How to Make Mini Lathes

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Screwdriver or drill
Other fittings

A mini lathe is a petite version of the larger lathe, and allows the user to work with a much smaller block of wood than the large lathe. The mini lathe is the ideal size to fit into a normal home, and can be placed on work benches or tables. Keen toy-makers and those who work with small detail models may like to have a mini lathe. Rather than buy one, which can be costly, it is better to make a home model from a few pieces of wood and some home fittings. These mini lathes are complicated to make, but you should be able to manufacture one in about a day.

Step 1 - Make the Base

You will first need to assemble the base. Take a small piece of wood, and lay it between two larger pieces. You should then drill through the two longer bits so that you have four holes in each long piece. Add two bolts, and add washers to each side of the bolt and nut, so that they are firmly holding the small piece in position. Then, take two more pieces of long wood, cut to the same length, and sandwich the top of the small piece of wood between these two layers. tighten down until you have a sideways H shape. Sand down all of these pieces of wood, and varnish if required.

Step 2 - Make the Pulley

Hole saw

You will next need to make the pulley of the mini lathe. This can be done by cutting three circles of wood, each progressively smaller than the next. Put these onto the far edge of the topmost beam of wood, and drive a large bolt through the center of all three pieces. This bolt should extend out the other side. Push the smallest circle into the hole created when you attached the two lengths of wood to the short piece, and then add a large piece of wood at the other side of the beam. This will hold your three pieces of wood in place.

Step 3 - Add the Cutting Tool

Take a small screwdriver bit with a flat edge, and sharpen it using a saw or knife sharpener. Attach this to a block of wood by making a hole in the block, and then press the screwdriver bit into it. Take your block, and position this on the top piece of wood, so that it is over the top circle of wood. Take your test piece of wood for cutting, and turn it on the circle of wood, just touching the sharpened piece of the lathe. You can then adjust the wood so that you get the perfect angle for cutting before you put glue on the entire project. Add a vise to the lower beam of wood, and you will be able to hold it in place wherever you wish to use it.