Homemade tools and lathe modifications.

Homemade woodturning tools and  Record CL1 lathe modifications.

  Woodturning can be a expensive hobby so any tools you can make is always a bonus, I always try to make tools or adapt machinery if I can.  I dont totally run my workshop on homemade equipement I do have  band saw,  dust extractor etc. but making  simple tools can save a lot of money

Record CL1 motor conversion,
Turning metal on record dml Lathe,
Making wood rings,
Homemade captive ring tools,
Homemade goblet steady,
Homemade carbide tools,
Cam Lock Banjo on Record CL1,
Making wood model wheel,

Wood slicer, Accu type slicer

Recod CL1 motor conversion

Motor mounting on cl1 lathe
Cl1 pulley mounting

Coming from Yorkshire I don’t open my wallet a lot but I needed a swivel head lathe so I bought a second hand Record CL1 lathe cheap with nova chuck tools etc  but I love variable speed so set about adding a vfd drive. Got a vfd controller   and 3 phase 240 v motor off  Ebay.  Bit of a pain to fit but it works.The motor shaft was not long enough so i had to machine a extension shaft. (Did this with vice attachment on my Record DMl 305 lathe, also with VFD drive). The motor mounting plate has to be re drilled for the motor mounting holes a simple job. The top cover of the head stock housing has to be cut to clear the extended motor shaft reasonable easy with a grinder. The motor mounting plate was also ground flat where it faces the head stock to give a tighter fit when its clamped. Added a wood wheel with two magnets in to the end of the head stock shaft to give a actual shaft RPM using a homemade arduino rpm counter. New bearings on the head stock and belt and it works.

Record Cl1 control box
Lathe motor speed sensor

Machining Metal on Record DML 305 Lathe

Axminster vice on Record DML305
Vice on record DML 305 woodturning lathe

Why  metal cut on a wood lathe? Well i needed to shave off 1mm from stainless steel ring inserts that I use to make wood rings, that way the rings are not too bulky. I bought a Axminster cross clamp vice and mounted it on a sled that clamps on top the DML bed. I then bought metal cutting cutters with holders from Bangood and Ali express these will clamp in the vice. Once you have it set up it will cut 1/10 mm off at each pass. So i can cut my stainless steel rings to a very accurate dimension. I then glue my wood outer to the rings and turn normally on the lathe. To hold the rings steady on the lathe chuck I use a jewellers ring extender. They use them to slightly enlarge rings.

Making my stainless steel rings

Wood Ring making parts
Making a wood ring on a woodturning lathe

Above picture on the left shows steel insert after its thickness has been reduced on my metal cutting attachment. Its then glued into the wood block. On the right picture shows ring mounted on jewellers expanding mandrel mounted inthe chuck ready to be turned down.

wood ring making on a lathe
Wood rings turned on a wood lathe

Above picture on the left shows rings on a mandrel being coated with ca glue adding 6 plus coats and on the right photo is finished product

Homemade Captive Ring Tools

Homemade Captive ring cutters
Homemade Captive ring back cutter
Cutting a captive ring on a goblet
Cutting a captive ring on a goblet

I bough Robert Sorby A805HS Captive Ring tool I wasn’t too impressed its time consuming swapping the cutter between left and right and its not too good at cutting the back of the rings. So I made my own. The cutters are steel from a circular saw blade.  Cut out small bits with angle grinder drill a hole the diameter of the rings and a hole for the holding bolt then cut and file to shape. I now use a dremell wilth a grindstone of the diameter you want to angle grind the drilled hole so that you can get the right cutting angle.  Next harden the steel using a blowlamp to heat up to temp (use the magnet trick a magnet wont atract to it at the right temperature) dip it into oil and its hardened. Next it should be tempered in a oven to reduce britleness but I dont bother as cutting rings puts very little pressure on the cutter. Finally tap a thread in a piece of steel bar and attch cutter then sharpen.  I make the point of the rear cutter as fine as I can so it cuts cleanly round the back of the rings. The radius of the back cutter is slightly larger than the ring diameter so that it does not catch the front of the ring. So for a few euros I have a center left and right cutter and a few spare cutter tips from the saw blade.

Homemade Goblet Steady

Woodturning Goblet Steady parts
Goblet steady in use on woodturning lathe

Homemade goblet steady,  use a old fixed fixed drive center and araldite a bearing onto the end,  now turn a dome and a insert for the bearing assemble and you have a good goblet steady.

More homemade tools

Homemade carbide tools for woodturning

Cheap carbide cutting tools. You can buy carbide woodturning cutters from China very cheaply on Ebay or Ali express.  They usually come with a screw for around 2 euro each. A piece of 10mm square steel cut a thread in the end add the cutter and a wood handle and you have a first class carbide cutter for about 10 euro.

Camlock banjo on Record CL1

Record CL1 banjo
Record CL1 cam lock banjo

The CL1 toolrest banjo is a real pain but its easy to upgrade to a CL3/4 camlock banjo, its a straight fit it just needs the original bottom bracket underneath the rails instead of the new one. (The gap between the rails is slightly different)  The banjo does take a 1 inch tool rest but  the new one comes with a tool rest.
They are available at Yandles in UK


Cutting wood wheels
wood wheels making
Wooden wheel making for models
Shaping wood wheels
wood wheels shaping

Making model wood wheels

Use a good quality hole saw to cut out the shapes then mount on a screw chuck and smooth the edges, I then use a homemade scraper to quickly round the edges.  Next get a old fork and sharpen the tongs this will make four perfect tyre grooves very quickly.  I then take the wheel off and add a spacer onto the screw chuck such that the wheel protrudes enough so that you can cut the inside of the wheel down to the screw head chuck. This gives a perfect depth every time. Cut the inside and use a small round scraper to smooth then sand. Wheel making quick and easy.



Slicing Thin on a bandsaw down to 1/16th inch

Looked at the American Accu saw, very expensive so made my own, bought some linear guide rails off Amazon (most expensive part) two nema 17 stepper motors and a arduino stepper motor driver.Connect it all up and wow I have extremely accurate cutting, I can slice down to 1/16 inch panels.


Slicing wood into thin pieces

Two stepper motors connected to a 8mm threded rod with a simple spring loaded connector to the sliding platform. The control box has a direction switch, a on off switch anda potentiometer for speed of travel

Wood slicer
Wood slicer rails

Slicing a 1/8 inch thin piece of walnut, the two rails they must be perfectly parallel showing the carrier board which is fixed to 4 sliders.

The Details of a Homemade Accu  Slice

I made a base to accurately fit my bandsaw bed with no sideways movement. To this fit the guide rails  and build a carriage on them. I fitted two nema 17 stepper motors one at each end of a standard M8 screw rod. ( Why two one was not strong enough I could use nema 23 but I had spare nema 17 . Connect up a arduino stepper driver and a limit switch at each end of the drive and its all go. Accuracy is ensential everything must be square and square to the bandsaw blade.  The fact that the carriage carrying the wood moves very slowly at a constant speed that very accurate cutting can be acheived even with a well used blade.  I would say that nema 23 stepper would be better my unit struggles on two nema 17 motors. So a upgrade to nema 23 motors is needed.For the non arduino you can buy a stepper motor driver on aliexpress, temu etc plug and go. How to attach wood to the  slider, I use a strong double side tape and it very rarely fails.


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