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Bench for SouthBend Lathe

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Phil3

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I need a better bench for my old SouthBend 9" lathe, Model A, 4-1/2 bed. It weighs 465 lbs. I think. Do you think it is possible to build a roll around cart out of wood to support the lathe and keep it stable? The lathe is currently mounted to a long piece of heavy 12" wide steel channel, with a welded on piece for the rear mounted motor assembly. I could use that on top of a cart. This steel piece weighs about 200 - 250 lbs. as I recall. It currently sits on a leg arrangement that is awful.

I cannot weld (for a steel table), do not know anyone who is willing to do that for me (except to hire someone), nor have access to a truck or SUV (short of renting one when needed), and no trailer hitch. Best if I can create something in my garage. I may be able to muster a friend or two to move the steel top (hopefully).

Thanks for your thoughts.

Phil
 

Al 1

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Phil, In my opinion a roll around cart would not be as stable as leaving your lathe stationary. Wood will expand and contract more than steel.
Is your floor solid and is it flat. With a roll around you may have to adjust / shim every time it is moved. This would be a P.I.T.A. Try and find a location that you can leave it. and build a solid as possible bench. Al.
 

tjb

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In my opinion, you need a fairly heavy duty metal stand to allow for the necessary stability. A few years ago, I made a rolling stand for a Smithy Granite 3-in-1 that weighed approximately 650 pounds. I can only show you a picture that focused more on the Smithy than the stand, but it was quite adequate. I have since sold the Smithy, but no way was I going to part with that stand. It has been re-purposed more than once. As noted above, stability is unquestionably essential for the South Bend, and I don't think you'll get it out of wood. I also made a rolling workbench with a 1" top. It is very heavy (weighs close to 500 lbs.) but is likely overkill for your needs (see photos).

Perhaps you could find an H-M member near you that may help you out with welding a stand. In the grand scheme of things, if you need it to be mobile, you need to build it heavy enough to provide adequate stability, and my opinion metal is the only way to achieve that. If that's not practical, I think you need to just keep it stationary.

IMG_0787.JPG20141110-01.JPG20141110-13.JPG

Regards,
Terry
 

RJSakowski

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I need a better bench for my old SouthBend 9" lathe, Model A, 4-1/2 bed. It weighs 465 lbs. I think. Do you think it is possible to build a roll around cart out of wood to support the lathe and keep it stable? The lathe is currently mounted to a long piece of heavy 12" wide steel channel, with a welded on piece for the rear mounted motor assembly. I could use that on top of a cart. This steel piece weighs about 200 - 250 lbs. as I recall. It currently sits on a leg arrangement that is awful.

I cannot weld (for a steel table), do not know anyone who is willing to do that for me (except to hire someone), nor have access to a truck or SUV (short of renting one when needed), and no trailer hitch. Best if I can create something in my garage. I may be able to muster a friend or two to move the steel top (hopefully).

Thanks for your thoughts.

Phil
I used steel stands for all of my machines. You can certainly build a bench from wood that will be sturdy enough to support the lathe. But as the previous posters pointed out, wood changes with temperature and humidity. For some simple turning, this may not be an issue but if you want to do any precision lathe work, you will be constantly retuning your alignment. A compromise may be to use your 12" channel as a base but secure it loosely to the wood bench. I would use three mounting points; two under the headstock and one under the tailstock. This will reduce any twisting the might be caused by wood warping.
I realize that you said you don't have welding capability but it would seriously stiffen the channel if you could bridge the flanges of the channel at periodic intervals along its length. I would minimally use 1/4" x 2" or 3" strap for the bridge. 3/8" would be better. The strap could be used to mount the channel to the wood bench which would lessen the tendency to twist with wood warping. The cost for having a welding shop do this shouldn't be too bad.
 
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Phil3

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Thanks for the replies. I wanted mobility as I need to reorganize the garage shop and may need to move the lathe (and mill) more than once. Given the extreme difficulty of securing the resources and help to do this, moving even this relatively light equipment is a very big deal. It is extremely frustrating and limiting. I do acknowledge the benefits of a strong, solid steel base as a major plus, even if humidity is low in my eastern of the San Francisco bay area..

