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Thread: Lathe cart

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    NorCal, USA
    Posts
    495

    Lathe cart

    I just bought a Jet 1014VSI Mini Lathe (had too, it was 20% off) and am in the process of purchasing “stuff” to go with it. I ordered a set of HSS chisels and gouges, bought a Super Nova 2 chuck and a 25mm jaw (comes with a 50 mm jaw), set of calipers, and a face shield.

    My “shop” is my half of the garage so all my tools are accordioned together on roller cabinets so I can expand when The Bride moves her car to go to work. I don’t have the floor space for a lathe stand so I will make a cart for the lathe on one end and a grinding station on the other end. I last turned in Jr. High in ’58 and the only thing I remember is that I enjoyed it.

    My question is, what is the ideal height of the axis in relation to body parts (elbow, ribs, sternum, arm pit, etc.). . Right now, it sits on my TS extension table and the axis is about sternum height which seems too high. In pictures, it looks like the axis averages about elbow height. What do you all suggest?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Hardinsburg, KY
    Posts
    277
    Depends a lot on what you are turning, but standing normally with the arm bent at the elbow, the point of the elbow is the starting point. From there you adjust upward until you find the level that is most comfortable for you, your turning style, and what you turn. Spindles you tend to feel more comfortable at a lower level. Hollow forms up a bit from that. Bowls up a bit more. I have one of the highest lathes that I've ever seen even though I'm only 5'7". That's just my style though. Your milage will vary. Enjoy the process.
    Working flat so I can play round,
    Doug Miller

    Repentance Is The
    Prerequisite For
    Gods Forgiveness

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tellico Plains, Tennessee
    Posts
    4,353
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Miller View Post
    Depends a lot on what you are turning, but standing normally with the arm bent at the elbow, the point of the elbow is the starting point. From there you adjust upward until you find the level that is most comfortable for you, your turning style, and what you turn. Spindles you tend to feel more comfortable at a lower level. Hollow forms up a bit from that. Bowls up a bit more. I have one of the highest lathes that I've ever seen even though I'm only 5'7". That's just my style though. Your milage will vary. Enjoy the process.
    Agree with Doug, it will depend on your own comfort zone... I'm just under 6'1" (most of the time I lie and say 6'1"), but I have my cart built so the axis is right at 47"... elbow height when I stand next to it with the arm bent... my Jet1442 is about 1 or 2 inches shorter and still comfortable for me.
    Chuck
    Tellico Plains, TN
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/TellicoTurnings
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
    If you go looking for trouble, it will usually find you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    DSM, IA
    Posts
    5,719
    I agree as well that it is a personal comfort thing....I started out low, went a little higher to elbow level and then a little higher than that.

    I used some 2X and 4X scraps to prop my lathe up and played "air lathe" for a little while figuring it out. Even after that I changed everything...

    Bottom line get it off that TS wing, as you'll need that to stack bowl blanks and rough outs soon enough.

    Make sure to take some pics of what you come up with too.
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
    My Website


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    NorCal, USA
    Posts
    495
    Thanks for the suggestions. I’ll start at elbow height and see how that feels.

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