When a local remodeler approached me about reproducing five porch posts for a 140-year-old house in Boulder, Colo., my interest was piqued. Despite the fact that I didn't have a lathe — much less one that could turn 10-foot posts — I took the contract, figuring I could build my own to do the job.

I made the lathe's 12-foot-long bed from 16-inch LVL; the legs are cobbled together from 2x6s and scrap ply. The head and tail stocks are blocks of Douglas fir with Baltic birch plywood bases that clamp to the bed.

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