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View Full Version : Lets see your home made lathe benches!



doctordoctor
10-08-2014, 07:33 PM
I just got an atlas 10" lathe and I need to mount in on a proper bench.

I have an assortment of very sturdy lista workbenches that can easily handle the weight, but they arent exactly flat, since they are wood.

I also have a bunch of solid steel bars and some sheet metal.

No cast iron though..

So what have you done to make a custom lathe bench/table?

vpt
10-08-2014, 08:38 PM
Mine is just a cheap steel table with a couple wood sheets and a rubber mat between the lathe and table.

http://img7.imageshack.us/img7/1705/mike67camarotub027.jpg

Puckdropper
10-08-2014, 08:46 PM
I've only got a Taig, but I found it convenient to place it on top of a tool chest and dedicate a couple drawers to it. It might be too high for a larger lathe.

I made a stand for a wood lathe that resembles a saw horse. There's a shelf inside with a hinged door for storage.

It's probably a good idea to consider storage as you're building a stand. I'd probably make a really shallow drawer for tool bits and deeper ones for things like chucks.

doctordoctor
10-08-2014, 08:59 PM
Mine is just a cheap steel table with a couple wood sheets and a rubber mat between the lathe and table.

http://img7.imageshack.us/img7/1705/mike67camarotub027.jpg

Is that an Atlas? Or a southbend?

Thats pretty much the same size as my 10" Atlas.

I'm only giving this special attention because I'd like to make something that at least allows proper leveling of the lathe without warping from heat/humidity, of which there are EXTREME variations in my shop..the humidity can swing for single digit percent at 90F to 55F at 50% humidity when I turn the swamp cooler on.

What kind of accuracy do you get with your lathe? Do you think the bench is doing a good job as far as a solid mount?

Another thing I want is excellent, and I mean excellent, chip/swarf containment. I spoiled by my enclosed mill, and I really dont like big messes forming. So a backsplash, and tray are definitely going on mine.

vpt
10-08-2014, 09:35 PM
That is an Atlas 10" much like yours. Te table is alright, not really solid but it is a bench. I don't do any long turning so I don't worry about accuracy in that aspect. However my lathe turns very accurate parts and has done everything I have ever needed it to do. I bought a shop vac just for the lathe that I use for vacuuming up all the chips after a days work. You can see it on the right of the lathe in the pic.

doctordoctor
10-08-2014, 09:40 PM
That is an Atlas 10" much like yours. Te table is alright, not really solid but it is a bench. I don't do any long turning so I don't worry about accuracy in that aspect. However my lathe turns very accurate parts and has done everything I have ever needed it to do. I bought a shop vac just for the lathe that I use for vacuuming up all the chips after a days work. You can see it on the right of the lathe in the pic.

How do you deal with very long swarf? That appears to be my main issue with turning. I may have to abandon ground bits and go to chipbreaker inserts or something

BigSpike
10-09-2014, 12:16 AM
I recently made a "new" bench for my lathe from old well pipe.

It has vertical pipe sections in the corners for legs, I notched sections of pipe for cross braces at each end. Then added 4 long pieces with notched ends spaced across the top. One each at the front & back with 2 more aligned with the lathe base front & back.

I used some 5/8" structural all thread in the corners for leveling. Another is run across the back near the bottom to stiffen the legs. I had planned a diagonal brace, but after I welded it all together that was not needed. At least for this size lathe.

A washer & nut are welded together & to the bottom of each corner tube.
A nut & washer is welded to one end of the all thread which is screwed down from the top thru the bottom of the legs.
In this way I can level the lathe from above without crawling on the floor.
The lower cross braces at the ends are about 4" high when the lathe is sitting on the all thread. This allows me to put a couple of flat dollies under each end, raise the all thread (lowering the base onto the dollies) to allow me to move the lathe if needed.

I added a layer of 3/4" particle board. Then a layer of 3/4" plywood for the top. I bolted this to the frame, placed 3/8" thick spacer blocks at the bolt locations for the lathe base, laid a large sheet metal oil drip pan across then lowered the lathe onto this. 3/4" thick strips of wood along the back and ends under the sheet metal pan create drainage for coolant. I bent up the edges of the pan to create about a 1" high rim, 4" along the back,. It's not the prettiest, but it works.

