Turning Archive 2005

Lathe Tool storage and ballast box *PIC*

steve antonucci
>To answer the "where and how" of tools storage, here is what I've come up with...

For starters, I have had a Nova 3000 for a few years and I bought the cast iron legs for it about 2-3 years ago. My guess is that the whole assembly is about 400# "naked". My original ballast box was on the lower section of the legs, but it created two issues. The first issue was that I couldn't clean up underneath the lathe at all. The second issue was one of physics. The lathe gets to most benefit from having the mass close to the headstock, so I decided to move the shelf to the location you currently see. About a year ago, I added a bottom to the box, and filled it with gravel (100#'s or so). The shelf also holds the battery to my rowboat, a 60# bag of water softener salt, driveway salt, and another headstock for my Nova. All totalled, another 200# on the shelf. Estimated weight of lathe= 700#.

Now I used to store my turning tools on the tablesaw top just to the rigt of the lathe, but I got tired of clearing it every time I needed to cut something, so I added the storage on the tailstock end. It is nothing more than a piece of 2x4, screwed into a piece of MDF with holes drilled in it for the tools. The whole thing is screwed into the ballast box. Tools are always at hand, and I have made sure that I store the longer tools toward the back, so that I can easily remove the tailstock (which typically ends up on the tablesaw...)

Additional notes: If you look at the leg on the right, you'll see a few super magnets. They are really handy for holding the chuck keys, allan wrenches, and such.


P.S. Wire closet shelving above the lathe has greatly reduced the amount of shavings above the lathe. 95% fall through.

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