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Mini lathe portability? Ideas?

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Forum topic by Razorburne posted 02-15-2015 11:12 PM 1715 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Razorburne

41 posts in 883 days


02-15-2015 11:12 PM

Hey guys,

I currently do not own a lathe but I plan on purchasing a mini lathe (Rikon 70-100 most likely) in order to turn pens and other smaller projects. Here in lies the “problem”: My wife and I currently rent, so all of my tools are stored in my in-laws garage (which has no electricity). So, whenever I do woodworking I move the necessary tools (Dewalt 745 10” table saw, Dewalt 717 miter saw, etc) out of the garage and up onto their deck (that has a ramp), where there is the closest available power outlet. The table saw I just pick up and carry; the miter saw is attached to a Rigid MSUV portable stand that I wheel up.

I have no experience with a lathe whatsoever, but from what I know the Rikon is about 90 lbs. I’m assuming that I won’t be able to easily pick it up and carry it as I do the table saw (which is about 50lbs.), right? I’m going to need some form of portable stand in order to move it, right? And I’m assuming that most portable stands with small plastic casters won’t be sufficient to move it across driveway pavement and up the ramp made of Trex boards?

I can only imagine that I’m going to have to build something custom, right?

Any ideas or information that you think might be helpful? I am looking for any info that will help.


18 replies so far

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

4997 posts in 3127 days


#1 posted 02-16-2015 01:16 AM

ShopNotes magazine has had a couple of plans for lathe stands … if you Google ‘ShopNotes lathe stand’ you will turn up links to plans that can be purchased.

Depending on what you are going to turn, you may not need much of a stand. Pens, bottle-stoppers, spindles, etc. aren’t likely to be far enough out of balance to present much of a problem. If, on the other hand, you are going to be doing bowls and larger pieces, you will need something with some mass that the lathe can be bolted to.

There may be suitable stands on the market that I am unaware of. If it were me, I would put something together using construction grade lumber and deck screws to get by until I came up with a better solution.

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

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

1886 posts in 1599 days


#2 posted 02-16-2015 12:25 PM

I would look at building a stand with wheels you can lock. Being able to transport lathe, tools, & sharpening system at one time would be a real bonus.

If getting cart/stand from point A to B and back a problem think extension cord & multi plug surge protector. Also think about getting a shop vac if don’t already have one. Here is an example you can modify to meet your needs.

http://ep.yimg.com/ty/cdn/plansnow/mini-lathe-closer1.jpg

-- Bill

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2325 posts in 1761 days


#3 posted 02-16-2015 01:33 PM

How far away is the deck – heavy extension cord or run a line out there?

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

3668 posts in 1185 days


#4 posted 02-16-2015 02:57 PM

I would think you could fabricate some kind of hand truck with legs that would fold down once you had it where you were planning on using it. It wouldn’t be too heavy and probably ok for small turnings such as pens. Anything larger and you’d likely want more mass under and well attached to the lathe to keep things safe and vibration free.

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Razorburne

41 posts in 883 days


#5 posted 02-17-2015 03:11 AM

Thanks for all the replies so far guys, I truly appreciate it.

@ dhazelton——> I’m guessing from outlet garage is approximately 50-60 feet. I just assumed this would be a poor choice as the power supply would decrease the longer the extension cord is due to resistance. What do you think? Would the extension cord be a poor choice?

I’m sure I could build something with construction lumber and either four casters of decent quality, or something with 2 wheels on one end similar to a BBQ grill. I just didn’t want to spend the time and effort building something if it would end up vibrating too much. Again, I don’t know if this is an issue at all – I’ve never used a lathe before…possibly it’s less of an issue when using a mini lathe for penturning etc. as compared to a midi or full sized lathe?

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TheDane

4997 posts in 3127 days


#6 posted 02-17-2015 03:19 AM

...possibly it’s less of an issue when using a mini lathe for penturning etc. as compared to a midi or full sized lathe?

I would think so. I know one guy who does craft shows with a Jet mini that is just mounted to a piece of 3/4” plywood … he sets it on his table at the craft show and uses a portable plastic shield to keep chips from hitting customers and passers-by.

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

View Razorburne's profile

Razorburne

41 posts in 883 days


#7 posted 02-17-2015 04:31 AM

I’m wondering what you think of this:

I own a Rigid MSUV miter saw stand, which has quick release clamps that my miter saw is attached to. I would have to measure the dimensions of the clamps (to see if width of the lathe wasn’t too big), but if it fit, could I purchase a second pair of universal clamps and just clamp the lathe to the miter saw stand? (taking the miter saw off first obviously)? Does this sound crazy?

View blasley's profile

blasley

32 posts in 680 days


#8 posted 02-17-2015 04:38 AM

If it’s only 50-60’ from the outlet to the garage an extension cord that is at least 12 gauge wire would work fine for you.

Bob

-- Bob in Okieland

View Razorburne's profile

Razorburne

41 posts in 883 days


#9 posted 02-17-2015 04:51 AM

Really, Bob? That would be great news! I suppose I should measure the distance for sure. That would be a much better solution if it would be ok and not dissipate power.

Do you think that would work the same for my miter saw and table saw? Do I simply have to make sure that the amperage of the tool used is equal to or less than the 15 amps that a 12 gauge 50 foot wire is specified for?

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

5765 posts in 950 days


#10 posted 02-17-2015 05:09 AM

unless it has a 125v 20A plug, you won’t have to worry about a 120v tool drawing more than 16A.

You should be fine with a 12 ga cord, but If your tools seem like they’re running a hair slower, bogging down easier, have a different motor sound then you should probably get a 10ga.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View blasley's profile

blasley

32 posts in 680 days


#11 posted 02-17-2015 04:21 PM

As The Fridge says, you should be fine. Just check the nameplate on your tools to see what the amp rating is. At 50’, the voltage drop over 12 gauge wire with a 15 amp load is only 3 volts. The nominal voltage for most tools is 115 volts so you would still be 2 volts over that. If you are much over 50’, I agree that you should bump up to 10 gauge wire, but that would still be much easier than toting tools back and forth to the deck. Good luck!

-- Bob in Okieland

View Richard H's profile

Richard H

489 posts in 1145 days


#12 posted 02-17-2015 04:31 PM

Mini Lathes without the bed extension are not that bad to move. With the bed extension they are a pain by yourself because they so long. I have not put the bed extension back on my mini lathe because I need to move it so often.

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2325 posts in 1761 days


#13 posted 02-21-2015 01:58 PM

Harbor Freight has 10 gauge cords that are not a ton of money, especially with a 20% off coupon. If you ran solid copper (instead of stranded) 12 gauge direct burial or in a conduit should be fine (think about how long the runs are in a house from say basement to attic). It’s not just the moving of the tools that would get to me after a while, it’s also cleaning up their deck and putting things away when you’re tired.

View mrg's profile

mrg

659 posts in 2464 days


#14 posted 02-21-2015 04:18 PM

You could build a stand like this in my projects http://lumberjocks.com/projects/76561 and use an extension cord. I use an extension cord with my lathe with no issues.

-- mrg

View Razorburne's profile

Razorburne

41 posts in 883 days


#15 posted 02-21-2015 09:55 PM

From what I always hear from other people, my initial instinct is to be leery of Harbor Freight, but I am always open to good ideas. If their cords are good, I might go that route and use the 20% coupon to get an even better deal.

@mrg——> I love your lathe stand. I’ve added it to my favorites in case I decide to build something on my own. It looks like one of the better build stands I’ve seen so far. Are the sides 2×4s and the lower shelf 3/4” ply?

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