Metal Lathe – Part 1: The Bed

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I am building a Gingery Metal Lathe. I downloaded the first three books in the series for Kindle. Morgan Demers inspired me with his videos of building his lathe. Check out my web site,, for other cool projects.

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Check out the full lathe project playlist:

My first charcoal foundry was a bit too messy, dusty, and expensive. Waste oil would be cheaper but kerosene works better to get it started. I followed David D’s video on the Kwiky All Fuel Foundry with minor tweaks. Kerosene works much better but doesn’t save me much over charcoal. It is still much less of a mess.

I poured the apron and lead screw supports and now have some data on the material loss and furnace burn rate. I lost 5% as slag, spillage, and leftover in the crucible. Discounting fuel used to heat up the foundry, I use about 0.45 lbs of fuel per lb of aluminum melted. I also did some calculations on what that means for my foundry’s efficiency. I used about 8M joules to heat and melt the aluminum when only 0.39M joules were required: 5% efficiency. This seems like pretty poor performance, but I found typical efficiencies for crucible type foundries are 7-19%, see I definitely have room for improvement on this foundry. However, it works for now, and I can always try for better efficiency with foundry 2.0 and 3.0.

Support this project directly:

If you would like to check out the book series use these Amazon affiliate links: If you click the link and make a purchase, I receive a commission. You read my full disclosure policy here-
The Charcoal Foundry (Book 1) –
The Metal Lathe (Book 2) –
The Metal Shaper (Book 3) –
The Milling Machine (Book 4) –
The Drill Press (Book 5) –
The Dividing Head and Deluxe Accessories (Book 6) –

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