Making a Stand for a Metalworking Lathe
For many hobbyists who enjoy metalworking, having your own work area is important. Some metalworking equipment, like a metalworking lathe, are table top type power tools. Buying stands for these tools can be expensive. An alternative to buying a stand is to build your own. In most cases, the stands are not only less expensive, but also much stronger and will last longer.
Building your own metalworking lathe stand will also help you to customize it for your own needs and include different features that other existing lathe stands will not have.
•3/4" plywood sheet
Decide on the height of your lathe stand. To help you determine this, use different boxes, or stands of varying heights. See which one feels like a more natural position to work in. If you have to stoop too far over you can start having problems with your back. However, if the stand is too high, you will have to arch your back the other way. Find a comfortable position and plan your metalworking lathe stand accordingly.
Cut four 2x4's to the desired length. Make sure they are all even lengths and straight. You don't want to have a rocking lathe stand. A stable, level work area will help you produce better metalworking projects.
While you are cutting out pieces for your stand, cut out four lengths of lumber for support of the table top. Measure the length of your metalworking lathe and add 12 inches to the overall length. This is the length you will cut the 2x4.
Cut out two ends to frame your lathe stand. Measure the width of your lathe, and add a few inches to each side.
Attach the four 2x4's, two on each side, to the top of the legs and the end pieces. You should have a rectangle held up by four even legs.
Cut out a piece of 3/4" plywood to fit the top of your lathe stand. Attach with wood screws.
Once you have the stand top on the stand, you can mount the metalworking lathe to the top by bolting to the the table top. Drill holes through the top the same diameter as the mounting holes on the lathe.
Use metal bolts, washers, and nuts to secure the lathe to the top of the metalworking lathe stand.
Take some time to reinforce any joints with metal corner brackets. These brackets will help to keep the wooden metalworking lathe stand from shifting and coming loose with constant use.
Protect the wood stand with a coating of sealer. You do not have to finish it unless that is your desire. However, protecting the wood will help to preserve it for a longer period of time.