Are commercial workbenches any good?
|50 forum posts|
Generally speaking there is no difference between a steel cabinet stand and a steel bench with respect to differential expansion resulting from changes in temperature.
I have a heavy duty cabinet under one of my mills which moves in all sorts of directions when exposed to changes in temperature or to a few minutes in the sun (an inherent problem with sheet metal) and have no doubt that the Myford version would do likewise. I very much doubt that any of these steel cabinets, Myford or otherwise, were calibrated to expand and contract at the same rate as the lathe or mill they support and hence remain perfectly stable, one reason for not over-tightening a lathe to the stand.
A steel framed bench with a plywood, MDF or granite is likely to offer the best stability, and the best option for under-bench storage, although I have no concerns with my all-timber bench.
|Mark Rand||18/01/2018 01:38:18|
|248 forum posts|
Timber moves with humidity. It also soaks up oil over the decades. I left dad's one behind in Buckfastleigh tip Devon, with its woodworm...
RDG, who bought the Myford name, manufacture steel cabinets that are to the original design and fit the ML7 and Super 7 lathes perfectly. The only issue is that they aren't making cabinets for the long bed lathes at the moment, Might be worth chatting to them if that's needed.
Basically, a steel cabinet under an ML7 will out perform a wood one unless one is prone to lighting a barbecue in the cabinet (even then). And the RDG/Myford ones have the vague advantage of being sized exactly for the lathes that are sitting on them. The prices are not outrageous compared with that that I paid 10 years ago for a second-hand one 200 miles away...
Disclaimer:- I have no connection with the lads from Mytholmroyd other than having been a customer and having a friend in Crag Vale 45 years ago.
2264 forum posts
My experience with the mighty Drummond Flagellator has been to avoid mounting the lathe on a bench or cabinet that uses a top made of a single piece of sheetmetal or even thin steel plate say 6mm or even 8mm thick. It sags. It bows. It flexes. It vibrates. It drums and makes a heck of noise.
The bench top needs to have sturdy cross members underneath it to bolt the lathe to. Those cross members need to be made from stout angle iron or square tube or the like and be solidly connected to the main angle or tube frame of the bench. The more solid you can make it, the quieter and smoother the lathe will run, and the smoother it will cut.
Leveling blocks are entirely optional. You can simply slide U-shaped shims under the lathe mounting points to get it to turn parallel as per the Myford manual.
That's what I've found, anyhow. The Flagellator's original bench I inherited was a rectangle of 8mm steel plate with four stout legs of 2" angle iron welded directly to it at each corner. Weighed a ton and seemed solid. But the top was sagged in the middle from the weight of the mighty Flagellator and it ran very noisy. When adjusting the countershaft belt tension, with countershaft stand bolted to the bench top, all that would happen would be the bench top would bow and the belt get no tighter! I made a stout framework under the bench top out of 75mm steel channel braced to extra legs that then bolted to the garage floor. Much quieter and smoother operation resulted. the beast was tamed.
Edited By Hopper on 18/01/2018 03:21:02
|David T||18/01/2018 09:38:56|
|6 forum posts|
Thank you all you the, erm..... broad range of opinions!
The experiences expressed regarding the store-bought benches are food for thought.
Trevor Drabble's suggestion of the Axminster lathe stand is certainly interesting; it is significantly cheaper than the Myford stand. They have neglected to state what gauge the steel is though, which is unfortunate.
KMP's fabricated stand is beautiful, and I suspect is much more rigid than any of the commercial benches. If I only I had the ability to weld!
With regards to timber vs metal, I am not convinced that a sheet metal stand (at least without serious reinforcement) is any more rigid or stable than a wooden one. Peak4's granite top sounds like the most stable option, irrespective of what bench is beneath it. I fear that working with granite is beyond my capabilities though. What type of bits do you drill granite with?
452 forum posts
I used ordinary new masonry bits, but it took a long time, about 20mins per 8mm hole.
I've now bought some diamond dust ones for drilling the other splashback and shelf, but not got round to doing it yet.
I bought them of ebay HERE but there are many other sellers. For cutting I used an Irwin dry-cutting diamond blade, also off ebay, with the stone slab on a pallet, carefully shimmed so it wasn't likely to break at the end of the cut.
a 5 foot length cost me £12 off ebay, though I had to wait for a while for one to crop up at the right price.
Whereabouts are you, as I now know a supplier that does offcuts at a decent price?
I found it easy enough to cut, that I ended up fitting granite window sills and a step on the threshold as well. I though the granite sills were a good idea, as I use a number of cordless tool chargers. Should one ever go onto meltdown as least it will be on a non-combustible surface.
Edited By peak4 on 18/01/2018 10:42:13
|Niels Abildgaard||18/01/2018 11:45:11|
|92 forum posts|
My Boxford sits on a piece of granite and I needed to drill four 16 mm holes through that is 150mm deep each
It took about 5 minutes each with a hammer drill machine.Important to cool with tap water and how do I know?
I have later cut a 150 times 800 mm slit of with a portable diamond saw taking around 20 minutes.
Diamond disc survived thanks to water flooding.
3684 forum posts
Granite from worktops is rather thin and the particular vibration absorbing qualities are only marginally beter that concrete. How about a decent quality 3x2 paving slab.
|Niels Abildgaard||19/01/2018 06:40:12|
|92 forum posts||
Not worth a try.
The purpose of the rock or concrete is not to substitute a cost consicious ,thin wood or tinplate top.
Its purpose is to jail the geometry of the much to ligth Myford or Boxford bed casting.
The Myford will obey command much faster and correct when bolted solidly down to a rock block of say 600mm times150 mm times 150 and volume/mass is the same as the proposed paving lab.
When the Myford bed is fixed thus You can use a carved block of Styropor,an old piece of furniture,three strings of wire from ceiling or whatever to have it at a pleasant working heigth.
Edited By Niels Abildgaard on 19/01/2018 06:41:20
|David T||19/01/2018 12:57:01|
|6 forum posts||
I am in Essex. Thanks but I am just reviewing my options at the moment. A new stand will only become necessary if I decide to reorganise the workshop; something which I am still mulling over at the moment.
|Niels Abildgaard||19/01/2018 17:28:18|
|92 forum posts|
Try this on a Myford placed on tinplate or wood.
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