Can one person set up a lathe?

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Forum topic by greatview posted 12-28-2017 03:46 PM 1224 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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135 posts in 3769 days

12-28-2017 03:46 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question lathe

I’m thinking of replacing my antique Delta lathe with a Laguna 18 36 or something similar but am worried that it may be too heavy for me to setup. The Laguna has a weight of over 400 pounds. I can manage 100 or more but certainly not 400 plus. Most of the similar lathes are comprised of several pieces that look manageable for a one person installation.

Thoughts? Thanks

-- Tom, New London, NH

18 replies so far

View Wildwood's profile


2796 posts in 2746 days

#1 posted 12-28-2017 04:08 PM

Two men would make life easier but you may be able to do it by yourself. I assembled my jet 1640 all by myself. Delivery man put one big box on shop floor for me. Not sure how your new lathe is boxed. We have a few Laguna lathe owner here hope they chime in and give you their advice.

-- Bill

View marshallLaw's profile


20 posts in 1411 days

#2 posted 12-28-2017 04:18 PM

You should be able to do it. Just attach one leg to one end and then lift up the other end and put the other leg on. It helps to have something to support the bed as you secure the second leg AND as was mentioned it’s always easier with an extra pair of hand.

View Jeff's profile


516 posts in 3806 days

#3 posted 12-28-2017 04:30 PM

When I got my Grizzly 0766 I was just able to lift the headstock onto the bed. But getting the bed up on the legs was another story. Too heavy for me. Luckily I had a helper (bought her dinner after). Someone suggested an engine hoist. It all depends on what you’re comfortable lifting.

View Steve's profile


82 posts in 1622 days

#4 posted 12-28-2017 04:33 PM

One of the most unexpectedly useful tools in my shop is a fold-up engine hoist. I removed a couple of engines with mine, but found it also comes in handy in situations like this. I took this about a year ago when I finally replaced my contractor saw with a cabinet:

-- ~Steve

View Greg the Cajun Wood Artist's profile

Greg the Cajun Wood Artist

492 posts in 1554 days

#5 posted 12-28-2017 04:33 PM

Tom…If you are able to put eye bolts in your ceiling it is an easy way to accomplish moving and installing your new lathe.

I’ve set up some seriously heavy tools by myself by using a chain hoist and a mobile cart. I put heavy duty eye bolts in numerous locations throughout my shop and it had made life easy moving heavy items around.

-- Wood for projects is like a good Fart..."better when you cut it yourself" Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does

View DS's profile


3360 posts in 3032 days

#6 posted 12-28-2017 04:35 PM

It could be time to buy a six-pack and introduce yourself to the neighbors.
It’s probably cheaper than the doctor’s co-payment.

That being said, I set up my 300lb Jet JWL-1642EVS by myself. Slid one end off the pickup bed and set up the leg, then did the other. Wasn’t too fun.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2139 posts in 774 days

#7 posted 12-28-2017 05:17 PM

Bill said: Two (or more) men would make life easier (and SAFER) – Wildwood


-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

View hairy's profile


3004 posts in 4143 days

#8 posted 12-28-2017 06:09 PM

Maybe you could attach the legs to the bed, with the the bed upside down on the floor. It might be easier if you put the bed on 2×4”s for a little room under. Stand it up on the legs and everything slides onto the bed.

A motorcycle jack makes it real nice. Jack it up and bolt on the legs, then set it down. A good floor jack will do the same, if it has enough base to be stable.

-- Genghis Khan and his brother Don, couldn't keep on keeping on...

View LesB's profile


2320 posts in 4054 days

#9 posted 12-28-2017 06:16 PM

I used my compact John Deere tractor to assemble my Powermatic.

-- Les B, Oregon

View TheDane's profile


5729 posts in 4274 days

#10 posted 12-28-2017 06:43 PM

I set my Nova DVR 2024 up by myself. The 2024 isn’t quite as heavy as the Laguna, but would have been more of a challenge without my pneumatic table and a bottle jack.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View LeeMills's profile


692 posts in 1912 days

#11 posted 12-28-2017 07:14 PM

If you have open rafters one of the easiest methods may be with a come-a-long. Not sure how you will move it once assembled if you need to.
Pretty cheap for the work they do.

-- We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

View alittleoff's profile


545 posts in 1888 days

#12 posted 12-30-2017 10:11 PM

Don’t think you would have a problem with it. Just use your head and think about it. I’m always doing stuff like that by myself with pry bars, pulleys 4×4’s and jacks. One thing I do know, that one of those 18-36 lathes will some day sit in my shop if I live long enough. Really like the looks of them.

View Bill7255's profile


428 posts in 2896 days

#13 posted 12-30-2017 11:42 PM

Two people are much better. Here is Laguna’s video on the setup

-- Bill R

View Paul Mayer's profile

Paul Mayer

1089 posts in 3677 days

#14 posted 12-31-2017 04:24 AM

I’ve set up an 1836 and a 2436 by myself and it wasn’t a big deal. If you can lift 100 pounds you’ll be fine; you never have to dead lift 400 pounds. The only hard part is hoisting up the frame after the legs are attached. Here’s the trick to that:

That’s the 2436 in the video, and that ways over 500 pounds all-in. The headstock and tailstock are installed after standing it up, so your probably only hoisting about 350, and considerably less with the 1836. With a long enough lever it wasn’t too bad.

-- Paul Mayer,

View TDSpade's profile


119 posts in 3027 days

#15 posted 12-31-2017 05:36 AM

I put my new Jet 719600 JWL-1840EVS Lathe together with an engine hoist, this last march. I bought the engine hoist at Harbor Freight. The Jet lathe came with the head stock, tail stock, banjo, tool rest, all installed on the the bed and locked down. With 2 straps also bought at harbor freight, I was able to pick up the complete bed assembly, and install the legs. That engine hoist was worth every penny.

-- For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert.

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