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Lathe cabinet

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Project by RyanGi posted 05-20-2021 01:03 AM 891 views 2 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My father-in-law passed away and I inherited some things from his shop, including a couple turning tools. I’m comfortable in my own shop, but I’ve never turned wood before. But, I figured, he’d be disappointed in me if I didn’t learn something…so I jumped in and bought a lathe…and, of course, gotta have a place to put it so….

The carcass is plywood that I had lying about. Assembled with pocket screws and some dadoed joints, as is my convention. I try to finish all my shop furniture differently so I can learn from it. I’m usually a clear finish guy, but I did this one with General Finishes milk paint. The drawer fronts are are walnut, with some epoxy inlay, and finished with Odies.

I installed my 8” slow speed grinder on the end, and bought a Wolverine sharpening jig…because I’m lazy and enjoy accuracy! After a few quick trial turns, I’ve found I surely need a near-at-hand tool rack to hang some tools on for a given project, so I’ll add that at some point, I want to do some practice first, but I intend for my first ‘live’ project to be a set of drawer pulls to finish out the cabinet.

Already I can see the appeal to turning, I’m very much looking forward to working on the skills to bring it into a useful part of my shop. This one’s for you Glenn…I’ll make good on it.

-- Ryan/// I like chips...and sawdust...but mostly chips...with vinegar





10 comments so far

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

4819 posts in 3637 days


#1 posted 05-20-2021 11:02 AM

MY dad just gave me a lathe that he built in machinist in the late 60’s. It needs a lathe cabinet. I think I’ll “borrow” some ideas from your build.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Underdog's profile

Underdog

1779 posts in 3324 days


#2 posted 05-20-2021 11:14 AM

Nice looking build. Never thought of putting the grinder right on the same stand. That makes it right handy for keeping tools sharp, which is essential!

And yes to the tool rack. You’ll surely get more tools as you progress as a turner.

I do wonder if you’ll have a tendency to lean towards the lathe though? Hours of standing that way will surely give one trouble. Good form requires being able to get close enough to the lathe.

Love all the drawers and organization! And the inlay on the drawer fronts; Big thumbs up.

Why the double end on the right side?

-- Jim, Georgia, USA

View ezrar's profile

ezrar

12 posts in 3128 days


#3 posted 05-20-2021 02:24 PM

Your approach to learning a new finishing technique on your shop cabinets is inspiring me. I have several unfinished tool mounts and think I’ll try the idea.

The cabinet looks great!

View RyanGi's profile

RyanGi

95 posts in 326 days


#4 posted 05-20-2021 02:38 PM


I do wonder if you ll have a tendency to lean towards the lathe though? Hours of standing that way will surely give one trouble. Good form requires being able to get close enough to the lathe.

Why the double end on the right side?

- Underdog

I thought about the leaning-in issue. The pics may not show it well, but the lathe is pretty far forward on the somewhat narrow cabinet. I did a lot of standing and measuring arm placement before I committed to the measurements. I believe my arm spacing and body position will be appropriate to not wreck my back, but it’ll be some trial to see for sure. At least on my test turns, I felt like I was standing very much straight up and down without my arms extended out, but I guess time will tell! Let not forget, I have no idea what I’m doing here…

The double end was to allow for proper spacing on the drawer widths to accommodate the rest of the measurements I wanted in the carcass. Might not have been necessary, but in my head the rest of the measurements needed to be as they were, so this made up the gap and made it easy to hang the drawer slides without shimming. Or maybe it’s just one big shim? With the price of plywood today, I’m glad it was scrap!

-- Ryan/// I like chips...and sawdust...but mostly chips...with vinegar

View RyanGi's profile

RyanGi

95 posts in 326 days


#5 posted 05-20-2021 02:42 PM



Your approach to learning a new finishing technique on your shop cabinets is inspiring me. I have several unfinished tool mounts and think I ll try the idea.

The cabinet looks great!

- ezrar

I posted my shop build somewhere on LJ site, and it’s not so visible here, but ALL my shop furniture is different. I try to impart different techniques as often as I can. Banding, trim pieces, period builds, adornments, handles and pulls, finishes, whatever I can find, obviously I try to make them go together, as though I’m building a piece from a specific period or genre, but it’s paid off for me as I’ve worked on other projects…I never like trying something for the first time on a project I expect to count as ‘quality’.

-- Ryan/// I like chips...and sawdust...but mostly chips...with vinegar

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

10522 posts in 3698 days


#6 posted 05-20-2021 07:41 PM

Beautiful build. Absolutely stunning.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View mel52's profile

mel52

2277 posts in 1553 days


#7 posted 05-21-2021 02:51 AM

Should be able to hold a whole lot of accessories in this one. Great job. Mel

-- MEL, Kansas

View BigTiny's profile

BigTiny

1721 posts in 4177 days


#8 posted 05-22-2021 10:48 PM

LOVE the inlay work!

I picked up a wood lathe a couple years ago but still have’t built it its own “home”. I bolt and unbolt it to my assembly table which is enough of a pain in tail that it doesn’t get as much use as it should. Kudoes for this one, I think I’ll borrow a few ideas from it to design mine. as a good enough design was part of what held up my building one for myself. I will probably modify it to use reclaimed pallet wood. Much cheaper. what with the price of wood currenyly.

A hint for your tool rack; make it on the outside on whichever end panel you feel works best for you, as the frequent tool changes involved in turning makes it far easier than one inside the stand.

Paul, the happy canuk.

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

View RyanGi's profile

RyanGi

95 posts in 326 days


#9 posted 05-22-2021 11:26 PM

Thanks Paul. Solid advise on the tool rack. My initial plan was to have a fold-away model on the inside of the cabinet door under the motor. I even mocked up a slick folding design that worked great in testing! Being a noob at turning, I grossly under estimated the volume of wood shavings and their spread. It’s worse than my router table when I forget to turn on the DC! So, I don’t think having the door open when turning is going to work out for me,

I’m big on clean designs and, while I ultimately value functionality above most else, I also know that I have a very small shop and that requires things to be put away cleanly so I can use other tools and parts of the shop….hence the idea of a fold away tool rack hidden inside the cabinet door. I think now, I’ll look at either something that hangs out the outside of the door (and can be unhooked and put away out of sight), or a fixed, low profile rack on the end of the cabinet as you suggest. Time will tell…

It’s one of the only things I dislike about actually following a full finishing schedule on shop furniture…I hate the idea of adding or modifying parts and ending up with something that doesn’t match. But I suppose that’s just the ADHD kicking in a bit..better to have solid function and give up a bit of the aesthetic than to have a less functional tool. And to be fair, that’s something I’ve been fighting for years but I still do it…so either it must be worth it, or I’m just a very slow learner. Either of which could be very true…

-- Ryan/// I like chips...and sawdust...but mostly chips...with vinegar

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

27012 posts in 4394 days


#10 posted 11-03-2021 01:58 PM

Real nice looking lathe cabinet. You’ll soon find that you need a readily accessible tool rack because, as you keep turning, you’ll add a lot more tools to your collection and you’ll want to have them out where you don’t need to open a drawer to get one. I made a rack on wheels and added to it 3 times

That reminds me of my cabinet. I have a table under mine so I can set tools and other things there and have them handy. You’ll need drawer storage for accessories- chucks, finishing materials, measuring tools and even jam chucks! I was going to ask what the big opening on the left was, but you explained. Now you can put more drawers there ,too.

If your lathe is on concrete, get a piece of wood to stand on to reduce fatigue. Don’t get a mat with a lot of holes in it because they fill up with chips and make it so you have to lift it to clean up.

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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