DIY Lathe Bellows

With all the chips flying off my Gingery Lathe it seemed like a good idea to protect the bed from chips getting under the carriage. I decided to make my own Lathe Bellows, as those on the market are fairly expensive. What I came up with is fairly cheap, and easy to build.

Step by Step Video of Making The Lathe Bellows:
How To Make Lathe Bellows Video

Photos of the Lathe Bellows:
Lathe Bellows Neutral Position Lathe Bellows Expanded Lathe Bellows Compressed Lathe Bellows Compressed Side View


I’ve been fairly alert to materials that would work well for the bellows, and while at Costco noticed a huge role of drawer liner at an extremely reasonable price. The liner was also ribbed which would make setting up the accordion much easier than a straight sheet of plastic. To form the accordion I planned on sewing at the bends, and it worked out quite well though I need to brush up on my sewing skills for sure :)

Parts List For Lathe Bellows

* as mentioned in the parts photo above, it became clear to me that an already made bellows could be purchased from which is used for mini-mills. If you don’t want to bother cutting / sewing drawer liner, you can purchase a section from there for $8.

This was a rather on the fly project, and I didn’t plan it out as well as I probably should have, though it came together well enough in the end. The bellows work great, and they don’t bunch up at all when compressed which is a key feature.

The Bellows are mounted to the lathe by a custom angle iron clamp on the headstock end, and a custom sheet metal mount on the carriage side. My Gingery Lathe has very little clearance between the Cross Slide clamp, and the Carriage itself, so I had to determine a method of attachment that would not get in the way of the Cross Slide. The sheet metal worked perfectly, and flat head #4-40 screws were used to screw the sheet into countersunk holes in the Carriage. The sheet metal conformed to the countersunk hole, and thus no screw heads are exposed ( or in the way ).

Definitely checkout the video link above for a step by step on the build.



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