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Old 10-18-2006, 01:22 PM
Grouchy old Bassturd
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Greenhill Rhode Island
Posts: 1,033
Default Homemade tracer lathe?

I'm in the process of figuring out the how-to for making a tracer lathe.
For the lathe's drive I'm thinking sewing machine motor with foot switch rigged with a 4.6:1 reduction drive (belted pulley). This should give me a variable speed with 1,000 RPM tops with more torque(?).
The tracer will use a Dremal with rotary rasp & sanding drums for roughing. Probably the tailstock wouldbe a dead center using a pointed fine thread locking screw assembly.
Anyone ever tried this? Will it work? I can't see why not off hand.
Idea started for roughing/finishing cork handles and just evolved into a possible plug makin lathe of sorts.
If anyone has done this,,, some ideas couldbe helpful.

I just like to "Tinker"
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Old 10-18-2006, 03:47 PM
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Sudsy Sudsy is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: On the Hook, NJ
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Default Re: Homemade tracer lathe?

A dremel probably won't long survive the beating it'll get as a lathe cutter (unless you stick to balsa wood and freshy size plugs) I made a duplicator using a trim router as a cutter (it's all posted, do a search) - I think that's about the minimum you can use if you plan on doing saltwater size plugs and cedar.

To be honest, lathe prices have come down so much that it makes more sense to just go buy one. I've heard good things about the minilathe at Penn State Industies.
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Old 11-06-2006, 10:14 AM
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Roccus Roccus is offline
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Location: Reading, Mass/Rings Island
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I agree with Suds, that dremel will have a short life, if you must try this system, a roto zip works well (see the thread on my home made lathe)

Turning plugs will be hard duty on that sewing machi e motor as well.

but, as Sudsy said, the price of lathes have come way down, I have turn crafter pro and love it, buy their duplicator to go with it,it's simple, easy to set up and fast, I rough the plug with my gouge and finish with the duplicator, it make the chore of making multiples go alot faster....
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Old 11-06-2006, 07:53 PM
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zimno1 zimno1 is offline
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Default Re: Homemade tracer lathe?

real nice!

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Old 11-21-2006, 02:31 PM
OSSCA OSSCA is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 112
Default Re: Homemade tracer lathe?

As much fun as it is to build one yourself you can save alot of time and money buying a small used lathe from a surplus machinery dealer.I just picked up a pratt & whitney in great shape with a collet chuck and a synchronized 4jaw for $150.This lathe is easily worth $2000+ new and came with a keyless drill chuck,a full set of collets and a bin full of cutting tools.Because they buy entire shops full of machinery they usually get rid of the smaller stuff cheap.
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