If you are frustrated about the diameter limits of your lathe here is one way to increase the turning capacity of your lathe.


Here is a picture of my modified Canadian Tire Mastercraft lathe. This shows the wood blocks under the headstock. Added is a 1HP motor with a reversing switch.

The headstock can still pivot but with the increased capacity (an extra 3" diameter can be turned now) there has not been a need. I do not use the cantilevered mass anymore since I mainly turn out of round outside on the other lathe. See the page on antivibration. The cardboard is there to help direct the dust into the dustcollector.

Above: The picture at left shows the block before it was added to the bottom of the tailstock. Also shown is the large eyebolt which replaced the original to make up for the added distance from the lathe bed.


Below is the toolpost extension turned by a local machininist for $20.00

Ray Lanham made some blocks for his lathe and avoided the toolpost extension by making a block for under the banjo.

The headstock block before bolting down with longer metric machine bolts.


Above: This picture shows the extended tool post and block under the tailstock. The turned block on the lathe is normally used when turning the bottom of bowls but I left it on for the picture to show how well centered the tailstock dead centre is. (There is a small amount of lateral play which so far has not been a problem even when drilling small holes.)

Above: This picture is a nice overview of the lathe completed

A view of the blocked up lathe from the motor side showing the belt tightening bolt. The motor has a triple pulley to change speeds and the motor mount allows for side to side movement so that the lathe pulley can be kept aligned with the motor pulley in use.

That's it folks.


Lathe $300

Motor $200

Machining $20


Contact John / Order Information / Links / View work / Biography / Lathe Hints & Tips / Woodturning Glossary

John Williams

Wood Turning


John Williams

Wood Turning - Blocking up a Mastercraft Headstock swivel lathe

Contact John / Home / Links / View work / Biography / Lathe Hints & Tips / Woodturning Glossary

Update on this lathe: Now sold and replaced with a General 18" swing electronic control