In early December, a little more than a week before I flew home, I decided to make mom a cutting board. However, the garage was a mess. I spent some time figuring out what I could attack, cleaning off the back table to use for flattening the board after the glue-up, building the router sled and rails to perform the flattening, and as a slipped-in, totally unrelated side project, I built a quickie rolling lathe stand on the cheap, as I’m still looking for work. When I say “on the cheap,” I mean free. Well, that’s not entirely true. I used about 2 scrap 2×4s I had in my storage shed, which add up to about $4 total from Home Depot if bought new. I also had a box of 4 very nice locking, swivel casters from Rockler, which I bought months prior (on sale, IIRC), well before I found myself out of work. I didn’t spend any new money, though. This was all stuff sitting around in the inventory, as most/all things for awhile shall be. Here are those wheels:
I built two simple box frames:
I decided to go with all wood joints so the pocket hole screws from the legs and caster wheel bolts would have free reign. Being in a hurry I just went with large pegs, which I at first cut and rounded from a dowel I’d had laying around for years:
I laid things out cleanly for flush joints (as flush as it gets with rounded 2×4s), did several tests with my 1/64” increment brad point bits (also from a Rockler sale (on sale again as I post this from $40 down to $30)) for tightest fit, and I glued up the frames:
As an aside, I cleaned my saw table – home for months now to disassembled planer parts, wood, turnings, dust collection fittings, and the lathe for which I was building the stand – and brought it from this (it actually IS under there):
...to this (even scrubbing away rust brought about by green shavings from the lathe):
So much nicer! I can use it again :)
An example glue up, with clamps on either side of the exposed pegs, which will be flushed up later:
I did that thing everyone warned me about last time again, making some extra, needed pegs on my lathe instead of with a nice dowel plate. Here’s how it looked this time:
The following shot tells me I can probably make dreidels pretty easily :)
I turned the first halves, then flipped them over and let the same CNC code turn the other half. It was all done in about 20 minutes or so:
Using the pegs to glue up the second box:
I designed the stand in SketchUp. I doubt anyone wants it, but if so, I can upload the file. Anyway, this helped me figure out leg length and angles. It turned out I needed a 5° angle on each side, which was easy enough with my miter saw. Here’s how they fit:
I glued and screwed the legs to the bottom frame first:
Then the top:
Then the casters (I had drilled the holes in the base on my drill press before I attached the legs):
And that was the basics. This is the longest post for the simplest, cheapest build ever :)
With the lathe screwed on top. It looks narrow and top-heavy, but it’s quite stable, I’ve found. Too, I’m going to be adding a lot of weight in the bottom. More on that later. Note that the wheels all have a step lock that locks both rolling and swiveling, so it becomes rather like a stand with rubber feet when you lock the wheels, and it rolls like butter when they’re unlocked. I’m happy with them.
Unfortunately, it was too tall. I had miscalculated the height the wheels would add.
That was where I had to finish up before the holidays. I decided to figure out how to shorten it over the break and then come back refreshed and make the change. My original plan was to cut a chunk out of the middle of the legs, then build a drawer box that was shorter than what I’d removed, and screw the top and bottom remaining sections of the legs to that box. After designing that 2x in SketchUp, I realized I didn’t like anything about that plan.
I opted to simply fix the legs. I had glued them in, but it was easy enough to flush cut them back off with a pull saw after removing the pocket screws. I moved the top down by 6” in my original design in SketchUp and figured out the leg angles again. They went from 5° to 6.2°. Amazingly, after eyeballing this value in between the tick marks on my miter saw, I used a precision angle finder with every 10th of a degree marked on it to measure my cuts, and they were dead on the 6.2 mark!
Here’s how it came out after shortening it after I got back from the holidays:
Now it’s a great height for me. It still seemed like it might be too tall, but I’ve only used it on my saw table (behind me in the shot), and the top of the stand now is actually a little shorter than that by an inch or two.
That’s all for now. I’ve made more, as the stand is going to be a lot more involved than just legs and box frames, but that’ll be for future posts, which should come along very soon.
-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator