Shop Upgrades #1: Mini Lathe Stand

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I had purchased a mini-lathe bed extension over a year ago, with the best of intentions to build an originally designed, all wood stand beneath it with storage. I had it fully scale-drawn on paper, but but but, getting it done was another thing entirely. Then I happened across this rather unique metal stand from Penn State Industries, with many buyer reviews saying it was rock steady once assembled. The directions were crap, they said, just go by the drawings and it wasn’t hard. When I received it, I noticed the company had sent only the exploded drawings, so the directions must have been exceptionally bad.

It assembled easily in one afternoon, with padded adjustable feet, and is indeed rock solid. I’m really pleased. Still have to add on a lower shelf, and later will add a shallow drawer box under the top to hold much needed storage. Now I can do work up to 40" long, and I feel like I have a brand new toy.

-- Might As Well Dance :

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I hear you, Mike, especially if you have to park a vehicle in there and move everything around. This $60 metal stand was a good bargain for me, and I really like having the extension bed on the lathe permanently. I no longer have to remove the tailstock to lean across it to get inside a bowl; just slide it out of the way, and no more ‘turners elbow’ hitting the revolving tail center. Plus all the added storage room to hold working gouges laid underneath it. I did buy the PSI Steady rest. Just put it on today. I won’t use it a whole lot, but it stores on the end of the lathe, and is available. I made one tool handle on this set up so far(the one in the front of the photo), and completing it was Slick! I’m glad I did this.

-- Might As Well Dance :

OK Barb, I’m jealous! I have had my Delta Midi-lathe for nearly 1-1/2yr but I have YET to install the bed extension that I bought with the lathe. I have enjoyed the 16in length thus far with hand plane knobs and coffee table legs and such, but just have NOT gotten around to adding the extension.

I think part of the problem is that I can still move the base lathe around, but fear that an added extension will make it to hard to move out of the way (blocking my Harley!). Anyway, I am working on a solution. Trying to get my planer up on a table/cabinet on wheels that will allow me to park it closer to the wood pile and thus then park the extended lathe further out of the way as well… Such are the plans of mice and men… ;-)

-- HorizontalMike

Thanks! Tim, I wanted the bed extension because I was doing french rolling pins at only 14", the limit of my original Jet Mini, and making new tool handles for gouges, again at 15", stretching it to the limit. I also found I could not do much in the way of drilling on the lathe, once I’d put a drill chuck in the tailstock. For pepper mills, I needed a bit extender, and couldn’t use it on the lathe.
I’m sure I’ll be using it quite a bit!

-- Might As Well Dance :

Nice Barb, looks like you are well organized now. I purchase a Rikon mini last year and would be interested in how often you have a need for the bed extension.

Thanks for the idea. I’m going to put a flat shelf on the bottom tier, with storage for boxes, a large steady rest for the bigger bowl lathe, and other necessities. I make a practice of pulling the main tools for the current project and laying them under the lathe bed above, which is now Twice as long to hold them. If I turn 180º, the short-bed bowl lathe is easily within reach, and larger gouges and tools are stored both vertically and laid flat on a shelf behind it, so that’s my main storage of lathe tools. It’s a different spindle size, so the mini has to have storage room for chucks and tapered items. This whole side of the garage works together as a ‘turning station,’ with the two lathes, all the tools and the grinder within steps of each other. I worked on this arrangement since last fall,
and with the addition of this extended lathe stand, everything’s in place and I can get to work!

-- Might As Well Dance :

I have the dedicated stands by the manufacturer for both my mini lathes. The thing I miss is storage for the tools. The one stand is a Delta and it has 6 or 7 slots but I have surpassed that by 5 fold. If I were you I would come up with something to hold at least 15 tools in the bottom. It would have to be slanted to the front, so your tools will fit and come out easily.
I might consider PVC pipe under plywood….just a thought.

-- Mike

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