RJ's idea of reinforcing the existing steel top to secure it to the wood bench is interesting, but it requires I remove the lathe as well as handling (and transporting) the heavy table, none of which I have the ability to do. I got the table and lathe together in the first place through a difficult series of steps, which I really cannot repeat.

I will abandon the wood bench/cart idea and try to come up with another plan for a proper steel support structure and a way to make it happen.

Thank you.

Phil
 
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Phil3

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I am the OP, and said I would try to come up with a different plan for a bench..

Used welding tables are $300 - $600. Ouch! $75 or so for the rental of a Home Depot truck or van to transport, and $260 for the purchase of a fold-up engine hoist to move the table and lathe. $735. A lot just to get an ancient lathe on a different table. I can use the hoist for moving other equipment though. I really have no room for the hoist, but I see it is practically mandatory.

Maybe time to simply move to a newer lathe that already has a table.

Phil
 

stupoty

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I am the OP, and said I would try to come up with a different plan for a bench..

Used welding tables are $300 - $600. Ouch! $75 or so for the rental of a Home Depot truck or van to transport, and $260 for the purchase of a fold-up engine hoist to move the table and lathe. $735. A lot just to get an ancient lathe on a different table. I can use the hoist for moving other equipment though. I really have no room for the hoist, but I see it is practically mandatory.

Maybe time to simply move to a newer lathe that already has a table.

Phil
you might be able to make a workable metal stand from uni strut type material and use bolt connections on it all.

http://www.unistrut.us/

you can get some fairly hench angle joiners for it and might be able to pick some up used for cheep :) (which is always nice)

I've had a ply wood topped work bench for a couple of smaller lathes I've had, they seemed to be fairly stable for the smaller sized lathes although as has been said mileage may vary on that.

As you said you don't weld I would like to inform you that invertor stick welders are getting very cheep and the consumables are also quite cheep and they can be a lot of fun and their quite compact. Feed the tool addiction ;)

stu
 

mickri

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Seems like you are trying to do two things that make for big compromises. 1) sturdy bench and 2) movable. If I understand correctly you will only need to move the bench two maybe three times as you reorganize your garage shop. The rest of the time the bench will be stationary and will not need to be moved. I would separate these functions.

As for the bench you can buy very heavy duty shelving that will bolt together. No need for welding. Make the frame of the bench out of this. For example here is a link to some shelving from lowes. https://www.lowes.com/pd/edsal-72-in-H-x-77-in-W-x-24-in-D-3-Shelf-Steel-NSF-Certified-Freestanding-Shelving-Unit/3172913. This shelving has a 1500 lb load capacity. Make the top out of 2 layers of 3/4 plywood glued and screwed together. This will give you a very strong, stable platform to set the lathe on.

I just saw another thread on making a bench for a lathe that had a very clever way to adjust and level the lathe. I have added this to my project list for my lathe.

https://www.hobby-machinist.com/thr...m-using-shop-made-levelers.72014/#post-604270

When you need to move the lathe a simple furniture dolly under each end should work. The el cheapo HF dollys are rated for 1000 lbs and cost a little over $10. Jack up each end of the bench and slip a dolly under the frame. Move the lathe and remove the dollies. You're done.

Have fun making your new bench.
 

whitmore

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I need a better bench for my old SouthBend 9" lathe, Model A, 4-1/2 bed. It weighs 465 lbs. I think. Do you think it is possible to build a roll around cart out of wood to support the lathe and keep it stable? l
Well, yes, a wood structure holds up the second story of a frame house, it can certainly
hold up a lathe. There's a lot of engineering in making a wood structure for high loads, though,
and you're going to want something more than sturdy sawhorses. Screws and glue are your
friends, and you'll make mortises in heavy timber or a bunch of lap joints. Some folk like
diagonal braces, but plywood and glue are easier. If you use cutting lube, or water cooling,
remember that wood (and glue) are unstable materials when wet.

