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Proper Lathe Height

Bob G's picture

I just received a new Rikon mini-lathe for Christmas and need to build a stand/cabinet for it. I want to use the cabinet top to mount either the lathe or my miter saw. What is the proper height of the lathe tool rest, say in relation to my elbow at rest? I am not too concerned about the miter saw height, since it's in use for a relatively short time compared to turning.

BruceS's picture

(post #112652, reply #1 of 6)

You answered your own question :-)  Average position of the spindle is elbow height.

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


Bruce S. 


 

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

Bruce S. 

 

charlie b's picture

(post #112652, reply #2 of 6)

Centerline between centers is a nice height = for spindle turning. But if he gets a chuck and starts hollowing - plates/platters, bowls, turned lidded boxes and other "hollow forms", all of which can be done on a mini - if it's anything like the JET mini - elbow height is too low. That would require bending over, supporting most of your upper body with your lower back. THAT'S NOT GOOD FOR YOUR BACK.

I built my mini lathe bench at spindle turning height and now wish I'd made it higher. I can elevate myself a lot easier than lowering myself (I hate digging holes, especially in a concrete floor)

http://web.hypersurf.com/~charlie2/Turning/CBlatheBench/CBLatheBench1.html

charlie b
WARNING: TURNING IS ADDICTIVE!

Bob G's picture

(post #112652, reply #3 of 6)

Thanks for all the input and I agree with your philosophy on measuring. I plan on using a Rockler bolt together stand with 1/2" plywood skins on the sides and back, a couple of drawers and putting the whole thing on a mobile base. By definition, there is some "dead " space at the bottom of the Rockler stand. I think that's where I'll put my lead shot bags.


I will use the leveling pads from the stand on the mobile base to make sure everything is stable befor I start turning.


Thanks again,


Bob


bob.gerenser@sbcglobal.net

BruceS's picture

(post #112652, reply #4 of 6)

Yes, you are correct in the heights you mentioned.   I said," Average height".  My spindle is actually 3" above my elbow which is good for me,  as I do a lot of bowls.  I have a "Deck Grate" platform that I use when doing spindles.

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


Bruce S. 


 

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

Bruce S. 

 

Bob G's picture

(post #112652, reply #5 of 6)

Well, thanks again, but you raise another question. Why do you want the spindle higher for bowl turning vs spindle turning?

BruceS's picture

(post #112652, reply #6 of 6)

Higher spindle/chuck height on bowls is more comfortable for me, along with the way I hold the gouges.  On spindle turning I like it lower because often I have the tool tucked into my side for more stability and control.   Also being just a bit taller than Jack Daniel and Napolean,  And that my Lathe has non adjustable cast iron legs,  I found out my turning likes by accident.

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


Bruce S. 


 

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

Bruce S.