Saturday, August 8, 2015

Shop Footprint - Lathe Table Hack

I don't have a lot of room for a "shop".  Actually, I do have room.  It's about 5'x10'.  That's not a lot of room for anything but storing tools, not actually using them.  As a result, I'm all about trying to reduce my "shop" foot print.

One thing I've acquired is an old Craftsman wood lathe (becoming a wood/metal lathe).  It came with a table under it that was fairly solidly built (half-square steel channel, welded together) - about 2'x4'.  There is a problem with the table ... it's heavy.  So much so that it is a bear to move to where I can use the lathe, and then put it away.

So, I opted for the next-best thing.  I welded a steel square tube to the feet, drilled holes, and painted it.  It allows me to throw caster wheels on when I need to move the thing around, and take them off when turning.  Sometimes, I amaze myself (you should be thinking, "if that's all it takes, there are probably issues there).

While I was at it, I welded some angle iron to the frame, and riveted a chunk of peg-board up.  That allows me to keep my tools with the lathe, without them being in the way.  I also riveted a hinge (simply a "custom angle anchor") and another piece of peg board up, and had a sand-paper storage on the tool "rack".

On the other side of the peg board, I riveted a plastic storage container down to hold spare chucks, spindles, etc.

I also grabbed some 1/16" wire "rope" (cable), and connected a hammer, a wooden "mallet surface" (something I can hit with the hammer and not damage tooling), and a printer rod...

... wait, what?

Yeah, a printer rod.  I took a printer rod, cut it down to size, and, since it had a hole in one side, I cabled it up to the lathe.  It is a perfect size to slip inside the headstock spindle and is used to drive out the Morse Taper #1 (MT1) bits.  Since it's cabled to the table, it's always available.  Now my table is complete, mobile.  The next task is to add some adapters to add a lead screw, making this a complete metal lathe with a compound slide.  I already sold my AK47 - the funds are helping purchase a 3D printer! Can't wait!

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