I have wanted to have a longer lathe for a while, and I could foresee the need for it in some future projects. Then someone wanted me to make something for them that required me to turn a couple things longer than my 14” Jet mini lathe could handle. So I decided to get a bed extension.
I had already tried turning them on my spring pole lathe which is longer, but turning dry hard maple is near impossible on one, particularily going from square to circular. So I looked online to see how much a bed extension for my lathe would be and they were from $100 up, plus shipping. So I decided to make my own.
I used quarter-sawn white oak for the bed surface and some plywood for the rest.The extension works well, and for zero dollars, the price is right. If any one has a small lathe that wants to turn longer stock without buying another lathe or an expensive extension, I recommend just making one. It only took a couple hours to build and I have a much more versitile lathe now. Just make sure the extensions are level with the lathe bed, and they line up laterally and all should be fine.
-- And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord... Colossians 3:23