I've been wanting to try wood turning for a long time, but a proper lathe costs several hundred dollars. That could be a huge loss if I ended up not liking the craft or was no good at it. So I decided to try building one. Actually, many moons ago I tried something much more complex with closed loop speed control and a fancy interface. That's a separate project here: https://hackaday.io/project/1918-fancy-lathe-made-from-garbage .
That project never produced a useful tool, so this time I tried focusing not on the electronics and features, but rather on what's actually important for a wood turning lathe. And you can see the result here:
Of course this is not even comparable to a lathe you could buy, but I don't think I spent more than $5 on it and it lets me experience at least an approximation to wood turning.
I'll update once I find time to play with it more and make something.