A Working Wood Lathe 🎉🪵

Hey fellow hackers!

I’m purchasing a second hand Record Power DML305-M33 wood lathe to install and loan to the Hackspace, so that Amritesh Menon and I can continue to build a prototype for a project we’re working on. We’d love for the entire space to be able to use this tool as I know there’s a few people who are quite eager for one and it would be a great way to give back to community :slight_smile:

Because it will be loaned, my business (i.e. me) will be responsible for all repair costs (spare parts should be widely available as it is still in production). However, because it will be used by the space I propose that any non-repair maintenance purchases (such as lubricants) is split 50/50 between myself and the space.

Below is some further context, would love to hear any thoughts and concerns so that all members are happy with the installation :slight_smile: It’s a bit of tight deadline as I’m buying this from a listing from gumtree, so if you could reply to this post with nay concerns, queries or thoughts before Wednesday 9th at 6PM GMT that would be awesome.

Aim + Context
Currently Woody Dusty has no functioning lathe for wood. This is a critical piece of hardware for crafting cylindrical pieces of work, such as bowls, table legs or (in our case) a winch. There was an attempt to build a wood lathe from a few unrelated devices, but it is non-functioning and is lacking pieces.

Purchasing a wood lathe the for WoodyDusty would allow all members to use the wood lathe to create any cylindrical or curve pieces of work with ease (after an induction).

Resources Required + Maintainers

The only other resources that will be required are lubricants so that the lathe operates normally. Myself and Amritesh will maintain the equipment and induct others to use it as necessary.

We will also purchase a full face respirator (see below) to prevent dust entering the user’s lungs.

We may in the future purchase a bed extension to increase the distance between centres so that longer pieces can be manufactured (called DML305/E).

Where will it be stored/installed and what will happen with any old equipment it replaces?

The size of the lathe is W870 x D200 x H455 mm and after a conversation with some members of Woody Dusty, a good place to put it looks like where the scrap wood pile is near the table saw. The current scrap wood pile could be moved further down the wall.

The old pieces for the non-functioning wood lathe will be returned to their owners and if not taken within 30 days, will be disposed of. There is a chuck that looks compatible with this late, so if the chuck’s owner agrees, it would be great to try and use that with the lathe.

Risk Assessments
A thorough risk assessment will be undertaken in line with the Health and Safety section of this manual.

We are also purchasing a full face respirator to prevent any dust from entering the user’s lungs, that will be cleaned before usage with sanitiser to prevent spreading illness.

Inductions Process
There will be a required inductions process similar to the WeldyGrindy’s for metal lathes, so that users follow a strict health and safety protocol. This induction will also focus on introducing beginners techniques (parting, scraping, gouging and spoon cutting) to help them produce their first work.

Again, any thoughts, concerns or queries please let me know below :smiley:

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Hey Reiss,

This sounds good to me. It would be great to have a lathe in the space again.

I’m not sure I ever saw our old lathe, but i believe it was in the small room off the wood room with the larger CADCAM. Just wondering if there’s a reason the wood team have suggested it won’t be in there again? Just thinking about the potential for a bit of wood to become a projectile?

The only other thing i’d like to clarify: I’m not sure what your business is, but are you going to be using it everyday 9am-5pm, or is it more ad-hoc than that?

Otherwise, thanks for driving this forward and you have my support :cowboy_hat_face:


Joe with a member hat on

p.s. I’m presuming @mikeh and @Marcus6275 are already in the loop about this.

Hey Joe!

So the reason was ventilation. The CADCAM area doesn’t have great levels of ventilation where as the main WoodyDusty area is equipped with a vacuum. However if there’s more people think it’s a better idea to place it in the CADCAM area I am more than happy to put it there.

Also we will be using it on an ad hoc basis so should be plenty of time for others to use it :slight_smile:

Let me know if you have any other questions!

Hi Reiss. I think this is a great idea, cheers. As a member of the wood team, you have my support, but I must add I know basically nothing about wood lathes.

When you put together a risk assessment and training doc, I’d like for @FoodNoTear to have a look as he’s the current (former?) lathe trainer. I’d also very much encourage you to consult the HSE guidance on wood lathes. If it’s OK with everyone else, I think the wood team should have some oversight of the training before it’s finalised. We will, of course, help you to format it correctly and show you how the online system works. Are you and Amritesh volunteering to be the trainers?

