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Hobbymat MD65 chip tray

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Gene Pavlovsky11/01/2022 04:46:02
124 forum posts
80 photos

Good morning, everyone!

I decided to make a chip tray for my Hobbymat MD65. Bought a 1 mm stainless steel sheet of the right depth, cut to width with an angle grinder, and after a day of hammering, got the following. The bottom of the first picture is where the headstock would be. I decided not to bend the edge on this end, it's going to be flush with the end of the plywood benchtop that the lathe lives on, the motor cover extends a bit over the edge. I'll fashion some kind of dam after I install everything, so that cutting fluid will not be able to go there.


Bear in mind this is my first sheet metal project, I didn't think the 1 mm sheet would be quite hard to bend. If I had to do it again, I might have gone with a thinner sheet.

Now I have a question: how do I seal the corner cuts, besides looking for some local shop to weld it? An easy idea I have is to just fill the gaps with a metal-filled epoxy, but that wouldn't look so good. I have a MAPP torch and some silver solder rods, no practical experience with silver soldering. If I understand correctly, it can't fill gaps that wide (~1 mm), so I'd have to fill the gaps with something and then silver solder? Perhaps just a length of solid copper wire of suitable cross section, or cut small pieces out of some thin shim stock (I have various thicknesses of stainless steel and brass), and sand them to shape.


I would also like to ask whether it would be a good idea to slightly raise the lathe above the chip tray, similar to Proxxon's chip trays for their lathes, for example:Proxxon 24008 chip tray for PD 250/E

Proxxon lathes have an undercut in their bases, chips / cutting fluid can fall/drip in between ways and out from under the base, however the MD65 base has a D-shaped bed and a solid base with a flat bottom, any chips / cutting fluid would have to go along the base and over its sides anyway. The flat bottom of the base suggests I should mount it on top of a solid surface, so either directly on top of my chip tray, or add a piece of plywood to fit under the entire base. Not sure what advantages the plywood base would bring, besides a little bit easier access to the on/off and fwd/rev switches. Suggestions?

Thanks folks.

Chris Mate11/01/2022 12:53:22
137 forum posts
32 photos

Like it, had one made for my lathe, now waiting for one for the mill around the vice to be used with vice.

Clive Foster11/01/2022 14:10:07
3104 forum posts
107 photos

Definitely raise the lathe above the chip tray. Put it high enough so you can get a brush under the bed and into the nooks'n crannies to clean things out without too much workshop esperanto.

Objectively a Hobbymat direct on a standard bench will be a bit on the low side for most folk anyway. Spacers of appropriate size would lift it to a more comfortable height

General consensus seems to be that cross slide handle at elbow height when standing at the lathe with arm bent at 90° is a decent approximation to assess if its going to be comfortable to use.

Doing similar to my SouthBend 9 inch machines made room to put a loose chip tray underneath. Loose tray collected most of the swarf and could just be lifted out when full. Lots less sweeping.

With 20-20 hindsight I'd have done better to make the basic chip tray with only a partial upstanding edge along the front leaving the part in front of the main lathe bed open with just a rolled under safe edge. That would have made pulling out the separate tray much easier and facilitated sweeping the chips that escaped it off the main tray and into the swarf bucket.


Former Member11/01/2022 14:45:39
1085 forum posts

[This posting has been removed]

Gene Pavlovsky11/01/2022 17:55:15
124 forum posts
80 photos

Chris, br, thanks for your compliments!

I recently got a mill, a Paulimot F205-V, along with a powder-coated rather thick sheet steel chip tray specifically for this model, with mounting holes pre-drilled, that tray was only 26 EUR. I would buy one if there was a suitable one being sold for the Hobbymat, however it's an old model and I suppose no one makes any accessories for it.

Here in Luxembourg labor is quite expensive and I don't know any local sheet metalworkers, perhaps I have to ask around. A couple of TIG welds on an almost finished products shouldn't cost an arm and a leg, I guess?

Clive, here's a picture of my Hobbymat when I just got it:


So that wooden plank at the bottom, I already removed that, the question is whether to replace it with a somewhat smaller piece of plywood, that would be the same size as the yellow support under the bed. I don't see how it's addition would make it easier or harder to get a brush under the bed and into the nooks and crannies. Either way, I can use a (very low) loose tray between the D-shaped bed and the base, that is a good suggestion.

As for the working height, I am mounting the lathe on top of a rolling tool cart (which will be permanently parked alongside a wall, levelled with levelling casters, and bolted to the wall as well for stability), it's around 1m tall, higher than a typical bench. As things stand, the cross slide handle is slightly below elbow height. A layer of plywood will raise it 18-25 mm (forgot which one I have in stock), but would that really make a noticeable difference? Should I glue several layers of plywood to get to that perfect elbow height? I am foreseeing another trip to the hardware store for longer screws than the ones I've got already.

Does that elbow height rule of thumb also apply to mills? I assume it's the crank handles that have to be at elbow heights.

Clive Foster11/01/2022 18:24:12
3104 forum posts
107 photos


Nice to be reminded what a Hobbymat actually looks like.

Sorry I'd forgotten that the machine has its own built in shallow cabinet base so the clearance between bed and integral base is fixed. So no way to make getting a brush in easier. Seal the base to the tray so stuff cant get under and fester.

Probably best to sit it on your (very nice) chip tray and try for comfort. Sounds like you may well be close enough with your "higher than a normal bench" cart. If it feel s bit low then add plywood or other suitable sheet material to reach the height seems most comfortable.

Same sort of height issues with mills.

Reaching up or down significantly makes turning smaller handles and setting dials a bit harder and more tiring, especially when you just want to adjust things by part of a turn.

Important thing is to get it comfortable for you. My most comfortable handle zone is actually about a inch lower than elbow. I know people who prefer it a little higher.


Gene Pavlovsky11/01/2022 20:41:19
124 forum posts
80 photos

Thanks Clive. I'll follow your advice for now. After all, it won't be hard to adjust things later if I feel like it. Or even jack up the whole cart and put a board under it.

I'm going to a once-a-week woodworking course, they have these nice Ulmia workbenches that are height adjustable (and at the same time super sturdy), great stuff to try different heights.


Chris Mate12/01/2022 04:14:56
137 forum posts
32 photos

On advice origially with the lathe from a local machinist, I raised the lathe as well as new mill and not regretting it.

With mill I went to him he has a knee mill, we put in his biggest vice and I adjusted the bed up & down till I liked it, then measured his bed table from the floor, and that lead to how much I must lift my mill, so I poured a concrete raiser with 6x bolte protruding and bolted the cabinet the mill mounted on down.

Note:My theory is if you bolt the lathe down, you must shim it to cut straight if whatever you bolt it down to is not perfectly flat.

Edited By Chris Mate on 12/01/2022 04:17:01

Gene Pavlovsky12/01/2022 08:54:40
124 forum posts
80 photos

Chris, thanks for the advice as well. The top of the tool cart is covered with cabinet-grade plywood, which should be pretty straight and stable. However I don't discount the possibility that I will have to shim the lathe. And in that case it will indeed need an extra layer of plywood underneath - with the shims added there will be some gap and all the gunk will be able to get under the base, with no easy way to clean it out. Unless I run a bead of silicone sealant around the base, or something like that.

Clive, did you mean silicone sealant when you mentioned sealing the base to the tray?

Thanks guys

Bazyle12/01/2022 10:11:43
6297 forum posts
222 photos

Nice tray, I should make one for mine as the catering tray I got was diverted as a drip tray for the loco when on a rolling road. Since it is so nice I would take the hit on getting the corners welded by a garage.

A plywood raiser would soak up oil and be a mess eventually. I suggest flat on tray with small metal spacers between lathe bed and tray edges to stop it moving laterally, with tray held by clamps holding the edge down. ie avoid any holes through the tray for bolts which defeats the reason for having it. Mine is just loose on top of a formica topped bench and does annoy me by moving when I wind the saddle handle vigorously.

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