Things to Sell Made by a Metal Lathe

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In the hands of an experienced and creative worker, the metal engine lathe can be used to pay for itself very quickly. The materials that can be manipulated into consumer products on an engine lathe range from hard steel to copper and cast iron to aluminum. The owner of a lathe can use it for boring holes, knurling decorative patterns and even making springs. Experience and dedication can turn the metal lathe from a hobbyist’s tool into a moneymaking device.

Beware of sparks when making things on a lathe designed to earn you money.
Beware of sparks when making things on a lathe designed to earn you money.

Bracelet

Utilizing tools such as a jeweler’s saw, tracing paper, files and the appropriate type of metal, you can learn to use your lathe to help create scribed designs on a metal bracelet. The design should be very carefully scribed in order to ensure no lines are made that don’t contribute to the decorative effects. Use acid-resistant paint if you want to make an etching on the bracelet.

A metal bracelet is a fairly easy consumer item to create using a lathe.
A metal bracelet is a fairly easy consumer item to create using a lathe.

Hammered Bowl

Many woodworkers use a wood lathe to create a bowl from a block of wood. Hammered bowls can be made from a metal engine lathe. Necessary tools include mallets and hammers, files, center punch and a scriber. A round-faced mallet is typically used for giving the bowl its shape. Buffing will need to follow smoothing to give your hammered bowl a brighter finish.

Copper bowls can be a hot item at cookware shows.
Copper bowls can be a hot item at cookware shows.

Blades

You can potentially make a lucrative living from specializing in making blades to sell at knife shows. Tools needed for making blades with a lathe include a grinding wheel, center punch, hammer and twist drill to fit rivet. The primary uses of the lathe in making a knife are grinding and buffing, and the end product can range from a utilitarian kitchen knife to an ornamental scimitar.

Hit the Renaissance Faire circuit if you know how to make medieval swords on your lathe.
Hit the Renaissance Faire circuit if you know how to make medieval swords on your lathe.

Workshop Tools

Metal and woodworkers may prefer tools made by a fellow enthusiast, which opens the door to making some extra cash by creating the very tools that you yourself will use. A bending fork is an adjustable wrench used in working with wrought iron that can be made with a lathe. Friction calipers are another tool found in many workshops that you can sell. The cold chisel is an indispensable tool used in everything from metal working to masonry construction.

Make some money using your metal lathe to sell the very kind of tools you work with in your shop.
Make some money using your metal lathe to sell the very kind of tools you work with in your shop.

Candelabra

Candelabra are elegant items that an experienced metalworker can churn out using a lathe and a selection of tools for riveting, buffing and bending. Candelabra can be made from material as pliable as copper or as heavy-duty as wrought iron.

Start with simple candle holders and then work your way to increasingly decorative candelabra.
Start with simple candle holders and then work your way to increasingly decorative candelabra.

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