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Mini Lathe Owners - how do you fix your lathe? Or not?

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Neil Wyatt22/01/2015 16:00:17
18990 forum posts
734 photos
80 articles

I'd like to ask mini-lathe owners whether or not they fix their lathes to the workbench or not, and if they do, how do they do it.

Although they are at the top end of small lathes, it is still possible to operate a mini lathe free-standing. It's also possible to mount them to a bench.

Is your mini-lathe free-standing?

If yes, has this caused you any problems?

If not:

Did you retain the rubber feet?

Did you remove the bars the feet are attached to and mount directly to teh bed, or just crew into the bars?

Do you have a relatively flexible worktop that won't distort the bed?

Do you have rigid bench, and if so how did you true the lathe when mounting it?

If your bench is in between (e.g. a fairly robust wooden bench) how rigidly did you mount the lathe and are you worried about it twisting if the bench 'moves'?


keithmart22/01/2015 16:27:33
165 forum posts


Mine is just sat oh the bench with its rubber feet.

Never had any problems with it in 10 years, I purchased mine second hand, and it is a chester conquest.

I hope that helps



Leeds UK

Gordon W22/01/2015 16:50:07
2011 forum posts

What do you call a mini? Mines a chester DB8 , I think of it as a mini. It's bolted to a kitchen worktop on 4"x2" hardwood frame. Not levelled at all but so far seems good, maybe lucky.

blowlamp22/01/2015 16:55:01
1590 forum posts
102 photos

I got rid of the rubber feet and loosely bolted the lathe towards the front of some fairly thick MDF. I find it gives a bit more hand room from the bench when traversing the carriage and means I can slide the machine across the bench if I need extra space. The flexible feet are annoyingly bouncy in use.

I don't seem to suffer with any loss of accuracy either.


Clive Farrar22/01/2015 18:37:14
119 forum posts
41 photos

Mine is still on the rubber feet. these are on top of 2 layers of 1" ply about 3 inches wide.

Nothing is bolted or screwed to any of its neighbours.

The reason for raising it was to fit a hozelock fitting to the RH front to drain suds back to the 1 gallon bottle sump.

It also provides useful space for tool trays underneath.

It all stands on a Halfords metal bench with a 1" dense chipboard top. The chipbaord was soak coated with an oil based air drying Ikea finish to stop the suds ruining it.

The bench top was leveled up before the lathe was put on top. I then checked the bed ways with a spirit level and it was near enough for me.

I have had no problems with this set up and get accurate results for what I do.

I just made some phosphor bronze bushes for an up and over garage door to within 0.02 mm

I have more problem reading the scales to get to size than I do with the accuracy of the machine.

The scales read depth of cut so you have to x 2 for diameter reduction. I now use a dry wipe board to work out diameter reduction dived by 2 to get the divisions feed required.


Hope that helps.


Regards Clive

Edited By Clive Farrar on 22/01/2015 18:38:46

Michael Cox 122/01/2015 18:51:27
549 forum posts
27 photos

Mine is fixed to a 19 mm chipboard benchtop.. The rubber feet were not used. The lathe is mounted on two raising blocks made from 50 x 50 x 4 mm hollow steel sections. The drip tray has been replace by a much larger tray ( a growbag tray. At the head stock end the raising block is bolted tightly down through the drip tray but at the tailstock end the raising block bolts are loose and serve only to locate the lathe. More details are here:


Neil Wyatt22/01/2015 18:52:47
18990 forum posts
734 photos
80 articles

I am meaning what the Americans call 7x10, 7x12, 7x14 mini-lathes. I won't list all the UK variants. Yours is a tad bigger than that Gordon!

Mine hasn't been rigidly fixed in 16 years, but with the bigger motor I've reached the point where it can start to bounce around a bit too much.

I'm now writing some advice for installing them, and I am interested in finding outteh approaches people use and why, so thanks for the comments so far.

I do have the holes in my bench to fix mine down, but still haven't done the deed. I think the main reason is that as its light enough to turn around to get at the back of it, I don't want to lose the ability to do this.


FMES22/01/2015 20:15:35
608 forum posts
2 photos

Hi Neil,

I have a Clarke CL300M which just sits on the bench on its rubber feet, so that I can pick it up and move it if needs be.

