Benchtop Wood Lathe
We're offering our very first mini wood lathe for sale here, the Wahuda model 60170ML-WHD bench lathe. This mini wood turning machine is compact and extremely affordable, yet it is of the highest quality and has features only found in much larger, more expensive wood lathe machines. This includes heavy cast iron construction, providing great strength and durability and low vibration.
Other features include reliable inverter technology where the inverter drive controls the speed and torque of the motor. There's also an LED readout showing spindle speed in RPMs, which helps you to control your work. Electronic variable speed and three speed ranges provide fine-tuning capability, especially important when doing delicate work.
With measurements of 32"(L) x 17"(H) x 13"(D), and weighing in at just 90 lbs., this compact, miniature lathe can be easily moved within your shop, and the 13-amp, 120-volt AC motor provides plenty of power to tackle most any job.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wood Lathes
How Do I Use a Wood Lathe?
The board goes between the headstock and the tailstock. These stocks hold the wood in place like a C-clamp, but their ends can spin. The motor rotates the headstock, turning the wood with it. By placing tools against the tool rest, you can slowly adjust the position of the tool’s cutting face, chipping away at the wood to get the shape you want.
The lathe should spin fast enough to get good cutting performance without the wood pulling itself off of the stocks. Go slower with large pieces: At a given RPM, the surface speed of the board doubles when its diameter doubles. The Wahuda 60170ML-WHD has several pulleys along with the motor speed control. By moving the belt to the correct set of pulleys, you can limit the speed range, just as you would when using a drill press. A spindle tachometer helps you dial in the speed.
How Do I Sharpen Lathe Tools?
Even high-speed steel tools dull quickly when used with a lathe. The best tool for sharpening gouges and scrapers is a slow-speed grinder fitted with an 80-grit wheel. Use the grinder’s platform rest to line up your tools before pushing the bevel against the wheel. Drawing a couple parallel lines on the rest can help you line up the tool with the grinding surface. Skew chisels require honing with an oilstone, but other tools usually don’t as long as you get a good finish from the grinding wheel.
What Are the Dimensions of a Mini Lathe?
Tabletop lathes are available in sizes that can handle a maximum board size between 10 to 16 inches. The 60170ML-WHD is at the large end of this scale, handling 16-inch-long boards. However, it’s also one of the most compact models on the market, measuring 32 x 17 x 13 inches. If you want to shape longer boards, 10- and 24-inch bed extensions are available.
What Does a Wood Lathe Do?
A lathe is a machine tool that is a must-have in any woodworker’s shop. A lathe is used to cut, sand, drill, face, turn and deform workpieces. It does all this by rotating the workpiece onto a stationary cutting tool. You can have a metal lathe or a wood lathe, and the main difference is that a wood lathe is made for working with wood. Wood lathes tend to be smaller and a bit more streamlined compared to metal lathes, but they can still accomplish all the previously mentioned tasks with ease. It is not recommended to use metal in a wood lathe as the machine is not built for such a hard material.
What Sizes Do Wood Benchtop Lathes Come In?
The size of a wood lathe is determined by the length and diameter of the wood stock that can be processed in the lathe bed. The largest diameter of wood stock, also known as "swing," is often what is denoted in the wood lathe size. What this means is that a 13-inch lathe can turn a 13-inch-diameter piece of stock.
Wood lathes vary in size, from mini models that start with 10 inches between centers all the way up to large 40-inch models. Determining the best size lathe for you depends on what you plan to use the wood lathe for. The bigger the project, the bigger wood lathe you'll need. Benchtop wood lathes are great for those woodworkers who enjoy smaller-scale projects and detail work. Our 14" model is compact yet surprisingly versatile for its size! This is a great option for the woodworker who has a smaller shop and needs a machine that can be moved when needed but also has enough capacity to tackle a wide variety of jobs.
What Can You Do With a Mini Wood Lathe?
A mini lathe provides beginning woodworkers an opportunity to practice their craft on a smaller scale before moving onto bigger projects. More experienced woodworkers also enjoy mini lathes for the ability to add detail work to bigger projects. One incredibly popular project for a mini lathe — pens! Woodworkers who start turning pens quickly become enraptured by this project as it is its own art form. Some other projects you can do on a mini wood lathe include:
- hollow vessels
- bottle stoppers
- drawer pulls
- wooden spoons
- chair spindles
- table legs
Is Wood Turning Difficult?
Wood turning is really its own form of woodworking that many love. Unlike with other woodworking machines, you can complete full projects using just a wood lathe and some tools such as sharp gouges, skew chisels and parting tools. Learning the art of wood turning can take some practice, but once you have the basics down, an entirely new subset of woodworking is opened up to you. While we wouldn't say that wood turning is easy, we also wouldn't call it difficult. Just like anything else in woodworking, it is a skill that requires practice. Start with easy, simple projects to become acquainted with your wood lathe and to get comfortable with different techniques. Once you know your way around and feel more confident in your wood-turning skills, push yourself to try harder projects, and in no time you'll be a pro!
Wahuda Articles on Wood Lathes
What to Know Before Buying a Wood Lathe
How to Set Up a Woodworking Shop