A Dremel Micro Lathe attachment is a real lathe, with real capabilities. Mount a variable speed Dremel Moto Tool to it and you'll have a functioning lathe. Because of its scale, parts that are too small for a large lathe can be machined. These lathe attachments vary in design or you can make your own with readily available plans.
Highly skilled cabinetmakers specialise in dollhouse furniture. Finials have to be turned, along with decorative knobs for cabinets. Also, tables, chairs and hutches all have legs, and these have to be turned as well. Plans are readily available, or you can draw up your own.
Hobbyists, miniature woodworkers and even prototype engineers all have a need for small bushings, bearings and other speciality micro turnings. These small-scale turnings are not possible on a large lathe. By doing micro turnings, you can provide a needed service and make some money.
Many hobbyists make small-scale engines, including historical internal combustion or steam engines. With a Dremel Micro Lathe, you can turn flywheels, pistons, cylinders and most of the other parts needed, such as the crankshaft. One group of researchers at the University of California at Berkeley even developed a Wankel rotary engine about the size of a penny.
Pens and Pencils
You can turn decorative pens and pencils with a micro lathe. Buy high-quality pens and mechanical pencils that have metal mechanisms instead of plastic, and use the internal mechanisms for your turned pens. Use hard woods such as maple, walnut or oak that are free of knots or other defects.
You can turn columns for miniature buildings. Some could include columns for dollhouses, buildings for model railroad track landscapes and architect's scale models. If you build or purchase a micro milling machine as well, you will also have the capability to carve flutes in the columns.
Pedestals for Miniature Busts and Statues
A pedestal is a type of column, but it's short and thick. By mounting a miniature bust or statue on an ornate pedestal, you add charm and grace to an already graceful item. You have to size the pedestal to the statue. A pedestal that is too big or too little will detract from the overall look.
You can turn masts and riggings for model sailing ships. A real mast is not a straight pole, but rather has a taper to it. You can taper straight dowels with your lathe to create this effect. Also, sailing ships have ornate riggings and you can create these with your lathe as well.