Lathe Bench

  • Advertise with us
Project by RichClark posted 09-08-2010 02:17 AM 13929 views 17 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Bought a Lathe, Delta Midi (reversible/Variable power rocks btw) a few months ago and was not long enough
to turn the legs for the hutch I had planned…. SO.. I ordered and extension and then kinda turned the legs having it sit on the floor because my other benches are WAY to high for it… I attached it to a sheet of 3/4 ply and parked my car on the end of the ply to stabliize it. Yea I go to extremes but her birthday was approaching!

Anyway the Bottom part of the Hutch was done!

And last weekend I made a proper Bench for the Lathe!!

I cant afford classes on this stuff so I read and do trial and error over and over then I get good at (Must have turned 6 Legs in pine before we found a pattern we liked) then I had to repeat the pattern a few times to get to where I could kinda accurately make 4 that are sorta Identical.

Anyway, With the extension installed I read my books and decided to adapt a home made bench/mount for it from Mr Keith Rowley’s nice book “WoodTurning – a Foundation Course”

Reading that book he spoke of an Ideal Height for the bench to be the distance your elbow is above the ground above they ground. For me that is 43/44” or so… The Height of the lathe itself is 15” to the center of the chuck. So I needed the table to be 28/29” high. I wanted to put mounting pads with rubber under them to dampen vibration (old truck inner tube works perfectly doubled). The pads add 1.5” to the Height.. to the table is dialed
in at 27.5”

The legs are spread so outside they are 24” and at the top they are 18” to make it stable and have the weight of the lathe centered.

The legs are 6×6” the stiles are mortised into them and are 6×2” standard box store stuff.

The biggest pain was to cut the bevels into the bottoms and along the top rails and the legs to the correct angle.

They way I did it was to enlist my helper and clamp them at the correct measurements 24/18 and then take the angle with my bevel gauge. I then used my Circ-saw to cut the correct bevel. Best cut was threw the Rails and about two-thirds threw the legs. I then carefully hand sawed the rest.

That done I re-clamped them level and measured the “cleat/end pieces to help hold them that way” They were drilled and countersunk.

The top is 3/4 Oak Ply cut 18” wide and 70” long. It was made by using contact cement and then mounting it with big #9×3.5” screws.

I cut some left over plywood and sealed the back of the bench… Then we made 8×8x1.5” mount plates out of some left over top. Then I cut a truck inner tube into a section that would cover the base of each piece and used a Plane blade to trim them up (think of a 10” wide rubber band, mash the piece on it and holding tight cut out the plate. You get 2x thickness of rubber). The plates are mounted with 3” lag bolts (4).

All that done we moved the bench to where it lives for not and then moved then lathe and bolted it down with 3.5” Lag bolts.


once day I may make doors for the front.
but for now I just wanted it off the floor and someplace I can eventually hook up a DC to it to get the chips.

-- Duct Tape is the Force! It has a light side and a dark side and it Binds the Universe together!

9 comments so far

View jacen68's profile


54 posts in 3505 days

#1 posted 09-08-2010 03:47 AM

Want to see pics of before when u had plywood on car. Like the new bench

-- So much to do, so little time.

View RichClark's profile


157 posts in 3908 days

#2 posted 09-08-2010 04:30 AM

Have no IDEA where your going with this comment… I notice you haven’t shared anything.

-- Duct Tape is the Force! It has a light side and a dark side and it Binds the Universe together!

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 4571 days

#3 posted 09-08-2010 05:01 AM

I’m about to buy a lathe so this was a great piece to see Rich. It looks well built and solid as a rock. The information about height was very valuable. You must be excited to jump on that beautiful lathe and start turning again with everything more comfortable. Thanks a lot for sharing!

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 3367 days

#4 posted 09-08-2010 05:08 AM

I think he wanted to see a picture of yoiur set up when you parked the car on the plywood base to turn those legs. You must admit, it would have been worth a chuckle or two.

I like this stand. I have to build one for my lathe and this looks really solid. I’ve added it to my favorites file to give me some ideas. Thanks.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View RichClark's profile


157 posts in 3908 days

#5 posted 09-08-2010 05:44 AM

OK maybe that is it BigTiny… I was like why is this guy jacking me up! I thought he was teasing me about the fact that I posted “construction” photo’s in the picture and was wondering why I didn’t show unloading the lumber to build it!... My bad

The lathe sits exactly where my son measured my elbow.. I asked him to measure it and he said 43/44.. and I said kiddo It my elbow… its only one.. and he said ” well At the top of th joint its 44 and the bottom its 43…. so the bench is 43.5

Take care if you have any questions I took more pictures..


-- Duct Tape is the Force! It has a light side and a dark side and it Binds the Universe together!

View KnotCurser's profile


2032 posts in 3547 days

#6 posted 09-08-2010 01:04 PM

My bet is that you are going to use that bottom shelf for about 300 pounds of sandbags. It looks like it can hold it!

Fine job!


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: [email protected] /

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3345 days

#7 posted 09-08-2010 01:38 PM

That looks like a good heavy bench for your lathe. You could easily bolt that to the floor for even more stability.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 3439 days

#8 posted 09-08-2010 02:29 PM

Looks solid! I’m impressed by the level used in building the bench. Not many people go to those lengths to build something. Thanks for sharing!
I sold cabinetry for 2-1/2 years and never saw a carpenter’s square at any jobsite. Go figure!

View RichClark's profile


157 posts in 3908 days

#9 posted 09-10-2010 01:06 AM

Thanks for the nice comments.

Knothead62 – You cant make it stable unless its level… and houses have gravity helping them stay in place.

Helluvawreck – All together it ways about 300-400# now. I had to adjust it to get a DC hose where I wanted it and used a jack to get it on a dolly. Probably could have heaved it but my back hates when I do that.

KnotCurser – Actually I am gonna whip up some doors and it should be fine.. I ran it with a 10” ish bowl blank in it and you could stand a nickle on the bed of the lathe it was pretty solid. (unless I got that lucky cutting the blank.). But yea if I get issues I know the sand trick. I just was hoping I could get away without it or mounting the lath to the floor (I would never do this as In Florida, living 50 yards from a river that empties into Tampa Bay). If I drill a hole in the slab I am begging to have it flood. The water table seriously is 2-3 below the garage.

-- Duct Tape is the Force! It has a light side and a dark side and it Binds the Universe together!

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics