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Lathe cabinet/box

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sparky mike21/01/2021 12:40:42
219 forum posts
52 photos

I have built a box for my small lathe (14" long) and the lathe is mounted on a 20mm. thick piece of ply which is rebated into the 20mm. thick box sides.

When lathe is not in use I will just turn it upside down and any other parts can also be stored in the box. What I need to know is what can I use in the way of cabinet catches in order to secure the lid /lathe when in stored state.


Clive Foster21/01/2021 13:41:26
2596 forum posts
90 photos

If you don't mind making the latch(es) yourself the "Ultimate Box Latch" from Guy Lautards Machinist's Bedside reader is neat and strong. DIY lets you make it the right size for you too. Most box latches are pretty weak.

Basically a circular "dial" about 1/2" thick fitted to the main box with an eccentric locking groove in the back capturing a 1/4" diameter pin projecting from the lid. There is a slot at the thinnest wall part of the groove letting the pin escape at the unlocked position. Guy says his version is based on one shown in Model Engineer, November 22 nd, 1928.

The locking groove being eccentric gives some fitting tolerance. It doesn't really matter if it locks after 1/4 or a turn or 3/8 rd of a turn. Most conventional latches need you to be pretty accurate with positioning the lid and box parts if its not to be loose. The over centre toggle type "ammo box" clips are also good in this respect but less than pretty.

Lots of different ways a latch similar to Guy's can be made. I've seen some similar commercial versions.

Book is out of print so PM me if you want a bit more info.


Edited By Clive Foster on 21/01/2021 13:46:21

Dave Halford21/01/2021 13:59:44
1291 forum posts
12 photos

Toggle latches might do it

sparky mike21/01/2021 14:34:33
219 forum posts
52 photos

Hi Clive, as the thick lid is in the sides rebate and flush I do not think your method would suit, but might well help design some other method.

I had thought about toggle latches as I have a load of them but the latch needs to work round a right angle corner.

I will have to post a photo of the set-up.


Clive Foster21/01/2021 15:50:12
2596 forum posts
90 photos

Hi Mike

Toggle latches can be got with 90° bases to work round corners, I may still have some somewhere, but they are very inelegant. As I remember it I used some about 30 years ago, shuddered at the looks and said never again.

Can't see any reason why the sort of latch Guy described couldn't be made with the eccentric slotted disk inside driven by an external knob. A horizontal pin suitably spaced up from the base will engage just fine with the slot.

Somehow I ended up with a box of commercial die-cast ones that are, sort of, arranged the reverse of that way with the slot on the outside with a small knob beneath and a separate hooked engager coming down at right angles. Nicely made, well finished and seriously ugly.


Howard Lewis21/01/2021 18:41:13
4448 forum posts
8 photos

Unless I misunderstand, you plan to remove the lathe mnfrom the box, turn it upside down and store mkit in the box.

Sounds as if it could become a PITA. You would have to take everything out of the box, before turning it "right way up" to use the lathe. the shop could become like Rubik's Cube with everything having to be moved before and after using the lathe.

May I suggest leaving an opening at the "front of the stand, so that you can reinforce it to fit at least one shelf. What you store in the vbox will be accessible without having to disturb the lathe.

This is quite normal practice, for lathes from hobby ones to industrial ones. It makes for handy storage of spare chucks, chuck jaws, drill chucks, lathe tools, spanners etc. If you are careful, even DTIs and their stands.


bernard towers21/01/2021 19:50:36
106 forum posts
66 photos

Try this one,I have made Guys catches but find them a bit of a PITA.

bernard towers21/01/2021 19:51:21
106 forum posts
66 photos

Sorry the phots have disappeared, will have another go

bernard towers21/01/2021 19:51:53
106 forum posts
66 photos


bernard towers21/01/2021 19:52:44
106 forum posts
66 photos


sparky mike21/01/2021 21:50:56
219 forum posts
52 photos

Found a couple of latches on Ebay and will try them out. Only £2.75 a pair so worth a gamble.

Re storing parts in the box. To clarify the work, the box stays normal way up. Only the lathe on its base plate is turned upside down to store and vice versa to use. The box is to make it a better height to work with when on kitchen table. I made the box deeper than lathe height, so that parts can be stored.

Bazyle22/01/2021 01:28:56
5787 forum posts
216 photos

Too late but my recommendation would have been a butterfly latch. I have had some seriously big equipment delivered to work with this kind of latch for the crate. However if you google images of 'box latch' there are some lovely designs - I'm tempted to get some fancy ones now to retrofit some of my boxes.

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