As for wheels, you can mount wheels on hinges; jack up the table, and flip the hinges so the wheels are under the
lathe, and it rolls. Jack it up again and flip the hinged wheels up, and it sits stable on the floor (with either shims under
the supports, or screw-leveling feet, you can make it level). Lowest wheel cost is two straight-line wheels
for lathe end A (heavy end), and one swivel wheel for lathe end B. You need the swivel, to steer it
like you'd steer a toy wagon.
 

Phil3

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Thanks for the helpful replies. I am VERY new and know very little about moving heavy equipment, but how do you jack up a bench? I mean, what kind of jack can get under something that is very close to the floor? Sorry for the naive question, but I really don't know.

Phil
 

stupoty

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Thanks for the helpful replies. I am VERY new and know very little about moving heavy equipment, but how do you jack up a bench? I mean, what kind of jack can get under something that is very close to the floor? Sorry for the naive question, but I really don't know.

Phil
A toe jack will lift with low clerence, you would probably have to use a pry bar and a block of metal to lift it onto the toe first.

I recently lifted my hacksaw onto a roll around trolley that I have made with a couple of pry bars some very sturdy piles of wood and my car trolly jack :)

and maybe a compression strap used as a come along.

Stu
 

mickri

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I have a floor jack that you use on cars. If I made a bench I would make it so that the floor jack would slip under the bottom cross support on the end of the bench. Or you could use a scissor jack that comes with most cars these days. You could also use a 2x4 resting on a 4x4 as the fulcrum point. You only have to be able to lift the bench one end at a time just enough to slip the dolly underneath the bench. Lots of ways to do this.
 

mickri

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Another idea for a bench is an old metal desk. The legs have levelers so easy to adjust for level and the desk will have several drawers to store stuff. These can be had for free or next to nothing at garage sales, surplus sale and flea markets. I recently pickup a very well made, solid wood desk to use as a work table in my garage for free from my church thrift store. They just wanted it gone.
 

bill70j

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FWIW, I have had good experience with the wooden bench for my 10" Atlas. It was designed based on the wooden bench Atlas offered for sale for their lathes in the May, 1945 catalog entitled "Modern Shop Equipment." (Page 13, Bench W-101 for 36 and 42" bed lathes)

By good experience, I mean once leveled, the bench maintains the precision level.

The bench I have has a top that is made from laminated 2x4's, with metal pads on top for the bed feet to rest on. The frame is 4X4's (which are really double 2X4's) using mortise and tenon joinery. All four legs are secured to the floor with angle brackets. The bench probably weighs 75-100lbs.

Making the thing out of common 2X4's kept the cost way down.

Here is the bench under construction.
DSC_0062.JPG

And here is the finished product with the Model 10f Atlas lathe

DSC_0109.JPG
 

mickri

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Your bench is a work of art that us mere mortals would be hard pressed to equal. Good job.
 

tq60

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500 pounds is nothing.

4 legs are 125 pounds each...likely less than your weight.

If you have a roll type tool chest then make box that fits over it so storage is simple.

Simple 4 wood posts with plywood on 3 sides forms a strong structure.

A couple 2x6 joists across then 3/4 inch melamine on top of 3/4 ply make an easy to clean and stable surface.

Many options for making mobile and that is more limited to space than weight.



Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk
 

minsk

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FWIW, I have had good experience with the wooden bench for my 10" Atlas. It was designed based on the wooden bench Atlas offered for sale for their lathes in the May, 1945 catalog entitled "Modern Shop Equipment." (Page 13, Bench W-101 for 36 and 42" bed lathes)

By good experience, I mean once leveled, the bench maintains the precision level.

The bench I have has a top that is made from laminated 2x4's, with metal pads on top for the bed feet to rest on. The frame is 4X4's (which are really double 2X4's) using mortise and tenon joinery. All four legs are secured to the floor with angle brackets. The bench probably weighs 75-100lbs.

Making the thing out of common 2X4's kept the cost way down.

Here is the bench under construction.
View attachment 275190

And here is the finished product with the Model 10f Atlas lathe

View attachment 275191
this is just beautiful sir. amazing
 
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