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Project Information

A few years ago my boss offered me a wood lathe that he was going to throw out. He had bought a (much) better lathe and just wanted this one gone. I had a lot of other woodworking tools but no lathe so I was glad to have it. It came mounted on a stand made from a couple of 2X10's that just wasn't sturdy enough for any real lathe work so it sat in my basement for a few years while I thought about a design for a lathe stand - not high on the priority list.

Earlier this year the company I work for started renovating. Over the course of a month of dumpster-diving I found :
1. a pair of heavy cast-iron legs with leveling feet
2. sections of a large bi-fold solid core door 16" X 84" X 2"
3. lots of pieces of oak veneer plywood - already stained and finished

So this is the end result. I built a frame to hold a set of drawers under the solid-core door. It is recessed about 1/2" into the door to act more or less like a torsion box to keep it from sagging or warping while suspended between the two legs. The frame and drawer fronts were all made from the recycled oak veneer plywood. Reclaimed oak trim from a previous salvage was cut to 3/4" and milled on my table saw to finish the edges of the plywood frame.

The only purchased parts were a 2'X4' piece of 1/2" MDF and 3 sets of drawer slides for the drawers. Note that the drawers holding lathe tools have open bottoms. This is so that they can be left open while working and any chips will fall right through to the floor. With the solid-core door and two cast-iron legs this thing is heavy - no vibration at all while turning.

What timing! I just finished this last month and, when I saw the announcement for LJ's Woodworking Awards, thought this project was just perfect for "One Man's Junk"!

Update:

Well, it has been a few years now. I finished a couple of small projects on the lathe and found a few problems with this setup. The working height was not comfortable, the legs I "liberated" from the dumpster were not tall enough and they kept the lathe from fitting right up against the wall. In addition, the overall length of 82" used up too much wall space in my small shop.

I have been reorganizing my shop this summer and, in order to move the lathe into a more convenient corner, I figured it was time to build a new stand. I shortened the top by almost 20", raised the lathe by about 6" to make a more convenient work height and added a storage shelf underneath the lathe.

I'm still cheap, though. Most of the wood for the new stand came from a waterbed that someone was throwing out. The feet on the stand are mahogany and came from a 4" X 4" board I reclaimed from a skid. A little stain, two coats of spar polyurethane and I think it came out pretty good.

The planes are just stored on the shelf temporarily. Next step is to build them their own cabinet!

Gallery

Comments

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305 Posts
i have so much respect for a man willing to admit he dumpster dives. A tip of the hat and a great looking project
 

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13,709 Posts
Great drawer storage!

Lew
 

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89 Posts
Very nice, gives me some ideas for a much needed lathe stand. My small folding table is overdue for retirement!
 

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1,930 Posts
Great job!

Thanks for the post

Callum
 

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197 Posts
Excellent idea on the drawers. I can see how they would fill up fast if left open.
 

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9 Posts
Good job salvaging the materials for this project. The open bottom drawers is a great idea.
 

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1,076 Posts
Dumpster diving paid off real good, I think the drawers are the real genius in your design. Having the lathe tools that handy is a big bonus. Thanks for sharing.
 

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1,939 Posts
Very nice recycling work!
 

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2,007 Posts
Great salvage job! Love the bottless drawers, great idea to let the shavings go through! And boy does a lathe make a mess!
 

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3,389 Posts
Now that's a hot set-up…nice find and happy turning …Blkcherry
 

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8,142 Posts
I love the storage drawers for your tools. Especially the bottomless drawer concept. Thank you for sharing.
 

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8,861 Posts
A great job of recycling, & I also like the bottomless drawer concept.
 

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989 Posts
i like your open drawer system.
 

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26,886 Posts
Great job. Good luck in the contest.
 

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228 Posts
I like it, and I think I have the same exact lathe. my stand is kind of unique too, mostly because I have space issues. my lathe has a very unusual spindle, it doesnt fit anything, and it is solid, without a morse taper. if yours has the same issue, look on amazon.com for the adapter to 1×8tpi. it is surprisingly heave and well machined part.. it surprised me, and it makes this lathe much more useful, with chucks and faceplates
 

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1,157 Posts
Oh my! It has been over 4 years since I posted my first project here!

Well, time marches on and I had to make some changes to this lathe stand.
 
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