The lathe is needed for the manufacture and processing of metal parts. Professional equipment is quite expensive, so in order to save, you can make a homemade lathe for metal with your own hands. This can be done in several ways, and drawings of this product are easily found on the Internet. You can use for making materials available materials, the size of the machine can be any.
The components of a mini-lathe for metal do it yourself
Any homemade lathe consists of the following elements:
- drive – the main part of the mechanism, which is responsible for its power. Selecting the required power drive is one of the most difficult tasks. In small lathes for metal with your own hands, you can use a drive from a conventional washing machine or drill. Usually, the power of this element starts from 200 W, and the number of revolutions per minute – from 1500;
- bed – the supporting frame of the structure, which can be made of wooden bars or steel angle. The bed must be characterized by high strength, otherwise the whole structure may fall apart from vibrations during operation;
- the back grandma – is made of a steel plate and the steel corner welded to it. The plate rests against the guides of the bed, and the main purpose of the tailstock of the lathe with his own hands is to fix the metal part during processing;
- the headstock is a part similar to the back headstock, but mounted on a movable frame;
- leading and driven centers;
- caliper – thrust mechanism for the working part.
The rotational moment from the engine to the working part of the machine can be transmitted in several ways. Someone prefers to directly install the working part on the motor shaft – this saves space and saves on spare parts. If this option is not possible, torque can be transmitted using friction, belt or chain transmission. Each of these options has its advantages and disadvantages.
Belt drive for an electric motor is the cheapest and is characterized by a fairly high level of reliability. For its manufacture, you can use the belt for the electric motor, taken from any other mechanism. The disadvantage of the belt transmission is that over time the belt may wear off and it will have to be changed the more often the more intensely you work with the machine.
Chain drive is more expensive and takes up more space, but also will last much longer than a belt drive. Friction transmission has intermediate characteristics between the belt and chain.
Helpful advice! When assembling a lathe, select the type of gear that best suits your purpose. For example, for a mini lathe do-it-yourself installation of the working part directly on the shaft is better suited.
The caliper is one of the most important parts of a homemade lathe – the quality of the future part, as well as the amount of time and effort you will spend to make it depends on it. This part is located on a special slide that moves along the guides located on the frame. The caliper can move in three directions:
- longitudinal – the working part of the machine moves along the workpiece. Longitudinal movement is used to grind a thread into a part or to remove a layer of material from the surface of a metal blank;
- transverse – movement perpendicular to the axis of the workpiece. Used for milling recesses and holes;
- oblique – movement at different angles to grind grooves on the surface of the workpiece.
When making a lathe caliper with your own hands, you should take into account the fact that this part is subject to wear as a result of vibrations occurring during operation. Because of them, the fastenings are loosened, there is a backlash, all this affects the quality of the manufactured part. In order to avoid such problems, the caliper must be regularly adjusted and adjusted.
Adjusting a homemade caliper for a lathe with their own hands is carried out by clearances, backlash and glands. Adjustment of the gaps is needed in the case when the screw is worn, which is responsible for moving parts in the longitudinal and transverse planes. As a result of friction, the caliper begins to loosen under loads, which significantly reduces the accuracy of manufacturing the part. The gaps can be eliminated by inserting wedges between the guides and the carriage. The backlash of the part is removed with a fastening screw.
If the seals in your machine have worn out, they should be thoroughly rinsed and soaked with fresh engine oil. In case of critical wear, it is better to completely replace the oil seals with new ones.
The assembly mechanism is performed in the following order:
- The frame of the machine is assembled from metal beams and channels. If you are going to work with large parts, then the materials for the assembly of the frame should be used with a view to a large load. For example, if you plan to work with metal blanks over 50 mm in length, the thickness of the materials for the frame should start from 3 mm for the corners and from 30 mm for the rods.
- Longitudinal shafts with guides are mounted on channels. Shafts can be welded by welding or bolted.
- The headstock is made. For the manufacture of the headstock lathe using their own hands, a hydraulic cylinder with a wall thickness of 6 mm is used. Two bearings must be pressed into the cylinder.
- The shaft is being laid. For this purpose, bearings with a large inner diameter are used.
- A lubricating fluid is poured into the hydraulic cylinder.
- The pulley and a support with guides is established.
- Mounted electric.
In addition, according to the drawings of the lathe on the metal with his own hands it is clear that to increase the stability of the cutting mechanism, a hand made is made, and a thin metal band is fixed on the lower part of the structure. The latter serves to protect the working part of the machine from deformation during work.
Helpful advice! A metal lathe assembled by hand can be used not only for its intended purpose, but also for grinding and polishing metal parts. For this, a grinding wheel is attached to the electric shaft.
The most important part of a homemade metal lathe, video production of which can be easily found on the Internet, is the electric motor. It is with its help that the movement of the working part of the machine is carried out. Accordingly, the power of the whole structure depends on the power of this mechanism. It is selected depending on the size of the metal blanks with which you plan to work.
If you plan to work on a machine with fine details, a motor with a power of up to 1 kW is quite suitable for this. It can be removed from an old sewing machine or any other similar electrical device. To work with large parts you need an engine with a power of 1.5-2 kW.
When assembling the finished drawings of a homemade lathe for metal, keep in mind that all electrical parts of the structure must be reliably insulated. If you do not have the necessary experience with electrical equipment, it is better to seek assistance in connecting to a specialist. So you will be confident in the safety of work and reliability of the design.
