Building Your Own Metal Lathe

By Cressel

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Progress as of November 12.

I am building a Gingery Metal Lathe, I keep adding to the playlist below. Subscribe to my channel on YouTube and configure alerts for my channel if you want to receive notificantion when I add videos.  I downloaded the first three books in the series for Kindle.  Morgan Demers inspired me with his videos of building his lathe.

My first charcoal foundry was a bit too messy, dusty, and expensive. Waste oil would be cheaper but kerosene works better to get it started.  I followed David D’s video on the Kwiky All Fuel Foundry https://youtu.be/E-l21wQ6X-E with minor tweaks. Kerosene works much better but doesn’t save me much over charcoal. It is still much less of a mess.

I poured the apron and lead screw supports and now have some data on the material loss and furnace burn rate. I lost 5% as slag, spillage, and leftover in the crucible. Discounting fuel used to heat up the foundry, I use about 0.45 lbs of fuel per lb of aluminum melted. I also did some calculations on what that means for my foundry’s efficiency. I used about 8M joules to heat and melt the aluminum when only 0.39M joules were required: 5% efficiency. This seems like pretty poor performance, but I found typical efficiencies for crucible type foundries are 7-19%, see http://www.mntap.umn.edu/metalcast/energy.htm. I definitely have room for improvement on this foundry. However, it works for now, and I can always try for better efficiency with foundry 2.0 and 3.0.

If you would like to support development of this video and would like to check out the book series use these Amazon affiliate links:
The Charcoal Foundry (Book 1)
The Metal Lathe (Book 2)
The Metal Shaper (Book 3)
The Milling Machine (Book 4)

By clicking the links and making a purchase you pass a small portion of the sale along to me as a commission.

More updates to come.

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sloW 20161013

Hi, i went about making the gingery lathe as well after i saw your and a few other’s videos of it, what do you think about my idea of making the bed from a steel U construction profile? i have some picture here of how far i have come http://imgur.com/a/L7cOs, i have also made a small design change to the swivel, this way it should be a lot more rigid. since i live in europe i had to redesign the whole lathe to be in metric, and since all measurements changed i went about scaling it up too, i made the bed 1meter long, from a 12cm by 12mm thick peace of cold rolled steel, and the bed out of a 80x45mm steel U-profile, the carriage is also correspondingly bigger (12cm wide by 30cm long). this way i should eventually end up with about 60cm bettwen centers. what do you think about it

    Cressel 20161116

    Well done again. Many I need to stay on top of these blog comments…so many are spam. Thanks for being persistent, and again well done!

Phred 20161025

I’ve been watching your lathe fabrication videos with great interest. One question: Most parts of the project are covered well. However, the fab of the motor mount, belts and pulleys is not covered. Since you are an EE, do you think that system can be simplified?? Are there motors available that could work for the range of power and speed required without using multiple pulleys??
Thanks for the great videos. You are an inspiration.

    Cressel 20161116

    Rightly noted. I did just gloss over that detail. I intend to improve the base mounting since the bench is not terribly stable. Perhaps I’ll revamp the drive and do a video at that time. Thanks for the encouragement.

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