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DIY Drill Powered Lathe!

I’m pretty happy with the results of this lathe, which you probably heard me voice in the video – if you haven’t seen the video, you can watch it here.

In all fairness, I’ve never used another lathe, so I don’t really have anything to compare it to. That said, I was able to use it to turn the wheels for my twin screw vise, and they….turned….out great! Sorry, I had to throw that pun in there 😉

I had to purchase a full sheet of 12mm baltic birch, which cost me $30, but I was able to get the build done with only half of the sheet, so I still have the other half I can use on another project! I got the bearings on Amazon for only $1 each, and the rest of the stuff came from Home Depot. All totaled the final build cost was about $35. You could probably even pull it off for less if you have an extra plug strip laying around that you can use as the safety to cut power to the drill — I don’t recommend it though. It’s worth it to have a dedicated switch.

It’s been suggested that the toolbar is too high, and that sounds correct to me. I’m working on the plans right now, and will lower the height of the toolbar in the final design, along with fixing a couple of other small issues that will make it an easier build. I hope to have the plans up within about a week. I’ll be sure to update this post when it’s ready!

Update: I have completed the plans & improvements (including lowering the tool rest)  and they are now available here for only 5 bucks!

If you’re inspired by this project and build one, please send me pics so I can add them to the gallery. I’ll be sure to give you the credit for you build!