View Poll Results: Have you added weight to your lathe stand

28. You may not vote on this poll
  • No it worked fine when I set it up

    15 53.57%
  • Yes I added weight and noticed an improvement

    10 35.71%
  • I just added weight when I set it up so I don't know if it made a difference

    3 10.71%
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Thread: Do you put additional weight in your lathe stand

  1. #1

    Do you put additional weight in your lathe stand

    In this post, Bill Simpson shares his views about not needing to put weight in a lathe stand if it is properly designed.

    What has been your experience?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    I am far from a lathe expert, don't even consider myself a goes my expierience.

    Some of you may remember my Oliver 159 lathe restoration a year and a half ago. I had no idea what I was getting into and asked a lot of questions. One was adding was suggested to not do it because if there was not enough weight in the lathe it would "hop" around the shop. I really wanted my lathe to be mobile so I added the casters anyway....the thing never hops a bit, super smooth as a matter of fact.

    So....I didn't add any extra weight to the old Oliver and it performed perfectly.....I'm not sure what the effects would be on a smaller lathe since the Oliver is pretty heavy to begin with. But in my eyes the fellas that designed my old Oliver had it designed right, in the first place.
    A very wise man once said.......
    "I'll take my chances with Misseurs Smith and Wesson. "

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    i just bolted mine to the floor....
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by tod evans View Post
    i just bolted mine to the floor....
    nothing like adding the whole floor to the bottom of your I woudn't think that is overkill
    A very wise man once said.......
    "I'll take my chances with Misseurs Smith and Wesson. "

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Ash View Post
    nothing like adding the whole floor to the bottom of your I woudn't think that is overkill

    And the floor is attched to? I think the earth is a big enough mass!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Coastal plain of North Carolina
    When I built my lathe stand I built it from laminated 2X material. The headstock end was laminated 2X12's splayed to the rear to form a 28" wide base. The tailstock end was laminated 2X10's and was significantly less splayed.

    Between them I built a box out of 2X6's with a 3/4" plywood lid. The 2X6's are lap jointed or through mortised into the legs. I did not put sand in this box as some recommend but use it to store all kinds of accessories for the lathe. This box is about 6 inches off the floor. The lid lifts and I store all kinds of stuff on top of the box lid.

    The top of my bench is laminated from 4 layers of 3/4" plywood edged in QSRO. The top is supported by 2X6"s which connect the legs via lap joints.

    Lastly I made a provision to hang up to 4 45 pound barbell weights on both ends to provide additional mass. My bench has a lot of gravity; sorta like me.

    I have swung 15" diameter cherry blanks 8" thick without a wiggle. I believe in more mass equals more stability and so do most of the turners out there. I cannot have vibration and instability and do the box work I do.

    About the only thing I did wrong when building my bench and setting the height which is very comfortable for me was to take into consideration having more clearance under the lathe ways for removing chips.
    I may be getting a little older physically but mentally I'm still tarp as a shack.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Oak Harbor Washington on Whidbey Island
    I don't agree completely with Bill. I have my Dad's old Craftsman lathe that looks like the tube style lathe you show in one of your pictures. The lathe stand is made of angle iron wide enough at the top for the lathe to mount to & the legs splayed out from there to 30" or more at the bottom & splayed out from the ends of the top outward on each end 10 to 12 degrees with the legs cut to set flat on the floor. Even then if the wood wasn't perfectly rounded up & balanced the stand would vibrate & might even move a little on the floor.
    However when needing a stand for my Delta lathe & not having a lot of money at the time I build this stand out of what I had on hand. & it doesn't vibrate or move at all & I have maybe $20 in it.

    I will be making a new lathe stand with ballast in the bottom up to the same weight as I have in this stand but with wheels & drawers.
    Last edited by Bart Leetch; 10-10-2007 at 10:52 PM.
    "Forget the flat stuff slap something on the spinny thing and lets go, we're burning daylight" Bart Leetch
    "If it ain't round you may be a knuckle dragger""Turners drag their nuckles too, they just do it at a higher RPM"Bart

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    I made a big stonking stand, and I put a LOT of weight on it, and it is ROCK steady, and I've turned some LARGE, well, 14" WAY out of balance chunks, and it was great, I'd put a box, down low, a bit to the back, not exactly centered, so you have some feet room, and put bags of dry sand in it. Don't open the bags, because, if you ever need to move the stand or such, it is a lot easier to remove bags of sand, than handfuls

    Lathe Stand building page

    the pic is back a while ago, see no extension bed yet, but the stand is much the same, and works well.

    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    DSM, IA
    I raised and widened the base of my lathe, but I think I see what Bill was saying. I only made it wider at the bottom. If I would have remade the legs splayed out it would be more stable. What I did helped though. I will be adding sand to it though as a 14" out of balance hunk of maple was kinda scary to turn until I hacked off a little. I do see you point, but my lathe will not be moving around so I figure more weight can't hurt?
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
    My Website

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    The qualification...."if it is properly designed."
    Could be open to a whole whoop of intreptations.
    My Grizzly did just fine as it came on a heavy, stamped steel, frame. But, it sure would do a Tango with unbalanced 40-50 pound chunks of wood at 600 rpm. I put 120 pounds of sand on a shelf across the bottom. The whole unit just smoothed out something delightful. But, I still don't/won't do those big chunks.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

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