Machinist lathe projects

Written by mike thurau
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Machinist lathe projects
(lathe 2 image by chrisharvey from

If you plan on becoming proficient with metal working, then building your own tools is a great way to hone your skills. There are literally hundreds of things that you could build with a lathe, and the project that suits you best is limited only by your skill and the availability of the materials you use. With enough use, you'll find that the metal lathe is the machinist's best friend. Always remember to wear safety glasses when using a lathe.

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Machinist's Hammer

The hammer is one of the oldest and most fundamental tools available to a craftsman. Even today, a good machinist's hammer is useful for banging out rough shapes in soft metals. Usually, hammers such as this are made out of heavy metals such as steel or iron to get the maximum amount of momentum with each swing. When crafting your machinist's hammer, be sure to manufacture the head and the handle separately.

Turning Tool Post

There are many different tools that can go into a metal lathe project. One of those tools is a turning tool post. The tool post is meant to hold in place whatever object you are working on while the lathe cuts it. In order to complete this project, you will need to buy or borrow a working tool post to hold the initial steel you will be shaping. When you're done you'll have one more essential component of your lathe tool set complete and the satisfaction of having done it yourself. This project will require a mill as well, but it is otherwise not an exceptionally difficult endeavour.

Circle Cutter

A circle cutter is another tool that is standard issue in any machinist's workshop. It can be used for cutting holes in automotive dash panels to make gauges fit, cutting wheels in toys or other small devices with moving parts, cutting round disks in aluminium for making fly-fishing reels, and the possibilities go on and on. This tool is for precision cutting, and the lathe should not exceed 500 rotations per minute while working with it. Furthermore, the amount of stress this tool will be put under when it is complete makes it a good idea to use materials thicker than 1/8 inch.

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