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Homemade bowl lathe plan?


PERUTURNER replied the topic: bowl lathe

Dear zach please look in my web page under shop and see if you like my lathe <link broken>
if you need any help just let me know ED :D
  • Zach

Zach replied the topic: Re: Homemade bowl lathe plan?

I really like your lathe. I actually saw your website before I bought my steel. I had thought about buying a bowl lathe (Vega), but I decided it would be much better to make my own. I just found bearings yesterday, and am now trying to find some high strength steel for the spindle. (Is normal hot rolled steel strong enough? Right now I'm trying to find some chromoly)
I saw that your bed was extremely heavy. Do you think it is a problem if my bed isn't as strong? I've got 4 by 4 square tubing with 1/4in. walls that I'm going to fill with concrete, so they'll be fairly strong. But most of the weight and strength is going to be in the head stock which is going to be a 6in by 12in by 30 square tube with 1/2in walls. It probably weights over a hundred pounds. I thought I could also fill it with sand below the spindle for extra ballast.
A final question. How low of an RPM range do you think is necessary for turning large bowls. I can probably fit up to 7or 8in pulleys, so I can get it turning as slow as I want. I'm just wondering what bottom range I should plan for.
  • RobinLiles
  • Topic Author

RobinLiles replied the topic: Re: Homemade bowl lathe plan?

If you can post a picture of your plan. I do like the idea of turning the shaft around and using the i-beam for the bed. As far as wieght and strength, the i-beam I have alone weighs 150lbs. this does not include the 70 lb. 2" thick steel plate that the bearings will be bolted to. The shaft/spinlde is at the machine shop(freebie) currently, so I am on hold for know. Keep us updated on your lathe.
Thanks for the suggestions.
  • Zach

Zach replied the topic: Re: Homemade bowl lathe plan?

I found some heavy browning bearings (4 bolt flange) at a bearing shop and I've talked to a machine shop that will mill my spindle, but I don't know much about spindles and bearings. Will it be safe to use a straight shaft with set screw bearings. Do they hold well, it seems without milling the ends of the shaft down, if the set screws come loose the spindle could wiggle out. I can get thicker stock and have them machine it down, but at $40 or $50 an hour for the machining, if they only need to put threads on a straight shaft it would be much cheaper. (Eccentric bearings sound safer, but it sounds like they can only spin in one direction, limiting the use of the spindle). Input from someone with more experience with bearings would be great. Thanks
  • ar.guy

ar.guy replied the topic: Re: Homemade bowl lathe plan?

Hi K,

Where did you get the drawing of the bowl lathe??
I'm thinking of making a bowl lathe and don't want to have to reinvent to wheel, but am having a hard time finding any thing.

Thanks for any help you can give.

  • hughie

hughie replied the topic: Re:Homemade bowl lathe plan?


Just joined a couple of days ago.

I am in the process of building my second bowl lathe. An all welded construction out of 120mmx120mmx6mm RHS [5x5x1/4]for the headstock,unequal angle for the bed 150mmx65mmx10mm [6x2.5x3/8] and a moveable top bed not unlike the Stubby, out of 200mmx65mmx10mm [8x2.5x3/8mm] parallel channel.
950mm bed length and should have a capablity of turning a 1m bowl if I care to.
Powered by a 1-1.5hp DC motor around 1000rpm and with variable speed capability. Two step pulley set up for high and low