Andrew Birkett's nobugs.org
The lathe, the workpiece and the resulting sawdust.
Now I plan to use the lathe to make some patterns for the faceplate and pulleys, and cast them in aluminium. I have an old washing machine motor and belt which will probably work fine to turn the lathe. Probably I’ll eventually use a more sturdy shaft, but for now 12mm is convienient since I have a 12mm drill bit.
If you like the idea of having a simple lathe, but don’t want to build it from scratch, there’s a nice looking Bench-top Lathe on amazon.com. Also, do check out the great (and cheap!) book called The Metal Lathe for more amazing build-at-home stuff.
Finally, have a look at my home-made furnace for doing backyard aluminium casting.