View Full Version : Lathe tooling organizers???

03-06-2008, 09:21 AM
Hey guys! I'm about to move my lathe into the new addition "machine shop" side of my shop.
I have gained a lot of tooling in the last few months. Right now it's in a temporary place with a bunch of overhead shelves.
Tooling..all sorts of stuff heaped up on them
I need to organize this stuff better.
I'm thinking I need a small shelf deal mounted right on the lathe backsplash for the things I always need in a hurry.
Then someplace for all the gizmos and gadgets I build.
And then who knows what I'll be dragging in there down the road.
Any brilliant ideas?

03-06-2008, 11:41 AM
Lathe tooling organiser? Isn't that what the workbench and shop floor are for?

Personally i like Peg board. You can move things around and change things aroudn easily when and if you need too.

Rob :)

03-06-2008, 12:00 PM
Rob..LOL! I've never had the room to do this properley before. I was just thinking how to have everything easy to reach, sorta streamline the whole mess into something better for a working shop.

03-06-2008, 12:01 PM
Organized lathe tooling??? What's that?!???:D

Seriously, I've seen a couple of neat looking carousel type organizers for the tooling and bin style organizers for inserts and cutter bits.... The smallest and neatest look a lot like Lautard's "stroke a genius" file rack with different holes.

dan s
03-06-2008, 12:31 PM

What kind of tooling are we talking about? tool bits and boring bars, or chucks and rests?

03-06-2008, 01:00 PM
Russ shouldnt you be out in the shop working instead of wasting the morning posting here??? :D

I bought one of those 15x19 tool chest side cabinets from Sears for all my milling tools. approx $230.00. Now all my tools are right there.


For my lathe stuff I have shelves above and the drawers in my work bench closest to the lathe.


For everything else....


03-06-2008, 01:29 PM
Ernie...don't be so damm cheap..turn the lights on by your lathe :D Holy smoke your shop is neat and tidy!
Na...I got some time to kill this morning. The gurl doesn't work thursdays so I do MY projects then. I'm waiting for welds to cool, paint to dry etc. Just finished tiggin up a 4 cyl exhaust for a CB750...chrome...used SS filler. Turned out ok...guy doesn't have to rechrome.
I've got my mill covered good for organizing. Thelathe...whew...chucks/faceplate...on the floor.
Bigger drills scattered around in different tool boxes etc. Dead and live centers piled up...tool holders piled up, DI's handy but just on a shelf where they can get knocked down cuz of the rest of the mess.
Hmm...a carousel mounted to the backsplash. I'm liking that idea.
What else you got?

03-06-2008, 01:48 PM
Any horizontal surface is a shelf.

Yep, It is a one liner.

03-06-2008, 02:25 PM

Here's my method of lathe tool organization -- all right at hand.


03-06-2008, 02:36 PM
[QUOTE=IOWOLF]Any horizontal surface is a shelf.


Does that include the floor? (Assuming you have a horazontal floor.)

03-06-2008, 02:38 PM
[QUOTE=IOWOLF]Any horizontal surface is a shelf.


Does that include the floor? (Assuming you have a horazontal floor.)

LOL!!! he is gunna nail ya for spelling now ;)

03-06-2008, 02:44 PM
Trouble is, I think it's Parkinson Law that all work expands to fill all available space and if its the floor you have nowhere to stand!!
Oh, and it must be Murphies law that any DTI stood on a shelf will be knocked over!!!

Walter Svandrlik
03-06-2008, 03:15 PM
Any horizontal surface is a shelf.

Yep, It is a one liner.

Quote from some unknown comedian

" women look at the floor as something to walk on and to place furniture - men look at it as one wide low shelf"

03-06-2008, 07:21 PM
[quote=IOWOLF]Any horizontal surface is a shelf.


Does that include the floor? (Assuming you have a horazontal floor.)

Naw, I don't have a Floor, I Have water.:D


03-06-2008, 07:36 PM
Dockrat and Lbender, great ideas I can use there, thanks for sharing!

