Lathe Bed Extension

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Project by doubleDD posted 09-14-2015 09:01 PM 2634 views 2 times favorited 32 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The time had come where I needed to do some 40’’ spindle work. I had been wanting to buy an extension for a couple years now but couldn’t justify the $200-$250 cost. I decided to get to work and build something.
I have some 1/8’’ angled aluminum and a few 1/4’’ galvanized flat bars to get me started. Epoxying the angled aluminum and galvanized steel together as you see in pic 2-3 gave the 3/8’’ thickness i needed to match the top rail. I made two bridges out of wood to hold it up and set them on for size at a 2’’ gap for the tail stock to slide thru. Pic 4 Next was the gap for the locking plate to slide thru so it doesn’t get caught from the lathe bed to my add on extension. I made those out of a piece of 1×1 lumber and kept shaving them down till I had a 2 9/16’‘gap. I epoxied those to the rails and went to remounting again. Pic 5. The one bridge is bolted to the lathe in the original holes and screwed to the bench. The other is just screwed down. The 2 rails are screwed to the bridges with 3’’ x 1/4’’ screws. With a little tweaking I got the tail stock to slide from my extension to the lathe bed like butter. I ended up with a 19 1/2’’ extension for a total of 43 1/2’’ between centers. This was a temporary fix but turned out so sturdy I decided to keep it on permanently. The cost was 0 since I had everything in the shop I needed. I hope this give inspiration to others who need an extension and are too cheap like me to spend that much.
Not bad if I say so myself. Thanks for looking.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

32 comments so far

View doubleDD's profile


7895 posts in 2245 days

#1 posted 09-14-2015 09:04 PM

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2494 days

#2 posted 09-14-2015 09:09 PM

Ingenious and very clever! Congratulations on a job well done.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Rockbuster's profile


499 posts in 2810 days

#3 posted 09-14-2015 09:11 PM

You have done a wonderful job on this, I also made an extension for my Rikon,but completely from wood, I like your idea much better,something to definitely think about this winter.

-- Rockbuster,Ft. Wayne,In It is far better to remain silent, and appear the fool, than it is to open ones mouth, and remove all doubt.

View peteg's profile


4423 posts in 3025 days

#4 posted 09-14-2015 09:48 PM

Nice job Dave, I have a DVR with an extension bed I bought with the lathe, This looks like it will get the job done equally as

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21737 posts in 3308 days

#5 posted 09-14-2015 09:54 PM

Nice job on the extension, Dave. That sure gets the job done for a whole lot less than $200!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Woodknack's profile


12431 posts in 2582 days

#6 posted 09-14-2015 10:00 PM

That’s the spirit, good ingenuity!

-- Rick M,

View JoeinGa's profile


7739 posts in 2209 days

#7 posted 09-14-2015 10:19 PM

Atta Boy, Dave! (oops, wrong commercial)

You know, if you shoot all the new pieces with some of the Rustoleum “Hammered finish” spray paint, I bet it would blend in and no one would even know you built it from pieces you had laying around !

Excellent job !

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View kdc68's profile


2691 posts in 2479 days

#8 posted 09-14-2015 10:33 PM

Got to be a good feeling to save a couple hundred $$.... Well done Dave ! ....Nice looking shop BTW….

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View BusterB's profile


1970 posts in 2210 days

#9 posted 09-14-2015 10:40 PM

Gee Dave, that looks almost professional….lol. Very nicely done.

-- Buster, Ocoee TN (Critics are men who watch a battle from a high place then come down and shoot the survivors - Hemingway)

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10323 posts in 4254 days

#10 posted 09-14-2015 10:42 PM

Now, you can make Paul Bunyan baseball bats! :)

COOL project at a great price!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View doubleDD's profile


7895 posts in 2245 days

#11 posted 09-14-2015 11:31 PM

Thanks for the comforting comment John. Well appreciated.

Thanks Rockbuster. My first instincts were to use wood but I was afraid the locking plate would dig in and eventually keep it from sliding.

Pete I should of bought the extension like you when I bought the lathe. I bought one for my last Rikon lathe but didn’t use it that much to justify the cost. Sooooo, plan B

It sure will Jim and now I can go buy other tools.

Thanks Rick. Not much ingenuity, just looked at a picture of the lathe with a extension and went from there.

Joe, you know that probably wood make it look real. I used that paint before and it is great.

kdc68 thanks. Saving money and having fun is what its all about. Thanks for the shop comment, I will have to post some pictures when I mess it up a little more.

Thanks Buster. Its only been a few days and it fits in great.

Thanks Joe. That will be one of the next projects, a bat.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View poospleasures's profile


776 posts in 2686 days

#12 posted 09-14-2015 11:59 PM

I,m late to the party but what a piece of engineering. You have my admiration for making it yourself. Your ideas sometimes surprise me but I am kinda getting use to your great ideas. These ideas adds to my lack of money motivator to make it at home. Thanks

-- I,ve had amnesia for as long as I can remember. Vernon

View kiefer's profile


5622 posts in 2869 days

#13 posted 09-15-2015 12:54 AM

Have to hand it to you Dave that is a great looking extension bed and looks quite sturdy the way you made it .
Why buy when you can have the satisfaction of having it made yourself .


-- Kiefer

View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

2596 posts in 3886 days

#14 posted 09-15-2015 01:28 AM

Great work Dave, saved a couple of hundred dollars and gets the job done. Well done.

-- Bob C, Australia. Your best teacher is your last mistake.

View DocSavage45's profile


8724 posts in 3045 days

#15 posted 09-15-2015 01:32 AM

It Works! Ingenuity drive by poverty,,,,I can relate. Nice save Dave!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

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