Regarding location, I can’t honestly say whether the new position is better than the side room. I’m not sure how dust is extracted from the air around a lathe while it’s in use, but I think you should probably factor that into your calculations.

Hey Mike!

More than happy to have @FoodNoTear to have a look at it in that case! I think he already offered his help on the Telegram chat so shouldn’t be a problem :smiley: I will also take on board HSE’s guidance when writing up the first draft. I’ll share it on Woody Dusty once its complete and once I have the board’s decision.

Me and Amritesh will be the initial trainers yes, but happy for others who are confident with it (again maybe @FoodNoTear ?) to also be trainers after an induction. :slight_smile:

wrt dust extraction: I saw this video that shows a vacuum being used via a tube. Which, correct me if I am wrong, is what we already have in the main area but not the side room?

we chose the CNC room as its isolated from the rest of the space so people work without disruption as wood lathes does fail safe, any break in concentration from the user can cause injury. also wood lathes throw large bits of wood around the room on semi ocation so the room helps with that too.
we have a risk assessment for the old lathe that will need updating, most likely changing names and such
lastly thier is dust removal in the cnc room via the vacume and agustable arm. users are shown how to use it during training . that cover everthing?

Thanks @FoodNoTear for getting back to us so quickly and explaining all this :slight_smile: Would you mind sending me a copy of the risk assessment? I will add to it as necessary for the new lathe and send it back to you to look over if that’s okay?

Wrt to ventilation in the CNC room could you explain what you mean? When I walked in there was one very slow turning fan going outside and that was it. It looked like there used to be fans on the door too but they’re missing.

Hi Reiss

Thanks for the generous offer. As one of the team members who looks after the woodwork area I thought I could help give some background info on the workshop plans as well as raise some operation queries we have going forward.

On-lone tools

Most of the machines in woodwork are on-lone so this isn’t a new thing for us. For your own guarantee I would recommend you fill in the following form and attach pictures of all the bits supplied so that you can keep track if anything goes missing, then just simply email it to the board for them to approve and file on the Google drive.

Folder to form location

Actual form (when opening make your own copy as any changes to this one will be deleted)

We would ask that if/when you intend to take back your lathe some notice is given so we can plan/notify members in advance. User priority is also not something that the space guarantees so something to keep in mind assuming this becomes popular/or if the table saw is in use.

Woodwork team responsibility

Prior to your offer @conall had already begun to take the lead for us on ensuring the wood lathe was brought back into action. I’m assuming that joining the woodwork team is not something you’d have time for, so having Conall involved is important for us in ensuring the process and formalities are followed.

The training would require all users to be signed off and that would include yourself, simply being the owner of the tool isn’t sufficient. Typically for the trainers, as we’d starting almost from scratch, that would be done via a few group sessions where they all approve each other before opening up the training to the membership. The most recent tool this happened with is the Planer & Thicknesser where the trainers were able to iron out any issues and ensure familiarity across the team. I’d expect training on this tool to be quite technical so a plug lock to prevent non-trained users would likely be added to the machine.

In addition to providing the training; maintenance and upkeep of the machines is typically looked after by the team as we keep track of what needs doing and any expenses incurred. As an active member I’d assume you’d want to have a role in the maintenance and upkeep of your machine so we’d look to support you when required. I’m guessing the board intend to negotiate any on-going costs with you privately, however in the past the space has paid for any repairs/parts for loaned equipment.


The plan is to move the lathe from the CNC room into the main area. There are a few reasons for this with one of them being it allows the small room to become CNC focused as they are more appropriate in there rather than scattered around the whole space as well as it stops CNC users being prevented from accessing the room when the lathe is in use.

H&S is a genuine concern, but the risk of flying debris is low (low likelihood) as it is very much due to the user and should be covered in training, though full face shields are a PPE must. While planning the workshop space I made sure the perimeter around that corner would help keep members at a suitable distance should a piece go flying. It does bring the limitation that only Wood Lathe or the Table Saw can be used at a time however this has been known for a while and is covered already during the Table Saw training.

