No announcement yet.

Lathe supports

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Lathe supports


    My lathe has a pair of steel/iron support pedistals. The larger one, under the headstock, has 4 support screws and the smaller one has two. They are fairly heavy, and probably typical of the pedistals on many brands.

    My question regards replacing them. Like many people, I need storage space. And the pedistals plus the open space under the bed have long looked like an opportunity for storage. If I replace the pedistals with some made from, say, 3/16" angle iron, I could put drawers in them and give myself someplace to put some of my tools. Is this feasible? What do I need to look out for, and what to avoid? Certainly, the angle iron pedistals would have to include adjustable feet (screws) to level the lathe and distribute the weight. But what else would they need?



  • #2
    Removing the pedistals is questionable. The pedistals give weight, rigidity and stability to the lathe, very desirable features. You are not going to get that from an angle iron framework.


    • #3
      I'm with Harry, I would not take a chance on replacing the pedestals. They were made that way for a reason. Another point to consider is storing tools under a lathe is not a good idea. Chips have a way of finding their way into everything.
      It's only ink and paper


      • #4
        Good solid pedestals are good as said above, but if your space limited I can see your problem. I have a Chinese 12 x 36 that has 2 sheet metal pedestals that I am going to do away with as I am sure I can make a stand better more rigid stand.

        I would go with box tubing (SHS) but first look around for a tool box with draws that will fit the space and build your stand around it. Do as you said and use adjustable feet, but if you make the stand rigid enough you will need to do the adjusting between the stand and the lathe as the stand wont twist.



        • #5
          How wide is the headstock, and where are the mounting bolt holes in relation to that? You could make up some rectangular frames and place two such that they both carry the weight of the headstock end directly on top of the uprights in the frames. At the points front to back where the bolt holes are, you would weld in bracing so the horizontal section at the top of the frames can't sag under the weight. At every step you should eliminate any point where a horizontal member can sag under the weight. If you can place each frame assembly nearly under where a bolt hole is, and still end up with a usable width between the headstock frames, then you can either set an existing cabinet between them, or build in some drawers. I would recommend a full extension heavy duty drawer slide for them. Figure out where they are to be, then weld in flat bar to mount them to. By the time that is all done, you'll have lots of bracing in place to keep the frames from turning into parallelograms.

          This is obviously going to be a three sided structure, so you have to cross brace the back and a bottom. I won't mention how important it is to keep it all square while it's being welded up. Ok, I just did.

          So now that you have the weight-bearing areas braced to prevent all the top members from having to resist sag under load, you built a tailstock frame the same way, except you can choose to make it narrower or wider, or as just a single frame. There should be a full back to tie both structures together and prevent swarf from coming into the back of the drawers, and there should be at least one beam across the front, near the bottom. There should be a floor in there, about 4 inches up, to act as a brace at the bottom. Whatever you do for a top will tie the top of the structures together. This stuff can be bolted together, but the frames (the tower boxes) must be welded. You will need to put a solid cover on all sides to keep swarf out of the drawer slides, so factor that in when you design the bracing.

          Now you have at least one tower able to have drawers in it, possibly two towers if you make the tailstock end tower the same or similar, and a wide open space between them which you could fill with drawers or whatever.

          With luck you'll be able to remove the two top drawers and access the lathe hold-down bolts from that space. You'll want to have those holes near the outside of the towers, but still at a point where they can be easily wrenched on. You mentioned making all the legs adjustable- good idea. You will end up with at least three across the back and the same at the front. You might have four at both places. You'll be able to get the assembled structure carpenter-level with all legs carrying some weight.
          I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-


          • #6
            The first item of info I failed to find is what sized lathe? Size does make a difference. If it's a light duty 12 x 30 bench lathe mounted on sheet matal pedistals most any home fabricator can come up with better. If it's on the other end of the spectrum like a Lodge and Shopley Turnmaster or an Okuma better leave well enough alone.

            My lathe is a 1700 Voest 210, a pretty good maintence shop toolroon grade lathe. It has nice sturdy pedistals a fellow with a Sawzall could cut modest openings in without sacrificing much structural integrety. Doug Barley, a late friend of mine, had an identical lathe only a few digits apart in serial number. He cut an opening in the tailstock pedistal and outfitted it with drawers on ball slides where he kept his larger drills and tailstock tooling.

            I like the above advise about doing some homework, finding a tool chest/storage unit, and make your new lathe pedistal to incorporate it. If you are a good designer and you have a few bucks to spend on good materials consider making a sturdy welded steel lathe bench stiff enough to hold the lathe in alignment while sitting on three points - but arrange it so the machine isn't tippy.
            Last edited by Forrest Addy; 01-16-2013, 06:32 AM.


            • #7
              epoxy granite bench:


              • #8
                Thanks for the input and ideas. I should have mentioned at the outset that the lathe is 13x40, and weighs about 2000lbs (at least that's what the shipping doc said). I hadn't considered that the pedistals would offer damping and vibration resistance, in addition to just holding the thing up off the ground. Maybe the easiest idea is to make something to go into the area under the ways, between the pedistals.