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lathe table


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I need a table for my new(old) lathe with rear motor and bullgear....question is should i build the table out of steel or wood.. i work at a steel fabricator so the steel would be much cheaper but im thinking wood would be better looking for the age of the lathe (1939).. any opinions or plans that would help with my decision making processes???

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can't really offer any advice as to which would be better. I've got a steel workbench set aside for the lathes when I get to actually setting up the "machine shop corner" part of the shop (number 10, 11, and 13 on the list right now). 3/8" top with storage compartments underneath. If your interested I could snap a few pictures/grab a few measurements for ya. It's still sitting outside right now so I won't have to move anything to get a good picture. :)
-Aaron @ the SCF

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is this a hobby lathe? if the machine is going to be torqued heavy then build as massive heavy base as you can, wood will absorb vibration better, but is subject to twisting more than metal. I don't too often make shop equipment for looks, its what is on hand and the application.

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I made a stand for my SB 10K light 10" from 2" black pipe and some angle iron. Where the lathe footprint sits i added some 1/2" plate in that area to drill the legs into. I also made a sheetmetal chip pan.

I also just made a stand for my SB10L heavy 10" using 4" sq tube for the legs and the top/chip pan is formed channel from 3/8" plate 20" wide to give it strength. The channel is turned upside down with the ears down. I don't have a pic yet of that one as its still in my shop...Bob
Pic 1 2" pipe stand. SB10K
Pic 2 Rack and swing out tool holder.
Pic 3 Chip pan, and the belt dosen't rub when its tight.




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Here are 5 more pics. All of my pics can be found here for all of my projects.

southbend10k : SouthBendLathe10k and lathe projects. and southbend10kpics : southbend 10k pics

Remember you will need to get to the leg bolts and motor plate bolts so make it as easy as possible. And there is a 2x3 steel tube running between the angles of the legs directly under the lathe...Bob






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  • 3 weeks later...

It is highly possible to slightly twist / flex a lathe bed. If not securely mounted and leveled the lathe will cut a slight taper on longitudinal cuts. The longer the cut, the worse the taper. If not securely mounted vibrations could tend to cause unwanted chatter marks in the finish.

BTW: My lathes beds are all securely bolted to shop's thick concrete floor; occasionally I have to level them again as winter's frost gets under the concrete, gets them out of kilter, and the taper problem shows itself again. These conditions may not play too big a role in a hobby shop, but they can wreak havoc on a job shop like mine where tight tolerances are held or final work is rejected.

Just a couple more things to consider about lathes

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