Several years ago…sometime around 1993, I bought my first tig welder.
Around 1996, I got an order for 200 round parts.
The job paid pretty well but I didnt want to spend all my earnings on a turntable without knowing if I would use it often enough to pay for it.
So I made a DIY welding lathe from an old bicycle.
my welding lathe rig was powered by a variable speed drill motor and a 1/4″ piece of round chucked in the drill chuck.
In 12th gear, the part turned just about the right speed for me to bang out 200 parts in no time.
The parts were 2 inch dia and were stainless steel so needed to be purged on the inside.
so I made the tailstock with a piece of tubing so I could attach a purge line.
Turning a part that is 2 inches at 1 rpm provides a travel speed of around 6 inches per minute which is pretty close for a lot of tig jobs…but I could adjust speed using a hose clamp on the drill motor trigger.
Now that I have a better setup, I dont use the diy welding lathe made from a bike any at all.
I had to dig it out of storage and oil it up just so it would turn for this video.
It served its purpose well but the newer one has more features, is more accurate and adjustable.