Building a lathe bench from Keith Rowley's plans

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Project by xraydav posted 02-03-2014 03:04 PM 2594 views 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Had a cheap old Chinese made 99 dollar lathe I bought 12 years ago to see if lathe work was for me. Made the legs on the hutch in my projects with it, but when it came time to make my cherry rocker, Knew i needed to upgrade. Bought off Craig’s List an older craftsman lathe still new in the box for 100 bucks… Apparently the kids father had passed and bought this lathe in the 70s but never even set it up. I had to wipe the packing grease off it. I now wanted to learn so I also bought “Lathe a foundation course; by Keith Rowley” In the book early on he goes into how important the base of a lathe is and showed plans for building one. So I built this one from his plans. Before anyone says anything, yes the legs and bottom runners are of 4×4 pressure treated. You can see in some of the images I have a stone foundation. When it rains in the spring hard for more than 2 days, I get water in the basement. I have a sump pump but the bottoms of stuff get wet so I am protecting my work. I bought the stuff and left it outside for a year before bringing it into the house. This bench will easily hold several thousand lbs. And with ply back and sides as well as the two front doors I have lots of storage space under it.’ I wanted a place for everything including my three fav lathe tools, my Pinnacle 1 3/4 roughing gouge (best gouge ever) and my two Harrison Specialty Tool long tools. One is round the other square. I made the handles from some scrub cherry that grows wild around here (New England) and I love the color and grain. Also put a sharpening touch up grinder on the bench for quick touch ups.. My regular tools are an old Craftsman lathe tool set the ones with the reddish handles and I have a newer Craftsman set that gives me a few extra tools, but I like the older ones best.

-- David, Norwood Mass, [email protected]

4 comments so far

View Northwest29's profile


1703 posts in 3341 days

#1 posted 02-03-2014 07:47 PM

Nice bench and fortunate find.

-- Ron, "Curiosity is a terrible thing to waste."

View LazyHorse's profile


26 posts in 2460 days

#2 posted 02-03-2014 08:24 PM

I had the same lathe and sold it for $150. Missed it ever since. Nice bench!

-- "Yer young, you got yer health, what do you want with a JOB?"

View Jim's profile


150 posts in 3220 days

#3 posted 02-03-2014 11:46 PM

Nice bench, I inherited the same lathe from my grandfather

-- Measure twice, cut once.

View Hybridwoodwork's profile


183 posts in 2903 days

#4 posted 02-04-2014 04:02 AM

I have had that same lathe for at least 20 years and it has never failed me. I bought it used from an older gentleman that had gotten sick for $100. It has paid for itself a hundred times over. I have wanted to upgrade for years and I shop and shop and then find that I just can’t part with her. We’ve been through a lot together! Nice bench by the way!

-- How it happened that Mastro Cherry, carpenter, found a piece of wood that wept and laughed like a child.

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