Shopmade turning machine

I had a little project on the go a few weeks ago that I’ll be posting about shortly. Anyway, this project called for two small turned handles. Well, the thing is, I don’t have a lathe. I’d love to have a lathe, but I just don’t have the funds at the moment and, to be truthful, I’m not sure how much I’d actually use one – certainly not enough to justify spending hundreds of pounds that I can’t really afford.

Maybe, one of these days, I’ll get one. But for now, I was faced with a choice: buy some handles online, or improvise.

I decided to improvise.

I jumped online to see how easy it was to cobble together a makeshift machine from stuff lying around my shed. I found a couple of instructional articles and videos (I can’t remember the links I’m afraid) and set about fashioning a crude turning machine (to call it a lathe is probably an insult to lathe manufacturers) from plywood, various nuts and bolts, and an old power drill I had kicking around.

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This is what I came up with.

 

 

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It’s crude…

…it’s breathtakingly ugly…

…and it’s almost certainly a health and safety liability.

 

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But it was fun, and, more importantly, it worked.

How much longer it will work for, I cannot say, but it didn’t cost me anything, except time, and I was able to turn the handles I needed. They’re not perfect, by any stretch, but better than I expected.

I’ll show the results in my next post. Watch this space.

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