If you want to save on spare parts and greatly simplify the task of assembling a homemade lathe, you can use a regular electric drill as a drive. Such a constructive solution has several advantages:
- The ability to quickly assemble and disassemble the structure – the drill can be easily detached from the bed and can be used for its intended purpose.
- Simplicity of transfer and transportation of the machine is a good option if you have to work with metal blanks in the garage and on the street.
- Savings – the drill acts not only as an electric motor, but also eliminates the need to use the transmission, and also allows the use of interchangeable nozzles as a working tool.
Of course, there are negative sides to the lathe from the drill. How to make processing with this tool large parts possible? This is practically not feasible, since the drill has a relatively small torque and a large number of revolutions. Of course, you can increase these parameters if you still install the belt drive and use it to transfer torque from the drill to the spindle, but this will significantly complicate the design, the main advantage of which is simplicity and compactness.
Making a homemade desktop lathe for metal on the basis of a drill makes sense in cases where you do not need to carry out large-scale work, and you need to grind out only small parts.
To make a metal lathe based on an electric drill, you will need the same parts as for a conventional construction, with the exception of the electric motor and the headstock. The role of the latter also performs a drill. Given the compactness of the design, a regular table or workbench can be used as a bed on which all the components of the machine will be fixed. The drill itself is fixed in the structure with a clamp and clamp.
Helpful advice! The functionality of an electric drill lathe can be significantly expanded by adding various nozzles and accessories to its construction.
With the help of a homemade lathe, you can not only grind out parts, but also apply paint on a rotating workpiece, wind the wire onto a transformer, make spiral notches on the surface of the part, and perform many other actions. In addition, if you assemble a machine-copier for the machine, then it can be used to produce small identical parts quickly and effortlessly.
Like any other equipment, self-made lathes have their own characteristics that must be considered during assembly and operation. For example, when working with large parts or when using a powerful electric motor, there are strong vibrations that can lead to serious errors when machining the part. To get rid of vibrations, the master and slave centers of the machine must be installed on the same axis. And if you plan to install only the leading center, the cam mechanism must be attached to it.
In desktop lathes do not recommend installing a collector motor on metal. He is prone to a spontaneous increase in the number of revolutions, which can lead to the departure details. This, in turn, can result in personal injury or property damage. If, however, the installation of a collector engine cannot be done in any way, it is absolutely necessary to install a gearbox in order to reduce the revolutions.
The ideal engine for a homemade lathe is asynchronous. It does not increase the frequency of turns during operation, is resistant to heavy loads and allows you to work with metal billets with a width of up to 100 mm.
The rules for installing and operating any type of electric motor for a lathe can be viewed in numerous video instructions on the Internet. With their help, you will not only avoid common mistakes during assembly, but also save time and effort due to the clarity of the material.
When working with the design should comply with certain safety measures. So, after the assembly of the machine you need to check its performance. The spindle should rotate easily and without delays; the front and rear centers should be aligned along a common axis. The center of symmetry of the rotating part must coincide with the axis of its rotation.
On any video of the lathe you can see with your own hands that after mounting the electric motor, it is covered with a special casing. The latter serves not only to protect the machine operator, but also to protect the motor itself from dust, metal particles and dirt. For the machine, made on the basis of an electric drill, this casing is not needed.
Helpful advice! If you are planning to install a structure based on a powerful electric motor, then be sure to ensure that you have enough power from your electrical network to work with it. At home, it is better to get by with a motor from household appliances, which will definitely work from the voltage in your outlet.
You should also follow the following safety rules:
- The working tool must be located parallel to the surface of the workpiece. Otherwise, it may come off and cause the machine to break.
- If you are machining the end planes, the part should rest against the tailstock. At the same time it is very important to follow the alignment, otherwise you risk getting a defective part.
- To protect your eyes from metal chips and particles, you can build a special shield or just use safety glasses.
- After work, the structure must be cleaned, removing metal filings and other waste products. Carefully ensure that small parts do not fall into the electric motor.
If you need a mechanism that can not only perform turning work, but also grind and paint the workpiece, the basic machine can be easily modified. It is best to do this for a design based on an electric drill, since it is easiest to replace the working part in it.
There are several popular modifications of the lathe for metal. How to make a tapered hole? To do this, you need to attach two files to the base so that they form a trapezoid. After that, the spring mechanism is mounted, which provides the file forward and at an angle, which allows drilling cone-shaped holes into details.
In addition, for working with metal parts of different lengths, you can make a machine with a folding base. With the help of several boards or metal corners, you can move or move the working tool to the fasteners holding the part, as well as change the size of the gap between the fasteners. The most convenient way to make such a design is based on a regular desk or workbench.
If you attach a grinding wheel to the electric motor as a working tool, with a machine you can do not only polish the surface of the part, but also sharpen knives, scissors and other household tools. Thus, the lathe turns into a convenient multi-functional mechanism.
Assembling a lathe at home is a fairly simple task, which is further simplified by numerous video instructions and drawings from the Internet. At the same time, it is possible to assemble the construction literally from the parts at hand, using for this purpose old household appliances and waste of installation and construction production.
The main advantage of self-assembly – it saves money. In addition, it is worth noting the ability to independently adjust the size and power of the device to adapt it to fit your needs. The self-made machine can be not only big, but also absolutely tiny, intended for processing of fine details.