Heavy duty tool chest for lathe stand?

kb58

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I see various lathe stands going for $300-600. For what they are, unless they have a brake pedal for the lathe it's intended for, they seem like a big waste of space. Sure, most have one or two doors, which are only good for chucks and supports.

I was in Home Depot yesterday and saw their higher end work benches/tool boxes. Yes, they're more than $600, BUT, they have many heavy duty drawers, and a serious top that could likely support any reasonably-sized lathe. I'm considering this route because I'm very space limited and need all the storage space I can find. I've had this old Grizzle 12x36 lathe for decades and only realized recently just how much wasted space its stand uses.
 
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MarkDavis

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Home depot work bench sure makes sense to me.
This is what my PM 12X28 fits real nicely on.
I'm, 6'2" tall, the lathe was hard to reach until I took the included feet off, with the wheels on, it was way to high.
The chest is very heavy duty, with lots of storage. weighs 500 lbs.
A local farm and ranch supply store had it on the floor and sold it new for 599. The price on the web site includes delivery. With sufficient fudge factor to get it to inconvenient locations.
 

Bob Korves

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Taking the wheels off will also give you a lot more sturdy mounting.
 

Aaron_W

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Look at the Harbor Freight US General boxes too. They are a little more expensive than the Husky boxes, but they are built stouter and can hold twice the weight. It isn't often that Harbor Freight and quality are used in the same sentence, but this is one of those exceptions.
 

7milesup

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Agree about the Harbor Freight boxes. It makes my skin crawl to walk into that place but their US General Pro (Pro is the key word here) are built very well and beat most of the other toolbox companies, at least for the money.
 

Superburban

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Agree about the Harbor Freight boxes. It makes my skin crawl to walk into that place
Why? At least they do not try to hide the quality, or pressure you to buy.

I still remember when Walmart was all made in USA, and pro union.
 

7milesup

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Why? At least they do not try to hide the quality, or pressure you to buy.

I still remember when Walmart was all made in USA, and pro union.
Why? Because the vast majority of that place is cheap chinese crap. Not sure what place you are referring to about being pressured to buy. Heck, the last time I was in HF I had to take time out to explain to a sales associate what a particular item I was looking for does. I have no problem doing that, it was just rather humorous although kudos to the guy for wanting to learn.

If it has a cord on it, I will not buy it at HF. Some of their "dumb steel" is OK, like their C-clamps are just as good as the next store with Chinese junk.

[Dabber] Comment was removed due to Rule 12.
 

matthewsx

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I think the tool chest as a lathe stand is a great idea. My lathe is on a very sturdy old retail counter that came with my old shop, it has room for storage but it's not great for storage because it's hard to use the back of the shelves. I'm going to look into it....

As for HF, I worked for them back in the early 2000's. Some of their stuff isn't great but they have local stores where you can return it without paying for shipping if it doesn't work out for you. They pretty much stand by their products and have steadily improved tools like their welders and toolboxes. They actually treat their workers fairly well and are pretty much the only dedicated tool stores around.

They also actively support trades education in the US which is pretty cool IMHO.
 

mickri

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Get yourself an old metal desk.

289329

They are really heavy. They had some at the auction I was at yesterday and they sold for $5.00. At first there was absolutely no interest. So the auctioneer asked if anybody would haul it away. Several people said they would haul it away. Then he asked what am I bid for the right to haul the desk away. He got a bid of $2.50 and then $5. There were some old solid wood desks that also sold in the $5 to $10 range. They have multiple drawers and you could put a shelf or two in the footwell area for more storage. Some even have leveling feet on the legs.
 

Superburban

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Get yourself an old metal desk.
Good point. I have used several LSD's (Large Steel Desks), for many workbenches over the years. My Rung Fu, currently sits on an LSD, that I took the top and the middle drawer off, and then bolted the two drawer sections together. Cut the top down, and bolted it back together. So now, it is about 3' by 3' or so. You can't beat them for strength, and price.
 

matthewsx

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Love the old metal desk if that works for you. There’s at least some storage and you can pretty much get them cheap or free anywhere in the US.

It wouldn’t really work for me with my current lathe though since I am 6’3”, the counter my lathe is on is just the right height.

But, I do have a fetish for industrial type furniture. My basement workbench is a lovely old Steelcase work table from General Motors.
 

