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Thread: Roll around lathe

  1. #1

    Roll around lathe

    Hi everyone

    I am probably putting the cart WAY ahead of the proverbial horse, but I'm trying to do some advance planning on my upcoming lathe purchase. I 'm not sure if I can place it against a wall out of the way from the rest of the stuff in the garage, and I won't be home for another couple of weeks when I can take actual measurements.

    If I can't I'm going to have to be able to move it around and I'm thinking that something like a delta DJ20 jointer rolling base would do the job. I'm leaning toward building my own stand and really loading it down with sand for stability, but that is going to make moving it around difficult. Hence the rolling base idea. But then I worry that turning will be uncomfortable if I can't get close enough to the lathe and I won't be able to slip my feet underneath like I could with a lathe in a normal setup. Anyone here have
    their lathes on a mobile base? Looking forward to your suggestions/comments


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Jay, my Craftsman lathe is on a wooden stand that the previous owner cobbled together (think sawhorse made of 4x4s with a 2x8 for the horizontal), and I mounted casters at the four corners. I bolted pieces of 2x2 steel angle iron horizontally to tie the legs together on both sides, and bolted the casters to the steel. I'll try to get some pics of it later. (I'll have to clear away all the junk that's piled around the lathe.)

    My lathe is sitting on padded carpet, so it doesn't roll real easily. (I don't even bother locking the casters.) Still, I can move it around if I need to. It's also surprisingly stable with unbalanced blanks, partly due to the flex in the stand. I usually try to get my blanks fairly round to start with on the bandsaw, so I haven't really pushed the off-balance limits. My setup is less than ideal, but I've been able to produce decent stuff with it. answer your question, yes, there are ways to put your lathe on a mobile base. You'll potentially lose a little bit of stability with unbalanced blanks, but it's definitely doable. The type of base will depend on the lathe to a certain extent. A Jet mini would be easier than a PM 3520.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  3. #3
    If you go it on your own, check out Burden Surplus Center for casters. They have a lot of heavy duty casters at decent prices. I would have bought a set, but found a super duty set at my local Habitat Restore. I think they have more grease fittings than a dump truck

    My lathes are going to be on wheels as well - using the above casters. Just don't have the room otherwise.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Rio Rancho, NM
    Jay, our Atlas is on a mobile base from Delta, it's the 50-345. You purchase the lift mechanism and the four corners, then insert 1-1/2" box steel in the length and width you want to fit the machine. The lift mechanism unlocks the "steer" casters (two are fixed), maneuver it to where you want it, then lock down the casters. It doesn't go anywhere.

    Nancy (97 days)
    Nancy Laird
    FWW Registered Voter and Voting Member
    Woodworker, turner, laser engraver; RETIRED!!

    A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to his country for an amount of 'up to and including my life.' If you love your country, thank a vet.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    37 5'16.25"N 7625'28.11"W

    I've got the same problem, a 1 car garage and way too many machines. My Delta 1460 lathe is on a mobile base as I need to roll it outside to turn. The best bases I've found are the 1200lb models at Northern tools for $42.99. They have 3.5" steel wheels that roll over small cracks and debris without getting hung up. The only drawback is they are only 17in. Wide x 21 1/2in. Long at the max, but the spreaders are 1 1/4" steel tubing which you can get at any steel supplier. You usually have to buy it as a 25' length, but I haven't found it a problem as I just store it until I need to make another base. I think the lathe used about 17' anyway so there wasn't a lot left over anyway. If I recall the tubing ran me about $60. So for about $100 you can have a custom fitted base. I welded mine together because it was quick, but you could just as easily bolt it together like the original.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #6
    Thanks everyone, I appreciate the input, you've given me a lot of stuff to work with !


  7. #7
    Jay, a lathe on wheels is not a bad idea and it is a lot more convenient when you can use it out in the open and not slammed up against a wall or in a corner. I built a stand for my lathe, I (like you said) wanted to stand close with my feet under the lathe... (no offence Mike but that style of roller mount would get in the way for my standing up close and personal to the lathe and would trip me when I worked) The footprint is the key to stability with lathes, Not weight, Although the added cabinets full of chisels and other tools does add weight, it is not necessary as long as the weight is spread wide with the feet. I thought long and hard about my stand and considered the heavy cast legs of the lathes in the schools where I taught, as well as the lathes mounted to work benches (without undercuts or open bottoms). There needs to be a place for your feet, If you stand too far back, it starts to work on your back, sholders, and neck muscles. At my age I need to take care of these weakening aspects of my tired old body. Here is a picture of the cabinet w/drawers that hold the chisels and a cabinet for other goodies, as you can see 3" rubber wheels carry it whereever I want and it has not yet poised a problem of rolling out from under me whilst I work. (If that does become a problem I will replace the casters with locking casters.)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails P1000664a.jpg  

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    here`s another idea.....why not use the two casters at one end and a johnston bar for moving it around? that set up would be fairly straightforward to rig up and there are quite a few folks who don`t like their minimax johnston bars that come with the mm16`s.
    Last edited by tod evans; 09-16-2007 at 03:23 PM. Reason: spellin` again......of course
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Brentwood, TN
    Hi Jay,

    I have both of my lathes on casters with no problems. I simply drilled a hole in the ends of the legs...
    Member; Society of American Period Furniture Makers

  10. #10
    OK Tod, there you go using technical terms and those of us who pushed papers and talked for a living don't have a clue!

    Is that like the mobility kit that comes with a Laguna BS? I have a long handle with two wheels and a "prong" that I put into a "goesinto" on the saw to move it around.

    Yeah, that is a good idea, I'll have to go to a metal shop to get another "goesinto" welded up -- otherwise I'll have to get a welder, angle grinder etc and then learn how to weld before I build the bench. Either that or take the parts to Stu and have him do it,but............... no frequent flyer points!


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