Jordan Kube has created a unique open source glassblowing lathe, aptly named the Kube OpenLathe, which costs less than $2,000 in parts and provides a lathe that is accessible to all says it’s creator.
Watch the video below to see a demonstration of the glassblowing lathe and learn more bout its specifications and pledges available during the Kickstarter campaign.
Specifications include :
– Radial swing: 9.75″ (more than a Gator!)
– Max distance between spindles: 24″ – or as long as you want. The lathe bed is easily extended for tens of dollars, depending on how far you want to go.
– Spindle bore: 20mm stock – possible to bore chucks to 30mm
– .25″ cold rolled steel ways
– Heavy duty frame made from 8020 aluminum extrusion
The goal of this kickstarter campaign is to bring information on how to build a functioning scientific and artistic glass blowing lathe to everyone. I plan on building a website containing a bill of materials, schematics, construction and operation videos, as well as a forum for discussion on all types of self built lathes, commercial lathes and lathe work. The monetary goal covers parts, construction, video and editing, as well as forum and website fees. For the cost of one lathe, everyone can have one!
In September 2016 I took a class from Micah Evans and Stephan Pierce at the Pilchuck Glass School. I looked around for a lathe to fool around on and found my options limited. The cheapest domestic lathe comes in at $12,000. Import lathes are much cheaper but they seem to get mixed reviews. There are some good used lathes around but you are limited to what is available at the time, and they may require work. Size was also a consideration. Many people don’t have room for a large floor lathe.
As I watched Stephan work on the lathe I thought I might be able to build something smaller and cheaper that could act as an entry level lathe for myself and others. My designs quickly progressed to the one you see here. I was able to source almost everything online, and the construction of the lathe requires only basic fabrication skills. The best part of all? Parts come in less than $2k!
My first thought was to bring the lathe to market but it’s still a work in progress. My second thought was to go open source and let the community help. This is the perfect DIY solution to a coveted glass tool. I’m not the only one to build their own lathe, and this certainly isn’t the only design. There is some information online but it is very limited. I drew my inspiration from what’s out there, but there is a big vacuum I hope to fill with this information. I have added rewards that help make the construction go a little easier for some. Note: The $850 reward level for “The Kit” is not a complete lathe kit, it is only the things you would have to fabricate. You will still need to buy the frame, chucks, etc.
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