Woodturning in the backyard

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Forum topic by fadi posted 06-27-2016 05:53 PM 1042 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View fadi's profile


4 posts in 843 days

06-27-2016 05:53 PM

Topic tags/keywords: lathe turning question

Hello all,

New to the forum and to woodturning. I took one day class using carbide tools and got hooked (hopefully will find new things to turn).

I purchased and waiting for my Delta 46-460 Midi Lathe, my original idea was to move the lathe to the driveway on weekends and turn there, but I’m leaning more towards turning in my backyard due to the shade in Texas heat during the summer. It will have solid spot, that is not a problem.

The lathe with the stand will be around 150lbs, so carrying it around or moving it long distance over grass is problematic. Can a lathe be stored outdoors? Cover it maybe? My other option is to build/buy a dolly with 10” wheels to store it in the garage and roll it over grass to where I need to turn. I don’t have a shed.

19 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile


4988 posts in 2496 days

#1 posted 06-27-2016 06:27 PM

Can a lathe be stored outdoors? Cover it maybe?

You will turn it into a bucket of rust no time with that approach, it needs to be stored indoors if you want to use it for more than a few years.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View OSU55's profile


1862 posts in 2134 days

#2 posted 06-27-2016 07:34 PM

You need to plan on building the dolly/stand with large wheels. The lathe needs to be stored out of the elements.

View Wildwood's profile


2423 posts in 2279 days

#3 posted 06-27-2016 07:36 PM

I would look into building or buying an inexpensive shed with windows, or lean-to that can run hard wire to. With outlets so can run dust collector, lathe, lights, and fans. Can also store tools and other accessories you have. Still have to clean rust from lathe ways periodically.

Dragging equipment in & out & dealing with extension cord gets old after awhile.

-- Bill

View fadi's profile


4 posts in 843 days

#4 posted 06-27-2016 08:31 PM

Thanks guys!

I did not think about the dust collector and cleaning part, haven’t done any work outside of the one day class. Thanks for the reminder.

The power is not a problem, this is just a hobby on some weekends so running an extension cord is fine. That is why I am not sure about building a shed yet, or giving up my parking spot. I need to make sure my heart will be into it. If it does keep me busy on weekends (wife works weekends anyway), I may go that route.

Looks like I will be building a platform with large casters to move it in place on weekends and put it away when done for now.

View dhazelton's profile


2789 posts in 2441 days

#5 posted 06-27-2016 08:38 PM

If you can build a stand and put lawnmower type wheels on one end and wheelbarrow type handles on the other that would be an ideal way to move it around. I’ve turned a bit inside with my midi and it makes a huge mess with chips and sawdust so like you I’m looking to make mine mobile.

View splatman's profile


586 posts in 1544 days

#6 posted 06-27-2016 08:49 PM

Put wheelbarrow wheels on your platform. Now rolling over grass will be a breeze.
Also add a cord reel that pays out the power cord as you roll it, and spools up the cord when you roll it back to the garage. Maybe improvise something that lets one of the wheels drive the cord reel.

About dust: Pick a different spot each time you use the lathe, and let the dust fertilize the yard. May be a bit too much for the grass, though.
Turn walnut anywhere you wish nothing to grow.

View Wildwood's profile


2423 posts in 2279 days

#7 posted 06-29-2016 10:28 AM

Make sure cart can carry tools, sanding supplies, and finishing materials. Don’t forget PPE like dust mask, faceshield, gloves etc..

-- Bill

View Dustin's profile


557 posts in 885 days

#8 posted 06-29-2016 12:36 PM

You know, fadi, it sounded like getting your lathe out to use it would be a bit of a nuisance at first, but the more I read the comments, the more I realized you have a pretty good opportunity to make a cool mobile workstation. I don’t know how much time you intend to spend on it, but if you incorporate all the suggestions (big wheels, handles, tool and PPE storage), you’ll have a neat and functional mobile turning center and never have to dig around looking for your gear. I’m actually pretty excited for you. Whatever you decided on, maybe come back and post some pics? Eager to see how this turns out!

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View HokieKen's profile


6276 posts in 1283 days

#9 posted 06-29-2016 03:20 PM

I would definitely make the stand mobile rather than storing it outside. I would also go with the wheelbarrow type design with large wheels on one end. You don’t want that thing to even be able to think about moving so make it so you have to lift one end to engage the wheel on the other so the wheel(s) aren’t even touching the ground when you’re turning.

And post your stand in your projects when you’re done, I’d love to see what you come up with!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Nubsnstubs's profile


1407 posts in 1875 days

#10 posted 06-29-2016 03:42 PM

Fadi, I don’t think leaving your lathe outdoors with a good cover would be an issue. Cast Iron doesn’t rust nearly as much a steel and regular iron. My table saw has been outdoors since ‘92. It’s covered if it looks like it might rain, but I’m talking Southern Arizona. Probably over 300 days per year it’s left to the elements, and there has been no ill effects at all on the operation of it. It’s an 80’s Unisaw with Biese fence.

That said, the mobile work center sounds intriguing. The suggestion of keeping the wheels up while turning is the route to go…............. Jerry(in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View hairy's profile


2765 posts in 3677 days

#11 posted 06-29-2016 03:47 PM

Long extension cords could be a problem for you, long runs cause a voltage drop , it could damage the lathe motor.

-- My reality check bounced...

View gargey's profile


1013 posts in 920 days

#12 posted 06-29-2016 03:51 PM

If you move to the Atacama desert leaving it outdoors will be fine.

If you live in SE Texas it will get gross in no time. If you live a few hundred miles from the gulf its still iffy; you’ll need a hell of a cover design to prevent condensation.

View GR8HUNTER's profile


4724 posts in 857 days

#13 posted 06-29-2016 03:55 PM

I would not do this myself ….. to me it would be like putting your kids outside LMAO

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View Dustin's profile


557 posts in 885 days

#14 posted 06-29-2016 04:11 PM

I would not do this myself ….. to me it would be like putting your kids outside LMAO


Wait…I can’t just leave my kids outside?


-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View Woodknack's profile


12369 posts in 2525 days

#15 posted 06-29-2016 05:15 PM

I would build it like a grill cart with tables on the ends and wheels on one side.

-- Rick M,

showing 1 through 15 of 19 replies

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