Mostly used for making injectors and I can stick it in the car if I'm doing any club demos.


Neil Wyatt22/01/2015 20:34:20
18990 forum posts
734 photos
80 articles

What is interesting is that no-one seems to be bolting down to a rigid benchtop, and certainly no-one is trying to use shims under the feet to 'level' the lathe. I await with interest to see if someone who does turns up, but so far Mike's approach of solid headstock mounting and loose tailstock end is my favourite suggestion.



Scott22/01/2015 22:06:52
52 forum posts
10 photos

Mine is still on the rubber feet too

Bezzer22/01/2015 23:22:23
156 forum posts
13 photos

My Clarke 300 was always bolted down to a 30ish mm workbench, was luckily level from the off with no need to shim it., Needed to be fixed down anyway a couple of years ago as I got fed up of blowing the control board and fitted another motor and pulley set, it's currently loose and in a corner while I decide what to finally do with it.

Nicholas Wheeler 122/01/2015 23:26:39
906 forum posts
86 photos

I didn't bolt mine down as it made more sense being able to move it.

I haven't bolted its replacement(wm250-vf) down either, as I don't really have space for it, and have to move it slightly to get the gear cover open, or to open the cupboard door that it blocks. I'm less happy about this, but that's the way it has to be.

Danny M2Z23/01/2015 07:33:19
962 forum posts
1 photos

G'day Neil et al.

My minilathe 7x14 is mounted on a sealed 1" marine plywood base with holes countersunk 1/4" for the rubber feet all sitting on a commercial lathe stand with holes drilled through for the bolts. The bolt torque was adjusted to slightly compress the feet without twisting the bed. Fine for the last 9 years but occasionally I do find missing items hiding under the machine.

I also keep a piece of wood under the headstock end to slip across the bed when changing chucks.

* Danny M *

Edited By Danny M2Z on 23/01/2015 07:34:33

Edited By Danny M2Z on 23/01/2015 07:35:12

Eric Cox23/01/2015 09:44:44
541 forum posts
37 photos

I removed the rubber feet and bolted it down to the work bench and I didn't level it, no problems so far.

Douglas Johnston23/01/2015 09:49:04
767 forum posts
34 photos

I have a Myford Speed 10 lathe which is a similar size and was concerned about mounting it directly on my wooden bench when I installed it years ago. I overcame the problem by casting a concrete slab on top of the bench then bolting the lathe to the slab. This has worked very well for me and seems to increase the rigidity of the setup.

My slab is about 3 inches thick and very solid, it was then painted with hammerite paint to prevent absorbing cutting oil. The paint is still perfect after more than ten years. A paving slab from B&Q or a granite offcut would work just as well.


Geoff Theasby23/01/2015 09:53:54
613 forum posts
17 photos

I bought the cabinet for a WM180 and stood it on that. I didn't bolt it down, and I have not needed yet to make long items, so the ultimate in parallel turning has not been required to date.


Bazyle23/01/2015 10:00:23
6295 forum posts
222 photos

My Hobbymat is freestanding but about once a month I put 'fix the tailstock end ' on my TODO list as when using the leadscrew handle it slides around a bit. This end seems more significant than the headstock.

Neil Wyatt23/01/2015 10:20:19
18990 forum posts
734 photos
80 articles

A great range of approaches, but no-one trying to 'level' the bed. is this because Mini Lathes are so much more accurate out of the box, or because we spend more time making than tweaking?

> I also keep a piece of wood under the headstock end to slip across the bed when changing chucks.

I have a bit with a tenon to fit in the centre slot screwed to it - mostly for those odd occasions when I guiltily reach for the hacksaw .


Michael Gilligan23/01/2015 10:36:03
20052 forum posts
1040 photos
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 23/01/2015 10:20:19:

... no-one trying to 'level' the bed. is this because Mini Lathes are so much more accurate out of the box ...


Probably not 'accurate' but certainly more relatively stiff ... Try scaling-up the proportions of your Mini Lathe to see how hefty a full-size equivalent would be.


mechman4823/01/2015 11:27:09
2947 forum posts
468 photos

Look at my thread... Mechman48 19/12/14.. page 4



Edited By mechman48 on 23/01/2015 11:29:46

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