Mounting Stand Ideas for Lathe? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-01-2010, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
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Mounting Stand Ideas for Lathe?

Hi Guys,

I haven't done any turning for years but want to make some spindles for some Hitchcock style furniture. I hadn't planned to buy a lathe but a guy had a 23 year-old Buffalo brand (Taiwan) on CL for $75 with a dozen Craftsman HSS chisels. It was literally ten minutes away. Anyway, I now own a cheap lathe with no stand. It's 3/4 hp, 14x39" with four speeds and it runs. I don't have any purpose for it but to turn some spindle legs so hopefully it will be good enough.

Anyway, I have to mount this thing. The bed consists of a couple of 2"x2" steel tubes which aren't the most flex-free design. I'm wondering what to bolt the bed to in order to stiffen this thing up. It's 8" deep and 58" long. Would a length of 2x10" do it or do I need something more solid? Ideas for the rest of the stand would be welcome, too. I figured 2x4's.

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post #2 of 8 Old 01-02-2010, 10:05 AM
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I built a stand for the old Craftsman lathe I inherited from my Grandfather. I just built a bench out of 2x4's and plywood. It stood 32" tall, about 18" deep and as long as I needed for the lathe to fit. I put a shelf in the middle for the the motor to mount to and I also used it for storage. I used 3/4" ply for the top and the shelf and it was plenty rigid. The height of the lathe makes a big difference so depending on how tall or short you are you may have to adjust the height. If the lathe sits too high it makes it harder to control your cuts.

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post #3 of 8 Old 01-02-2010, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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The point about height is a good one. I'm average height and am comfortable working at a 36" workbench so I would think that's about where the tool rest should be.

I'm concerned about the flimsiness of this lathe's bed, since it's not good old cast iron. That's why I want to bolt it to a stiff base. I was wondering about gluing two or three sheets of 3/4 plywood together. Or maybe some thicker engineered lumber, though I don't know about the availability of that stuff.


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post #4 of 8 Old 01-02-2010, 12:28 PM
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A 2x10 would be fine. What most lathes need is a good solid base and some weight to the stand. Build an A frame stand with a shelf on the bottom and then pile stuff on it.
That lathe will give you problems but it might get buy for what you are doing with it. I started on a cheap lathe and fought it for several years before stepping up to what I though was a good cast iron lathe. It was definitely a lot better than the stamped metal thing but still had vibration problems.
The best thing you can do is find another turner and ask him or her to show you a few things. It will save you much frustration and speed up the learning curve tremendously.
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post #5 of 8 Old 12-11-2010, 11:29 AM
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I just got the same lathe and it was mounted on a 2x6 then mount to a homebuilt with legs out at an angle on each end. Since I haven't been able to use it yet I can't say how stable but that wood attached to the stand is stable. I would like to talk with you about your lathe as I have no documentation and I know I'm missing some parts. Hope my response was some help.
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post #6 of 8 Old 12-13-2010, 12:32 PM
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Does the tool bar mounting bolt extend down between the tubes? If it does, you can't just sit the tubes down on a ridgid base. There wouldn't be space for the mounting bolt. If I was going to try to use one of those lathes I think I would go to a local fab. or welding shop and have them cut me a couple pieces of 2" x 4" x 1/4" angle iron about 3ft long and punch a set of 3/8" holes along the long leg, about 6" apart. Then clamp the angle to outsides of the tubes to mark centers for matching holes to drill and tap. I'd then bolt the angles to the tubes and bolt the angles to the base. This should stiffen the whole thing up.
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post #7 of 8 Old 12-13-2010, 04:36 PM
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I bolted my lathe to a piece of 3/4" plywood, when I want to use it I simply clamp the plywood base to a workbench.

I don't have a lot of space, and this way it's easier to put into storage when I'm not using it.

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post #8 of 8 Old 12-13-2010, 11:36 PM
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My old Teknatool lathe's stand is built from heavy rolled steel sections with a cabinet that sits underneath. Took 3 of us to load onto my truck & install in my workshop.
No vibration with that much weight.
The old homebuilt lathe I had years ago had a stand made from 2x4's with about 100 concrete roofing tiles stacked on a couple of heavy planks laid across the bottom. Before I did that, I would follow it around the shop when roughing a bowl!
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