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Lathe stand to suit an ML7

Are commercial workbenches any good?

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David T16/01/2018 16:19:23
74 forum posts
14 photos

Afternoon all,

Does anyone have any experience using a "mechanic" style commercially-available workbench as a lathe stand? Something like this:

https://www.machinemart.co.uk/p/cwb1205p-5-drawer-workbench/

(not necessarily that one, just the first one I plucked from the internet. Also, no connection to the vendor etc etc)

My lathe (an ML7) is currently mounted on a wooyden bench that I built onto the wall of my workshop. It has served me well, but I am thinking about reorganising the workshop. A bench like the one above would allow me to move and re-mount the lathe with a minimum of fuss. And again in the future, should the need arise. The drawers would be useful too, of course.

Am I barking up the wrong tree? If one of these benches is viable, are there any brands I should look out for?

Thanks!

Edited By David T on 16/01/2018 16:20:58

Brian Wood16/01/2018 16:31:37
2202 forum posts
37 photos

David,

I built my machine benches using Dexion slotted angle and topped them off with flooring grade chipboard, paying due attention to sinking bolt heads etc into the underside of the sheet to let the Dexion support it and not just the bolt heads.

I've had benches like that for years, the present ones stand on and are bolted to concrete floors. It allows you full flexibility in design and coverage of the space you have.

Regards Brian

Brian Baker 116/01/2018 16:48:13
avatar
124 forum posts
24 photos

Greetings David,

I am still using the Dexion stand that came with the first Myford I purchased in 1977. It now has its forth different Myford on top. Just like Brian W, I used a wooden top, in the form of a kitchen worktop, again with the bolts recessed. I had made a large tray for the lathe to stand in. It has survived two workshop rebuildings and a house move

It has survived moving in the workshop, and a house move. I would not swop it for a manufacturers model, lots more storage for a start.

One day I will paint it.

Regards

Brian B

Edited By Brian Baker 1 on 16/01/2018 16:48:50

Edited By Brian Baker 1 on 16/01/2018 16:49:14

David Standing 116/01/2018 18:45:48
1288 forum posts
48 photos

Since Myford recommended levelling the lathe when new, and the principle has not changed, the answer has to be are you happy to mount the lathe to a bench, if that does not give you the facility to level it should you so desire - or require.

Samsaranda16/01/2018 19:31:47
avatar
939 forum posts
5 photos

David I have a Warco BV 20 lathe, very similar size to a Myford, originally had it mounted on the stand that I purchased from Warco with the lathe, but reorganising the workshop realised that there was a lot of wasted space under the lathe. I bought a bench from Axminster with drawers and shelves underneath, very similar to the one you have shown from Machine Mart, mounted my lathe on it and I can say it was a great improvement. The main benefit that I got, apart from much improved storage, was it brought the lathe up to a much more comfortable height to work at. I am not that tall, used to be 5’11” before advancing years shrunk me, now no more backache from hunching over the lathe. If it just improves your comfort whilst working then it is well worth considering.

Dave W

Pete Rimmer16/01/2018 20:17:20
734 forum posts
50 photos
Posted by David T on 16/01/2018 16:19:23:

Afternoon all,

Does anyone have any experience using a "mechanic" style commercially-available workbench as a lathe stand? Something like this:

**LINK**

(not necessarily that one, just the first one I plucked from the internet. Also, no connection to the vendor etc etc)

My lathe (an ML7) is currently mounted on a wooyden bench that I built onto the wall of my workshop. It has served me well, but I am thinking about reorganising the workshop. A bench like the one above would allow me to move and re-mount the lathe with a minimum of fuss. And again in the future, should the need arise. The drawers would be useful too, of course.

Am I barking up the wrong tree? If one of these benches is viable, are there any brands I should look out for?

Thanks!

Edited By David T on 16/01/2018 16:20:58

I don't know where you're located but there's a nice Shaublin cabinet still advertised here. I bet it would make a grand base for a ML7.

https://www.homeworkshop.org.uk/index.php?option=com_adsmanager&view=show_ad&adid=31683&catid=2

Edited By Pete Rimmer on 16/01/2018 20:18:01

Simon Collier17/01/2018 06:16:55
avatar
353 forum posts
56 photos

img_1488.jpg

Coincidentally, I just finished upgrading my ML-7 stand yesterday. It is a recycled barbecue trolley with a bit of ply plus a bit of kitchen bench top. I added two extra legs and some bracing. The switch was from ebay and thanks to Warwick Allison for wiring it to the motor for me. You can tell it is just finished as it is so clean! It is all pretty rigid and flat, plenty good enough for a little lathe.