The only problem I had when moving the lathe like this was the dollies wanted to rotate out from under the cross bars. I may make a pair of cradles that better secures them or more likely I'll just be careful.

doctordoctor
10-09-2014, 01:05 AM
I recently made a "new" bench for my lathe from old well pipe.

It has vertical pipe sections in the corners for legs, I notched sections of pipe for cross braces at each end. Then added 4 long pieces with notched ends spaced across the top. One each at the front & back with 2 more aligned with the lathe base front & back.

I used some 5/8" structural all thread in the corners for leveling. Another is run across the back near the bottom to stiffen the legs. I had planned a diagonal brace, but after I welded it all together that was not needed. At least for this size lathe.

A washer & nut are welded together & to the bottom of each corner tube.
A nut & washer is welded to one end of the all thread which is screwed down from the top thru the bottom of the legs.
In this way I can level the lathe from above without crawling on the floor.
The lower cross braces at the ends are about 4" high when the lathe is sitting on the all thread. This allows me to put a couple of flat dollies under each end, raise the all thread (lowering the base onto the dollies) to allow me to move the lathe if needed.

I added a layer of 3/4" particle board. Then a layer of 3/4" plywood for the top. I bolted this to the frame, placed 3/8" thick spacer blocks at the bolt locations for the lathe base, laid a large sheet metal oil drip pan across then lowered the lathe onto this. 3/4" thick strips of wood along the back and ends under the sheet metal pan create drainage for coolant. I bent up the edges of the pan to create about a 1" high rim, 4" along the back,. It's not the prettiest, but it works.

The only problem I had when moving the lathe like this was the dollies wanted to rotate out from under the cross bars. I may make a pair of cradles that better secures them or more likely I'll just be careful.

awesome!! pics!!

lens42
10-09-2014, 02:13 AM
This bench is made up of three heavy duty surplus office cabinets (stamped steel, but pretty heavy) bolted together and dropped into a home-welded semi-mobile base. The top is an Ikea butcher block - cheap and flat. When everything is tied together it is quite rigid and vibration free. I now have a much heavier machine (Emco Maximat V10P) on this cabinet and it's still fine. The drawers are great for lathe bits, though not full extension like Lista.

http://s9.postimg.org/yd2u1cifz/D3000_E_DRO_07.jpg

doctordoctor
10-09-2014, 02:15 AM
This bench is made up of three heavy duty surplus office cabinets (stamped steel, but pretty heavy) bolted together and dropped into a home-welded semi-mobile base. The top is an Ikea butcher block - cheap and flat. When everything is tied together it is quite rigid and vibration free. I now have a much heavier machine (Emco Maximat V10P) on this cabinet and it's still fine. The drawers are great for lathe bits, though not full extension like Lista.http://s30.postimg.org/tw0ry79td/D3000_E_DRO_07.jpg

VERY nice..I'm pretty sure alot nicer than whatever Im going to kludge together

vpt
10-09-2014, 07:57 AM
How do you deal with very long swarf? That appears to be my main issue with turning. I may have to abandon ground bits and go to chipbreaker inserts or something



I have a plastic 40 gallonish barrel next to the lathe as well for the long stringy stuff.

bad pic, sorry, imageshack pooped out on me so most of my pics are either tiny, grainy, or just gone in the wind.

http://i.imgur.com/KsqudSK.jpg

Baz
10-09-2014, 01:40 PM
My first lathe bench has a top bigger than the base. Can't remember why but it just wastes potential storage space all round. My second lathe has a 3/8 plate top on 2 in welded angle iron as built in 1955 and sheeted in with real wood T&G. My work bench is 'traditional' timber frame and 2" timber plank top bracing etc all from skips. Far too much effort went into that. Legs were 150 yr old bits of neighbour's roof - well enough seasoned but not so straight which made fitting interesting.
Now if I were building in wood I would copy a kitchen cabinet but using 1" ply sides and partitions as needed for strength and 1/2" back and multiple sheets for top. That avoids all that jointing for bracing traditional timber. It makes drawer runners and shelves easy and excludes dust. Sliding doors to front because there is always too much stuff around the floor to open a hinged door.

sawlog
10-09-2014, 02:48 PM
http://tapatalk.imageshack.com/v2/14/10/09/93d48d9ebf63557a52658571f92913ec.jpg

This is my lathe cabinet that I have my Lathemaster mounted on. It is a set of cabinets that I purchased at a local Habitat restore for $50.Then I used 1/2 plywood that I doubled and screwed onto the cabinets. I believe I have $75 in the whole thing. Please excuse the mess, I am moving into a new shop at my new home and I am still getting everything together.

bubby-joe
10-09-2014, 04:33 PM
OK this is mine from surpus and reycled items. First list of parts used.

