Lathe stand on casters...yes or no?

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Forum topic by Sawdust2012 posted 03-10-2019 02:09 PM 727 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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177 posts in 2161 days

03-10-2019 02:09 PM

After several weeks of waiting, my Laguna 12/16 finally arrived. Now I need to build a stand for it. Will casters detract from the stability? I plan on adding some sort of ballast for added weight. The mobility would be handy, but not at the expense of stability. Any feedback wold be appreciated.

16 replies so far

View ibewjon's profile (online now)


795 posts in 3241 days

#1 posted 03-10-2019 02:23 PM

I like my lathe anchored to the concrete floor, but my lathe does not move. Other tools are mobile. The lathe feels much more solid to me now that it is anchored. I did use it while deciding where I wanted it. Depends on your needs, we all have different work spaces available.

View Planeman40's profile


1429 posts in 3209 days

#2 posted 03-10-2019 02:33 PM

There shouldn’t be much of a problem if turning small stuff. But on larger turnings you always experience considerable vibration and shaking until the out of balance project is turned to remove the excess and make it round. If you must have a way to roll it around, make it so the casters can be raised or lowered and the lathe can stand on its own feet.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View Kenbu's profile


34 posts in 2329 days

#3 posted 03-10-2019 02:37 PM

You could use side mount casters, either the retractable type or just regular ones mounted so they only contact the floor when one end of the stand is picked up. Either way, the legs would sit solidly on the floor, until you wanted to move the lathe.


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177 posts in 2161 days

#4 posted 03-10-2019 02:39 PM

Thanks! I think the answer may be in those retractable bench casters.

View Lazyman's profile


3666 posts in 1836 days

#5 posted 03-10-2019 02:56 PM

Check out the retractable castors of this design. This could give you the mobility without any of the stability issues.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Sawdust2012's profile


177 posts in 2161 days

#6 posted 03-10-2019 04:39 PM

Good idea, lazy man, but I think the side mounted retractable ones are much simpler for me. I haave a way of messing up stuff with much of a variable for being messed up!

View SignWave's profile


472 posts in 3483 days

#7 posted 03-10-2019 04:57 PM

I have a mini-lathe and a 12” lathe, both on casters. I can’t tell the difference with the mini-lathe, but I’m re-thinking that for my 12” lathe. I have some ballast (logs) on the base, but I still think it would be better mounted to the floor.

-- Barry,

View OSU55's profile


2380 posts in 2438 days

#8 posted 03-10-2019 05:47 PM

I have a Nova Galaxi 16×44 mounted on retractable casters. I had to piece mine together by combining 2 mobile base kits and fabbing parts from them to work. I used 4 pivoting castors. Supporting close to 600# takes more than what is readily available. The lathe lathe actually rests on rubber covered adjustable bolts, with each leg sitting on a corner piece of the mobile base kit. It is rock solid just like the leg supports were on the floor.

View TheDane's profile


5665 posts in 4111 days

#9 posted 03-10-2019 11:10 PM

I have looked at several caster add-ons … the side mount or retractable caster sets look to me like they would be a trip hazard, especially if you have a small shop.

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

View Planeman40's profile


1429 posts in 3209 days

#10 posted 03-11-2019 02:26 AM

Best place to buy good casters cheap is (of course) Harbor Freight.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View moke's profile


1402 posts in 3225 days

#11 posted 03-12-2019 05:22 PM

My shop is all on casters. I have a 18/36 Laguana…it is on their casters. My shop is a 28×38 garage that my wife states that our two expeditions will be housed in. So I set up and move all my equipment into place. I have purchased only double lock caster for everything….that is the secret….GOOD casters. A double lock caster locks both the rolling and swiveling. I generally buy only 4” and above, but prefer 5”.

The Revo 18/36 is on their wheel set. It is a 450lb beast that rolls well with hydraulic cylinders to raise and lower the machine. It rolls exceptionally well…it does take a bigger push to get it to change direction though. As TheDane stated it might be hard on your shins….not really a trip hazard as the are too tall, but I have gotten a bruise or two. So I park my lathe tool stand over the one wheel and push my tool cabinet up to the other.
I also have a 10×22 500 lb metal lathe mounted on a cabinet with 5” casters under it. I widened the width of the stance with angle iron to make it more stable. It definiitely could be a trip hazard, but when it’s in use I have a stands/tables that covers the wheel sets to prevent that and to accommodate tools that are in use for that machine. When its stored, another machine nestles into the front of it.

I guess I really have no choice but to use casters so I just except it, but I have no machines that I consider to be tippy. If you have challenges, adapt with ideas that benefit you both for storage and use. There are many many turners that use a stand with casters.

-- Mike

View Sawdust2012's profile


177 posts in 2161 days

#12 posted 03-12-2019 08:19 PM

Thanks everyone. I never thought about it before, but big casters, a la Moke, will provide a large amount of surface to floor contact. I have used 3” double locks, and they are pretty stable, should be more so with 5”.

View LeeMills's profile


675 posts in 1750 days

#13 posted 03-13-2019 03:39 PM

My concern with casters for a lathe would be vibration. You should have good floor contact but you will also have the shaft (axle?) which could wear over time.
Below is what I did with my tablesaw. It sits on the caster when not in use but I drop it down after I roll it out for using. Lift one end and a light kick with the toe gets the casters out of the way so it sits firmly on the floor. To put away lift one end and pull the cord to get the casters in position.

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

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Bill Berklich

855 posts in 837 days

#14 posted 03-13-2019 04:27 PM

I have a small lathe on casters (here it’s not a problem. But I’m not turning big heavy wood. For mine it works but I use a different caster type/style for a full size machine.

-- Bill - Rochester MI

View moke's profile


1402 posts in 3225 days

#15 posted 03-14-2019 03:40 PM

You may want to consider a compartment in the bottom of your stand, if you are building it that can hold some weight. The heavier it sits the more stable it will be…..that is if you are going to turn bowl from salvage wood that has the potential to be off balance. Like I stated in my earlier post, it still rolls ok if it is heavy, it just requires more of a push when you change direction.

There have been some awesome home built stands on here…maybe just search around.

-- Mike

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