How to Make Your Own Lathe Tailstock and Tool Rest

Need a new lathe tailstock? Don't buy one, make one!
Christopher McFadden

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If you love a bit of woodworking and are in dire need of a new lathe, then this project might be of interest to you. Instead of forking out a pile of cash to buy a new lathe, why not consider making one from some old bits of timber? 

If this sounds of interest, follow this simple guide to find out how. 

diy lathe working
Source: Mazay DIY/YouTube

Like any project of this nature, you are going to need some stuff first.

Tools and equipment needed

With all your tools and materials in hand, it is time to get on with this epic build. 

Step 1: Make the lathe tailstock

The first step is to make the tailstock for your DIY lathe. USe various pieces of timber and metal and cut them down to size/assemble as shown in the video. 

You'll also need some coring tools and other pieces like nuts and bolts to complete this stage. 

diy lathe head stock
Source: Mazay DIY/YouTube

Sadly, no dimensions are provided so you'll need to suck it and see as you go along. As you can imagine, you'll need a variety of hand tools and other tools to make short work of this step. 

In this particular video, the creator uses a variety of DIY tools to get the job done. You can either take the time to build your own versions or, more realistically, you can buy your own. 

Step 2: Make the tool rest

With the DIY lathe tailstock now complete, we can move on to making the tool rest. As with the headstock, mark out and cut out the various wooden pieces needed as shown in the video. 

As with the headstock no dimensions are provided, unfortunately, so once again you'll be forced to guestimate. Of course, this also works in your favor a bit too as you can define the size and shape of your tool rest to your own liking and needs. 

diy lathe tool rest
Source: Mazay DIY/YouTube

Do the same for any metal components as well, as with the tailstock. Once you've completed the assembly, secure it into place on the main lathe body, as shown above. 

This particular tool rest is adjustable, as you'd expect, and can be moved up and down the lathe body. It can also be positioned at angles to the head and tailstocks for maximum flexibility when using the lathe for real. Of course, it can also be fixed into place. 

With that done, you can now actually test the tailstock and tool rest and make adjustments as needed.  

Step 3: Test the piece

Secure a scrap piece of wood between the head and tailstock of the lathe, and then position your tool rest as needed. With that done, turn on your lathe, and begin to work the piece of wood as you see fit. 

If all has gone to plan, your lathe should work like a dream. You can also test the tool rest by putting it in different positions to see how well it works. 

diy lathe finished
Source: Mazay DIY/YouTube

If any parts of the lathe tailstock or tool rest need some refinements, do so. Otherwise, you now have a wonderfully crafted lathe for use in other future amazing projects. 

Now you can think about putting your DIY lathe to the test with a great little woodturning project. However about, for example, make a new coloring pencil vase

Good luck. 

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