Dockrat, I didn't know they made tool chests that small. I've got a couple corners I could sneak one into, and will now. At least whenever they go on sale next, LOL!

Lbender, I am very intrigued by your setup. I wonder, could we see more pictures of you shop to get further inspiration and ideas?



03-06-2008, 07:48 PM
bender...I don't have a bench lathe so I can't do that but that's a darn nice setup you got.
Jay...you got water? Me too. 2 1/2 feet of snow...most of it running into my shop. Dummasses. Put the shop below the grade level of the rest of the yard.
Digging ditches in the frozen ground isn't any fun. But it goes along fine with the frozen septic system :D
Makes a guy want to move back to town...BS...I'd sooner poke a stick in my eye :D
Ernie...you got any full size "pinup" pics of that mill?
Looks like a pretty decent mill.

Ed Tipton
03-06-2008, 08:56 PM
I have a Vidmar type cabinet that sits at the tailstock end of my lathe at 90 degrees from the lathe. It is large enough that it contains ALL of my considerable lathe goodies...and there is still room for more. It is close enough that it is about one large step and an arms length away, and its hard to imagine that I could ever have a system that I like better than this. It provides ample storage, segregated compartments, closed drawers to prevent condensation problems, and all in all and excellent system. The one single drawback is that the initial cabinets are expensive. I purchased mine at a surplus outlet and still paid $150 for it...but I'd do it again. Even an old chest of drawers could provide similar storage, and with appropriate painting, it could fit right in. My cabinet was tretty rough when I bought it, but a little TLC and it is fine. Each drawer is rated for about four hundred pounds, and that is a LOT of lathe tooling.
When at the lathe, I just pull out the tooling I will need for that specific job, and use the top of the cabinet for ready access as I need it. When finished, it only takes a minute to return everything back to it's proper place.
Works for me!:)

03-06-2008, 09:25 PM
I've got a tall Lista clone (NuErra) with LOTS of 1.5" drawers beside my mill. And a mid-height Lyonn with lots of 2" drawers right behind me when at the lathe (or mill for that matter). Both have a few larger drawers too. And I agree, that's the way to go.

Still, I wish I had some way to keep some of the stuff a bit more handy. Some of the AX holders and such would be a real improvement. But I currently have a full sheet peg board directly behind my lathe, and that handles most of my "at hand" needs well enough that I'm not too motivated to do too much else...

03-06-2008, 11:33 PM
Bob W

There is a co. called LeeValley...www.leevalley.co that sell metal drawers that are 10 3/8" x 12" and they are available in 1",2" or 3" deep.

You make your own cabinet and saw horizontal slots for the drawers to track in.


03-06-2008, 11:33 PM
i kind of did what Ernie did, only i bought a three-drawer cabinet that would normally set on top of the roll-away cabinet. i then made a small frame to hold the three-drawer unit, as well as the motor control for my lathe, and mounted it on the back of the lathe bench at the tail stock end of the lathe. i'll try to get a photo tomorrow.

i think almost anything you can come up with that will fit in the available space and can be easily purchased or fabricated with materials on hand will work to store tooling.

andy b.

03-16-2008, 03:19 PM
OK guys! Guess you couldn't read my mind so I read it..lol!
This is what I had in mind. All the common tools I use...right at hand...always in the same place.
Got the obvious plus center drills, the most common tap drills I use and all the different allen keys I use.
I like it! Now my coffee cup will fit on the lathe top tray.

03-16-2008, 04:08 PM
What does Lautard's "stroke of genuis" file rack look like, any pictures?


03-16-2008, 04:53 PM
Nice Russ, Good job.

03-16-2008, 08:32 PM
A multi layered lazy susan works well and you can find stuff easy and it's easy to blow chips off of. I don't like to have the stuff I use in drawers, I like it right at hand, right now. I hate looking in drawers and on shelves for things I use all the time.