Jump to content
  • Sign Up to reply and join the friendliest Watch Forum on the web. Stick around, get to 50 posts and gain access to your full profile and additional features such as a personal messaging system, chat room and the sales forum PLUS the chance to enter our regular giveaways.

Mini lathe projects


Recommended Posts

Thought I'd start a thread in the members section about my mini-lathe & some of the projects/things I make on it. Really I'm just playing around on it but I love using it & making something out of nothing (a scuffed/ scratched pool ball for example). It also gets the grey cells working figuring out how to get round a particular problem. The pool ball's are too big for the chuck on my lathe so how do you hold them in order to drill/machine them? 

The last photo is of a lamp I made from an old gear lever knob I had. This isn't very big but it's hollow so holds a reasonable amount of lamp oil. I had to make the rest of it - the threaded part that the cap screws onto, this is threaded both externally (for the cap) & internally for the wick holder. The wick holder unscrews allowing you to fill the lamp with oil. It lasts about 2 hours which isn't really very long but a lot better than the 30 mins the first lamp I made lasted. It's all part of the learning curve :laugh:

DSC_0002.JPG

_20201205_164708.JPG

DSC_0015.JPG

DSC_0008.JPG

DSC_0003_5.JPG

Edited by pauluspaolo
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I know that on a woodturning lathe you can make what's called a 'scrapwood' or 'jam' chuck to hold round items such as wooden eggs, fruit etc. You basically turn a suitably sized piece of wood with a spigot that will fit in the chuck jaws at one end and a suitably sized hole at the other. After the first end is turned from the stock, it's parted off, then reversed and tapped into the jam chuck where it's held by friction alone. I've turned many eggs and fruit like this.

Fundamentals of Jam and Cup Chucking - Woodturning Magazine -  woodworkersinstitute.com;

Turning a Sphere on the lathe using a Jam Chuck: by Sam Angelo - YouTube

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Roger, thanks for the reply & I've seen that method in online videos. However I've made a jig (don't know what else to call it) that does fit in the chuck. This consists of 2 x 75mm diameter discs of metal with a 30mm hole in centre of each. These discs are joined with 2 lengths of studding so that the ball can be held tightly between them. Once mounted in the lathe chuck the pool ball can then be drilled/machined/tapped etc. I then drill a 25mm hole to a specific depth & machine the plumbing fitting (neck) to fit this. Once I've fitted the neck of the trinket box I use this to hold the ball in the chuck to machine a flat on it so that it'll stand upI I use Loctite 638 (high strength glue) to fasten the neck in place. The nut of the plumbing fitting is used to make the lid - this has a hole that needs filling & I eith glue or solder discs/coins in place. 

Last job is to clean/polish the ball - I use very fine wet & dry paper & then polish (brasso, solvol autosol or colour impregnated shoe polish all work well). It's quite a process but simpler than it sounds & the more I make the better/faster I get at making them.

Once I've made enough for stocking fillers/pressies I may try & sell some (Ebay/Etsy etc) :yes:

Edited by pauluspaolo
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, pauluspaolo said:

Hi Roger, thanks for the reply & I've seen that method in online videos. However I've made a jig (don't know what else to call it) that does fit in the chuck. This consists of 2 x 75mm diameter discs of metal with a 30mm hole in centre of each. These discs are joined with 2 lengths of studding so that the ball can be held tightly between them. Once mounted in the lathe chuck the pool ball can then be drilled/machined/tapped etc. I then drill a 25mm hole to a specific depth & machine the plumbing fitting (neck) to fit this. Once I've fitted the neck of the trinket box I use this to hold the ball in the chuck to machine a flat on it so that it'll stand upI I use Loctite 638 (high strength glue) to fasten the neck in place. The nut of the plumbing fitting is used to make the lid - this has a hole that needs filling & I eith glue or solder discs/coins in place. 

Last job is to clean/polish the ball - I use very fine wet & dry paper & then polish (brasso, solvol autosol or colour impregnated shoe polish all work well). It's quite a process but simpler than it sounds & the more I make the better/faster I get at making them.

Once I've made enough for stocking fillers/pressies I may try & sell some (Ebay/Etsy etc) :yes:

Excellent! Thanks for the detailed post. :thumbsup:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just an idea on the plumbing fitting. Is that a 22/25mm compression fitting you've pressed in the ball? If so, how about trying a 22/25mm blanking cap that doesn't have a hole in it? The top could be faced in your lathe to create a smooth surface, thus eliminating the need for inserts or discs. Just a thought...

