CNC Lathe - International Association of Penturners
     International Association of Penturners
Pens for Service Members
Support The IAP

Go Back   International Association of Penturners > Community Forums > Shops, Jigs, Fixtures & Tools
  Forgot Password
Register FAQ Members List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
Shops, Jigs, Fixtures & Tools Show off and discuss your workshop and everything in it.

Logged on members can hide ads!

Welcome to!

You've found the home of The International Association of Penturners. You are currently viewing our site as a guest, which gives you limited access to view discussions, photos, and library articles.

Consider joining our community today. You'll have full access to all of our content, be able to enter our contests, find local chapters near you, and post your questions and share your experience with our members all over the world.

Membership is completely free!!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us.

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-07-2017, 02:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
Drcal's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 175
Photos: 0

Default CNC Lathe

I have not been on this wonderful website for a long time. Unfortunately serious back problems have prevented me from doing the one thing I have loved to do more than anything in the world ever: wood turning.

Since wood turning had been my real passion for almost 30 years, someone suggested that I pursue it with another twist. I can turn on a sit down lathe for maybe an hour a day and that has to be broken into segments

I thought perhaps I could design initial prototypes of small things like bottle stoppers, pens, duck calls, etc I could then make more of them on a CNC lathe.

I have been looking on the Internet just to get a sense of what they're like and how much one would cost. All I can find really are non-hobby CNC lathes. Most of these are at $30,000 plus. While I am willing to spend a good chunk of money on a CNC lathe ---I am not willing to spend that big chunk.

Does anyone have or know of a hobby CNC lathe that is affordable that I can put in my shop? It has to be able to hold small pieces of wood for making the kinds of things I mentioned before.

Any suggestions would be really appreciated.

I truly miss spending time on this site. All of you were always so kind and helpful.
Drcal is offline   Reply With Quote Top
Old 10-07-2017, 02:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 60
Photos: 0


an interesting question. I am following this with interest.
Marcros is offline   Reply With Quote Top
Old 10-07-2017, 02:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
KenV's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Juneau, Alaska.
Photos: 0


Carmen, small scale 4 axis CNC is not exactly a traditional cnc lathe, but many of the same functions.

4th axis can be either a small lathe or more commonly an rotary index that can hold a mandrel or an item to be rotated.

These are not cheap but $4-5,000 gets it going. There are some with Taig and Sherline gear who hang around here. (I have Taig lathes but not the mill)
Ken Vaughan
Old Apprentice Machinist - learning a new knee in Tucson
KenV is offline   Reply With Quote Top
Old 10-07-2017, 03:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: San Diego County
Posts: 14
Photos: 0


You might consider a metal lathe like the Grizzly G0602 for which there are conversion kits available. This is not ideal, but could work.

I've used a metal lathe for quite some time for my wood turning by replacing the tool post with a wood tool rest. It works well, but is a pain to keep clean and much so that I invested in a dedicated wood lathe to avoid the hassle.

The learning curve is pretty steep for CNC but if you think that might be a route get Fusion 360 and try your hand at designing stuff.

I did a conversion of a G0704 mill to CNC and it has worked out nicely, but I can't imagine tackling that job with a bad back.

Another path to consider would be a CNC router with a 4th axis. If I found myself in your situation, I think that's a path I would research in detail.
Mach4 is offline   Reply With Quote Top
Old 10-07-2017, 03:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: TX, NM or on the road
Posts: 1,441
Photos: 0


Like Ken said, look at the CNC's Taig lathes. And CNC Zone forum and some of the Taig forums. A jeweler friend uses a Sherline that he CNC'd to make watches, his claim the Sherline was the most accurate of the Taig and Sherline. I have 2 Taigs, neither with CNC, and they handle wood okay, but they are awful small.

The suppliers for pool cue makers are another source, they have all kinds of stuff based on the Taig, with longer lathe beds. These run basically using a "router" as a the cutter source.

Several years ago, someone I think called Liberty converted a Jet mini to CNC they sold either a kit or he completed lathe. But from memory I think that outfit closed the doors.
dogcatcher is offline   Reply With Quote Top
Old 10-07-2017, 04:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: thomasville, nc, USA.
Posts: 1,304
Photos: 1


If your able to, you can convert a G0602 metal lathe to cnc, probably around 3-3500.
Butt hen the accessories will add more to it.

Look at CNC4XR7 youtube channel he has videos of doing the conversion.
He built his own kit to convert it, but he does tell the kit he based it off.
Carbide turning tools and replacement inserts.
find me in the Vendors Forum.
hanau is offline   Reply With Quote Top
Old 10-07-2017, 06:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
IAP Activities Manager
mredburn's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Fort Myers FL
Posts: 8,088
Photos: 83


Sherline offers a Cnc Lathe, as does Taig, Spectralite can sometimes be found on Ebay, its built using a Sherline lathe, If you find one make sure you get the software and controller.
Tormach has a product starting around $11k I believe
Life occasionally offers us the opportunity to make very very hard choices. I have had such offers.
Level 6 Pen Wizard, smoke, mirror and sleight of hand enabled.
mredburn is offline   Reply With Quote Top
Old 10-08-2017, 10:35 AM   #8 (permalink)
BRobbins629's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Richmond, VA, USA.
Posts: 3,813
Photos: 49


Other than producing a high volume of products that look exactly alike in a shorter amount of time, I’m not sure a CNC lathe will save you that much work. The actual turning in my opinion is not the hardest part. You will still have to prepare stock, cut it, drill it, sand it, finish it, etc. all the CNC will be able to do is create the general shape.

BRobbins629 is offline   Reply With Quote Top
Related Content
Logged on members can hide ads


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:42 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0

Content Copyright © 2003-2018 by, LLC; All Rights Reserved
Terms Of Service   Acceptable Use Policy