Lathe stand

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Project by Jarrhead posted 03-22-2011 10:26 PM 12861 views 18 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So, it’s been a long time since my last post, but a lot has happened that made it difficult to get into the shop. Most importantly, we moved! It has been a tedious process getting settled into the new house, but the shop is starting to come together. The good news is that the basement is HUGE, and I’ve got lots of options for the shop. However, this post isn’t about the shop (only a very small part of it). I will update the shop info at a later date, when I’m finally satisfied with it. OK, so maybe that won’t ever happen.

When we moved, I was limited in the amount of weight I could ship on my employer’s dime, and I was well over that limit. We decided to purge non-essential items to save on the shipping costs. One item that got left behind was the table I had my lathe mounted on. “Not to worry”, I told myself, we can rebuild him! He will be better, stronger, faster, ... I had some ideas about what I wanted, and set about searching the internet for a plan. Nada! I could find nothing that was remotely close to what I wanted. Frankly, there are very few lathe stand plans to choose from on the internet. I decided to try my hand at designing my own. I had been playing around with Google’s Sketchup and figured this would be a good venue to get some more practice with it.

The end result is pretty close to what I conceived in the Sketchup model. Although, I did make a slight change to the stretcher dimensions and orientation. I wanted to maximize the weight of the finished piece, and I had a beautiful long straight grained piece that begged to be left as big as possible after the milling. It helps add mass down low for stability. I also added holes on each corner of the leg-set bottoms to use for bolting the piece to the floor, if I deemed it necessary. Haven’t decided yet on whether I will exercise that option, or not. I used poplar throughout (except for the plugs and the wedges in the tenons, which are purpleheart). I know poplar isn’t the most attractive wood, but this is a workpiece, after all, and cost was a consideration. I have approximately $90.00 into materials. Although this is basically a tool stand (emphasis on tool), I wanted to use the opportunity of the build to hone some of my woodworking skills. Hence the creative design elements on the legs, and the use of the purpleheart plugs and wedges, to accent the joinery. The other nice thing about using poplar is that it is extremely easy to work. It virtually melted before my plane blades during the final fitting and finishing. For the joinery on the stretcher I turned to an excellent article from American Woodworker that shows the process for creating a wedged tenon. Available at this link:

I would have liked to attach a copy of the Sketchup model so other Lumberjocks users could use it if they wanted, but I can’t figure out a way to do it. It looks like the only thing you can attach to one of these posts is photos. Are you listening Lumberjocks administrators? Sketchup is a powerful design tool, and this site should support attachment of files in the .skp format, PLEASE. Then I thought, “Why not just export it to the Sketchup 3D Warehouse. If I did that then I could just include the link for everyone to use. Well that plan got foiled because apparently you can only export from the “Pro” version of the software (which I am way to cheap to buy). If anyone knows a work around for either of these issues, I’d be all ears. Also, if anyone wants a copy of my Sketchup model, I’d be happy to e-mail it to you.

I’ll update the post, with another photo, once I get the Lathe mounted on it. Thanks for looking.

-- trn2wud

6 comments so far

View rozzi's profile


323 posts in 3345 days

#1 posted 03-22-2011 11:39 PM

Nice build. I really like it. Thanks for sharing.

-- Duane, Iowa

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1567 posts in 3588 days

#2 posted 03-22-2011 11:49 PM

Yeah! nice lathe stand, looks like it will serve you for a long time.

Can’t you post the sketchup file in Google? then post a link to it here?

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3138 days

#3 posted 03-22-2011 11:54 PM

its a very fine lathestand you have made , I like the contrasting colour on the wedges and pegs :-)

but I´m a little worry´d about the little footprint it has ….. well I hope it works fine
give us an update when you have used it a while .. if you don´t mind

take care

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 2911 days

#4 posted 03-23-2011 08:35 AM

You have to decide on the angle you want to show, then output a 2 dimensional file. That file can be posted here as a picture.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View GavinSA's profile


21 posts in 2665 days

#5 posted 03-23-2011 03:29 PM

I have to agree with Dennis, Although its a beaut, I have to raise my concern for the weight aspect. Maybe a bit to light? Or are those holes in the feet to bolt it down?

-- An unfinished project makes great firewood for winter!

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3081 days

#6 posted 03-29-2011 05:39 AM

I like it. I especially like the fact that the chips can fall through and don’t just pile up under the lathe. I’ve been thinking of a similar design. I’ve seen similar designs that incorporated a means to add weight to the bottom, but if you plan to bolt it down, I suppose that really isn’t necessary. Thanks for sharing.


-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

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