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Dremel Lathe- Possible?

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Posted · Report post

First things first... I'm cheap. I am always on the prowl for alternative items to use for my model building. So, does anyone have any ideas as far as being able to make a Drathe (Dremel Lathe)? I have a lot of resources at my disposal at work. Any/All ideas are greatly appreciated.

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Posted · Report post

It can be done, however, don't expect it to have much power, as Dremel tools are not designed to have a lot of torque to the motor, rather doing their thing with high rpm's. But yes, it is possible.

Art

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Posted · Report post

Yea... Really wasn't expecting much torque. Mainly, all I am wanting to do is have the ability to turn air tanks or nitrous bottles.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

To build ANY kind of effective el-cheapo lathe, from any kind of Dremel, drill motor, etc. there are only 2 things you have to remember. The power source that turns the part on the spindle needs to be rigidly mounted, and you need some way to hold the cutting-tool steady relative to the work piece.

METAL-cutting lathes always have a rigidly-mounted but adjustable cutting-tool-holder. Many lathes for turning WOOD do not have a rigidly mounted tool-holder, but have something that one rests one's hand on while holding the cutting-tool, chisel, etc.

Having a rigid support for the cutting tool makes it much easier to make round things actually round (required of metal machine-parts) but true roundness isn't really required of wood-turnings like table legs and bannister parts.

A Dremel will have plenty of power to turn plastic and soft aluminum model parts. I turn a lot of small parts, like this flared universal-joint cup for a '32 Ford driveshaft.

DSCN6656.jpg

Edited by Ace-Garageguy

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Posted · Report post

What Bill said.

I use my Dremel to turn plastic quite often, and it works well enough...for the most part. I've even gotten away with turning brass and aluminum a few times, but they were just small parts and needed minimal machining. Anything else metal-wise really does call for something built for turning metal. A mini metal lathe is one of my most wished-for tools.

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Posted · Report post

You CAN build a metal-cutting lathe from an old elecrtic drill motor, which will have more than sufficient torque to turn brass and even steel. Indexable cutting-tool holders, HSS cutting tools and old-school brazed cutting tools are available from Micro-Mark and Enco, among other sources, and if you have some fabrication ability and study the design requirements, you can build a very useful lathe for a small fraction of what a 'bought' mini-lathe would cost.

Sherline HSS (high-speed-steel) cutting tools that can be used on a built-from-junk mini-lathe...

http://www.use-enco.com/1/1/62078-3007-sherline-hss-cutting-tool-set-use-miniature-lathes.html

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Posted · Report post

Dremel actually makes a drill press that can be turn horizontally to aid in the process ...

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Posted · Report post

Dremel actually makes a drill press that can be turn horizontally to aid in the process ...

Or if you're cheap and in a hurry, like me sometimes, you can just use screw-type hose clamps to secure the Dremel horizontally to a simple wooden support.

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Posted · Report post

Wow... Thanks for the discussion guys. At least now I have a sense of direction.

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Posted · Report post

Dremel actually makes a lathe

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Posted · Report post

Yeah, Bill, I guess my post did come out like I want to buy a purpose-(already)built metal lathe. I'm way too cheap and pseudo-crafty for that. lol. Whatever I end up with, it'll be something I put together to suite my needs. But it will be built for turning metal...that's the part I was meaning to get across. :D

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Posted · Report post

I made one from a sewing machine ,I got it at a yard sale for $10 .... cheaper and much stronger than a dremel and has a variable speed foot pedal.

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Posted · Report post

I made one from a sewing machine ,I got it at a yard sale for $10 .... cheaper and much stronger than a dremel and has a variable speed foot pedal.

Now that is interesting.

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Posted · Report post

I use a Dremel Multi-Vice for a cheap and quick lathe when needed. It comes with an attachment I put on my old corded Demel. The vice slopes out of the mount and the Dremel slips in and can be turned to any position. This attachment is rarely shown or mentioned. The photo is mine with the Dremel mounted. I do need to come up with something to rest the cutting tool on and this thread has been very helpful

DremelMultiViseDSC_1043_zps31cdb9dc.jpg

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Posted · Report post

I use a Dremel Multi-Vice for a cheap and quick lathe when needed. It comes with an attachment I put on my old corded Demel. The vice slopes out of the mount and the Dremel slips in and can be turned to any position. This attachment is rarely shown or mentioned. The photo is mine with the Dremel mounted. I do need to come up with something to rest the cutting tool on and this thread has been very helpful

DremelMultiViseDSC_1043_zps31cdb9dc.jpg

Very Nice. Thank you for posting this.

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Posted · Report post

Just remember a Dremel tool typically has terrible run-out at the collet (it wobbles), so anything you turn won't be as accurate compared to the same item turned on a Sherline, Taig, Unimat, or one of the other small hobby lathes. It probably won't matter that much for most parts, though.

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