|Project by RayBowers||posted 12-31-2011 11:37 PM||6499 views||17 times favorited||9 comments|
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