I'm looking at adding a lathe to help drill some 4x4's (among other
turning projects). Basically the hole would be dead center in one end.
The 4x4 would anywhere from 2.5ft - 3.5ft in length, and the hole
would be 1" diameter going in like 6" deep. Can I use a mini-lathe?
Maybe if you stay closer to the 2.5 feet. Even with an extension, most
minis have a capacity of only 40" or so as per manufacturer, but like
many, I find that to be pretty optimistic.
You will have to mount your piece, true it, then drill through the
tailstock since it would be suicide to "chuck up" a piece that much
longer than it is wide. And since you are drilling through the
tailstock, it means you will be limited to about a 5/16" hole on most,
as samll as 1/4 on others.
I drill on my lathe frequently, but it is to accomodate project kits,
or to get a hole started for hollowing. The lathe will not replace a
radial drill press, and further, if you drill anything over a few
inches, you will have bit drift so bad you won't believe you aren't
When I drill a small body out (12 inches or so), I now drill the blank
first (after trueing), and then use the holes as the new centers.
if you're talking construction grade lumber, a lathe is the wrong tool.
a drill press is much more to the point, and a jig with a handheld
drill is probably better yet.
if you're talking furniture grade wood and you need the accuracy the
lathe can offer, you'll need a much bigger lathe.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.