Homemade metal lathe with your own hands: manufacture and operation
The lathe is needed for the manufacture and processing of metal parts. Professional equipment is quite expensive, so in order to save money, you can make a homemade metal lathe with your own hands. There are several ways to do this, and drawings of such a product are easily available on the Internet. You can use improvised materials for manufacturing, but the size of the machine can be any.
Components of a mini metal lathe with your own hands
Any homemade lathe consists of the following elements:
- the drive is the main part of the mechanism that is responsible for its power. Choosing the drive of the required power is one of the most difficult tasks. In small metal lathes with your own hands, you can use a drive from a conventional washing machine or drill. Usually, the power of this element starts from 200 watts, and the number of revolutions per minute – from 1500;
- the bed is a load–bearing frame of a structure that can be made of wooden bars or a steel corner. The frame must be characterized by high strength, otherwise the entire structure may fall apart from vibrations during operation;
- the tailstock is made of a steel plate and a steel corner welded to it. The plate rests against the guide frames, and the main purpose of the tailstock of the lathe with your own hands is to fix the metal part during processing;
- the headstock is a part similar to the tailstock, but mounted on a movable frame;
- master and slave centers;
- the caliper is a thrust mechanism for the working part.
The torque from the motor to the working part of the machine can be transmitted in several ways. Someone prefers to directly install the working part on the engine shaft – this saves space and allows you to save on spare parts. If this option is not possible, the torque can be transmitted using a friction, belt or chain transmission. Each of these options has its advantages and disadvantages.
Belt drive for an electric motor is the cheapest and is characterized by a fairly high level of reliability. For its manufacture, you can use a belt for an electric motor removed from any other mechanism. The disadvantage of the belt drive is that over time the belt can wear off and it will have to be changed more often, the more intensively you work with the machine.
A chain drive is more expensive and takes up more space, but it will also last much longer than a belt drive. The friction transmission has intermediate characteristics between belt and chain.
Useful advice! When assembling a lathe, choose the type of transmission that best suits the tasks. For example, for a mini-lathe with your own hands, it is better to install the working part directly on the shaft.
Lathe support with your own hands: drawings, how to make from improvised materials
The caliper is one of the most important parts of a homemade lathe – the quality of the future part depends on it, as well as the amount of time and effort that you will spend on its manufacture. This part is located on special sleds that move along the guides located on the frame. The caliper can move in three directions:
- longitudinal – the working part of the machine moves along the workpiece. The longitudinal movement is used for turning threads into parts or for removing a layer of material from the surface of a metal workpiece.;
- transverse – movement perpendicular to the axis of the workpiece. It is used for drilling recesses and holes;
- oblique – movement at different angles for sharpening the recesses on the surface of the workpiece.
When making a lathe caliper with your own hands, you should take into account the fact that this part is subject to wear as a result of vibrations that occur during operation. Because of them, the fasteners are loosened, there is a backlash, all this affects the quality of the manufactured part. In order to avoid such problems, the caliper must be regularly adjusted and adjusted.
Adjustment of a homemade caliper for a lathe with your own hands is carried out by gaps, backlash and seals. Adjustment of the gaps is necessary in the case when the screw responsible for moving the part in the longitudinal and transverse planes has worn out. As a result of friction, the caliper begins to loosen under loads, which significantly reduces the accuracy of manufacturing the part. Gaps can be eliminated by inserting wedges between the guides and the carriage. The backlash of the part is eliminated by means of a fixing screw.
If the oil seals in your machine have worn out, they should be thoroughly rinsed and soaked with fresh engine oil. In case of critical wear, it is better to completely replace the oil seals with new ones.
Homemade metal lathe with your own hands: the order of assembly
The mechanism is assembled in the following order:
In addition, according to the drawings of the metal lathe with your own hands, you can see that to increase the stability of the tool mechanism, an assistant is made, and a thin strip of metal is fixed on the lower part of the structure. The latter serves to protect the working part of the machine from deformation during operation.
Useful advice! A metal lathe assembled with your own hands can be used not only for its intended purpose, but also for grinding and polishing metal parts. To do this, a grinding wheel is attached to the electric shaft.
Choosing an electric motor for the machine
The most important part of a homemade metal lathe, the video of the manufacture of which can be easily found on the Internet, is an electric motor. It is with its help that the movement of the working part of the machine is carried out. Accordingly, the power of the entire structure depends on the power of this mechanism. It is selected depending on the size of the metal workpieces with which you plan to work.
If you plan to work on a machine with small parts, a motor with a power of up to 1 kW is quite suitable for this. It can be removed from an old sewing machine or any other similar electrical appliance. To work with large spare parts, you will need an engine with a power of 1.5-2 kW.
When assembling a self-made metal lathe according to ready-made drawings, keep in mind that all electrical parts of the structure must be reliably insulated. If you do not have the necessary experience working with electrical equipment, it is better to ask for help connecting to a specialist. So you will be sure of the safety of work and the reliability of the structure.