Brian Baker 117/01/2018 08:35:39
avatar
124 forum posts
24 photos

Greetings,

I should have said that my Dexion/tray stand incorporates home made leveling mounting blocks.

Must take a picture.

Regards

Brian

David T17/01/2018 09:25:44
74 forum posts
14 photos

Morning all, thank you for your replies.

I am comfortable (happy, even) doing a bit of woodwork, so I can knock up a stand-alone bench if need be. I am trying to decide whether the cost of materials + the time required is worth it versus a store bought bench that's ready to go.

Naturally any bench will have to allow the lathe to be levelled and / or shimmed. My present bench is just over 3' high which is a comfortable height for me. I expect any bench I bought would be lower, so I'd need to use raising blocks anyway. Unfortunately I only have a small hatchback for transport, so any option I take either has to be delivered or dismantled / flatpacked.

On the other hand, I could just buy a bigger, floor-standing lathe.........

KMP17/01/2018 12:16:44
73 forum posts
2 photos

Hi David T, I had my S7 mounted on one of the much cheaper MM benches for over 10 years without too many problems but recently changed it for a home made bench (see my photo album) as the top had started to bow. I would have to say that these stands are not made from thick enough steel really and are prone to be noisy and easily damaged. If you have any vibration they will rattle and the drawers open (or are prone to) with interrupted cuts etc. As standard the top will require some stabilisation if it is not to bow over time. I had a good look at the stand you linked to but decided at that price I could do much better myself. Luckily I had an unused roll cabinet and incorporated that for drawer space, it works really well. It was not however a cheap option. In the past I have used angle iron/Dexion benches with every success and would not hesitate to build another if required, but as I have the welding equipment I felt I should use it, adjustable feet are easily fabricated from 12mm or so round head coach bolts/nuts and a suitable mounting plate on the stand. The top if well supported can be anything you have really but I used two layers of 18mm ply again with every success. I did however, use the Myford adjustable raising blocks (or my version of them) and after regular checking found that things were very stable and rarely needed adjustment.

I'm sure you can produce something very suitable and leave a good deal for some extra tooling which is always useful.

Regards Keith

Jon Gibbs17/01/2018 13:09:54
739 forum posts

+1 for homemade levelling blocks. You'd be very fortunate to get it level enough to turn parallel without them.

Mine have M16 bolts bored to accept M8 or 5/16" bolts from underneath the lathe.

For an ML7 the key dimensions (Courtesy of Wiktoria Jablonska (Anna) from the Myford forum) the rising blocks are on 4 5/8" centres and lengthwise it is 22 1/4" between the holes.

HTH

Jon

Trevor Drabble17/01/2018 13:28:06
avatar
211 forum posts
5 photos

David , Just to throw a curved ball into the thread , may I suggest a lathe stand , item number 505177 from Axminster Power Tools ?

Trevor .

Niels Abildgaard17/01/2018 13:56:08
310 forum posts
116 photos

Sometime ago lathe mounting was discussed here**LINK**

David Standing 117/01/2018 13:59:36
1288 forum posts
48 photos
Posted by David T on 17/01/2018 09:25:44:

Morning all, thank you for your replies.

I am comfortable (happy, even) doing a bit of woodwork, so I can knock up a stand-alone bench if need be. I am trying to decide whether the cost of materials + the time required is worth it versus a store bought bench that's ready to go.

Naturally any bench will have to allow the lathe to be levelled and / or shimmed. My present bench is just over 3' high which is a comfortable height for me. I expect any bench I bought would be lower, so I'd need to use raising blocks anyway. Unfortunately I only have a small hatchback for transport, so any option I take either has to be delivered or dismantled / flatpacked.

On the other hand, I could just buy a bigger, floor-standing lathe.........

Without teaching my granny etc; I hope that you realise you can only properly set up a Myford if you have a stable base to level the lathe to. Because timber is a dynamic material, and moves with weather, heat, humidity, natural ongoing seasoning of the wood etc, it is not necessarily a static base to work with.

You could level the lathe so it turns parallel one week, and the weather etc effect on a timber base totally throw that out the next week.

