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Lathe Stand from Scrap (Almost)

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Blog entry by David Grimes posted 09-03-2011 11:03 AM 2530 reads 1 time favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I just received a really inexpensive (less than $90) 40” lathe (not HF). To try it out, it seemed that the first order of business is a stand to sit it on (and stabilize it).

I looked at all the lathe stand projects and found one by fellow LJs Garys and garriv777 that seemed to have the length and depth I was after. Theirs is much nicer than my pine, treated pine and Advantech creation, but then again I’m not finished yet. ;=)

I had every thing I needed except two 8 foot 2×6’s, so I picked them up this afternoon. I began with cutting the treated 4×4’s to length on the miter saw, then rounding the edges on the router.

Like garriv777’s, I notched the top center of the 4×4 feet for a dado joint.



However, I also (from the bottom directly below the dado) recessed two washer cavities (recessed so they won’t touch the floor, and washers so the screws will grab with the washer as a shoulder in the soft pine), then pre-drilled so that I could run two screws on each foot up into the 2×6 leg center member.

I then attached the 4×4 leg shafts to each side of the leg lower center by using a 1/2” forstner bit to a depth of 2”, then followed that with 3” screws with washers (again to keep the screws from drawing to far into the soft pine) to attach the glued pieces together securely. For the record, I actually got clamps and dowel out, but chose this method due to speed and convenience. This IS a tool table, not a Grandfather clock. ;=)

After both pairs of legs were assembled, I ran a horizontal 2×6 between the legs, glued and screwed blocking 10” on center down each side, followed that with a top made of 3/4” Advantech, and finally added 2×6 skirts to the outside front and back. That’s where I am tonight. Even though it’s not completed yet, I just had to set the lathe on the top to check for fit. You know how it is…

I have more planned: completing the ends, adding a middle horizontal support that will hold turning tools… and/or possibly a shelf or a box. And it will be finished in some form or fashion. Who knows? Tomorrow is another day. Thanks for stopping in.

BTW… here are some pictures that prove that I do make a mess in my shop (for a minute, anyway).


-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia



15 comments so far

View ajosephg's profile

ajosephg

1852 posts in 2213 days


#1 posted 09-03-2011 11:59 AM

What a deal. That puppy is strong! (and heavy). While I’m not a lathe person, I’m curious as to the reason for using 3 2×6’s and all the blocking. Seems like the lathe bed would provide the rigidity needed. I’m guessing it’s for the weight so the machine won’t try to walk around during use.

-- Joe

View saddletramp's profile

saddletramp

994 posts in 1290 days


#2 posted 09-03-2011 12:15 PM

David, I see that you, like myself, subscribe to the theory that if a little engineering is a good thing then radically over engineering is even better! LOL

Good job. Very functional.

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2072 posts in 1292 days


#3 posted 09-03-2011 12:24 PM

@ajosephg, As usual, you are very perceptive. I have never used a lathe and it remains to be seen if this is a good first lathe, but in any case with a table length of 60” and a depth… the feet are deeper (18”) than the top (11 1/2”), I felt that added mass would be my friend. There will be more weight added to the lower area today. I want to make some table legs, so if it will just do that …

I am imagining that a 4×4 or 3×3 chunk 30” wide will try to have some serious movement when the gouge hits the wood. This should be fun. I’m searching for a face shield right now.

Any tips for a lathe newbie ? I’m all ears.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View philip marcou's profile

philip marcou

262 posts in 1249 days


#4 posted 09-03-2011 12:24 PM

Wot, no provision for sand bags?? It is too flimsy and the lathe will be twisted when the wood warps (;) (;)

View Tim Kindrick's profile

Tim Kindrick

369 posts in 1206 days


#5 posted 09-03-2011 11:57 PM

It’s nice to see a little saw dust in your shop!!!

I made a cheap extra workbench several years ago from scrap 4×4’s and some 2×4’s. Below is a picture of the feet. I used 3/8” T-nuts under each pad and screwed in large headed 3/8” bolts so I could keep everything level on my very unlevel shop floor. It ain’t pretty but it gets the job done. I look forward to seeing the finished project!!

-- I have metal in my neck but wood in my blood!!

