Turning Archive 2004

Horse stall mats at the lathe

Dominic Greco in Richboro PA
>Hello Everyone,

While picking up some mulch at the local feed and seed/garden store (Davis Feed and Seed), I took a moment to examine the horse stall mats they had on hand. I have heard many of your speak highly of their use in the shop and wanted to see how durable they were. They measured 6' long x 4' wide, were about 3/4" thick, and sold for $34.99. So along with the cubic yard of mulch I was "sent" there for, I bought one mat for my shop.

If you're going to try and move them around by yourself, let me warn you first. Those things are HEAVY! Or maybe it was because I waited until all the yard work was done before I tried to move it. But I managed to drag it into the shop and set it up at the lathe.

Let me tell you, it was a real pleasure to work at the lathe with this mat in place! The cushioning made it feel like I was wearing brand new running shoes. I will probably go back and get another for in front of my workbench. Another benefit is that when you vacuum up after turning, the mats will not be "pulled up" by the vacuum (this is a minor annoyance I have with the thinner mats sold by wood working stores).

While I will definitely get more mats for the areas where I stand often, it's not like I'm going to line the entire shop floor. Since I have limited space, all my tools are on mobile bases. And tools don't roll all that well on this springy kind of surface. But still, it sure made a difference at my lathe!

See ya around,

My ugly mug


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