Need to build a stand for my lathe

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Forum topic by Sharryn posted 05-25-2016 09:34 PM 1241 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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15 posts in 2166 days

05-25-2016 09:34 PM

I have the Jet 1221 midi lathe and really need to build a stand for it. I’m only 5’ tall so right now I’m standing on some large blocks of firewood. My feet and legs get fatigued by the time I’m done with one project, so I really need to get busy on a stand. Can any of you recommend a plan that isn’t too complicated and has some storage?

-- -Sharryn

13 replies so far

View WhoMe's profile


1564 posts in 3443 days

#1 posted 05-25-2016 09:56 PM

I recently finished a stand for my lathe. In my case it has two drawers and two cabinet sections that have two doors each. It is set on four lockable swivel casters. I sized it for me based on the current lathe I have (height wise).

Have you thought of a simple box cabinet out of plywood . This way it adds storage, you can add doors later, or drawers. But you can size it to your height which is a good advantage. That would probably be the easiest as buttons anything pre made will be sized for standard cabinet heights which doesn’t work for comfort when turning.

-- I'm not clumsy.. It's just the floor hates me, the tables and chairs are bullies, the wall gets in the way AAANNNDDD table saws BITE my fingers!!!.. - Mike -

View MrUnix's profile


7043 posts in 2399 days

#2 posted 05-25-2016 10:09 PM

Get on CL and look for a used metal desk… one of those industrial steelcase tankers… They show up all the time for cheap (<$50) and work great for tool stands and/or garage work surfaces.

Alternatively, there are a zillion ways you can make a stand depending on how plain or how fancy you want to go. There are plenty of examples for you to look at online. For one that is about as basic as you can get, here is a plan from a long forgotten Delta Homecraft manual – alter sizes to suit your needs:


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View JoeinGa's profile


7739 posts in 2207 days

#3 posted 05-25-2016 10:37 PM

Here’s what I did for my first stand. You could make it any height that suits you (as I did for my comfort)



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

View loiblb's profile


143 posts in 1256 days

#4 posted 05-25-2016 11:37 PM

I bought a industrial sewing machine stand to put my Jet 1221vs lathe on. It is bolted together with 1/2” bolts built like a tank very solid and adjust to what ever height you need
They come in two styles of legs and I like the H style best.

View Stewbot's profile


199 posts in 1284 days

#5 posted 05-26-2016 05:20 AM

For my small lathe I just started with a wooden burro saw horse I had around and ripped a 2×4 at the proper angle (secured horizontally to the sawhorse) to sit flush with the existing top horizontal piece for added stability of the top. On top of that I secured 3/4” ply as the table top (which over hangs the sawhorse several inches all around) and added a trim border around the perimeter of the table top which sits about 1/4” high to catch a rolling pencil etc. It doesn’t have much storage but can hold several lathe tools by drilling holes through the top to catch the tools handle. I’ve found this to work very well for me and is very stable.

I used a standard height sawhorse and with two 3/4” plywood pieces as the top, its a good height for me but I believe they sell mini burro horses that might fit your height better. I think they cost about $20 or so.

-- Hoopty scoop?

View jeff's profile


1120 posts in 3665 days

#6 posted 05-27-2016 05:47 AM

Lots of way to make a simple lathe stand.Internet search should result in many pics ect.You can check mine out in My Projects page.Start with a simple case construction design and add drawers,doors,shelfs.ect.later on.I made mine with casters and it’s nice to be able to roll it around.

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View JoAnneN's profile


16 posts in 923 days

#7 posted 06-02-2016 06:32 PM

Hi Sharryn
I was wondering if you have had any luck with finding a scroll saw stand I am only 5 foot 2 inches and the standard stands are to high. What measurement from the floor do you find comfortable? I received my midi lathe today and I want to set it up right. Any help would be great

View TheDane's profile


5546 posts in 3863 days

#8 posted 06-02-2016 06:44 PM

Hi Sharryn
I was wondering if you have had any luck with finding a scroll saw stand …

Steve Carmichael posted a YouTube video last week that you might find helpful …

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Nubsnstubs's profile


1422 posts in 1930 days

#9 posted 06-02-2016 07:01 PM

JoAnneN, I’ve always heard to stand upright, and raise your forearm until it is parallel to the ground. Measure from your bent elbow/arm to the ground. That distance should be the spindle height you need to work at. Now, as with most standard dimensions established over a hundred years ago, some will not work. Start there. Don’t make anything permanent until you get the height established that is comfortable to you. That could take a bunch of turnings to find the sweet spot…...

I just measured from the ground to my elbow. It’s 43”, and my spindle height is 47+”. It works for me most of the time, but not always. I do have another 1 1/2” adjustment to raise it if I choose..

My turning pains come from my neck, bending it to look inside the form while working. I did break my neck in 2010, and that’s some of the reason I get the pain, but am glad that I have reverse to hog out most of my hollow forms while in reverse. Bowls are mostly done in the forward rotation. .............. Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View JoAnneN's profile


16 posts in 923 days

#10 posted 06-05-2016 04:53 PM

Thanks Nubsnsubs I guess I’m going to try different heights until I feel comfortable. I made a pen at a woodworking show, I liked it a lot. I liked watching the “melt” as I passed over. I love tools so I thought I would buy a lathe and get away from scrolling for awhile. I’m confused about what tools to buy, everywhere I look there is a different opinion. I noticed though everyone said buy the best ones you can afford. I’m going to put some questions up because I need help. I don’t know what chuck I need, or the angle thing for the grinder I have to go buy. Start up is expensive but I can’t wait to get it all set up!

View Nubsnstubs's profile


1422 posts in 1930 days

#11 posted 06-06-2016 12:15 AM

Don’t ask an inventor of wood turning tools what tools to buy, as I’d probable talk you into my invention. Since you said you were going to do pens, it wouldn’t work.

As far as a chuck goes, Nova G3’s are good. I understand Hurricane makes a good chuck, as well as grizzly in some cases. It just a matter what you can afford. Oneway has a good chuck. Look these up online, and form your own opinion. Join a local club, and try to get some shop time using some.

I own a Wolverine grinding system, and it has it’s shortcomings, but is probably the best. You won’t really know how good it is until you use it and get proficient with it. ............... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View loiblb's profile


143 posts in 1256 days

#12 posted 06-06-2016 12:30 AM

One of the things that I did not plan for was lights. There is not good lighting where my lathe is. I found some old machine lights on CL now I can see my flaws.

View waho6o9's profile


8516 posts in 2777 days

#13 posted 06-06-2016 01:53 AM

Top shelf turning tools HTH

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