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Do it yourself jeweler's lathe


#1

All,

The current issue of Lapidary Journal has an excellent
do-it-yourself article on making a Foredom lathe attachment using
wood and hardware store components.It is really quite ingenious and
would be a lot cheaper than the lathes traditionally used by
jewelers. It is a two part article necessitating waiting 'til next
month to complete the project. I have a hunch that one of our
Oriental friends might pick up on this and put together a kit with
all the components necessary to assemble this great little tool.
Unfortunately, not all of us would have the necessary tools to do
the job while others might not have ready access to the components.

Ron Mills, Mills Gem Co. Los Osos, Ca.


#2

I think the do-it-yourself lathe in Lapidary Journal is super.
Unfortunately I don’t have any woodworking tools, and neither do my
friends So, all I can do is hope someone will make kits for sale.

Alma


#3

Hi Ron,

I also saw the Lapidary Journal article on building a lathe for the
foredom, and look forward to the second part of the article. I am not
very familiar with the variety of uses for this tool and would
appreciate a recommendation as to a resource that might provide such

In particular, I would like a mechanical method of cutting deep
grooves into a disc, much like the tracks in a record. Would a lathe
be useful for this?

It would be great if a kit would be available, but doubt that it
could be as beautiful as the one in LJ in maple.

I look forward to opinions…TIA.

Susan Ronan Coronado,
CA, where we felt the Palm Springs earthquake yesterday, with a bang!


#4

Alma,

    I think the do-it-yourself lathe in Lapidary Journal is super.
Unfortunately I don't have any woodworking tools, and neither do
my friends So, all I can do is hope someone will make kits for
sale. 

I use the Harbor Freight 7 x 10 lathe for a lot of my work. You can
use some wood working and some metal working tools on it, depending
on your tool post.

Jerry


#5

All,

The Foredom lathe construction shown in the July 2005 Lapidary
Journal is a touch of genius. What a simple but functional design.
Tom and Kay Benhan are to be congratulated on their ingenuity.

I have written a photo illustrated paper about using a Foredom
handpiece mounted in a Pana vise (available at most hardware and
hobby stores) to turn wax. I turn wax up to 3 1/2 inches in
diameter and 3 inches thick using the process described in the
paper. The process was also described in Lapidary Journal in Dec
2002 and Jan thru March 2004.

I don’t use a a tool rest and use engraving chisels to scrape the
was away. Its a very simple process.

I would be happy to send a copy of my paper to anyone interested.

Lee Epperson


#6

Dear Susan,

We had better wait for the next article on the LJ lathe. I am sure
that the author will make suggestions as to its capabilities. In
general you have make a distinction between wood lathes and metal
lathes. However, a lot has to do with technique and the innate
characteristics of the machine. My take on the LJ lathe is that it
might be ideal for wax working , but limited as far as metals go. One
of the better miniature lathes , the Shurline, used to be made in San
Marcos…only about an hour from your home. Harbor Freight also
has a mini lathe which is somewhat cheaper, but may not be as
precise. One of the problems with lathes is that the accessories are
somewhat expensive. You might want to get in touch with a high school
shop teacher in your area and consult with him about what might be
best for your project. Good luck !

Ron Mills, Mills Gem Co. Los Osos, Ca.


#7

Hi Jerry.

Thanks for your telling me about the lathe offered by Harbor Freight.
I checked it out and it looks like a really nifty tool for a modest
price. I would like a lathe for wax casting, and it looks like the
one offered by them would fit my need.

Alma


#8

Lee, I would appreciate a copy of your photo illustrated paper and
would be glad to pay for it and the shipping. Contact me at
seguinkid@aol.com

Thanks
Murray
A&A Products Ltd


#9
... One of the better miniature lathes , the Sherline, used to be
made in San Marcos. 

Hello Ron,

Sorry to butt in but I’m a happy Sherline owner so I thought it
worthwhile to correct the spelling. Their website is

Yup, the accessories do add up but then they are “accessories”. You
can buy a basic package with your lathe or mill that is really pretty
reasonably priced and will take you a long way down the road.

Cheers,
Trevor F.
in The City of Light
www.touchmetal.com


#10
Thanks for your telling me about the lathe offered by Harbor
Freight 

How much is the HF lathe . . . and will it do both wax and metal" Jim


#11

Jim.

    How much is the HF lathe . . . and will it do both wax and
metal

A lathe is a tool, what it will do is up to you. The HF lathe will
do metal, wood and anything else you put in it. I do a lot of basic
metal work in my HF lathe, hard wax is simple. My other half saw the
do it your self lathe and wanted to know how they did the hex holes
on the tail stock and is the common person going to align such a
lathe.

Jerry