Mini Lathe Mods Catalog

2 days by cncdivi

Mini Lathe Mods Catalog

Mini Lathe Mods to make it better, stronger, faster: the $6 million lathe! This page is my catalog of all the lathe modifications I’ve stumbled across in my web travels. I couldn’t begin to tell you how good they are, but they sure make interesting reading! Read through these to get a sense of what’s possible. Once you decide on a particular modification, look at all the different ways people have approached it. Many of these modifications are done by multiple folks, and the variations are worth understanding to make your project the best. 


CNC Zone and Issi International

A CNC Lathe Turret

Dave Hyland’s Page

CNC Lathe Conversion for Threading
Taper Turning Tool: Convert a boring head to offset the center

Dave’s Home Machine Shop

Apron Gear Cover
Taper Turning Tool: Convert a boring head to offset the center.


Quick Change Tool Post
Cam Lock Tailstock
Lathe Autostop

Tailstock Dial Indicator


Lathe Cross Slide Lock
QCTP Indicator Holder
Mini-ball Bearing Follow Rest (Attaches to QCTP)
What to do with a Giant Tool Holder? Put a Dovetail in it for your QCTP!
Improve Your Import Cut-off Toolholder
Lathe Hand Tapper (Tailstock Tapper)
A “Wiggly” Lathe Center
Refurbish a Hardinge Tailstock Turret
Lathe Tool Height Setter
Freehand Tool Rest
Lathe Carriage Stop
Lathe Slotting (Shaper) Attachment

Frugal Machinist

Toolpost Grinder
Variable Speed Cup Wheel Tool Grinder
Gingery Metal Shaper
Lathe Drawbar Collet Closer
Tool Post Indicator Holder
Carriage Stop and Indicator Holder
Tailstock Drill and Tap Holder

Horizontal Bandsaw Modifications Page
Making Aloris-Type Toolholders
Making Insert-Type Mills
2 Piece Milling Vise


Cam Lock Tailstock
Ball Bearing Cross Slide
Taper Attachment
Ball Turner
Carriage Lock
Cross and Compound Dial Locks
Combination Carriage Stop and Dial Holder
Clamp Knurler
Die Holder and Tool Height Guage
Center Finder for 4-jaw Chuck
Tangential Toolholder for QCTP

Milling attachment: Just made a bracket to fit a milling vise into a QCTP holder.

Harlan’s Hangout

Homemade Optic Punch
Hand-powered Rotary Table
Small Dividing Head for Gear Cutting
Ball Turning Attachment: A little different variation, very nice.

The Hobbyist’s Machine Shop

Carriage Stop

Home Shop Machinist & Machinist’s Workshop Forums

Straight Cut Knurling: Excellent for splining shafts

Houston Metalworking Club

Electronic Leadscrew Control


Metalshop Borealis

An electric leadscrew drive for a South Bend 9″ lathe (complete controller plans).

An electric crossfeed drive for the South Bend 9C lathe

A milling attachment for a South Bend 9″ lathe.

A shop made faceplate for a South Bend 9″ lathe.

Metric threads on a South Bend 9C lathe without buying a transposing gear

Indexing with change gears

A cross slide threading stop

A drill press for your lathe

A hand hobber/shaper/slotter for the South Bend 9″ lathe

An adapter to use a log splitter as a hydraulic press

Miscellaneous projects in metal: A micrometer carriage stop


Machining a lathe chuck mount
Adjustable chuck backing plate
Ball Turning
Cutting Gears
Make a digital caliper height gauge
Build a Collet Chuck
Back Gearing (Planetary gears to increase torque on spindle)

Micro-Machine Shop

DRO: My vote for best lathe DRO. The integrated spindle tachometer is sweet!
Spindle Tachometer
4-bolt Compound Mounting Bracket
Quick Change Tool Post
Tool Bit Height Guage
Ball Turner

Handles for Crossfeed and Compound
Brass Saddle Strips
Quick Change Tool Post with Cam Action
Carriage Gear Chip Guard: Seems to be a must to keep the chips from jamming the gears.
Tailstock Alignment Guide
Tailstock Cam Lock
Carriage Stop
Carriage Lock: The cam lock versions like Vikki Ford’s are better!

Making a Chuck Backplate

The Model Engineer Support Page

Indexing Carriage Multistop
Rear Toolpost: A step up from a simple boring bar holder.
Dividing Head
Headstock Dividing Attachment
Lathe Center Finder / Wobbler
Taper Turning Attachment
Punch Guide for Stamping Numbers on Dials
Lathe Mandrel Handle
Tailstock Sensitive Drilling Attachment
Tailstock Tap and Die Holder

Jacot Drum Filing Attachment
Tailstock 3-Jaw Spindle
Lathe Chuck Back Stop
Taper Turning Attachment #2: A more elaborate approach.
Profile Copier

Pat Hutcheson

Larger cross slide leadscrew, handwheel, and ball bearings.

Stellar International

DC Motor and Variable Speed Control
DRO & Tachometer
Microswitch Feed Stop
Way Wipers or Bellows Protector
Tailstock Cam Lock
Quick Change Tool Post
Saddle Cam Lock
Revolving Tailstock Drive
Spindle Hand Crank
New Handwheels
Powered Cross Feed

Steve Bedair

Quick Change Tool Post: Adapted from a Harbor Freight model.
Tumbler Reverse
DC Motor with Variable Speed
Top Slide Ball Bearings
Larger Leadscrew and Ball Bearing Mount
Adapting a Bison 3-jaw Chuck/Building a Backplate
Tailstock Cam Lock
Saddle Lock
Larger Gib Adjusting Screws
Ball Turning Tool Post
4 Bolt Compound Clamp: Said to be the first mod to make on a 9×20 import lathe.
Larger Cross Slide Handwheel
Tailstock Set Screw
Way Protector / Scraper

Terry Brown’s Shed Stuff

Making Toolholders
Beefier Saddle Clamp
Improved Splashgaurd
Backplate for 4-Jaw (or other) Chuck
Tailstock Ram Stop
Modifying the Compound for Longer Travel
Adapting the machine lathe for wood turning
Dial Indicator Toolpost Mount: A nice little toolholder for your dial indicator
Modify the Saddle for More Travel
Magnetic Rail for Dial Indicator
Spindle Turning Handle
Tailstock Tap and Die Holders
Rear Saddle Lock
Safety Clutch Bearing Mod
Tensioner Pulley Mod
Four Bolt Clamp and Support Plate
Ball Turning Tool: A bit different style, very nice, fits toolholder.
Solid Toolpost Mount: Does away with compound to achieve a very rigid mount when needed
Make Your Own “Set-Tru” 3-Jaw Chuck

Ty’s Mini-Lathe Page

Steady Rest
Dummy Spindle Nose
Making a Backplate
Scratch-built Quick Change Tool Post
Scratch-built 5C Collet Chuck
20 TPI cross-slide leadscrew

Vikki Ford

Saddle Cam Lock: One of the best!
Quick Change Tool Post: This one is built from scratch.
Ball Bearing Carriage Handles
Tailstock Die Holder
Tapered Saddle Gibs

Yahoo 8×18 Lathe Group

Shumatech DRO for 8×18 in Files section
Reverse Tumbler Photos

Yahoo 9×20 Lathe Group

Crossfeed Leadscrew Extension
Electronic Leadscrew Files from Houston Metalworking Club
4-Bolt Compound Clamp

Excel file modeling 9×20 gear train
Several Reverse Tumblers

Carriage Lock
Tailstock Die Holder
Quick Change Tool Holder
Lathe CNC Conversion



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Recently updated on May 28th, 2024 at 09:33 am