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How high should I make my lathe table?


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#1 Sinister

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 05:33 AM

I'm designing a table for my Delta midi lathe. Right now it's on my workbench and it is uncomfortably high for turning. I'd simply like some feedback on how high to make the table. If it helps, I'm 6'2".

I've seen rules of thumb for how high to make your bench but not for turning. I'd rather not rely on trial and error.

#2 Steve Marino

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 06:03 AM

I'm pretty sure the rule of thunb for lathe height is the centers should be as high as your elbow. I have my Rikon Mini set up that way but I want to raise it a little. I mostly turn ornaments and I find I'm bent over too far for my comfort - I'm 6ft. I'll probably use some 2x4s under the feet of my stand to raise the thing 1-1/2 inches and see how that feels. Hope this helps!

#3 Sinister

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 07:15 AM

I'm pretty sure the rule of thunb for lathe height is the centers should be as high as your elbow. I have my Rikon Mini set up that way but I want to raise it a little. I mostly turn ornaments and I find I'm bent over too far for my comfort - I'm 6ft. I'll probably use some 2x4s under the feet of my stand to raise the thing 1-1/2 inches and see how that feels. Hope this helps!


Thanks - "as high as my elbow" plus a little more is a good place to start. Do you think it would be ok if I put it on locking swivel casters or should it be firmly on the ground? It will need to be mobile.

#4 MaidensGator

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 07:17 AM

I just built a table for my lathe and like was said, the rule of thumb is at your elbows. I had the lathe sitting on my workbench at elbow height, and it was okay but not perfect, so I built the table one inch higher and it's great. I'm also 6 feet tall. My opinion is one inch higher than the elbows.

#5 konkers

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 08:41 AM

Do you think it would be ok if I put it on locking swivel casters or should it be firmly on the ground? It will need to be mobile.


Disclaimer: I don't own a lathe or turn at all.

Locking caster don't do a great job of immobilizing whatever they're attached to. Instead you might want to think about CarryMaster casters. Paul-Marcel recently reviewed them on his site: http://www.halfinchs...er-casters.html

#6 Steve Marino

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 09:03 AM

Thanks - "as high as my elbow" plus a little more is a good place to start. Do you think it would be ok if I put it on locking swivel casters or should it be firmly on the ground? It will need to be mobile.

I'm not a fan of locking casters either. I did buy some for my planer cart that lock both the wheel and the swivel. I wouldn't want to use them for my lathe. I would try using the casters on a board trick. I'm sorry I don't have a better pic, but a mini lathe and table should be light enough to do something like this. Maybe someone else can chime in with better pictures - I found this on one of the forums. I'm not sure who originally posted it.
work bench rollers.jpg

#7 Sinister

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 09:16 AM

Disclaimer: I don't own a lathe or turn at all.

Locking caster don't do a great job of immobilizing whatever they're attached to. Instead you might want to think about CarryMaster casters. Paul-Marcel recently reviewed them on his site: http://www.halfinchs...er-casters.html



I just watched that review and those casters look ideal. However $100 is more than I'm willing to spend on this project. I agree that I would probably regret using swivel casters. I'll come up with some cheap alternative.

#8 Sinister

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 09:19 AM

I'm not a fan of locking casters either. I did buy some for my planer cart that lock both the wheel and the swivel. I wouldn't want to use them for my lathe. I would try using the casters on a board trick. I'm sorry I don't have a better pic, but a mini lathe and table should be light enough to do something like this. Maybe someone else can chime in with better pictures - I found this on one of the forums. I'm not sure who originally posted it.
work bench rollers.jpg


I was also thinking of something along that line. I think Norm used that on his assembly table. That's a good picture. -thanks

#9 konkers

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 10:34 AM

I was also thinking of something along that line. I think Norm used that on his assembly table. That's a good picture. -thanks


Another take on the same concept: http://www.popularwo...le-base-mark-ii

#10 Tobbe Arnesson

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 02:38 AM

Just make sure you won't be able to step on the wheel in the up-folded position, wheels are kinda slippery. I had a close call with my weight training bench:

Posted Image


Notice the wheels on the far left of the legs. They get engaged when lifting the other end a bit of the ground, that system might also work for some light weight tools in the shop.

#11 Darnell Hagen

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 06:55 AM

I went with the spindle at elbow height +1", to compensate for an anti-fatigue mat.





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