How to Convert Drill Press to Lathe

  • September 8, 2015 /

Machines are designed to facilitate the mankind. A drill is a very dynamic machine. It offers hundreds of persuasive applications and can turn wood, plastic and even metal. By modifying drill machine we have lathe machine. A lathe machine is a refined form of drill machine which is beneficial for many tasks like cutting, contortion, grind, scrape, knurling with the succor of tools that is used in bearing objects which have equilibrium about an axis of rotation. Good machines are always expensive so why not you try to make them by your own within your budget?

The process to convert drill press to lathe can be completed by many methods but the most common, convenient and affordable method is given below along with the apparatus:

How to convert drill press to lathe effectively


  • Screw driver
  • Screws and bolts
  • Aluminium pieces
  • Inches tape
  • Hacksaw
  • Safety glasses
  • Thrust bearing
  • Chuck
  • Apron

Step 1: First of all make sure you have all the tools you might need. For this metamorphosis all we need is screw set, thrust bearing and a chuck. Now scatter the transmission of drill. Next step is dislodge off chuck and clutch so we can start the work properly. The chuck possesses a thread set screw which is ripped apart and as it is removed the chuck is separated.

Step 2: Framing a case for the lathe is the second step of the production method. You need to stroke two holes for two different objectives. One hole to hold and support the aluminium block to the table and the other one to grab the assembled work piece properly. Nuts are required and are drilled once and for all. Pilot holes are exercised so they helps you in drilling at the appropriate point. In doing so we need 3/8”. To hold the block with the table washers are used. Fender washers are suggested as they contribute in the distribution of load.

Step 3: Line up the block and wimble for spindle. To the nth degree 5/8” drilling is conjectured. Then 11/16” just to insure the integration of all bearings in the assembly. Measurement is necessary for accuracy and is recommended after each drilling so there is no chance of mistakes even if all the points are drilled from the same machine. Note that the process of drilling pilot holes are not executed completely until the clamping bolts are in their proper place. It is a paramount precaution that the block should be in rigorous position at the time of installation of live center.

Step 4: Now comes the most technical part of the provision of lathe. With the condition that all your holes are drilled explicitly and are of accurate size according to the demand of the lathe, this step is brought to pass with ease. The replenishment should be merged with soft material. Now press the bushing into the aluminium block. Make a groove at the end of the pivot. This step is done with the help of hacksaw, which is used in cutting. Ultimately a snap ring is required to hold the assembly altogether. A snap ring is incorporated with a semi-flexible metal ring which makes it proficient in preventing later regression.

Step 5: Make sure you complete the last step manually. The last and the final step is the installation of taper reamer into the sling, which is used to hold the machine. Taper reamer should be planted in the drill press chuck. Now cut the nonessential parts of the lathe machine and make sure the removal of futile chunks is administered carefully. This is called “turning” process of a lathe machine which is considered as the most basic process of producing various shapes. The conversion of drill into lathe machine is completed and it will work on metals and other ornaments.

You can refer the below video for further information:


By following all these simple steps, one can easily convert his drill press to lathe. The maker is strictly advised to exercise caution. Make sure that the process to convert drill press to lathe is oil-free. Before starting the practical work the user is advised to have complete understanding of the procedure. Lathe machines are of many types according to their applications like woodworking, metal working, glass working, metal spinning and cue lathes. All of them are of great importance. By following above instructions one can enjoy this art fully.

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