21851_P&$prodImageMedium$

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Roger the Dodger said:

Just an idea on the plumbing fitting. Is that a 22/25mm compression fitting you've pressed in the ball? If so, how about trying a 22/25mm blanking cap that doesn't have a hole in it? The top could be faced in your lathe to create a smooth surface, thus eliminating the need for inserts or discs. Just a thought...

21851_P&$prodImageMedium$

Great idea Roger :thumbs_up: 

At the moment I'm buying 25mm compression T pieces & hack sawing off the bits I need - from each T piece I end up with 3 caps/necks. The nut acts as the cap but I have to fill the hole with something. On a couple of the pots I've used a coin (Singapore dollar & a Sri-Lankan something or other) & for the others a 25mm brass or copper disc (discovered in a redundant metal samples kit at work). The latest pot I'm working on is going to have a watch themed cap. This uses larger (28mm) compression fittings & I'm hoping to use a bezel, crystal, dial & hands in the cap. On this first one everything will be fixed/glued in place, but It'd be great to make a cap with a working watch in it (quartz probably); I'm not sure if/how I'd be able to fix the movement in place, have a working crown, leave enough access for battery changes & still have the cap screw down enough - so it requires much more thought, a working donor watch & is definitely a work in progress.

Anyway on the one below I've smoothed out the edges of the compression nut/cap on my belt sander & used a copper disc to fill the hole & I like the contrast between the brass & copper. The discs is fastened in place with black milliput (which doesn't look great) so I've added a farthing to relieve the monotony on the inside (there's no reason I've used a farthing other than they're the right sort of size, have a nice design on them & we seem to have quite a few).

:) 

 

Pool ball black 01.jpg

Pool ball black lid 02.jpg

Pool ball black lid 03.jpg

Here's the one with the Singapore dollar - it's a lovely coin actually but then everything about Singapore was lovely - I've given this one to my wife (early Christmas pressie) :)  

Singapore red.jpg

Edited by pauluspaolo
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

So been playing about with the pool balls again on the lathe. I gave some away for Christmas with differing reactions - some enthusiastic (step-daughter likes hers, as does my Dad) & some less so (I've not heard a thing from my good friend about his - not even a "thank you for the present but what's it for?" type reaction). My wife likes hers & I think it's always a good thing when your wife/significant other likes the results of a hobby you spend hours on - so on the whole reactions have been positive. 

As a result I've been making some  more & the more I make the quicker/more confident I become at making them (if that makes sense?).

These are the latest - I've done another black number 8 (number the right way up this time :rolleyes:), another stubby screwdriver with replaceable driver bits, & another red pot. I bought some Celtic design buttons & have started decorating the lids with these, though one of the lids has a New Zealand 10 cent coin on it which shows a Maori warrior gurning. I've also made a gearknob for the silly car (Reliant) that's based on the stubby screwdriver design - fits in the hand very comfortably & isn't freezing cold unlike the alloy one I'd had on originally!

I'm keeping the black one but since the photo was taken I've fitted the lid from the red one onto it. I like the Maori design & New Zealand holds many special memories as being just about the best holiday ever.  

If anyone would like a pot, or screwdriver, then I'd be happy to make them one for a small donation. I like making them so any excuse to use the lathe is fine with me. Not sure what uses they have - pill pot, container for small components (screws, fuses, nuts. bolts etc, my wife keeps her earrings in one of the ones I've given her).  I've tested the screwdriver & it works fine.

Anyway opinions welcome as always :) 

P1050274.JPG

P1050273 (2).JPG

03b  Screwdriver closed.jpg

01   Pots x3 + screwdriver.jpg

02   8 ball + lid.jpg

02a  8 ball open.jpg

03   Screwdriver.jpg

03a  Screwdriver + bits open.jpg

P1050275.JPG

Edited by pauluspaolo
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice! I like the mini screwdriver! I made something similar many years ago when I had to get into a very tight spot on a foundry conveyor belt at BroomWade. It's even smaller than a normal 'stubby' screwdriver and the only thing I had to hand at the time was a bit of hex bronze which makes it quite heavy. It's got me out of a lot trouble over the ensuing years and the fact it can accept all 1/4" bits makes it worth it's weight in bronze! :yes:

Old tools.

Old tools.

Old tools.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...