Lathe Mobile Workbench

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Project by FreezFurn posted 09-25-2012 09:28 PM 4576 views 8 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my first post, but only my most recent project. I’ll try to put more on in the next few weeks.

This workbench was designed for me to use strictly for my lathe. The top is 48” by 15” deep, and the height is 39”. I researched and found that the height of turning axis of the lathe should be even with your forearm as you turn the axis. The becnch is made out of just basic 2×4’s and plywood. The hard part was that I wanted to make it mobile. I do my turning in one part of my shop, but I like to sand in another part because I have an air cleaner in that room. Lathes and wheels on benches don’t go well together, so I had to get “creative”. I needed a system that would roll when needed and then sit on legs when I got the bench in place, so after lots of searching I found the solution at this link (on LJ of course). I modified it significantly for the shape of my bench and for the hardware that I had on hand. I only had to buy a few hinges to make this work. The gate latch, plywood, metal casters, and most of the studs all came from my shop, so I think I put about $18 into the project. I made the tool holder on the front with just a scrap piece of 2×4 and covered all of the plywood edges with cedar.

To make the bench mobile, push down on the long diagonal lever, then step onto the gate bolt and it snaps into the catch. The catch then locks it into place b/c I have a spring pulling it into the closed position. Move the bench where you need it, hold down on the lever, and pop the latch open with your toe or a stick. One warning though, it behaves much differently with the weight of a lathe after it is bolted onto one end! So be careful when you disengage the locking mechanism. My first time, I got to see how it feels to have a board thrown at your shin! I have the mark to prove it!

I hope this helps someone else find a solution to your mobility problems in the shop.

-- Andy (Father, Math Teacher, Coach, and occasionally... Woodworker) "You must build this Tabernacle and its furnishings exactly according to the pattern I will show you." Exodus 25:9

7 comments so far

View JSB's profile


737 posts in 2889 days

#1 posted 09-25-2012 11:03 PM

I like the mobile base. Ingenuitive. Good job. :)

-- Jay -

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 3001 days

#2 posted 09-25-2012 11:16 PM

great job.very creative.welcome to lumberjocks.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View Joel Wires's profile

Joel Wires

16 posts in 4002 days

#3 posted 09-25-2012 11:40 PM

Thought I better post since you liked my design idea. :) Looks pretty solid. Nice job.

-- Joel Wires -->

View SuburbanDon's profile


487 posts in 3805 days

#4 posted 09-26-2012 12:23 AM

Very interesting !

-- --- Measure twice, mis-cut, start over, repeat ---

View thewoodworker01's profile


93 posts in 2956 days

#5 posted 09-26-2012 01:02 AM

Thats Cool! I need to make a mobile bed for my lathe. Great Job

-- Most people say "Measure Twice, Cut Once." I say, "Cut Twice, Measure Once".

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 5138 days

#6 posted 09-26-2012 01:38 AM


-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View JarodMorris's profile


167 posts in 3186 days

#7 posted 09-26-2012 08:12 PM

I like the catch mechanism you have on yours. I made one of these mobile bases for my jointer and my table saw. Love having a mobile shop. Now I need to get my router table on wheels also.

-- Dad: Someone was supposed to pick up his toys! Son: My name isn't "Someone".

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