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Johnson
10-05-2002, 11:13 PM
I'm getting ready to set up a lathe in my basement, and I would like advice on how best to site it. Here are my questions:

Where should the lathe's center line (line between centers) fall relative to your body? Mid-chest? Between chest and abdomen? Hip height seems too low...

Do most people prefer standing in front of their lathes, or sitting on an adjustable-height stool?

I'm 6'6" tall, but I also have a low ceiling in my basement, I can stand up straight but only between floor joists. I'm thinking I'll be most comfortable on a stool. Any comments?

Finally, space is cramped here. How much room do people generally leave between a lathe and the wall? I'l need to get back theer to oil it and make adjustments, but not too much else I expect.

Thanks very much.

Oso
10-06-2002, 12:17 AM
My O-pinion is that I like having my arm basically horizontal from the elbow with hand on the cranks.

Distance from back wall isn't too critical but left hand wall needs clearance for the door, and to let stock out the spindle end.

If you have a QC, you won't have the door open so much.

Uncle Dunc
10-06-2002, 05:46 AM
I agree with Oso on height. By that measure, mine is about 6" low right now. I should probably block it up on cribbing and verify the right height before I build anything permanent.

SGW
10-06-2002, 09:30 AM
Oso's got it. Put the carriage handwheel at the level of your elbow.

As far as sitting down...I've never found that to work very well. Given your headspace situation though, it may be preferable to banging your head all the time.

Ragarsed Raglan
10-06-2002, 09:55 AM
Set it up as Oso recommends! That's when you'll be standing at the controls during set-ups and first operations . If your going to have a stool to perch on you'll only be doing that mid operations ~ like when winding on inumerable cuts to get that piece of 2" bar down to the 1/2" diameter you really want!!

Leave sufficient space at the rear of the machine for swarf clearance, and, more importantly, to be able to get down on yer hands and knees when the little job you've just spent hours getting right, and have just parted off ~ spirraled off rearwards and is down there somewhere!

RR

Uncle Dunc
10-06-2002, 03:21 PM
>> ... when the little job you've ... just parted off ~ spirraled off rearwards and is down there somewhere!

Somewhere I saw a picture of a lathe set up with a sheet of Formica or somthing similar with the top edge fastened to the wall and the bottom edge in the chip pan. I haven't put one up yet, but I probably will if I have to do that crawling around behind the lathe routine one more time.

[This message has been edited by Uncle Dunc (edited 10-06-2002).]

Johnson
10-06-2002, 03:45 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Uncle Dunc:
Somewhere I saw a picture of a lathe set up with a sheet of Formica or somthing similar with the top edge fastened to the wall and the bottom edge in the chip pan. I haven't put one up yet, but I probably will if I have to do that crawling around behind the lathe routine one more time.
</font>

Yes, I was thinking of something similar... probably a stiff canvas apron that I can attach to the wall, unroll, and then clip to the chip tray. Motivation is keep swarf and chips in the tray, and off any shelves or parts storage behind the lathe.

Thanks for the pointers. Hands held level from elbows while standing (even if slightly stooped) is a good metric. I asked because too many people don't take the time to adjust their tools/furniture/vehicles/etc. to themselves, they do it the other way 'round. And develop bad posture and cramps...

chip's
10-06-2002, 06:18 PM
I have my lathe as Oso says. I also have hardboard underneath and all around. I will probably do the laminate thing as time and money are to be had.
Rick