1. Futon seat frame with base boards intact, back to become a multi station sewing table for the other half.
2. Surplus 1/2inch ply from an old water bed base.
3. Metal legs from an old surplus printer table. L shaped

Custom bolts from the lathe. Mounting bolts all shortened to fit properly to mount for further transport, strap to wall, pickup truck box on wrecker deck and GO. Base might to some seem inadequate but I find no movement or flexing of table leaning against the outside wall of a 20 ft. truck box. Level front to rear and end to end. Legs have screw adjusters, 3 on each leg

The top is made in multiple layers. Seat frame stock direct from futon then it has 1/2 inch ply from cross slats to the top and a second layer on top that screwed down to the outside frame then the legs bolted through the whole works. There is a rear cross 2X3 across rear width, top is single layer behind this 2X to the wall with a 2X3 splash rail that will attach to the wall in it's final resting place. lathe was setup as per "How to run a Lathe" On top sits a 65 year old 9A Southbend C744A 16 speed V pulley, tollerance on collet chuck i built is under .001 lots of first, first inside thread ever and inside taper for collet. One day I'll get proper sized carbide bit set or make them. I don't have the ability to put up pictures, no permission, why who knows.

I have 3-640X480 pictures but cannot post attachments

rythmnbls
10-09-2014, 05:42 PM
There's a pic of mine in this thread, still happy with it.
http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/threads/44193-Concrete-work-bench?p=600820#post600820

Steve.

Tony Ennis
10-09-2014, 06:44 PM
Here's mine, and its construction (http://tony-stormcrow.blogspot.com/2010/06/lathe-bench.html). I've since added cross-braces to the back to prevent racking.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_Mv0bGRyF_LA/TBghqih1cjI/AAAAAAAAAhY/zLECetcJxhM/s1600/IMG_1622.JPG

gzig5
10-09-2014, 08:23 PM
My 12x36 Craftsman (essentially same as Atlas 10", made by Atlas) sits on a solid core door blank supported by a pair of stamped steel legs with a bit of bracing across the back. I've rolled a cheap Homak tool box underneath for storage. Plenty rigid for this lathe's needs. I'd post a pic, but I'm a bit ashamed because it is messier than that last pic of vpt's right now. I'm going to build a much heavier cabinet for the SB Heavy 10 I've almost finished.

Doc Nickel
10-09-2014, 08:45 PM
The previous owner of my Sheldon had converted it from a bechtop-mount, rear-drive, to a cabinet mount underdrive, using a factory Sheldon underdrive unit and a fabricated cabinet. It was pretty well done, and quite sturdy, though there were telltale signs they'd been sort of "designing it on the fly". :D

Last year I decided to take it down and correct a few of the flaws, and make some upgrades. It started out like this...

http://docsmachine.com/2013/lathestand01.jpg

Made of 2" square steel tubing, with some 3/8" plates welded on as surfaces to bolt the lathe feet to. Sometime after the PO had made it, he roughly sawed the bottoms of the legs off, in order to put two pieces of heavy angle iron at the ends to hold some heavy casters.

Shortly after I got it, I then replaced the leg ends with new sections that also had adjustable feet made from 3/4" bolts.

One of the other things the Po did, was he was forced to torch/plaz out some sections of the back leg and cross supports for the underdrive. The UD tensions the motor-to-jackshaft pulley by swinging the motor, and the frame was too close without some trimming. I never liked the open tubes, so when I reworked it, I patched those over with new sheet.

Currently, it looks about like this:

http://docsmachine.com/2013/phodump01.jpg

I covered over the tailstock end, and added extra framing there, as I'll be installing a set of drawers at that end. I also added tabs at the headstock end, so that I could bolt panels into the openings to enclose the drive- the side and rear plates screw on, the front will of course be a hinged door.

