About: the a b c approach is not for me .all feedback welcome. thanks for looking. if you would like some assistance or are interested in purchasing something don't be a stranger .

made from an old drill and offcuts of plywood that were too small for alaster to make meta terrahorns out of

alans lathe cost more than my house ,so as a lathing novice i thought id make something to practice on with a budget that suits my lathe experience.


Step 1:

Step 2: First Slider

as i was making the various slides i was adjusting the design.

the basic concept remains the same, layers of like sized pieces with holes through them. glued and screwed together.

Step 3: Images of the Threaded Steel Plate

when cutting metal do not put your phone on the table , the speaker will pick up iron filings.

Step 4:

Marking the side helps them stay in order.

i was using 10mm tube and a 10mm drill. i found that i had to fudge out the holes a bit to get the tube to fit.

Step 5:

i later omitted the nylocks inside the slide to increase range and reduce friction, having them only on the outside edges is enough to hold it together.

Step 6: Second Slide

the first slide had a bit of a wobble so i increased the amount of material sliding along the runners.

Step 7:

working out how it is all going to go together. the top of the slide table goes on last,

Step 8: Your Cross Slide

i added steel rules to reduce wobble and they act as a guide to how much slide there is.

i decided to experiment with staining and waxing the table, i wish i hadn't.

(details of the colouring in process can be found in my polishing machine instructable)

Step 9: Slide Design 3

  • More things to do , tho this should have less wobble/range issues than the previous 2,
  • Cross slide has been glued and screwed together so dissembling would be destructive.and my materials are limited. to increase the x axis i will slide the motor.

Step 10: Slide 3 Assembely Notes

  • Drill all the holes then split the sliding blocks.
  • Coach bolts are firmly attached to the lower portion of the slide. with a recess to give space to the retaining nuts.
  • Rails are such a tight fit that the end pieces are not necessary.
  • Threaded plates are screwed to the top portion of the slide only.
  • Top piece connecting the 2 slides is attached after the threaded bar is inserted, so that the distance does not interfere with the thread spacing.

Step 11: Attaching the Slide to the Base

  • The design has no z axis so the cross sliide table tool post thing has to be level with the drill chuck. adding spacers where needed.
  • Using levels glue and clamps, leave to dry overnight.
  • Screws from underneath the next day make doubly sure its not going to move anywhere it shouldn't.

Step 12: The Tool Post Holder Bit

  • Myford quick release type because the price is reasonable, i was not sure how the quick release bit was supposed to work. but they came as a set of 2.the details can be dealt with later.
  • Start by cutting two pieces of ply to match the wibbley edge with a coping saw.

Step 13: The Quick Release Bit

  • Cut a piece of metal that would be captive within the slot, then tapped a thread in it.
  • Tightening the bolt locks the metal bits together .
  • Tightening the wing nut pulls all the metal bits toward the wood,

Step 14: Tailstock

  • Secondary chuck that can hold tools or a centering point. its a big lump of wood with a hole that is parallel with the motor chuck.
  • the threaded bar that fits the chuck i had to be order specifically, because its an imperial thread, 3/8"x24pitch

Step 15: Power ,safety & Detailing

  • Household plug socket serves as a switch so i dont have to mess about with the trigger locking mechanism, pulling the plug acts as an easy access emergency stop.
  • Tool trays by putting an edge in from scrap material then lined with suede, so my bits and bobs will rattle less and not roll onto the floor.
  • Anti flying particle shield is made from a security light frame and a piece of polycarbonate.Hinged so tooling can be changed with less obstruction.

Step 16: Calibration Ho Ho Ho

  • by turning the handle 10 rotations the slide moves 12mm
  • 12mm / 10 = 1.2mm per rotation
  • if i divide the wheel into 12 each slice is 0.1mm
  • Marking 12 sections is easy because the nuts have 6 sides, so by cutting a slot at every edge and the middle of every flat.
  • Add diagonal lines to remind which way the table will travel when turn the thingy.

Step 17: DNJ52 Black'n'decker

The power plant is old , tired and obsolete,

  • Gearbox was almost dry,and exploded when i opened it so reassembly took some guesswork. there is still a lot of movement where there shouldn't be any.
  • Original cable was even shorter than the white one i fitted, it was only connected to the switch with gravity.
  • Its standard tiny keyed chuck needed to be upgraded to a bigger keyless one.

the drill in the video differs as the one i was planning to use had not arrived yet.

Step 18: Results, Conclusion , What Next

  • here are the test pieces, wood aluminum and hardened steel. not bad considering that the drill is pretty much shot.
  • Next time i would use slide design 3 , and make the cross slide bigger so i don't need a third slide.
  • I have a proper chuck now, and the motor from an industrial coffee grinder. so Mk 2 shouldn't be too far away.

Thanks for reading/ watching , i welcome comments and questions, i hope that you would like to follow me on here or on YouTube for previews (i upload the videos before i publish here)




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    12 Discussions


    2 years ago

    What is that blue piece that holds the drill? I am planning on making a hand drill holder here.

    3 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    its a black and decker horizontal drill stand . you may need a old black and decker drill to fit it. it looks more solid than it is. apologies for the late reply. I'd be interested to see your results


    Reply 2 years ago

    It is a good thing you replied. I'd completely forgotten about that project. Now it is written in my to do list. There are some things over it though.


    Reply 2 years ago

    black and decker lathe attachment. look on ebay. I was lucky I got one bnib. hadn't tried fitting it to modern drill.


    2 years ago

    Loved it, well done. Going to make wood lathe using same principle.

    1 reply

    2 years ago

    A DIY lathe has been on my project list for a long time. I happen to have exactly that same B&D drill and the base holder that goes with it lying in a box somewhere. This gives me ideas for it. It was my father's first drill he had bought in the 70's or early 80's. It came with all sorts of attachments to turn it into a jigsaw, a circular saw, an orbital sander... :-) made in England!

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    I had the cupboard with most of the bits missing. I later got the circular saw attachment that didn't inspire confidence. the drill press is quite good. I got parts of the sander base in different locations

    Patxi Alai

    2 years ago

    I think it's a great job. Very well done, very well explained, but only well drawn. The latter is a joke. I think it's one of the best instructables I've seen in a long time, for her "instructive" character, for the effort in preparation, and the utility, without question, the theme developed.
    Thank you very much for the effort, and congratulations on a job very well done.

    1 reply
    crazygPatxi Alai

    Reply 2 years ago

    utility without question.interesting. Thanks glad you enjoyed it.