Making a lathe from a drill with your own hands
If you want to save on spare parts and greatly simplify the task of assembling a homemade lathe, you can use a conventional electric drill as a drive. Such a constructive solution has a number of advantages:
Of course, there are also negative sides to the drill lathe. How to make the processing of large parts possible with this tool? This is practically impossible, since the drill has a relatively small torque and a large number of revolutions. Of course, you can increase these parameters if you still install a belt drive and use it to transfer the torque from the drill to the spindle, but this will greatly complicate the design, the main advantage of which is simplicity and compactness.
Making a homemade desktop metal lathe based on a drill makes sense in cases where you do not need to carry out large-scale work, and only small parts need to be sharpened.
To manufacture a metal lathe based on an electric drill, you will need the same parts as for a conventional design with the exception of an electric motor and a headstock. The role of the latter is also performed by a drill. Given the compactness of the design, an ordinary table or workbench can be used as a bed, on which all the components of the machine will be fixed. The drill itself is fixed in the structure with a clamp and clamp.
Useful advice! The functionality of an electric drill-based lathe can be significantly expanded if various attachments and additional devices are added to its design.
With the help of a homemade lathe, it is possible not only to grind parts, but also to apply paint to a rotating workpiece, wind wire on a transformer, make spiral notches on the surface of the part and perform many other actions. In addition, if you assemble a copier for the machine, then with its help you can quickly and effortlessly produce small identical parts.
Features of working metal lathes with your own hands, video instructions as a way to avoid mistakes
Like any other equipment, homemade lathes have their own characteristics that must be taken into account during assembly and operation. For example, when working with large parts or when using a powerful electric motor, strong vibrations occur, which can lead to serious errors in the processing of the part. To get rid of vibrations, the master and slave centers of the machine must be installed on the same axis. And if it is planned to install only the leading center, a cam mechanism should be attached to it.
In desktop lathes, it is not recommended to install a collector motor with your own hands on metal. It is prone to a spontaneous increase in the number of revolutions, which can lead to the departure of the part. This, in turn, can lead to work injuries or property damage. If there is no way to do without installing a collector engine, a gearbox must be installed with it to lower the speed.
The ideal motor option for a homemade lathe is asynchronous. It does not increase the speed during operation, is resistant to heavy loads and allows you to work with metal workpieces with a width of up to 100 mm.
The rules for the installation and operation of any type of electric motor for a lathe can be viewed in numerous video instructions on the Internet. With their help, you will not only avoid common mistakes during assembly, but also save time and effort due to the clarity of the material.
Safety precautions when working with a homemade lathe
When working with the structure, certain safety measures should be observed. So, after assembling the machine, it is necessary to check its operability. The spindle should rotate easily and without delay, the front and rear centers should be aligned along a common axis. The center of symmetry of the rotating part must coincide with the axis of its rotation.
On any video of a lathe with your own hands, you can see that after installing the electric motor, it is covered with a special casing. The latter serves not only to protect the machine operator, but also to protect the motor itself from dust, metal particles and dirt. For a machine made on the basis of an electric drill, such a casing is not needed.
Useful advice! If you are planning to install a structure based on a powerful electric motor, then be sure to make sure that there is enough power in your power grid to work with it. At home, it is better to do with a motor from household appliances, which will definitely work from the voltage in your outlet.
The following safety rules should also be followed:
Options for upgrading a homemade lathe
If you need a mechanism that can not only perform turning work, but also grind and paint the workpiece, the basic machine can be easily modified. It is best to do this for a design based on an electric drill, since it is easiest to replace the working part in it.
There are several popular modifications of the metal lathe. How to make a cone-shaped hole? To do this, two files must be attached to the base in such a way that they form a trapezoid. After that, a spring mechanism is mounted, which ensures that the files are fed forward and at an angle, which allows you to drill cone-shaped holes into the parts.
In addition, to work with metal parts of different lengths, you can make a machine with a collapsible base. With the help of several boards or metal corners, you can move the working tool closer or farther to the fasteners holding the part, as well as change the size of the gap between the fasteners. It is most convenient to make such a design based on an ordinary table or workbench.
If you attach a grinding wheel to an electric motor as a working tool, you can use the machine not only to polish the surface of the part, but also to sharpen knives, scissors and other household tools. Thus, the lathe turns into a convenient multifunctional mechanism.
Assembling a lathe at home is a fairly simple task, which is further simplified by numerous video instructions and drawings from the Internet. At the same time, you can assemble the structure literally from improvised parts, using old household appliances and waste from installation and construction production.
The main advantage of self–assembly is cost savings. In addition, it is worth noting the ability to independently adjust the dimensions and power of the device to adapt it to your needs. A homemade machine can be not only large, but also quite miniature, designed for processing small parts.