Heavy Duty Lathe Stand
By Keith Jeeves
A lathe needs to be securely mounted, especially if you are going to do some serious work with large out of balance pieces. There are a number of approaches to making a solid lathe stand, one is to weld up some steel channel or angle which is anchored to the floor, another is to fabricate a stand from timber and place sandbags or concrete blocks on a cross member under the lathe to give the thing some weight.
My solution was to fabricate a stand for my Leady from two large boxes joined by hardwood cross members to which the lathe bed is bolted. An MDF sheet is fixed across the front and pine bracing fixed across the back, giving the assembly additional rigidity. The boxes are quite large and have removable covers which easily allows cement blocks or a plastic sack filled with sand to be placed in each end providing an enormous amount of weight. If the lathe is to be moved, the weights are easily removed by taking off the covers.
I used 16mm MDF to make the boxes. Each box is glued and heavily screwed using pine fillets with the removable covers being in two pieces. This allows a sack to be contained in the lower section while it is filled with sand through the top section. The large MDF sheet across the front is set back under the front cross member which allows the start/stop station to be mounted without it protruding too far and sufficient space is left between the floor and the bottom of the sheet to get a rake or brush underneath for removing shavings. Double GPO’s are mounted on the front and rear of the stand to power drills and lights and a switch is mounted next to the lathe starter which operates a GPO at the rear where the dust collector plugs in giving instant on/off control of the DC from the front of the lathe. The rear cross member has fixings for an Anglepoise lamp and for the dust collector hose. Removable trays can be made, supported between the rear cross member and a second cross member fixed behind the lathe bed, in fact the whole assembly allows a great deal of customisation.
The stand has been used and abused for at least 4 years without the slightest sign of fatigue and was constructed from reclaimed timber, the only thing I bought was a tin of blue paint to finish it.
The following drawing and photos show how it's done, click on a thumbnail for a larger image.
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