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Went to a garden show yesterday in Chantilly VA and saw a contraption that holds a drill and has a chuck at the other end so you can place a wooden stick there and adjust for length. The drill serves as the motor (any drill you have). The contraption costs $129. Didn't write down the manufacturer but I've been ripped off at garden shows before and didn't buy it as a real lathe is just a few bucks more than the contraption. Hope I'm making sense thus far.

It's not like I need a lathe or anything as I only need to use it occasionally for scratchbuilding projects so I can't see taking up more space in the house with another tool.

Anyway, seems one could jury rig something and just wondering if any of you bright individuals have done so and can share with me.:)
 

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I think ya done good by not purchasing it.

I have a couple of items similar in that they claim they can hold ANY corded hand drill to turn it into a drill press... well, none of MY corded hand drills would fit in the holder such that the bit was parallel to the direction of travel.  I even have one made specifically for a particular drill and it too is just plain a waste of money.  I recently purchased a REAL drill press for less than the cost of the one I have that is made specifically for my Dremel Tool.

I have ONCE tried to use a drill press as a lathe to turn a small belt pulley from brass.  It did work, but I will never try it again.  One minor moment of inattention COULD have been a serious incident.  It was also very hard to hold the tools rigidly enough to do a good job.

I have since purchased a small inexpensive (relatively) lathe from MicroMark and kinda wish I had purchased a much bigger (read that as more RIGID) lathe.  It works, but is somewhat weak and requires a bit more time to work a piece to what I want than maybe a bigger, more professional, lathe might.  But, then, I'm a klutz, so I doubt if my work would be any better!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Semper V

My drill press has instructions not to use it as a lathe as the added sideways torque (if that's how i can describe it) will cause some sort of failure. Just that wood lathes (large as opposed to micromark) are so huge and already squeezing a router, table saw etc etc in small living area. Maybe I need to make my house a tool shed
 

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Yeah, I hear ya.

Room for the tools is always a consideration along with price.  Don't forget getting the tools into the work area, too.  I could not get a larger lathe into my dungeon (basement workshop) without major remodeling parts of my home.  Even getting the small MicroMark lathe down there was a large undertaking. 

As to using a drill press as a lathe, yes it is a bad idea... the sideways pressure is bad for the spindle bearings... in my case the spindle bearings were so bad anyway I didn't care.  The major thing for me was the inability to secure the tools in such a way as to advance them uniformly and gently, yet firmly, against the workpiece and hold them there.

I suppose that there are those that would say the drill lathe adapter was a good thing, but I still think you are better off getting a "real" tool instead of an improvised one.

"The tool does not a craftsman make" is true, but for duffers like me, the proper tool makes for better results.

And just because Red Green says, "Any tool is the right tool." doesn't make him right!
 

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SE18

Personally I believe that you made the right choice. While adapting a tool to some purpose other than what it was designed to do in the first place, has been done countless times, with success. It usually isn't good for the longevity of the tool and puts the user at greater risk for injury, than using a tool designed to do the job.

In your post you mentioned wood, and from that inference I take it you're mainly intending to do wood working with it. Have you taken a look at the bench top wood lathe that Micro-Mark offers?
Micro-Mark
8 x 12 WOODTURNERS' LATHE
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi Steve,

I don't have the budget for it right now. They have a nice metal turning lathe too for $600.
 

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OK, then how about taking the following article as a starting point adjust the components and size and build your own bench top wood lathe.

Right-click and use Save Target As... to download a copy to your local system.
Home made wood-lathe
PDF File Format 1.7MB
 

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Could very well be, that's what it reminded me of too. I ran across the file on the Internet a few years back and figured it was something worth keeping around.
 

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My Dad made a lathe almost exactly like the one in Steve's link.  He used pllow blocks rather than old piston rods.  It worked like a champ.  Homemade jobs like this are a good way to go.
 

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I only needed to turn one little part and it fit fine in my drill press chuck, then I used an angle grinder to do the actual cutting, that way it barely put any sideways pressure on the drill press.
I've done that a couple of times since, with no ill effects, but you have to be VERY careful with any tools.
 
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