Welcome to Downriver Tools

About Downriver Tools

Downriver Tools is dedicated to serving the home shop machinist, prototype engineer, clock maker, and inventor. We specialize in producing drawings, instructions, and kits to help the do-it-yourself machinist fabricate limited quantities of screw machine products. When a few or a few hundred turned parts are needed, Downriver Tools has the information you need to make them yourself without breaking the bank.

Typical Problem: Fabricating turned parts is a rewarding experience, but after making two or three, tedium sets in, quality control suffers, and interest in the project begins to wane. Soon your project is shelved for lack of parts.

Solution: This problem can be solved with a tailstock or bed turret and a couple of cross slide tools. Commonly called a turret or second operation lathe, the bed turret is attached to the lathe bed in place of the tailstock. It is then fitted with simple tools to allow repetitive operations. After a short setup period, any number of parts can be mass produced.

Choose the Right Tools

The size of your lathe will determine the size of the Tailstock/Bed Turret.

  • Mk-I is a simple to build manual bed turret designed for Bench-top lathes such as the Atlas/Craftsman 6" Lathes. It is the same size as the Mk-IV bed turret and supports 5/8" shank tooling.
  • Mk-II is a semi-automatic bed turret designed for Toolroom lathes in the 9" to 12" swing range such as Atlas/Craftsman, Grizzly, Logan, Sieg, Smithy, South Bend and others. It supports 5/8" shank tooling.
  • Mk-III is a semi-automatic bed turret designed for Precision lathes including small and micro-precision models such as Sherline. It can be easily adapted to Levin, Derbyshire, and Taig lathes. It supports 1/2" shank tooling - ideal for watchmaking and instrument lathes.
  • Mk-IV is a semi- automatic bed turret based on the Mk-III turret, only larger to fit Asian Import 7" Bench-top Mini-Lathes. It supports 5/8" shank tooling.

Our Heritage

On the lower reaches of the Detroit River, in Southeastern Michigan, USA, the Downriver Area has a rich industrial heritage. Starting with iron and steel making, then shipbuilding, followed by chemical and automobile manufacturing, a large chapter in the history of the Industrial Age was written in the Downriver Area. Today that heritage continues with Downriver Tools.

"I needed hundreds of special screws for a model marine engine. Needing a bed turret, I found nothing available for my lathe. Not to be defeated, I set out to design and build one. The device needed to be simple, inexpensive, and able to be built using a table-top mill. The result was so successful I wanted to share the design with others. Thus Downriver Tools was born."
Bob R.

Sample & Video

Check out a downloadable sample of our work, and view several tools in action by clicking on the videos below.