Cadillac STS

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I didn't know those tanker desks came apart so easy. Might be a good item to look out for for low price. Stack them maybe to make tool boxes. They even have a pull out shelf on top of each set of drawers. Built extremely heavy and solid so good for machine bases too.
289346
 

matthewsx

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I bought a blueprint file for my shop. Lots of very shallow drawers perfect for tooling and measuring tools.
 

wa5cab

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The weak point in the tanker desks, or at least in those made like the one in the first photo, are the legs. I would judge the part sitting on the legs as probably OK but not the legs. They would need to be replaced by something like a box frame made of steel angle, or rather by two of them.
 

Cadillac STS

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The weak point in the tanker desks, or at least in those made like the one in the first photo, are the legs. I would judge the part sitting on the legs as probably OK but not the legs. They would need to be replaced by something like a box frame made of steel angle, or rather by two of them.
It may look like the legs are weak but with experience the whole thing is extremely stable and unmoveable. You wouldn’t think twice about hopping up on top to change a lightbulb. For holding up a machine it would be best to try it as it is, maybe bolster if found weak. Built to last forever but just out of style over the years.

Fun fact: One of those Steelcase desks was used for the Japanese to sign surrender on that battleship to end WWII.

Lots of them here in West Michigan where they were made..
 

C-Bag

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Yes, HF. I'm not a fan, but do find it interesting, that HF's quality has been going up, while most other makers are going down. Wonder if they will high five each other as they pass?
HF's stock has been changing too. Most of their machine tools and sheetmetal tools are going away and are available under different names like Kaka (what were they thinking?) and for much higher prices. Sometimes double in the case of the 3in1 shear/brake/roller.

Early on I bought my Waterloo toolbox at HF in the early 80's before they started carrying their own brand. Even the SnapOn man couldn't make fun of my Waterloo because they weighed the same and were rated the same for 1/5 the price.

Those tanker desks are all over CL here, some free. Also see a lot of Craftsman tool bench with HD drawers and storage cab. Picked one up for $100 in good shape and has been perfect for my 9x20. But probably not for much bigger lathe and I'm short so it's the right height for me.
 

Toolmaker51

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HF's stock has been changing too. Most their machine tools and sheetmetal tools going away, available under different names like Kaka (what were they thinking?) and for much higher prices.
KaKa. Lol. Well 'K' isn't 'C'; or cuz El Torito Poopoo hadn't been thought of.
Not first time a name was not right for a certain market. Apparently the Chevy 'Nova' didn't cut it in Hispanic regions....means 'won't run'.
Lol. I know a couple electric blue 66 and 67's that sure do. 9.80's qualify as running, right?
And probably IMNSHO, the single most beautiful silhouette a compact car ever had, no?
Admittedly, I have a KaKa #70 bender. Tool itself is stout and bends unexpectedly well. No wonder, it's a revamp of the PEXTO.
Once I remedied the wimpy swing and material stops, that baby bends!
 

rwm

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Too funny. I just did this with a steelcase desk. They are very sturdy and come apart into nice modular units.

290827

290828

Robert
 

mickri

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I recently picked a bunch of 3 drawer cabinets for stands for my drill presses, grinders and other stuff. They work great and come with wheels. I will have to take some pictures with the stuff mounted on the cabinets

290839
 

C-Bag

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Too funny. I just did this with a steelcase desk. They are very sturdy and come apart into nice modular units.

View attachment 290827

View attachment 290828

Robert
I've moved several of those desks. Never knew what they were called and never thought by how heavy they were they came apart easy. Of course this would come up now that I'm flush with 3 drawer cabinets! I swear I used to see those all the time on CL for free or next to nothing.
 

Toolmaker51

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They are cheap cause they're plentiful.
Time to get rid of it, cheap cause they are heavy.
Few know they can be broken down, other than office moving personnel. Big wooden pedestal desks, same thing!
 

hman

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Just looked on Craigs. Ding blasted things are between $150 and $300 around here and Tucson. Fooey!

UPDATE - I'd used the search term "tanker desk." Tried later (see post #30) with "steel desk" and found some at much more reasonable prices.
 
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kb58

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Just checked Craigslist and there's only one steel case desk... For $500.
 

mickri

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Here are some
 

rwm

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Also check Facebook marketplace. I bought 3 desks and I have not paid over $50.
Robert
 

Aaron_W

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Just checked Craigslist and there's only one steel case desk... For $500.
They are probably becoming cool again to the same people who are buying the cast iron lathe legs and VHS tapes.
 

hman

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OK, I goofed. The search term I used when I previously posted was "tanker desk." Tried again with "steel desk." Same kind of desks, much more reasonably priced! Here's an example:
 
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