The Best Gingery Lathe Video Series To Date

[Makercise] has been working on a Gingery Lathe since September last year. His videos on the process are by far the most detailed, clearly shot, and complete series on making a Gingery lathe we’ve come across.

For those who aren’t familiar, the Gingery series of books describe how to build an entire machine shop’s worth of bench top tools using only the hardware store, dumpster dives, charcoal, and simple skills. The series of books start out with the charcoal foundry. [Makercise] has built a nice oil fired foundry already so it’s off to the next book, Gingery 2,  is the metal lathe.

The Gingery books and, really, most DIY books from that era are: not well laid out, well written, or even complete. All but the most recent prints of the series still looked like photocopies of typewritten documents with photos glued on. The series provided just enough detail, drawings, and advice to allow the hobbyist to fill in the rest. So it’s really nice to see someone work through the methods described in the book visually. Seeing someone using a scraper made from an old file on aluminum to true the surface is much more useful than Gingery’s paragraph or two dedicated to the subject.

[Makercise] is fast approaching the end of his lathe build. We’re not certain if he’ll move onto the Shaper, mill, drill press, brake, etc. after finishing the lathe, but we’re hopeful. The playlist is viewable after the break.

16 thoughts on “The Best Gingery Lathe Video Series To Date

    1. I corresponded with Dave back when the books first came out. He pointed out that his name was pronounced, not like the spice, but more like ‘ding-a-ling’.

      I built the lathe, scaled up to 10.5″ swing x 22″ centers, Took me seven years…however, those years included returning to grad school for a Ph.D. in chemistry, and two moves.

      1. “not like the spice, but more like ‘ding-a-ling’.” This clears up the sound of the second ‘g’, but not the first! ‘Ding’ doesn’t sound like either ‘g’ sound. Is it ‘g’ as in ‘golf’, or ‘g’ as in ‘gin’?

    1. No doubt you are seeing that tape. Being lazy that day didn’t take the staple of a paper I made a photo copy of. A bit of humor watching a bunch of hams trying to remove a nonexistent staple from the photo copy I handed out at radio club meeting. Once when I was feeling persnickety I sent a good bit of time whiting out an eyelash on every page a manual for a mobile repeater duplexer. I tried to kid myself it was a pubic hair from an adventurous gal in that office, but I’m sure it was a boring eyelash

  1. It is like a right of passage to make one of those and at the end you have both a lathe and a manly beard, a ginger coloured one at that.

    Great video playlist, lots of little tips and observations scattered throughout it too.

  2. Fabulous work! As mentioned, the production is well detailed.
    For those interested in building a small metalworking lathe from scratch and aren’t up to doing the necessary casting the Gingery requires, there were two books published by MAP (Model and Allied Publications) in the UK in 1977. The first was ‘Building a small lathe’ and the follow-on ‘Using the small lathe’ both by L.C. Mason.
    The Mason lathe is built entirely from bar stock and has a center height of 1-3/4″ by 8″ between centers, has a taper slide, back gear and screwcutting ability. The first books’ ISBN is 0 85242 501 1.

  3. That’s really inspiring! Watched all of the vids. I really love projects like this! Quite curious how the detail with the lathe cuck will be solved and if the rod, which is holding the chuck is going to be hollow.

  4. Great casting and video technique!

    Some questions though: Why are there no risers? I can remember our casting course in the higher technical college where we had to use them so that no air is trapped within the mold. Further the inlet wasn’t directly within the final part itself, but rather outside with a bowl like bottom (to prevent damage from inrush and to prevent that any sand is in the final part).

    See rough sketch:

    1. I watched all his videos many times. This maker really sets the standard. I just dropped by to push the name of MyFordBoy. I’ve learned a lot on casting aluminium from his channel. Just watching his experienced hands is a show in itself. Not a muscle moves for nothing. The old man rocks.

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