It's a chance you need to be prepared to take if you go with a timber base.

All of the six Myfords I have owned have sat on the steel factory cabinets, and I have always levelled the stand first, then fitted the lathe to that base.

Setting up a Myford is not just 'levelling' it in the context of the base being in the horizontal plane, or the lathe itself the same, it has to incorporate a parallel turning test, which is well documented.

For all intents and purposes setting it up to turn parallel will quite possibly involve the adjusters twisting the lathe bed, if the bench goes with the adjustments, it will never achieve the aim of turning parallel, or for that matter necessarily staying that way.

norm norton17/01/2018 14:04:58
119 forum posts
6 photos

David

It is really useful to have a cabinet with drawers and storage space underneath.

I use one from Axminster under my Myford like this: **LINK**

Norm

Pero17/01/2018 14:34:48
113 forum posts

Most of the issues with timber can be overcome by the use of properly seasoned timber for construction with the finished cabinet thoroughly painted inside and out. A good idea anyway if any ply, MDF or chipboard is used in the construction.

By following this process my Myford has been sitting happily, and sufficiently accurately for my purposes, on such a bench for over thirty years.

A steel bench will also expand and contract with temperature and not necessarily at the same rate as the lathe mounted upon it. The effect can be even worse if part of the bench is exposed to the sun through a window. The same applies to the lathe irrespective of the bench (timber or steel) it is mounted on. In this case curtains may be the best answer and the sewing machine your best friend.

Pero

Samsaranda17/01/2018 16:41:06
avatar
939 forum posts
5 photos

David, the bench featured by Norm Norton is the one I obtained and very stable with a superb thick ply top which was ideal to mount the lathe on. Was so impressed with it that I bought another to mount my small mill on, well pleased with my purchases.

Dave W

Bazyle17/01/2018 18:24:18
avatar
5290 forum posts
201 photos

Wow these benches are expensive. The tinny ones might be improved by gluing (contact adhesive all over) and screwing thick ply to the big metal faces to reduce vibration. Ditch the wibbly wobbly feet for a couple of bits of 4x2 and shim for level.

If you are into woodwork a couple of sheets of ( decent not OSB) 3/4" ply would make a better bench.

If you are near a Costco they do a nice heavy duty shelf unit for about £120. This provides the metal part below the cost of Dexion or angle iron. It is a custom pack of what is available in kit form elsewhere expensively in the UK but common in Bunnings (Au).

David Standing 117/01/2018 19:18:46
1288 forum posts
48 photos
Posted by Pero on 17/01/2018 14:34:48:

Most of the issues with timber can be overcome by the use of properly seasoned timber for construction with the finished cabinet thoroughly painted inside and out. A good idea anyway if any ply, MDF or chipboard is used in the construction.

By following this process my Myford has been sitting happily, and sufficiently accurately for my purposes, on such a bench for over thirty years.

A steel bench will also expand and contract with temperature and not necessarily at the same rate as the lathe mounted upon it. The effect can be even worse if part of the bench is exposed to the sun through a window. The same applies to the lathe irrespective of the bench (timber or steel) it is mounted on. In this case curtains may be the best answer and the sewing machine your best friend.

Pero

Ah, but I did not suggest a steel bench, I suggested the steel cabinet stand that Myford lathes were originally supplied with smiley

peak417/01/2018 22:26:29
avatar
1105 forum posts
127 photos

Another curved ball for you, but it might save you a lot of dosh.

Have you considered a home made bench, but using a length of granite worktop off ebay, or similar as the top surface. Solid and stable if you get a decent thick length.

I've just knocked up a stand for a workshop Belfast sink out of 3x3 fence posts, using basic mortice and tenon joints; cheap and cheerful and very solid.

I cut a length of Granite to size to use as a splash-back, and somewhere to mount a hand-wash water heater.

To cut it I, used a normal woodworking hand circular saw, coupled up to an old Aquavac, but with a diamond dry cutting blade. The hole sizes are different, as the diamond blades are designed to be used with an angle grinder. It just needs a different adaptor bush making, and obviously you already have a working lathe to knock one up.

Drilling the mounting holes through was a bit more time consuming, but I just used an electric hand drill in a normal DIY type stand, but with the column reversed, so the drill was behind, rather than over the base. I could then clamp the base to the worktop, in the same manner as using a magnetic drill stand; a bit like using a Rotabroach on an RSJ.

All the best

Bill

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