Also, below where the door will go, is a slide for another shallow drawer- this will just be an oil catch tray, for the lube that drips off the underdrive, which is mostly plain-bearing.

Under the chip-tray hole in the middle, there'll be a chip drawer as well. I'll have a perforated screen over the hole itself, and I'll just lift it up to brush chips into. Then the drawer can be slid out when necessary, and removed for emptying. I did it that way as I'll probably also eventually be installing coolant, so that'll be a coolant drain as well.

The tabs at the bottom hold a piece of birch plywood to make a shelf, where the other chucks and steady rests go.

(The geartrain is off the lathe in that photo as I was reworking my 5C mounting.)

Doc.

BigSpike
10-10-2014, 05:33 AM
pics!!

Here's a couple of pics to show the construction. I still need to make proper feet, just using some maple blocks for now.
http://thebuckinghamcompany.com/images/forum/100_9303.JPG

In my previous description of this bench, I forgot that I had changed my mind & decided to lower the top cross braces on the ends and just set the ends of the top pieces on them instead of notching all those connections.
http://thebuckinghamcompany.com/images/forum/100_9307.JPG

The front access holes for the leveling nuts ended up just past the front edge of the top. I had planned to add a nice rounded, no-splintery edging anyway, so that still needs to get done. And soon cause these "hook" onto my shirt. A socket adapter in my cordless drill makes short work of raising & lowering the legs, then a regular socket wrench to finish leveling.
http://thebuckinghamcompany.com/images/forum/100_9304.JPG

Since I have a bad back and have difficulty standing, I made the bench about 24" tall so I can sit on a drafting chair and see what I am doing for most operations.

The drain hole in the sheet metal was fashioned by first cutting a hole through the sheet metal and the wood. The the sheet metal was set aside, a block of wood with a larger hole was clamped centered over the first hole and the hole through the wood was enlarged. Then the top edge of the hole was "chamfered" with a round over router bit. The sheet metal was clamped back in position over the hole & a ball peen hammer was used to form the drain depression into the wood. The edges of the wood were coated with plenty of silicone & the bathroom sink drain with the popup removed was installed. The coolant tank has a mesh screen on the top and is positioned under the drain. The popup rod is installed to keep coolant from running out the side.
Under the top, showing the drain
http://thebuckinghamcompany.com/images/forum/100_9305.JPG

thistle
10-10-2014, 06:19 AM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0903/mudskipper/myfordlathebasecrop.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/mudskipper/media/myfordlathebasecrop.jpg.html)

I made this base for a Myford lathe, it is of 15 inch channel for the topinverted to form a tray and 12 inch channel for the sides.the backsplash is from an electrical enclosure. The red bit at the bottom, kick switch , activatesa microswitch to stop the lathe, lathe is run by a VFD. The metal is all free scrap , I had to pay for a few screws and paint.

mars-red
10-10-2014, 09:56 AM
Doctordoctor,

If you keep your eyes peeled, you may be able to find an old metal lathe bench for dirt cheap. I got lucky and found an unwanted one from a relative and I was happy to use it as a starting point for my newest lathe. I had to fabricate a rear-ward, pivoting, motor mount for it, and had to weld up the hole in the top for the original underdrive, but it was less work than building my own. The bench was free and I already had most of the other materials in scrap, I think I spent a grand total of $20 in miscellaneous stuff (not including the motor).

In regard to your question about long chips, I have a couple of HSS bits that I've ground chip breakers into (not difficult to do with a regular bench grinder, with a little practice), but I found them to be mostly unnecessary. Long chips only annoy me when they start bunching up around the tool and wrapping around the work. I find that usually only happens during pretty light cuts, and it's unusual for me to be taking such a light cut with enough of a feed rate to produce continuous chips. On those occasions when it is a problem, I use a piece of bent music wire as a chip hook, to encourage them away from the work. For disposal, I just stuff them into a small garbage can that I have next to the bench, that is reserved for metal chips. The aforementioned chip hook also helps for picking up large nests of long chips if they're especially sharp. Certain materials end up producing amazingly razor sharp chips. I also keep a magnet in a plastic bag nearby, and sweep that around to quickly gather up ferrous chips. Put it over a trash can, remove the magnet from the bag, and the whole mess will drop right into the trash.

