Lathe Cabinet Build #1: Designing the Cabinet

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Blog entry by Lazyman posted 10-17-2019 09:50 PM 772 reads 1 time favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Lathe Cabinet Build series Part 2: Poor Man's Vertical Grain Douglas Fir »

I got a new Laguna Revo 13/36 lathe about a year ago and have been contemplating ever since for a way to store my accumulation of lathe tools and accessories to both keep them close at hand and prevent them from taking over every bit of horizontal space in my shop while I am turning.

  • I am planning to put it under the ways on wheels so that I can move it if it in the way or when I need to move the lathe.
  • I want to have shallow drawers to store the various full size turning tools but have no bottoms in the drawers so that dust and shavings simply fall through. All drawers will be on full extension glides.
  • I will have deeper drawers to store chucks, jaws, faceplates, and centers
  • Other drawers, possibly with removable trays or caddies, to hold and organize sanding and finishing supplies and gadgets.
  • It will have a bay with a full-extension drawer to hold my Ringmaster while not in use.
  • Avoid plywood in the case.

The Design:
Below is the Sketchup drawing of what I came up with. I am planning to use oversized box joints to the join the top, bottom and ends. Because I don’t want to have any plywood externally, the back will be comprised of vertical boards with overlapping floating joints to deal with wood movement.

I am a little concerned about whether I have designed the bottom strong enough for the ~46” span and wondering if I need to add an apron on the bottom or least turn the bottom boards 90 degrees to give it a little more strength. I didn’t do that because I am constrained by the height of the lathe and am trying to maximize the internal space and leave clearance for the casters on each corner.

Comments, concerns and suggestions welcome.

Back & internal view:

Back detail with top removed:

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

2 comments so far

View HokieKen's profile


19358 posts in 2380 days

#1 posted 10-18-2019 11:44 AM

Bottom looks strong enough from here Nathan. Instead of an apron, you could always reinforce it with a piece of steel tubing or angle across the middle of it that’s shorter than your castings. It would ensure no sag develops over the years and wouldn’t be visible.

I’ll be watching for good storage ideas!

Edit: Castings=Casters ;-P

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View Lazyman's profile


7951 posts in 2629 days

#2 posted 10-18-2019 12:38 PM

I was hoping you might have some good ideas Kenny. ;-) One thing I still have to design is how to arrange and organize the chucks and centers. I think that I am going to want a caddy I can pull out of the drawer because I typically take the the chuck over to the bench to change the jaws.

My plan is to put 1 or 2 screws into each of the shiplap boards on the back (no glue) which hopefully will add some rigidity and reduce any tendency to rack. BTW, I’ve estimated that with the radially cut boards on the back a 6% moisture change would amount to a maximum of about 1% change in the width of the shiplap boards or about 1/2” across the entire width which is about 1/32” per board so that will be used to set the gap between them.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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