View mafe's profile

mafe

9509 posts in 1741 days


#6 posted 09-04-2011 07:30 PM

Wonderful stand.
You need to give it some of the fine red paint.
I think also you need some extra kilos under.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2072 posts in 1292 days


#7 posted 09-05-2011 06:44 AM

@saddletramp, Thanks. No excuses (ever) for over-doing it.

@philip marcou, my life is sand bag free (including that in the game invented by drunk skirt-wearing Scottish men with too much land and time on their hands). I believe this stand will out-survive me. ;=)

@Tim Kindrick, Good idea on the adjustable legs. So far, I am level with the world.. and my spot I will use for turning is flat concrete. My biggest problem is that the stand and the lathe are already very heavy, so moving it will be a chore.

@mafe, Red it will be ! Both you and ajosephg have suggested red for projects, so I believe this will get the red. The extra kilos… I will wait until after the first table leg is turned to decide if even more weight is needed down low. If indeed it is needed, then it may be a loaded chest for ballast since I’m not a sand bag or cement block (ghetto) kind of guy. Thanks for taking a look, friend.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2072 posts in 1292 days


#8 posted 09-05-2011 07:20 AM

Update: Sunday night Sept. 4th, 2011

The lathe is now bolted to the stand. Yes, I am a screw and washer fan, I know.


I added a 2×3 horizontal brace, then cut a right triangle and glued / clamped it to the face of the 2×3.

Soon, I will bore eight forstner holes in the face that is canted towards me at 45 degrees. These I will use as holders for each of the 8 pieces in the lathe tool set that I hope to receive this week.

A four jaw 6” lathe chuck, a full face shield and a magnetic base light are to arrive as well.

Note: Even though this lathe did not come from HF, it still has the 3/4” x 10 TPI mounting threads. I have found an inexpensive ($20) adapter to go to 1” x 8 TPI (much more common / standard). What I would like to know (or find) is an adapter to go to Morris Taper, but I am not having any luck.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View mafe's profile

mafe

9509 posts in 1741 days


#9 posted 09-05-2011 07:41 AM

You are going to love it when those tools arrive!

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2072 posts in 1292 days


#10 posted 09-05-2011 09:24 AM

@mafe, I think you are right that I will enjoy this.

As I said earlier, the need is for table legs. The first ones (after practice) will be glued up maple most likely. I anticipate that the “hard part” will be in making the 2nd, 3rd and 4th legs match the first.

I am thinking I will have to come up with a “story stick” to accomplish this. Anybody care to share their methods(s) ?

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View ajosephg's profile

ajosephg

1852 posts in 2213 days


#11 posted 09-05-2011 12:11 PM

@red paint.

Think you should forget the red, now that I think about it. Definitely needs to Rigid orange to match your other stuff. ;)

-- Joe

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2072 posts in 1292 days


#12 posted 09-05-2011 01:00 PM

Too late ;=) Third coat going on now.

Anyway, this will reside on the automotive side next to all the Craftsman red stuff, so it will be quite fashionable. lol

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2072 posts in 1292 days


#13 posted 09-28-2011 09:30 AM

An update of sorts:

1) I do not require any added ballast (at this time) for turning on this lathe / stand combination. I might possibly if I ever get a huge, heavy, irregular chunk chucked up. But for what I’m doing now it is rock solid.

2) The cheap-o lathe has been an absolute pleasure so far. It is very smooth and quiet. It has good power, but not so much that it won’t stop when I have stalled it… and it has not had a predisposition to snatch the tool out of my hand.

3) Moving the belt to change speeds is not as easy as turning a dial or pushing a button, but I really don’t mind the few times I’ve had to do that.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View ajosephg's profile

ajosephg

1852 posts in 2213 days


#14 posted 09-28-2011 12:26 PM

OK friend, what exactly did you mean to say here? ”—- it won’t stop when I have stalled it” ;)

-- Joe

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2072 posts in 1292 days


#15 posted 09-28-2011 03:24 PM

@ajosephg, What I mean is that when I have twice gone in too quickly with the roughing gouge that I have frozen (stopped) the spinning piece for a split second… until I backed off. I am glad that it has the amount of combined torque and belt slippage so that it does exactly this… instead of fly off / break something or try to spin the entire lathe / stand.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

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