I’ve been the happy owner of lathe since some time last summer or fall, but now I’m the happy owner of a functioning lathe. My aunt gave me a lathe her friend had. It’s a 1950s or 1960s PowerKraft from Montgomery Ward. It is in really good condition. The paint is a little worn in some places, but there’s no rust, and all the screws turned pretty easily. I oiled it up and it works like a champ.
I’ve wanted a lathe for a long time. You might remember that about 18 months ago I turned my drill press into a lathe. That worked well enough, but I couldn’t turn anything bigger than a fishing lure on it and I didn’t have the right tools.
This lathe doesn’t have a motor, and I don’t have a lot of space. I already had a motor mounted on my work bench to power my (also antique!) grinder so I added some braces where the lathe should go. Now I can slide the lathe in securely and pin it in place.
My aunt also gave me the body of an an old avacado-green juicer or stand mixer. It’s got a 1/3 HP motor in it, which is twice as powerful as the 1/6 HP motor I have mounted here. The mixer motor doesn’t have a table mount though, so I’m going to have to figure out how to mount it one of these days.
Today I went and bought a $60 set of High Speed Steel lathe chisels from Harbor Freight, and picked a straightish piece of wood from the wood pile.
It was pretty fun to see it get rounded out just like the YouTube videos I’ve been watching. I got through the bark and got it nice and smooth.
For my first project I decided to do something simple — a kids size rolling pin. It ended up slightly tapered, and the grooves on the handles aren’t symmetrical, and the grooves aren’t as smooth as I would’ve liked, but I thought it went alright for a first project.
The final test will be in the morning when the snoozy wakes up decides if she’s excited about it or not.