September 4, 2021

Wood Lathe Projects You Must Try!

Woodworking projects, while easy to make at home, can be expensive to purchase. So if you are looking for a way to recoup the cost of the materials you buy, wood lathes are ideal. You can do woodworking projects with a simple hand-powered lathe, but using a dedicated machine like a wood lathe is more satisfying.


Making bangles is the starting point of your wood lathe projects, and it requires standard woodwork knowledge. Bangles are ideal for the initial experiment since they are easy to make, and basic movements and turning techniques are needed. Even if the early attempts are not satisfactory, keep practicing. If you cannot wax, buff the bangle, which is ready for use.

Wooden rings

Wooden rings are more like bangles. The technique is the same, although wooden rings are a bit smaller. That requires the user to practice working on smaller and more intricate items. Wood rings are better on hardwoods, and wooden rings complement wooden bangles. Your results depend on your wood selection.

Bottle stoppers

Bottle Stopper

Bottle stoppers are a bit more advanced than wooden rings, but they are still easy to make. Making stoppers sharpen your turning skills and learning new skills. Focus on applying correct techniques and following details. There are extra pieces you need besides the wood, which is the bottle stopper kit. 

Wooden Spoons

A wooden spoon is a kitchen utensil that sharpens your learning skills. The homemade wooden spoon comes in any shape of your choice, and start with the standard shape till you can do more complex shapes. 

wood carved spoons

There is a need for extra equipment other than the lathe. Pick a tool and start making your spoon. That is the wood lathe chuck and tool rest. If you intend to use varnish to finish, get the food-grade varnish. 


There are numerous variations of pots to make. The pot comes with a hole drilled inside. Make it wide enough to accommodate the stems of flowers. Although you cannot put water on them for long, they survive for days. Follow instructions to make the process bearable. It helps you practice on smooth surfaces. That is when you showcase your creative skills.


Making bowls requires simple designs in your early stages. Turning large bowls does not make them elegant. When not experienced, the results are likely to be unpleasant. Develop your skills first and try a bigger one from your previous project. Grab as many ideas as you can as you start making more attempts. 

Root vase

Turning a root vase is an advanced project done once you have mastered the art of turning. It needs skill and experience in woodturning so that you create a beautiful and valuable piece of art. 

Invest in woodturning before making root vases since that may cost you new materials. Take the learning curve slow and build your skills before making complex items. Making intricate designs with success is proof enough that you are good at woodturning. 

Things to make on a wood lathe

The tool accommodates hobbyists, intermediates, and professionals. The wood lathe makes bowls, wooden spoons, tool handles, kitchen utensils, decorative items, and pens. 

If you are into sport, you might venture into making baseball batman pool cues. Measure your progress by trying new and challenging projects that are more demanding than your previous projects. 

More complex items include chess pieces and spheres. The lathe machine is not only there to make new items but also for repairs. If you have a broken chair, you can replace the broken legs by making your turns. 

You are allowed to change wood items and shapes. The woodturning process shapes a wide range of wood into any object of your choice. It uses a variety of tools to shape, cut, and groove the pieces into designs. 

What to make on a wood lathe


Make a box using a wood lathe. Boxes have numerous uses that include storage. You can keep your jewelry, books, and valuables in a box. Boxes also keep your tools safe and in one place in woodturning. 

You are allowed to add drawers and compartments to your drawer. That is convenient to the user since you can pick a tool without looking for it. Personalized gifts look better in a box. 

Chairs and legs

When you have a broken chair, you should not be worried about looking for a carpenter or a new one. Chairs and tables are easy to turn, and the steps are straightforward and the turning. Attaching the legs to the chair or table is also easy. 

You need additional screws and honesty to secure the table. Tool bits assist you in modifying your chair and transform it into a new one. 

Tool handles

There are many instances whereby a blade slips out of the casing on a chisel. To avoid this, make a handle for your chisel. The tool handle can be a product of your lathe machine. What separates handles is the length. Otherwise, the design is the same. The variance also comes in designs.  Turning handles requires your touch since you personalize the way you want.

Unique wood lathe projects


The best pepper mill comes from high-quality wood. Although it is a unique wood lathe project, it requires skill and experience. 

When you move to a new place, a pepper mill is one of the items you start looking for. While you have time, you can start making one or two. Although it takes time, it is worth it. You need a kit to complete the project.

Egg cup

Egg cups are unique, modern, and beautiful. Up your game by making wooden eggs as well. That is where you have to showcase your creativity. These are for decorative purposes in your home or shop, and you can give them to a friend as a lovely gift. A glossy or matte finish makes it more appealing. 

Candlelight holder

A candlelight holder is one of the unique wood items. The lively craft makes your wood game enjoyable. It is affordable to make and easy to sell. You have a wide range of sizes and shapes to choose from. Make as many as you want to sharpen your creative skills. Consider engraving the item using a CNC machine.

Fun wood lathe projects

Wooden Christmas ornaments

Ornaments are both fantastic and fun to make. If you are making them for business, you make money during the festive season, which means the project becomes seasonal. You have time to look for ideas and perfect your ornaments till the time comes. 

They are easy to make, and you will have them in bulk. That means buying wood in bulk, which makes the project affordable. Attach a hook on top of the ornament for handing. Staining and painting give them different fi isles to the customers. 

Wooden tools for kids

Wooden tools for kids are fun to make, but only if you are creative. Look for ideas that easily attract kids. The tools tell kids and find attractive ideas that help kids learn. A children’s play kitchen teaches kids about utensils and their uses. 

Cool wood lathe projects

Wooden goblet

 A wooden goblet is fantastic and gives you a chance to learn more skills. Take your time since it may be challenging for a first-timer—different test shapes, styles, and sizes on wood. Personalize your own and those you want to make as gifts. Food-safe finishes are ideal. As you choose your wood, take food-friendly wood, so you do not spoil your wine. 

Wooden pen

A pen is a gift you cannot afford to miss, and pen kits are available to make the project easy to complete. You have a variety of wood to choose from, giving you pens of different textures, colors, shapes, and sizes. 

A wooden pen sells fast and is always in demand, an item that is needed daily. You make money if you choose to make the woodturning process a business. 

Wood salt cellar

A wood salt cellar is a simple item that a beginner should not hesitate to make. It is cool to make, and you use it daily. As you use it, you will cherish the work of your hands, giving you ideas on where to improve. The chances of coming across new designs are high, and you might need to upgrade. The same cellar can have different lids so that you use them for spices. 

Further Reading

Using a lathe | A Detailed Guide + Video

David D. Hughes

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