No announcement yet.

Bench for lathe

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Bench for lathe

    I have a friend who just got his first lathe:
    South Bend 9" bench type.
    I though I saw a while back a plan or drawing for a bench for a lathe.
    Anyone that has any suggestions,drawings, links, etc., please post.
    please visit my webpage:

  • #2
    The Shop Wisdom of Frank McLean. (Available through Village Press and Lee Valley Tools in Canada)

    [This message has been edited by G.A. Ewen (edited 03-21-2004).]
    To invent, you need a good imagination - and a pile of junk. Thomas A. Edison


    • #3
      I would weld one up out of say 2 1/2" angle iron with a 1/8" top. Put it on casters and make jacking screws so you can level it.


      • #4
        I made mine with 4x4's. I used 1 1/2" plywood for the top with 16 ga. steel for the top cover. I also made up jack screws for leveling the legs.


        • #5
          I bought a steel office desk, with 7 drawers, steel top, used for 30$ The top could be a little more rigid, all you'd have to do is what Evan suggested to me, get a big piece of Channel iron, and bolt the lathe on top of that. I've been thinking of squirting some expanding foam into the hollow space on my desk. I am very happy going this route, it added tons of storage that I did not have before.


          • #6

            Ask your friend to consider table height. I have mine so that the spindle is about elbow height - sure saves the back and easier to measure parts.

            Anyway, I made one for a 9" SBL. It is all steel and has a pull out chip tray about 6" deep under the ways of the lathe. Under that are drawers (1/8" steel all around, and welded) which have ball bearing slides rated for 300 lbs per pair. The vertical members are made from 1-1/2" pipe with the bottom ends having a 1" nut welded in for leveling. The entire cabinet was "wrapped" with 20 gage steel (the rounds on the corners look nice because of the pipe). Some of the cabinet is welded but I tried to make most of it so it could be bolted together - for ease in moving if necessary. In addition, it has a pull out shelf (one inch deep) near the tail stock end with "tool drawer lining" on top to keep keep plans, caliper, etc. on it while working. The whole cabinet weighs just under 200 lbs and will hold every accessory I have for the lathe including those heavy chucks etc. What's really nice are the drawers - they pull out so easy no matter how heavily loaded.

            The materials cost about $175.00. I also painted it to match my lathe - South Bend Gray.

            Oh...the tools I used to make this with:

            - Electric Welder,
            - Small 4-1/2" hand grinder fitted with cut off wheel to cut thinner metal and a grinding wheel to fix edges cut with torch,
            - Cutting torch (for thicker metal),
            - Electric Drill,
            - Lathe for rounding leveling nuts for pipe and drawer pulls.

            Just some thoughts....Mike

            [This message has been edited by Mike Burdick (edited 03-21-2004).]


            • #7
              At one time, SB Lathe had plans available for a wooden bench for the 9" lathes.

              There's a scan of the blueprint in the files section of this group:
              Said group is where the 'overflow' from the main SBL group is stored.


              • #8
                I also have one of those lathes. I made an angle iron frame, with 3/4 nuts welded at the bottoms of the legs for adjusting screws. Put a piece of 1/2" plate on top (cause I had it) and when I got done, I started thinking about places to store my tools. So I cut on it a little and inserted a blueprint cabinet that has ballbearing rollers. Works really great. Made sure the overhang of the top was far enough out to keep any spills from getting to the tools.
                David from jax
                A serious accident is one that money can't fix.


                • #9
                  There's plans for a bench in South Bend's "How to Run a Lathe" book, I think. Commercially-made benches may not be quite wide enough. The countershaft on the back adds quite a bit to the width requirement.

                  I built my bench out of 4z4 legs with a top made of two layers of 3/4" plyqood glued/screwed together with a 1/4" Masonite top.

                  Good point on getting the height correct; I put the carriage handwheel at elbow height, and that seems pretty good.

                  [This message has been edited by SGW (edited 03-21-2004).]
                  Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
                  Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
                  Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
                  There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
                  Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
                  Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie


                  • #10
                    Well, here's a question to consider, do most of you work sitting down or standing up? I prefer to stand up, so my bench is quite high, but I found an old steel desk that was being tossed out and used that. Raised it up quite a bit, and use that. Looks a little goofy, but then again, so do I.


                    • #11
                      Here's a picture of mine.I made it from a scratch & dent solid core door.It's bolted to the wall and has adjusters at the floor. I've added drawers since the photo was taken.