Phil Coleman's Web Site

Home Made Clockmakers Lathe

home made clockmakers lathe

I made this lathe from the design by J K Mold which appeared in "Model Engineer" in August 1965. Plans are available from Model Engineer (plan WE13).

It takes 8mm collets and was an easy and satisfying project to make. I haven't used it yet but hope to have a motor fitted soon and fit it out with some home-made collets. Total length is about 350mm. Height of centres is 50mm.

I made a set of patterns from wood and perspex and had them cast in iron.

Those who are interested in making their own lathes should read about the lathe made by British prisoners of war under the noses of their Japanese captors in the Changi prison camp. The story of this remarkable achievement is reprinted in Guy Lautard’s book “The Machinists Bedside Reader #1”. See Guy Lautard's site.

If you want ideas about home-built lathe designs you could look up the book by L C Mason, or the plans published by Nexus for the miniature lathe of about 70mm centre height designed by J Neave and described in a series in Model Engineer beginning 6th May 1983.

Australian Model Engineering ran a long series of articles on a home-built treadle lathe beginning in April 1989. The July 1997 issue of this magazine contained an interesting history by Don Payne on the makers of lathes for model engineer use.

“The Watchmakers and Model Engineers Lathe” by Donald de Carle is well worth a look, if only to drool over the wonderful machines that are or were available.

Finally a photo of the Stuart engine lathe that I made from a set of castings:

Last updated: May 2014

email me with your comments. return to home page.