outback
10-11-2014, 07:49 AM
2 x 2 welded steel tubing covered with sheet steel.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v30/jglass/JETLATHE.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/jglass/media/JETLATHE.jpg.html)

80-20 extruded aluminum frame covered with painted ply wood.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v30/jglass/CNC%20projects/CNC%20Lathe/Retrofitdone.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/jglass/media/CNC%20projects/CNC%20Lathe/Retrofitdone.jpg.html)

projectnut
10-11-2014, 10:31 AM
I made this one several years ago for a Seneca Falls Star #20 lathe. The lathe is 9" X 60" and weighs around 300 lbs. The bench legs are 3" square tube with threaded adjusters on the bottom, and 1/2" X6" plates on the top to mount the lathe legs. The tie bars under the shelf are 2" square tube. The pan is 18 ga. sheet metal, and slides in and out on a couple pieces of angle iron welded to the bottom of the lathe leg mounting plates.

The pictures are in post #5

http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/antique-machinery-history/just-picked-up-seneca-falls-star-lathe-278673/

J Tiers
10-11-2014, 11:20 AM
Min's an old industrial table, with a re-inforced top (2 glued layers of 3/4" ply under the top). It looks narrpw, but the feet are splayed outward from it so the "stance" is wider. I put shelves on a post for "stuff"

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0803/jstanley/machines/Logan/loganbench1_zpsbb19ca91.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/jstanley/media/machines/Logan/loganbench1_zpsbb19ca91.jpg.html)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0803/jstanley/machines/Logan/Logantrays_zps5d2b7304.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/jstanley/media/machines/Logan/Logantrays_zps5d2b7304.jpg.html)

detail of bottom

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0803/jstanley/machines/Logan/loganbench2_zps8503522c.jpg (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/jstanley/media/machines/Logan/loganbench2_zps8503522c.jpg.html)

doctordoctor
10-11-2014, 12:05 PM
Well guys definitely interesting to see how you have all mounted your lathes.

I think for simplicity I'm going to just properly level the lista bench the lathe is already on, and then mount the lathe to the bench with bolts, properly shimmed, and call it done. If and when I get to the point where I can detect the ways being distorted by not being mounted on a giant block of cast iron, I'll try to improve the situation.

The concrete lathe stand was neat..is concrete dimensionally stable long term?

Also, I've heard of this epoxy granite people are making mills out of..I wonder if that would be a cost effective and very stable way to make a base for a lathe also.

http://i242.photobucket.com/albums/ff197/acannell/20141011_085952_zpslp2ozxpj.jpg (http://s242.photobucket.com/user/acannell/media/20141011_085952_zpslp2ozxpj.jpg.html)

The Artful Bodger
10-11-2014, 02:51 PM
My concrete machine bench...

https://farm7.staticflickr.com/6181/6052086484_e241482f8e.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/adNwsG)IMGP9332 (https://flic.kr/p/adNwsG) by aardvark_akubra (https://www.flickr.com/people/25239206@N06/), on Flickr

Lathe, drill, small shaper and cold saw all mounted and proving very satisfactory.

doctordoctor
10-11-2014, 03:02 PM
My concrete machine bench...

https://farm7.staticflickr.com/6181/6052086484_e241482f8e.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/adNwsG)IMGP9332 (https://flic.kr/p/adNwsG) by aardvark_akubra (https://www.flickr.com/people/25239206@N06/), on Flickr

Lathe, drill, small shaper and cold saw all mounted and proving very satisfactory.

I really like that. How much was all the concrete? Did you make a big plywood form? Is it reinforced? How much do you think it weighs and how hard is it to move around?

The Artful Bodger
10-11-2014, 04:05 PM
I had it made at a place where they make tilt slabs etc. It is reinforced and was made in steel formwork, it weighs more than a ton and is easy to move around on a smooth concrete floor using wheeled jacks and load skates. It was delivered and put in place by mobile crane. It cost several hundred dollars.

lbender
10-28-2014, 02:08 PM
So what have you done to make a custom lathe bench/table?

https://plus.google.com/photos/102832615760747525197/albums/6071222878706232065?authkey=CIzE3d7fxtHSUw

Wooden construction so I can't promise it will stay level, but all the drawer storage is nice.