Wood lathes are a common workshop tool in colleges and they typically aren’t tucked away, in my college they had it right next to the bandsaw with just a metre perimeter behind the user. The key importance is ensuring the users of the space understand the risks associated, just like with kickback on a Table Saw. Admittedly our general H&S around the workshop is something we need to improve regardless.

Currently the large offcut sheets are in that corner. The plan was to get rid of this during the ‘Hack the Space Day’ (26th November / two weekends away) but we could likely bring this forward. All that would then be required is to build a suitable bench for the machine against the wall. This could potentially require some extra materials but the team can help work with you to plan this.

Planned layout of that corner with updated dimensions of the lathe:


I couldn’t find the length of the extension so I just doubled the normal lathe length. Since we have enough space for it at the moment whether it’s bought or not we might as well future proof the bench.

The DeWalt Mitre Saw is portable so it keeps around the workshop. Currently it’s sitting there so I thought I’d include it in the drawing. The rule for that area is that only one of the machines within the boundary can be used at a time, so if another tool/machine later replaces the DeWalt, the same rules would still apply.

Extraction / Ventilation

It was always a long term goal to expand the extraction system to the wood lathe, now with the upgraded fan and filter the system is powerful enough to support the machines requirements and I could start that expansion straight away. We have the ducting already so once the machine is installed I can look at getting extraction up and running for the tools as soon as possible.

It might still take a few weeks to finish though so at the start we’d just ask members to just sweep up the waste and hoover it afterwards.

Material storage

Currently there are a lot of logs being stored in the CNC room and around the space. While I understand it’s important for logs to be sufficiently dry before turning. A quick google suggests a drying time of 1 year for each inch in thickness. This means that a significant amount of material will be sat in the space unusable for a long time.

A limit to how much is stored and how this is managed needs to be agreed as it somewhat circumvents the already established member storage and large project storage.

Thanks again. Be nice to have a working wood lathe in the space again :slight_smile:

Hi Marc,

Thanks for taking the time to write all this!

Once the board has confirmed whether or not this will go ahead, I will shoot a message to @conall and make sure all due process in WoodyDusty is followed. I will also fill out the tool donation loan form after their decision but before the tool is collected.

Taking on board everyone’s viewpoints, I think the best way forward with regards to health + safety, risk assessments and training is to:

  1. Draw up a risk assessment based on Alex 's current one, HSE’s guidance and the Health and Safety section of the wood lathe’s manual.
  2. Open this up for constructive criticism on the Woody Dusty group chat (also on WeldyGrindy as they have experience with lathes) and integrate feedback into the doc.
  3. Write a training process based on the risk assessment and the wood lathe’s manual.
  4. Open the training process to criticism and validate each trainer’s capacity to train via a group trainer’s induction as @Marcus6275 described and integrate feedback into the process.
  5. Open up training to the rest of the membership.

Thanks for taking the time to create that layout :slight_smile: Sounds like a plan - maybe we can bring forwards removing the offcuts? Once I hear back from the board I’ll dm you to figure out how best to do this :slight_smile:

Will update you once I hear back from the Board :slight_smile:


Just chiming in to say this looks great! It will really add to the space to have another tool people can be proud of and will get good, safe use.

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Cheers Reiss for owning this! The only thing I’d change is not to bother asking for feedback from Weldy Grindy. Wood and metal lathes are quite different tools, and metal lathe people (like me) don’t really know how the hand-held tooling on a wood lathe works!

Re. the training process, I’d run that through the wood team (the small group that looks after the wood workshop and delivers training) rather than the general Woody Dusty Telegram group. We can add you to the super secret elite level platinum access Wood Team Telegram Chat in due course.

Hey Mike!

You’re welcome! Noted about WeldyGrindy, makes sense :smiley: Apologies for mixing up WoodyDusty and the Wood Team, will defo be running it through the latter :slight_smile:

Also just a quick announcement for the thread that the Board have now approved this :slight_smile: I’ll be following up on the training and risk assessment steps I mentioned earlier soon, so watch this space!

Excited to being initiated into the shadowy ranks of the Wood Team elite :sunglasses:

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