Turning Archive 2005

JKJ Tool Tray *PIC*

John K Jordan
>This is slightly related to another thread, Lathe Tool Storage: “Looking for ideas. Would some of you please post photo's of your lathe tool storage? Racks, cabinets, whatever. Ted”

Here is something I'd hate to work without but I haven't seen anywhere else. I think one should come with every new lathe. (Sorry if everyone else here has one of these and I just don’t know about it)

This is not for tool STORAGE, but for setting down tools and keeping them within easy reach while working. I use it just to keep the tools I’m currently working with handy, plus a bit of sandpaper or two.

I've seen people lay the tools down on the lathe bed where they are balanced precariously and risk rolling to the floor. I’ve also watched people waste a lot of time reaching to a rack to pull and return the same tools over and over, or turn around repeatedly to place and retrieve tools from a table or cart behind them.

This little tray fits into the slot that runs down the center of the lathe bed. It took about 15 minutes to make – a piece of plywood for the tray, some hardwood strips screwed to the sides to keep tools from rolling off, and a block trimmed to fit loosely into the slot on the bed. I covered the surface of the plywood with a scrap of industrial carpet held into place with some double-sided tape. (I also fastened a piece of carpet on the top of the lathe head to aid in arm support on occasion or to make a handy spot to place little things, but that’s another story!)

Since the block underneath is fairly deep it holds the tray securely but it is not too snug so the tray still slides back and forth and is easy to remove. I move it in front or behind the tailstock as appropriate.

I haven’t shown this to anyone yet, but I described it to David Marks this weekend and he said he might make one. (Of course, his will be made of olive wood with ebony accents, hand-cut dovetailed joints, with Persian rug on the top and a gold leaf finish on the sides.)

JKJ in East TN
(Not the other John Jordan)

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