This was done ramming a tapered and sharpened metal rod into a block that then gets clamped to the bench.  This metal rod was shaped with the base lathe, there by using the lathe to make it self.  The height of the rod is vital.  To make the wood slide over the metal, the sharpened rod was lubricated with oil.

All the shaping is done using files and sanding paper. Some day I might attempt chisels, but that will be a whole other story.

PS. I found that I needed a place to do scroll sawing work, so I constructed this wooden block that fits into the same bench vice. The fact that the vice swivels on itself, turns out to be really handy!

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