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Blog entry by Steve posted 05-22-2012 04:15 PM 3443 reads 0 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch


-- Steve in Lawrenceville, GA -

18 comments so far

View Arlin Eastman's profile (online now)

Arlin Eastman

3228 posts in 1654 days

#1 posted 05-22-2012 04:41 PM

That looks like you have a good plane there. Once you start turning you will quickly find that O that looks neat I should try that or O I seen that on LJs and I will try that out. Turning is something you have to try everything at least once.


-- Please help me help other Vets click..> is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View lew's profile


10701 posts in 2848 days

#2 posted 05-22-2012 04:51 PM

I don’t think I would shorten the lathe. Even if you only use the full length occasional it will be worth having it ready to go.

For me, the second option is more attractive.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Bertha's profile


12982 posts in 1785 days

#3 posted 05-22-2012 04:54 PM

I’d NEVER cut the lathe bed. Store this one somewhere and buy a mini before you do that. All those beautiful spindles your Pop turned…don’t cut that bed. The table-on-top idea isn’t a bad one at all. You could mount the tools then put some handles on there to move them when you DO need the lathe length. Great lathe!!!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View hairy's profile


2257 posts in 2624 days

#4 posted 05-22-2012 05:56 PM

You want the lathe centers to be roughly elbow height. That would likely put the sander too high, possibly the drill press too.At least for me. I had a belt/disc sander on a stacked cart, it didn’t work out for me.

That is a good idea. Maybe you could use that covered area as a flat work surface , there’s never enough of that.

-- stay thirsty my friends...

View xwingace's profile


204 posts in 1681 days

#5 posted 05-22-2012 06:32 PM

Option 2 definitely looks like the way to go. It’s easy to use a long lathe for short stuff, but it’s reaallll hard to use a short lathe for long stuff!

-- I'm not as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was.

View stefang's profile


14979 posts in 2426 days

#6 posted 05-22-2012 06:43 PM

Option 2 looks good for sentimental reasons and also because you never know what you might want to turn in the future.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Infernal2's profile


104 posts in 1290 days

#7 posted 05-22-2012 08:54 PM

Option 2 seems like your best bet in my opinion. If you were so inclined, Dave Gingery books has the “Home Metalworking Shop” series which can show you how to make a lathe bed from a flowerpot style casting furnace.

View Bearpie's profile


2600 posts in 2110 days

#8 posted 05-22-2012 11:31 PM

If you should go against the consensus here and cut the lathe shorter, Murphy’s Law will come into effect and you will surely need the full length probably soon after you cut it! I raised my lathe 5 extra inches cause at the normal height, I have to work stooped over a bit and it hurts my bad back. At the raised height I can stand straight and almost work all day.

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View kenn's profile


806 posts in 2812 days

#9 posted 05-23-2012 12:49 AM

DON’T CUT OFF THE LATHE BED!!!! There, I had to scream that or it was going to kill me. You’ll never be able to add the length back and turning gets very addictive so you might want the length in the future. Enjoy the heirloom.

-- Every cloud has a silver lining

View hhhopks's profile


638 posts in 1470 days

#10 posted 05-23-2012 01:27 AM

I agree with Kenn. Don’t cut it off! How about buying a new short metal block instead? Have the hole drilled to match.

-- I'll be a woodworker when I grow up. HHHOPKS

View robscastle's profile


2575 posts in 1296 days

#11 posted 05-23-2012 01:34 AM


I can solve all your concerns in one go,

Just ship the lot to me here in Brisbane QLD and I will cherish it forever,

You can always come visit and cuddle the gear whenever you want,
I have a spare room which you can use and stay as long as you want in return for your generousity.
We live in the house on my profile its whats called high set, the room is the complete width of the house at the back, it has its own entrance, toilet shower, big projector TV heaps of DVDs and is a nice comportable hide away.

As for shortenning the lathe bed dont do it, you may of heard about Kama?


Robert Brennan
(in humour)

-- Regards Robert

View Steve's profile


165 posts in 1289 days

#12 posted 05-23-2012 01:47 AM

Wow, thanks for all the comments, suggestions and offers! I’m not going to cut the bed…I agree, bad idea. I didn’t think to look to see if it would come off (duh), and if a shorter bed is available out there somewhere. I will probably go with option 2 and just cover the unused section with a removable work surface. Will post a picture of whatever I come up with.

-- Steve in Lawrenceville, GA -

View BigTiny's profile


1667 posts in 1981 days

#13 posted 05-23-2012 01:54 AM

Option 3: buy a shorter piece of the “U” channel that the bed looks like it is made from and store the long one for when it is needed. (it will be I assure you)

Option 4: make a “flippy” stand for the sander and drill press. That will free up the room one of the tools takes leaving more room for the lathe. I’m in the process of building a few of these stands to make room in my shop for the tools I have accumulated over the years. I keep watching the “for sale” ads, but never seem to find a room stretcher…


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

View ihmserv's profile


34 posts in 2862 days

#14 posted 05-23-2012 01:58 AM

go for option 3… figure out which tools don’t compliment the lathe and sell them now.
turning is a vortex that pulls you in.. you will find that the other tools just become storage areas for the turnings. DAMHIK

last comment, when I bought my 3rd lathe, i called it the mustard monster, my wife called her my mistress. lol


-- woodturners keep things spinning.

View dbhost's profile


5428 posts in 2324 days

#15 posted 05-23-2012 03:30 PM

I would go with option #2. Do not cut that lathe bed. You would radically impact its value, and functionality. In all honesty, you might just end up catching the spindle bug, or decide you want to take a crack at turning spindles for chairs, or the front porch or whatnot… You never know… Bridging the bed like you show would be a great way to be able to keep the longer bed while maximizing your use of space…

My dad is still with us, but he sold off all of his woodworking stuff decades ago, and I really wish he hadn’t. While his equipment was not much better or worse than what I have now, for the most part, he did have some OLD iron that I learned on as a boy… A 1960s Craftsman contractor saw, similar vintage jointer, Good Lord only knows how old Rockwell drill press and lathe… All of them may lack some of the nicer features of my newer counterparts, but they were dead on solid, and the family history is well worth it…

I honestly wish I could afford to outfit my shop with nothing but top end equipment, because if God decides LOML and I can finally have a kid, I am hoping that youngster would learn to love woodworking, and nature as much as I do… and I would love to pass not only my passions, but also my equipment along as a legacy…

-- My workshop blog can be found at

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