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How is your lathe positioned??

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  • How is your lathe positioned??

    Something that was on my mind, as I am moving stuff around in the shop, also, recently was at another HSM's workshop where he had two lathes, positioned in the center of the floor at roughly a 45 degree angle off the wall. Seemed to work well for him. Currently my lathe is positioned with it's back against a wall, which consumes alot of wall space, also leaves a pile of chips behind it that is hard to reach.

    Any suggestions? What works best in your shop?


    Appearance is Everything...

  • #2
    My shop is about 12' x 12' (corner in the basement) so there isn't much room in any event. I have it against a wall, underneath a window. There's plenty of wall space behind the lathe, though I don't put anything on the wall behind the head stock for safety reasons.


    • #3
      Against the wall... Yes chips are an issue... Been meaning to build a backdrop to direct chips into a waste bin


      • #4
        Up against a wall...not enough room to put it anywhere and far too heavy to move it again. To clean out chips I generally just grab the ShopVac and vacuum the chips out from the chip pan and around.under the machine.


        • #5

          My lathe is about 4,000 # so I needed to place it where I had a good solid slab under it. Found what I thought was a good place but I don't have enough length to its left to run long stock. I am currently running black pipe for compressed air and got to thinking that I could probably save myself some labor by using the lathe for threading pipe, but I don't have enough room to get long pipe into it without taking my tailstock off and feeding it in from that direction. I also hear you on the problem of cleaning out chips from the back of the machine when it is against a wall. You need some room to get in there. Our lathe department had about 8 lathes of various sizes and they were all at about a 30 degree angle like this \\\\\\\\. Benches on the tailstock end and open at the headstock end.

          So I guess that the main thing is to have clearance to feed stock into it from the headstock end and room behind it to clean.


          THINK HARDER




          • #6
            One side of my two car garage workshop is set up like an "E". The top leg is workbench and toolboxes against a wall with overhead lights. The middle leg is the lathe, tailstock to the wall. I made an aluminum extrusion frame to support the splash back, DRO and tool storage. It too sports an overhead light shining on the lathe.

            The bay behind the lathe has the mill, drill press and shop press. Placing the lathe at ninety to the wall has in effect given me eight more feet of wall and divided the garage bay into two smaller work areas.



            • #7
              Mine sits at about a 15 degree angle away from the wall, so I can get behind it to work on the motor, and sweep chips.
              The headstock is against the garage door, so If I need to extend a long bar thru it, I can just open the door.
              Like this:
              Last edited by KiddZimaHater; 12-30-2012, 12:00 AM.


              • #8
                Mine is against the wall, with the headstock out about 15" and the tailstock out about 4". This allows room to clean behind and gets the spindle in front of storage cabinets for long stock.


                • #9
                  I put a concrete bench in the middle of my shop and positioned my machines (lathe, shaper, cold saw, drill) back to back on the bench with my mill floor standing at the end of the bench. I was careful to position the machines so that long stock would go in the saw and in the lathe.

                  Cleaning behind the machines is easy enough just by reaching in between machines on the other side of the bench.

                  The shop walls are reserved for storage cabinets and a work bench. A skylight over the machine bench provides a lot of natural light.


                  • #10
                    After having my lathe against the wall in my garage for years, I resolved to do things differently in my 'new' shop. I have it 2' out from the wall both for cleaning and for the very occasional rear carriage gib adjustment. I also lined up my lathe, mill and drill press so that none interferes with the other, but with table adjustments (except the lathe, of course) each can help support long stock for the others. It's been working well.


                    • #11
                      My main machines are positioned to allow access with large or long items , I can get behind the mill and the lathe which gets the most use is near a door and has a walkway to a tool store behind it , cleaning is easy if still a pain.


                      • #12
                        You have some big shops...... 12 x 12 sounds like West Texas to me...... my main area is 8 x 7, with a bit of added space outside between the wall and furnace. It's full, and I have to fit another lathe and a mill in there besides what is already in place. No idea how that is happening.

                        My existing lathe is positioned against the wall, headstock out a bit further due to drive setup, about 18" from wall to end of headstock for longer stock.

                        Keep eye on ball.
                        Hashim Khan


                        • #13
                          I am putting mine against a wall. Head stock should end up in the middle of a 20' wall. I may angle the lathe slightly so anything really long will have some clearance away from stuff on the wall. I will also be building a back for it to try at keep chips at ease and the wall clean.


                          • #14
                            I have benches and cabinets against the wall, a 3+ foot "isle" then the lathe facing the benches with its back to the middle of the room. Grinding stations behind the lathe. Works perfectly and I can walk behind it if needed. I put some thought into this... and it will be there "forever" - way too heavy to consider moving.


                            • #15
                              I feel sometimes as though I am getting in touch with my female side! I have moved my machines around quite a bit in the last two months trying to come up with the best workflow and space utilization.
                              The way my wife moves the furniture in the living room. Right now my lathe is against a wall but far enough out to get behind if I must.

                              I am set to move them all again in the next couple of weeks. I want to put them on the other end of the shop.
                              Location: The Black Forest in Germany

                              How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!