An Assortment of Lathes
Modified for Metal Spinning
Copyright 2002 by James P. Riser
Over the years I have owned and sold a variety of lathes.
The lathes shown on this page are some the current selection found
in my home shop and help me earn my living. If you own a decent
wood lathe, you can spin metal. There is nothing new about this
idea since the spinning lathe evolved from the wood lathe. On
this page you will see how I have slightly modified a variety
of wood lathes for metal spinning.
My favorite mini wood lathe is this 9" Record
I made the bed extension for wood turning projects.
It is not needed for metal spinning. The casting on this mini
lathe is rather heavy cast iron and excellent for metal spinning.
The tapered toolrest pins are of British design. The currently
available assortment of mini and midi wood lathes will all work
well for smaller metal spinnings. Record, Jet, Delta, and Vic
Mark lathes are all good.
Here it is set up for wood turning
and metal spinning.
This lathe is excellent for spinning
thimbles and candle cups etc.
I made the bed
extension to give me extra space when drilling.
I use this 12" Delta variable speed lathe for
metal spinning and wood turning.
Here it is set
up for wood turning...........
..............and for metal spinning.
The very heavy
duty spinning live center shown here is a May Tools center.
This slightly lighter duty spinning live center is
an old Grabo center.
The 12" variable speed J-Line lathe is very heavy
duty and designed for both wood turning and metal spinning.
This is my favorite wood lathe - about 650 pounds of
My wood turning center - complete with mess!
My tool grinder is a 10" Baldor. The wheel on
the left is 1" thick and the smoothing wheel on the right
is 1 1/2" thick. You will want a nearby grinder to sharpen
the wood turning tools for making your spinning chucks.
It is a three phase 1.5 horsepower 1725 rpm 10"
grinder (heavy duty).
This is what needs to be approximated on a wood turning
These are Spinmaster or Karle Spin Shop Lathes and
are extremely heavy duty. Note the sliding tailstocks.
These are 12" swing spinning lathes.
I made this 24" swing spinning lathe from a Chinese
Instructions and plans for modifying this lathe are
on my metal spinning CD-ROM.
It would also make a nice bowl turning lathe for wood