Miniature Metal Lathe

This is a small lathe I’ve designed in my free time. Every component was designed from scratch and will eventually be machined by hand. All the components with sliding machine ways are to be machined from cast iron billet. The bed is constructed from epoxy granite cast into a steel tube. A cast iron slab is then permanently bonded to the extrusion using machine adjustment epoxy and several fasteners. All sliding ways are to be surface ground, and hand scraped.

Lathe 1

Without the resources to machine a set of change gears to mechanically couple the spindle to the longitudinal feed leadscrew, the leadscrew will be driven by and independent motor and electronically coupled to the spindle through rotary encoders. With a microcontroller, the true speed of both motors can be measured and adjusted to compensate for any variation as needed, this is especially necessary to ensure consistency during single point threading operations.

The lathe as of today with several hundred hours left before completion. Please take time to view the build log to see a more in-depth process of how all the components were made along with some discussion about different design considerations.


Build Log:

Lathe Bed Part: 1

Lathe Bed Part: 2