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Mounting A Bench Lathe

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Ray73

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#1
How beneficial would it be to mount a bench top type lathe to something like a piece of large I-beam or some other type of flat metal to make it more rigid? or are they pretty much good enough mounted to something like a sturdy wooden bench? I was thinking of the I-beam because I have a piece laying around.

Ray
 

francist

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#2
If you have a piece of beam laying around I would say go for it. Anything that adds some mass as well as the rigidity of an I-beam can only help, in my opinion anyways.

-frank
 

ch2co

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#3
What size of a bench top lathe are we talking about?

Chuck the grumpy old guy
 

pineyfolks

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#4
If you mount a small Bench lathe on an I-beam and there is any gap under the bed and you pull it down to the I-beam you will twist your lathe. You may be able to lay the holes out and possibly use some type of epoxy as a filler under the feet of the lathe. Once it's hardened you should be able to snug it up correctly with no stress on your machine. I'm no expert, just throwing my 2 cents in. Post some pics of what you're working with.
 

jpfabricator

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#5
If you have a piece of beam laying around I would say go for it. Anything that adds some mass as well as the rigidity of an I-beam can only help, in my opinion anyways.

-frank
+1

Sent from somewhere in East Texas Jake Parker
 

Ted208

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#6
How beneficial would it be to mount a bench top type lathe to something like a piece of large I-beam or some other type of flat metal to make it more rigid? or are they pretty much good enough mounted to something like a sturdy wooden bench? I was thinking of the I-beam because I have a piece laying around.

Ray
Hi, Ray

As long as your bench is really sturdy, flat and level you should have no problem.

I bolted mine through the top with a plastic tray between the lathe and bench top to contain oil and swarf, then built a box cover over it to protect it when not in use (which also serves as an additional useable surface).

It has not given me any trouble at all.

Regards,

Ted

100_2140.JPG 100_2141.JPG
 
Last edited:

Ray73

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#8
If you mount a small Bench lathe on an I-beam and there is any gap under the bed and you pull it down to the I-beam you will twist your lathe. You may be able to lay the holes out and possibly use some type of epoxy as a filler under the feet of the lathe. Once it's hardened you should be able to snug it up correctly with no stress on your machine. I'm no expert, just throwing my 2 cents in. Post some pics of what you're working with.
I hadn't thought of that issue. Thanks for the heads-up on that one.
 

A. Fig Lee

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#9
There was a long thread on the subject on chipmaker.ru (russian language).
Also on other rigidity and stability issues for chinese lathes and clones.

Lot of engineers taking measurements and characteristics etc..
Overall conclusion is that best base is rectangular pipe, something like 3"x5" profile.
And that it is better then beam etc..

And yes, cast iron implantation in cavity where motor resides yields most dramatic results.
People are claiming taking more then 0.1" at once. In steel!
4 mayor things considered are:
1) roller bearings
2) implantation
3) stifenning ribs
4) rectangular pipe for the base

Just my 2 cents.
 

Rick Leslie

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#10
I didn't see whether you were going to mount the beam on a work bench or make a stand. If making a stand, weld four legs to the beam and add leveling feet (bolts and nuts) to the bottom. Then you could drill and tap the lathe mounting feet and use longer than necessary bolts. Sandwich the lathe mounts between two nuts and use that arrangement for your fine adjusting and truing. That way you take the uneven surface of the beam out of the equation. Once trued, you can always pour the feet in epoxy grout for added insurance.

I've had my 12" Atlas mounted to a double layer of plywood since 1985. It works but I have to be careful, and I've planned to build a steel mount for it for decades. I would use the beam with a few considerations mentioned above.
 

Ray73

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#11
I didn't see whether you were going to mount the beam on a work bench or make a stand. If making a stand, weld four legs to the beam and add leveling feet (bolts and nuts) to the bottom. Then you could drill and tap the lathe mounting feet and use longer than necessary bolts. Sandwich the lathe mounts between two nuts and use that arrangement for your fine adjusting and truing. That way you take the uneven surface of the beam out of the equation. Once trued, you can always pour the feet in epoxy grout for added insurance.

I've had my 12" Atlas mounted to a double layer of plywood since 1985. It works but I have to be careful, and I've planned to build a steel mount for it for decades. I would use the beam with a few considerations mentioned above.
Thanks for the reply. I had planned on mounting the beam to my work bench but your idea of just putting legs on the I-beam sound really good and better yet using 3x5 steel tubing like Fig Lee suggested and adding legs. If it will really help with accuracy I will probably do it.
 

Ray73

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#12
There was a long thread on the subject on chipmaker.ru (russian language).
Also on other rigidity and stability issues for chinese lathes and clones.

Lot of engineers taking measurements and characteristics etc..
Overall conclusion is that best base is rectangular pipe, something like 3"x5" profile.
And that it is better then beam etc..

And yes, cast iron implantation in cavity where motor resides yields most dramatic results.
People are claiming taking more then 0.1" at once. In steel!
4 mayor things considered are:
1) roller bearings
2) implantation
3) stifenning ribs
4) rectangular pipe for the base

Just my 2 cents.
Thanks for the reply. I had not thought of a rectangular pipe but I can see where it would be better than the I-beam. This now is what I plan to use and I may add legs to the 3x5 and make a stand as the other poster mentioned.
 

Rick Leslie

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#13
The beauty of adding legs, aside from the benefits mentioned above, is you can add storage space, drawers, etc. under your new lathe stand.
 

kwoodhands

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#14
How beneficial would it be to mount a bench top type lathe to something like a piece of large I-beam or some other type of flat metal to make it more rigid? or are they pretty much good enough mounted to something like a sturdy wooden bench? I was thinking of the I-beam because I have a piece laying around.

Ray
Personally I would just mount it to a flat bench.Save the I-beam for a large anvil or whatever. I-beams are not flat,actually all I-beams that are full length are cambered in the center.In a short piece it would not be noticeable but still there.
mike
 

ch2co

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#15
I tend to agree with Mike. Especially for a lathe of this size, the I-Beam seems like serious overkill and over-complication.
This is an 8 X 14 lathe that we're talking about here. Any good flat decent workbench would be more than sufficient.
Save the I beam for an anvil or coffee table. Just IMHO.

Chuck the grumpy old guy
 

Falcon67

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#16
I mounted mine as so
LatheBench.jpg

The smaller lathes are pretty flexible and as much as people go on about rigidity, there's not much to the things. I have not noticed any change in accuracy from this thing sitting loose on a steel top bench to a fixed mount on a softer Maple top. It's been on that bench for several years and it's repeatable to .001 on aluminum. I'd get a nice bench for a small one and if extra support was desired, cover the top with some 1/8 cold roll sheet.
 

Creativechipper

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#17
Love the work space!!
 
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