What Is a Wood Lathe Copier?

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  • Written By: Jean Marie Asta
  • Edited By: Jessica Seminara
  • Last Modified Date: 09 November 2019
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A wood lathe copier is a piece that can be attached to a wood lathe that is used to sculpt identical pieces of wood. They are a common feature in most wood shops and are used to make exact copies of the same wooden object repeatedly. These attachments are commonly used to make table legs, baseball bats, and other rounded wooden objects that need many copies to be turned.

There are many types of lathes for turning and sculpting different materials of different sizes. Lathes can be used for sculpting metal, plastic or wood and function on a horizontal axis for pieces that are long, small, and/or lightweight. They can also spin an object on a vertical axis if the object is large, oddly shaped, or so heavy that it might fall off of a horizontal lathe. A wood lathe copier is generally attached to a horizontal wood lathe.

Three main components make up a horizontal wood lathe. There is the clamping system that grips the wood piece securely. A motor, which is either gas or electric powered, spins the wood piece rapidly. The third piece is a tool rest where tools are set for better control when the worker is using the lathe.


A wood lathe copier is an advanced version of one of the simple tool rests. After a wood lathe copier is installed onto a lathe, the piece that the worker wishes to copy is placed in the copier. The worker then places the work piece onto the lathe.

With the copier in place, the worker is able to carve away at the work piece, guided by the copier. Excessive or incorrect carving is stopped by the wood lathe copier. This allows the worker to create a nearly exact duplicate.

Wood lathe copiers should be available at most hardware stores. They are also available online and may be bought second hand. These tools are especially useful in manufacturing environments that deal with making wooden objects, but are also very helpful in home shops that already have a wood lathe. While woodworking hobbyists may not originally see the need to make multiple copies of their work, if the need comes for them to make a chair and they want all of the legs to be identical, a wood lathe copier is essential.

There is a constant demand for wood products in most parts of the world. As many of these products are shaped by the process of turning, a wood lathe copier might be a good investment in any shop multiple copies of wooden objects need to be made. The price of compact copiers has dropped lower than ever due to competition from online hardware stores, so any wood worker who uses a lathe should consider acquiring one.


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