Homemade Tool Post for a Mini Lathe

Written by cameron easey
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Working with metal requires the use of many types of tools, such a lathe. One type of lathe used to machine small metal parts is called a mini lathe. These are smaller in design than a typical lathe used in a wood shop and allow you to shape various pieces of metal. You can also shape wood using a mini lathe. However, shaping metal parts properly requires the use of a tool post, which you can make from a bar of steel.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • ¾-inch by 2-inch bar of steel
  • Drill press
  • ¼-inch bit
  • Tapping tool
  • ½-inch bit
  • 1-inch bit
  • Bolts

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  1. 1

    Set one side of the steel bar on the table of the drill press. Insert the ¼-inch bit into the chuck and align the bit so that it is ½ inch from the edge of the bar.

  2. 2

    Pull down on the handle to drill a 1-inch deep hole into the side. Make threads inside the hole with the tapping tool.

  3. 3

    Insert a ½-inch bit into the chuck of the drill press. Flip the bar of steel so that the other end is set under the bit. Align the bit so that it will drill a groove into the side of the bar. Pull down on the handle to make a groove in the side of the steel.

  4. 4

    Set the bar of steel so that it is laying flat. Remove the ½-inch bit and replace it with a 1-inch bit. Align the centre of the bar with the 1-inch bit. Pull down on the handle to begin boring a ½-inch hole.

  5. 5

    Remove the ½-inch bit and insert the ¼-inch bit. Align the bar of steel so the side with the groove is set under the bit. Drill a hole through the top section of the steel that is ¼ inch from each edge.

  6. 6

    Move the bar and drill a second hole on the opposite side ¼ inch from each edge. A third hole is needed in the middle that is ¾ inch from the two side holes.

  7. 7

    Make threads in the holes with the tapping tool. Insert the bolts into the holes to prepare the tool holder for use.

Tips and warnings

  • Drill a hole to the right of the two ¼-inch holes for a height adjusting screw.
  • File the sides of the ¼-inch groove flat with a metal file.

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