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Building a lathe stand

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  • Building a lathe stand

    Picked up a 6" atlas the other day and I am wanting to build a bench for it since the table the came with it takes up to much room in the garage so I'm looking for something with a smaller foot print. I like the one in the pictures i post. The stand In the pictures was built from 4"x6" 1/4" wall tubing. I don't have any of that hanging around so I am wondering what I can use for the frame. Would like to try and keep the cost on the low side. I was thinking of using 2"x2" or 2"x3" 3/16" or 1/4" wall tubing think this would be rigid enough using one of the materials list above that the bed would remain from twisting? if not I would appreciate any suggestions on what material to use.

    Also I am trying to think of a way to mount the counter shaft and the motor with out adding much depth to the to the stand. Any ideas or information would be appreciated

    here are links to the pictures from the hobart forum:


  • #2
    One 1/4" wall thickness tube would work but would be too heavy as far as I'm concerned.
    2X2X1/16" would work just fine if you feel you need to go thicker I wouldn't go thicker then 1/8" wall.

    Two reasons for this opinion. One the lathe is not strong enough to produce forces that would require such a table nor is it too heavy on its own. Two the table is going to be relatively small so the tubes will actually be very rigid all things considered.

    I had a 1929 south bend that was mounted to a 2x4 wood work bench it lasted me a few years and I pasted it along to a good friend and he still has it set up in his garage. So if 2X4 construction would work so will 2X2X1/16" steel tube. Doo your self a favor though. How ever you design it make the mounts for the feet of the lathe in such a way that you can slide a baking sheet under the bed of the lathe. Makes clean up easy.

    As for the counter shaft. My 1929 was the same basic design and it was mounted on a 24" wide table. so it is narrow you just need to tuck everything up tight. and you can cut the belt shorter too.
    Pm me I'll send you pics.

    The other thing is that machine base was built by someone with too much money and time. It's very nice though. Just a lot of work for something that is going to get soaked in oil. Oh and you never put drawers under the machine. Those will be filled full of chips in no time.
    Last edited by kcstott; 01-29-2011, 11:55 AM.


    • #3
      I'm thinking that that might be uncomfortable. The way it puts your feet back might have you leaning over and reaching a little. I remember a teacher saying that you want a somewhat "athletic" stance at the lathe.


      • #4
        I noticed that too and planned on changing it so it wasn't like that. Maybe by making the front legs straight or have a very small angle to them and possibly moving the position of the lathe forward some.


        • #5
          I would go as heavy as you can on the base to help with vibrations. I went with 1/8" because i had it on hand but if i ever do another one it will be thicker tube...Bob


          • #6
            I was thinking about adding some bracing between the 2 supports the come up and hold the lathe. Maybe run a piece of 6"x3/8" flat bar i have hanging around between the to supports. This piece would be under the chip tray but above any other drawers i add.


            would you recommend using smaller thicker tubing or larger thinner tubing? for example 3"x2" 3/16" vs 4"x2" 1/8" or 2"x2" 1/4" vs 3"x3" 1/8". Any suggestion about if I should use rectangular tubing or square? Only wanna spend around $100ish on a stick of metal for the stand and I haven't found someone in the area to get metal for cost so last time i got prices quoted it came out to about a $1 a lb.


            • #7
              I'd go back and read kcstott's advice again. A little 6" Atlas lathe just isn't going to have much flex in it, especially if it isn't one of their longer bed models. Use what you have in the shop now and get to making chips.
              Last edited by WyoRoy; 01-29-2011, 03:42 PM.


              • #8
                sorry kcstott I missed your post somehow.
                thanks a lot though you told me everything I wanted to know


                • #9
                  It's nice if you can kill vibration. There are old South Bend pamphlets around that talk about filling the base with sand. I never saw it done though.


                  • #10
                    I read that alot of woodworkers put a shelf under the lathe and then lay bags of sand on it to stabilize it. Just a thought...


                    • #11
                      I have a Grizzly 12" lathe. I built a stand for it that is heavier than it needs to be, but it is some stuff I had left over so the price was right. You won't be sorry if you go a little to heavy but you don't want to make it too light. I still get a little vibration if I take a real heavy cut. I know your lathe is better quality than mine but you don't want chatter marks in your work either.Name:  62153dcdfacf0e88f1e015453b9a22a5.jpg
Views: 1
Size:  59.6 KB


                      • #12

                        I've been wondering if it would make much difference in stopping vibration if i through bolted vs tapped. I know i wouldn't be tapping in 16ga but i could weld a thicker plate on for tapping.
                        Last edited by andyman; 01-31-2011, 07:12 PM.


                        • #13
                          I dont think I would put rubber in between. Less vabration the better.


                          • #14
                            Great workmanship !!!

                            Looks like it will last a lifetime.


                            • #15
                              Very unique design, you can never go overkill on mass, for a machine tool. My lathe weighs 1,550 lbs, wish I would have gone bigger.


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