Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Turning on a Drill Press, Part 2

This is a picture of a round cutter, it dropped out of the line up and I did want to show it to you. I generally use cutters that measure 1/16" or less.

We are ready to start chucking up some wood.

Mark the center on one end of the square stock of basswood.

Make a hole in the center with a "T" pin.

Place the stock into the chuck and the end of the stock on the pin. Tighten the chuck. We don't want the bottom of the stock to be against the wood holding the "T" pin, leave a little space at the bottom. If your stock is touching the wood holding the "T" pin and you begin turning you are going to smell burning wood because of the friction between the two pieces of wood.

First you round with sand paper to the diameter you need for your project. I cut a pattern from poster board; the first one is for diameter. You can buy calipers for measuring; this poster board works fine, though.

Sand until you have the diameter needed.

Ahh, design - For right now that's trial and error. Basically playing with the cutters, they aren't lathe tools. You will have to try them out and get the feel of what you can do with them. For my designs I go from pictures and try to copy what I see.

I'll measure where I need to make the first cuts. I am using Joy's lamp for an example. Most of the time I convert a full size turning to 1 inch scale measurements. For this example the picture of Joy's lamp was the right size to measure from. The cuts are where I am going to be starting and stopping the shapes on the turning.

I use this piece of poster board with the tick marks to transfer the measurements to the stock on the drill press.

Right now you can just play with making the shapes where you want to get the feel of the turning drill press and the cutters.

I turn on the drill press and using a pointed cutter I cut into the wood at the marks I've made.

I use any combination of cutters and sand paper to get the shapes I want. The cutters aren't designed for this, so it's trial and error. What works for me may not work for you, or you are not comfortable with that particular cutter.

When you are satisfied with the piece, finish off with fine grit sand paper.

This is a large turning, it's for a floor lamp. The smaller the turnings, the more difficult the turning is to do. Basically, the drill press is a makeshift lathe, it's not going to do everything a lathe can. For making spindles for things like this floor lamp base, table lamp bases or spindles for a porch railing the drill press can work for you.

Doing all of this on the Dremel is pretty much the same but your turnings are going to be smaller in diameter, not over 1/4" in diameter, (using the 1/8" dowel glued into the top).

I hope some of you are able to try this out.

Have fun, expand on it, make it better, just keep making minis!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year ! ! ! !


  1. As ever, thank you for sharing your expertise! Happy Holidays and here's to the best tiny new year ever! Cheers CM

  2. thanks for teaching your works thank you there is already you where I can work with a winch I was looking for the mini one and thank you there is already you where to find one

  3. not if my English is good because it is of the PC thanks for everything and happy Christmas and a good new year