A Double-Hybrid Mini-Lathe, From Scratch

It’s a treadle lathe! No, it’s a power lathe! It’s a wood lathe! No, it’s a metal lathe! Actually, [Uri Tuchman]’s homebrew lathe is all of the above, and it looks pretty snazzy too.

To say that [Uri]’s creations are quirky is a bit of an understatement – birds, crustaceans, hands, and feet all appear repeatedly as motifs in his work – but there’s no overstating his commitment to craftsmanship. [Uri] turns wood and metal into wonderful tools, nonsense machines, and finely detailed instruments, like this exquisitely engraved astrolabe we featured a while back.

[Uri] mostly works with hand tools, supplemented by an old Singer treadle-powered sewing machine that he turned into a scroll saw. The video below shows how he added a small scratch-built lathe to the treadle base. His first pass at a headstock, using pillow blocks for bearings, didn’t work as well as he wanted, so he built a new headstock around off-the-shelf lathe parts. The aluminum extrusion bed holds the headstock, tailstock, and a custom-built tool rest of heavy brass, all of which look great alongside the rich wood accent pieces and base. And for those times when his feet are tired, he added a surplus electric motor to turn the spindle. We especially like the two settings on the motor speed control: “0” and “>0”. Classic [Uri].

If you haven’t heard of [Uri] before, do yourself a favor and go check out his YouTube channel right now. Or start with our other coverage of his unique projects, from building an intricately detailed hammer to his lobster claw ink-dipping machine and even this unusual take on preserved lemons.

[BrightBlueJim] spied this about the time we did. Thanks for the tip!

4 thoughts on “A Double-Hybrid Mini-Lathe, From Scratch

  1. Very Nice and creative making of a hobby lathe. I thought you did an excellent job working out the details . I will say I was worried a little about the foot operation at first and liked that you did use a variable speed control with a motor instead. Good luck on your creativity!
    Doug
    Williamsburg, Missouri USA

    1. Indeed its a nice construction.
      I’d keep the treadle for those moments you get bored or need some ankle exercise when doing routine stuff then drive an alternator to charge the UPS batteries that can keep the lathe running during brownouts Or for the heck of it invite the local friendly ‘greenies’ over to do the work instead and save power ;-)

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