Turning Archive 2005

Delta lathe stand and mobile base update ___*PICS*

Rod Peterson -- Ormond Beach
>Last week I posted a query about mounting my Delta lathe on my old home made stand, building a mobile base, and running my Jet Mini on top of the ways. I never really got a good answer on the Jet part, but I did get some good information on the stand.

Here are a couple of pictures of the finished (so far, maybe) stand and mobile base:

The top of the 2x6 rails is 36" from the floor, the top of the ways is 40" from the floor, and it's 46" from the floor to the centers. At first blush, I find that a little high, but I had the Craftsman tube lathe basically sitting on the 4xs, so it was a little low, I'm sure, and I frequently run the Jet on my Workmutt, which is a little higher but still fairly low—however, that's what I'm used to, so I can't tell yet whether this high is better or not. I'll take any recommendations.. I used to be 5' 10" (I think I'm starting to shrink as I near the third third) but I didn't take any specific measurements such as palm-of-hand or elbow from the floor.

The square tubes in the mobile base are 1¼'" square aluminum that I got from a local salvage yard. They weren't cheap—about $2.30/ft—but they make really sweet (and strong) cross members. I was concerned at first in the planning stage that the front rail would interfere with my stance although I thought it might make a nice foot rest. It turns out neither is the case—it's not at all in my stance and it's too low to be of any comfort as a rest.

Here's a tip for you youngsters out there building a Delta mobile base with metal members—don't try to mark the bolt holes on one side only and drill through. For some reason they don't line up. You have to mark both holes for each bolt, and then drill them separately from their opposite number. I don't know why that is, but I tried to do a single operation on the stand I built for the RAS out of the same material, and I had to hammer the bejeezus out of each bolt to get it through. On the lathe stand they all practically fell into place.

This detail shows the chamfering I did on the 2x6s to keep from collecting chips. Eventually, I'll chamfer the cross members down below, too, but I was interested in getting this all set up and getting the mobile base built and installed, so I didn't take the time to do them. Yes, I'll eventually add some other niceties, such as supports or containers for gravel or sand bags, and I'm going to engineer and build a tool stand of some sort, too.

I roughed out a couple of chunks of material I had floating around. That's a piece of cocobolo sitting on the face plate in the pictures. It was fun to get back into the game, and I got to try out my Trend Airlines face mask/hood I bought several months ago. The battery still had a decent charge in it from my initial charging. I also had the need for a turning smock reinforced. SWMBO's been doing a lot of sewing lately and I've put her on the case.

Some original replies suggested a couple of cross braces, but the stand is fairly stiff as it is, particularly since I shortened it and added the 2x6s. Retightening nuts that hadn't been touched in fifteen years helped a lot. There's probably only so much walloping I'm going to be able to subject this machine to with off balance loads, since it's only a 12" swing—or is that famous last words?

Thanks for the thoughts in the original post and thanks for any comments here.


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