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designing a bench for a lathe

hlh's picture

Anyone out there make a bench for their lathe they really like?  I just bought a nova lathe (3000) used, and without a stand.  I get the basic theory - heavy and solid.  But how did you deal with storage, dust collection, and clean up?  Storage and sand bags both?  put sand bags as near to the spindle as possible? or down toward the feet?  Are casters just out of the question?  (at the moment i'm roughing 15" heavy wet large bowls)


Westchester's picture

Stand (post #170834, reply #1 of 7)

I purchased my lathe new and it came with a sheet metal stand.  I gave the stand to a welder and asked him to make a duplicate stand in 1/4 thick plate steel.  It's a beast and not a drop of vibration.  Before mounting the lathe I used a 3/4 inch ply under the top surface of the stand to further deaden vibration.  No regreats to this day.  Stand in service over 30 years. When I was into turning bowls the lowest speed on mine was 600 RPM - still much to fast but newer machines have speed controls.  A slower speed will serve you better than a rock solid stand for large wet green wood.


RalphBarker's picture

Only 1/4" thick steel plate? ;-) (post #170834, reply #3 of 7)

Sounds like a great stand.

BruceS's picture

lathe dust collecting (post #170834, reply #2 of 7)

Not a whole lot can be done about chip collecting,  but sanding dust can be somewhat controlled by placing a "big gulp" chute behind the piece.

Work Safe,  Count to 10 when your done for the day !!

Bruce S. 


RalphBarker's picture

No expert here, but . . . (post #170834, reply #4 of 7)

 . . . I'll share my thoughts, anyway.

I have an old, light-duty Delta lathe - far too puny to turn bowls of the size you are working on. But, it does sit on a heavy steel table that is supported by cast iron legs. With a couple of bags of Quik-Crete on the bottom, it's pretty stable.

I like Westchester's suggestion of a plywood spacer between the lathe base and the table to dampen vibration.

As to casters, I've seen heavy-duty ones that are cranked into position, but have a solid base for the machine to rest on during operation. That type of caster would allow occasional movement, with some effort. I've also seen "creative" designs that use a pair of scissor jacks to raise the base onto casters. The right approach, I suppose, depends on the total weight of the machine.

hlh's picture

Thanks all of you for the (post #170834, reply #5 of 7)

Thanks all of you for the ideas.  having a welder do it sounds great, but beyond me, so I'm thinking 4x4 frame/legs, m&t joints and a built in for tools.  Plywood for dampening is interesting  - i actually have some heavy duty rubber pads - maybe i'll try them....

appreciate it!

RalphBarker's picture

Angles? (post #170834, reply #6 of 7)

Some years back, I made a wooden base for an old, second-hand lathe. I angled the legs like an "A" shape to make it more sturdy, while keeping the top relatively narrow.

mgreco's picture

Designing a bench for a lathe (post #170834, reply #7 of 7)

I just got a Nova DVR and made a bench based on the workbench that Fine Woodworking has on the sister site Start Woodworking. The bench is solid. I used the dimensions in the Teknatool manual that can be found on their website on pg 10. I combined the plans and put it on a mobile stand. Put the bottom shelf a bit lower. I also made the top 2.25 inches thick. It is solid doesn't vibrate and I haven't put sand in the stand. It is solid.

if you would like I can post some pics.