Jet 1642 Lathe Tool and Accessory Storage

  • Advertise with us
Project by RayBowers posted 12-31-2011 11:37 PM 8235 views 19 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my first attempt at built in tool storage for my Jat 1642 lathe. Lookin back, there are some things I may want to change but overall, I am happy with it for now.

First, instead of using 2×4’s in the built in brackets in the legs, I used 2×6’s to give me some more depth for the base and put over 100 lbs of sand in the bottom to help reduce vibration. I added the 2×6’s to the braces and a couple cross pieces, screwed in some l brackets, dropped in a plywood bottom, sealed it all up and added sand. The built in brackets are at a decent height to still be able to get a broom under there to sweep up the mess. I did not put plywood across the top since I didn’t want to loose more vertical space when i knew the tool box on top would be plenty to keep the sand in.

For the actual tool storage unit, I then wanted to maximize how many tools it could hold, have drawers for long and shorter tools and make things easy to get to and still have some space for a couple bigger things like chucks and tool rests. I prefer to keep my smaller stuff like live centers, jaws and drives in a separate taller rolling cabinet.

I also wanted it to have some room so I could put tools I am working with on top and make it deep so I could even reach over and put stuff on the back (see the last picture with calipers and tool rest on the back in each reach). So with that in mind, it is 45 inches wide, 15.5 inches tall (the cabinet part, leaving a few inches for tools to be set on top below the lathe bed) and 20.5 inches deep, giving me space to reach over the bed and put larger things down. Note this sticks out back from the lathe a bit. I have found it great to have the added space in the drawers and the top while working!

I sloped the top drawer in the front to match the legs at that part. I made one full width drawer for my really long and commonly used tools plus whatever I just need to keep handy. Then two shorter drawers, one for short tools and one for long tools. The short drawer on the left side is for chucks, etc.

Right now, tools can roll around a bit. I could do more, but not high priority…

Chips and dust is an issue… For now, it only takes a couple minutes to use an air compressor and blow the stuff out if I want. Not a big deal. If I had dividers or other stuff in the drawers, it would just be harder to blow out, so I will probably stick with the open drawer arrangement.

Looking back, I wish I had done more to plan for chips and dust. i could have extended the top out a little, then had each drawer front tilted back too so the top of the drawer would be behind the bottom of the one above it by 3/4 inch or so, with the top drawer being under the extended cabinet top. This may have helped a lot with dust… Also, would have used thicker drawer fronts with downward facing coves cut in the bottom of each as drawer pulls so that dust slides right off. The current pulls match the router table which is nice, but are just another chip collection spot. Probably my biggest “should have”...

I also had plans for the space inside the legs on the side like putting hooks or stuff to hold things, but for now, don’t have anything I need stored there. Just nice to know it is there if I need it. If I used it, would probably enclosed each side and put doors on to minimize the clean up there.

I had a vision of putting a sliding tray on the top, so I could put things on it, pull it out, etc. But as I use it, I find myself just placing my tools under the lathe bed on top of the cabinet. No need to slide a tray out or anything. A the tray and runners would just eat up another inch of vertical space leaving less for clearance, so I am happy I just left it off.

-- Ray Bowers

9 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117328 posts in 3775 days

#1 posted 01-01-2012 05:24 AM

Hey Ray

This is a great storage unit and it’s extremely well done.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Delta356's profile


463 posts in 3051 days

#2 posted 01-01-2012 10:17 AM

Very Nice, You want to build one?? Wait I’m a woodworker, I think?

Thanks, Michael Frey
Portland, OR


View Oldwest's profile


86 posts in 3001 days

#3 posted 01-01-2012 01:34 PM

Greatthe idea and design. I would like to do the same thing when I upgrade my lathe.

I’ll learn from you experiences on the dust and incorporate your suggestions, Thanks.

-- Anyone who isn’t totally confused just doesn’t understand the situation.

View ed220's profile


624 posts in 3591 days

#4 posted 01-01-2012 04:05 PM

A great storage concept. You did great. Finding extra storage can be a challenge. Really like the work.

View Woodbridge's profile


3591 posts in 2616 days

#5 posted 01-01-2012 04:46 PM

great storage cabinet. I like the way you have integrated it into the lathe. It certainly provides a lot of stoirgae space for lathe retalted tool and they are all very handy to the lathe. Thanks for sharing you ideas and project with us.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View RayBowers's profile


12 posts in 3626 days

#6 posted 01-01-2012 05:06 PM

Thank you all.

BTW, I forgot to give credit! I originally saw one by shredkeenan on here (search on same title) from a couple years ago.

He didn’t weight his down with sand and he had a couple open spaces rather than enclose everything. Neat design the way the tubes hold tools and let shavings fall through the bottom for easy clean up. Since I wanted to enclose the bottom and add sand for stability, I could not do the same, hence I switched to all drawers for storage. Check out his project too for other neat ideas.

-- Ray Bowers

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4444 days

#7 posted 01-01-2012 07:18 PM

Good job, how do you like this particular model lathe?

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View RayBowers's profile


12 posts in 3626 days

#8 posted 01-01-2012 07:36 PM

I love the lathe! Would I love a bigger and more expensive one? Yes, but this is a grest step up from a Jet 1220. The 16 inch swing is letting me do bigger stuff, the added wieght it very nice, and I love the sliding head stock. With limited room, I leave the head stock stationed in a little so the motor does not hang out over the left side and block the hallway, but nice to be able to push it back out when I need the full width. Also love sliding it to the other side when hollowing so I can stand right at the end facing into the hollow form rather than leaning over. I haven’t used reverse yet, but sounds neat to have. Also, I love only having two belt settings (the 1220 have 5 or 6 I think) so I spend a lot less time on belt changes. I use high for spindles and low for everything else.

I got it when it was onsale ($1850 I think?). Feels like a great value. A Powermatic 3520B might be nice, but not for twice as much. If I’m going to save up for a great one, it would be a American Beauty from Robust, Oneway or a Stubby, but they’re a lot more expensive… I considered getting the 1642 2HP, but for the added price and then having to pay an electrician to wire the circuit, I just could not justify the cost. how often do I need something with that much more power? Certainly not for most pens, bottle stoppers and other spindles. Will I wish I had the extra power once in a while? Sure, but I had to balance it against how much I really get to use it and what I use it for.

It comes in several managable pieces so I could get it in my basement without any help! Another plus depending on where you plan to set it up. Taken out of the crate it also fit in the back of my Rav4 without any problem.

Just my take.

-- Ray Bowers

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4444 days

#9 posted 01-02-2012 04:13 AM

Thanks for the great review!

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics