I always wanted a lathe. Fortunately, at some point, I actually voiced this desire, because my sister-in-law Sara spoke up for me when she saw a lathe that was heading off to be scrapped. A suitcase ride later — Deborah's mother brought it when she came to help with the baby — it was sitting in my living room.
Now, it's a fairly rudimentary thing; all I got was the bit you see on top of the stand there. I get to supply the rest, but I'm delighted anyway. It's fun. I just so happened to have a motor left over from my air compressor motor swap, and I just happened to have not one, but two steel fishtank stands in the shed, one of which turned out to be the perfect dimensions. (It's not the one pictured here.) If there was any progress in convincing me to get rid of my junk pile, this wasn't it. So far, all I've had to buy were some nuts and bolts, a belt, and the electrical connections. The rest I had laying around.
So, once I get this thing running... who wants a candlestick? Or a magic wand? Or a peppermill? Or a miniature baseball bat? Or something else that's equally useless, but very fun to make?