A lathe is a machine used for making different shaped objects and wood lathe is used for making wooden objects. A lathe is also used for sharpening different products. This machine is being used for ages in almost all type of workshops. This is a changeable and adjustable machine with a metal tool, a tool rest and a chisel.
The chisel is used for shaping objects and for sharpening as well. Tool rest holds the metal tool in place and can be removed if needed.
Not just for shaping and sharpening; you can also make an entire wooden object with the help of wood lathe; vase, bowls, bangles, and even bed are some examples. If you know how to operate the tools properly then you will be able to use this machine for different purposes.
Wood Lathe Plans: How to Build at Home
Let us go and find the parts we need for lathe and the process of building it, the tricks of using this machine and how you can make different types of objects with the help of the same machine.
Plans of Building Different Parts of Lathe
Before making a lathe, you need to decide what kind of wood lathe you want to make. As you will be making wood lathe and not metal lathe, therefore, the less powerful motor will work fine. There are some basic parts you need for operating lathe properly.
Along with these, you will also find other parts in the market which you can later buy for precise or various styled works.
For making a base you need a plywood sheet, wooden blocks, screws, etc. The quantity and the measurement of the woods depending on the object you are planning to make. For securing and fixing the screws properly you will need a drill machine, washers and fly nuts. You will also need some wooden strips, plywood cuts, gauge metal sheets, chisel, etc.
If you are planning to make bigger products then you should not take very big logs, logs of tree size are the best to work with.
Also, the bigger things you want to make the powerful motor you will need and if you are planning to make small toys, playing boards or costars; then cut woods in small pieces and start working with those.
1. Making the Homemade Wood Lathe Plans
for making a lathe first you need to cut plywood parts of the same size. The best choice of the plywood sheet is 10-12mm and 17-21mm to make a lathe. Now comes the wooden blocks;
Cut the blocks in the same size; choose a size between 33-36 inches length for two blocks and 6-9 inches length for two more blocks.
Now for making a base for wood lathe, you need to assemble the parts carefully. Take a 10 to 15 inches plywood sheet for base and make a slot on it; the measurement should be about .5 inches width and 8 to 10 inches length.
Now assemble the plywood blocks on the edge of the sheet with screws. After that set all the blocks properly with the board and your wood lathe base is ready.
2. Steps on Building a Wood Lathe with Drill
Now it is time to make a drill machine support for making a wood lathe. Take three plywood blocks and a plywood sheet to make the support. The sheet should not be too small or too big; it should have space for laying a drill machine comfortably.
Now screw all three blocks on the edge of the sheet to make a stand. Place of a piece of the wooden block and screw it on top of the support panel; now put the drill machine on top of it and place the spindle of your drill machine on the wooden block attached to the support.
Now take another wooden block and place it on top of the spindle, and with the help of long screws secure the top block with the other block underneath the spindle. This way you will make a lock system for your drill machine.
3. Steps for Making the Tailstock for Lathe
Now you will be making a wood lathe tailstock part; it is the moveable part of a wood lathe. Take a long block of wood and secure it on one long edge of the base with the help of nails.
Now take another wooden block but a flat one and put it on the base where you have made a thin slot. After that take some wooden sheets and attach them together to increase the width; now cut them in shape and attach them with the flat wooden block vertically.
4. Making the Holes and Attaching the Handle of the Lathe
Make two holes symmetrically; one on the wooden sheets and one on the flat wooden block. The hole on the wooden block should be on the same line as the thin slot you made earlier.
Now secure the flat block or moveable part with the base using .5 inches bolt and prepare yourself for making a handle; the handle is to spin the bolt when needed. Now carve an octagonal carved wooden block for handle part and make a hole in the middle part.
The next step is attaching a .5 bolt of 8 to 10 inches long through the handle hole and then through the hole, you made on the wooden sheets attached vertically. Also do not forget to attach nuts with the bolt to hold the objects in place.
5. Steps on Make a Tool Rest for Lathe
Now if you look at the base you will see you have space in the middle where you will be making your tool rest. For making the tool rest 1st attach a flat and small wooden block on the base.
The placement should be from the corner to inwards and the measurement of the block should be 3 to 5 inches width and 6 to 8 inches length.
Now take some wooden sheets and attach them together to increase the width just like you did while making the tailstock. Now cut them in shape and attach this with the base and with the flat small wooden block.
6. Attaching Steel Sheet
If you want you can also attach a steel sheet on top of this; it will give you a clean look and also will protect your objects from being scratched.
Secure the flat block with a big screw or you can use blot and fly nut for extra protection. Your homemade simple wood lathe is ready to use; if you want you can paint the whole thing or can just leave it as it is.
Basics of Using a Wood Lathe after Making It
Now that you know how to make a wood lathe and have successfully made a wood lathe machine you need to have some idea about how to use it. As a beginner, you should try making something which is long for the example candle holder.
Using Wooden Block with the Lathe
Take a rectangular wooden block, preferably 6 x 2 x 2 inches. Now attach one end with the drill bit and the other end with the handle bolt and adjust the moveable part with handle and fly nut. Now turn on the drill machine and let the block roll.
Taking the Chisel with the Wooden Lathe
Take a chisel, hold it with your hands and place it on the tool rest. Now carve the block with the help of chisel; do not worry if the carving is not perfect. Do not think it is your lathe’s fault; lathe cannot make your carving perfect; your skill will do that.
Making the Captive Rings
Next, you can try making captive rings. These are very fascinating and some people also use these as toys. For carving captive rings you need a rectangular wooden block, chisel, pencil, and a caliper.
Do the 1st step as before, after that mark points from where you want to carve out your rings. Then take your caliper and measure hot fat you want your rings to be.
Then turn your drill machine again and hold the caliper on the wooden block and with that measurement make gaps using the chisel.
Now that you are done making the gaps; move the caliper and start chiseling the block with two hands. Making the rings round and smooth can be a bit tricky and time-consuming as well. Therefore, try to be patient and do not hurry as it might ruin the shapes of the rings and the block as well. You can also do wood carving with Dremel tool it’s a very easy task.
Using the Bowls of the Machine
You can also make bowls with this machine but this will need skills. For making bowls you need to pick square fat wooden blocks. As bowl has curved space therefore fat block is a must; the more you want the curve to be the heavier you will have to choose the block.
You can also make wooden plates and wall decors using the same method as bowl; for wall décor, you will need some good carving skills.
Also, you might not be able to work with the same motor you were using for making a captive ring; you might want to get a more powerful motor for making bowls, plates, and bigger objects.
If you are planning to work with a wood lathe then buying two different types of the motor is a good choice. Powerful motors not only save your energy, but it will also save you time.
Safety Tips for Using a Wood Lathe
While using lathe always remember to wear goggles and masks; when you will use the lathe, you will see a lot of wooden particles and dirt sprinkling all over.
Therefore, if you do not take measures these may become a reason for damaging your health.
The main purpose of using a wood lathe is to make products in a symmetrical shape. This is a very simple machine yet can help you make precise products. You can use this for craftworks as well.
Another reason for which this is very popular because the equipment needed to make a wood lathe at home is available almost everywhere and these are very reasonable as well. With the help of wood lathe, you can make round objects with precision; you can also use a lathe for fining the texture.