Making A Steel Stand For My Wood Lathe Workshop Projects

I just finished my 12″ jointer build and the big question I had even before I started it was where I would put it it in my small shop. The plan that I pretty much settled on was to make some kind of space in or beside the table saw that would cover it when it wasn’t being used, and just wheel it out when I need it. Very much like my thickness planer and new router table. However, another idea occurred to me: and that was how the jointer is roughly the same size as my wood lathe, and if I made a new stand for the lathe, I could park the jointer directly below it.
It would make the lathe a bit higher, to clear the jointer, but I found that the lathe was a bit low anyway, after building the old stand for it.

Since this new stand would have to take up less space, but still be strong enough to run the machine, I decided that steel would be the best material to use. I raided my shed and pulled out two pieces of rectangular tubing salvaged from my old day job. The long one is 2″ x 3″ and is actually a door mullion (the post between double doors), and the other is 1.5″ x 1.5″ thick wall that was headed for the dumpster on one job, when I grabbed it:

The 2×3 will make up the vertical legs of the stand, while the 1.5×1.5 will make the horizontal arms and feet.

Of course, before I got started I took some measurements and drew up a model for the stand in SketchUp:

The big green box represents the jointer and the maximum space it needs. I angled the legs outwards to give enough space to wheel the jointer in and get it situated. The arms on top attach directly to the bed of the lathe, so it’s basically two single leg frames joined by a wooden cross member near the bottom at the back.

The drawing was a great help when I cut out the parts. I used my angle grinder with a thin blade to make all of the cuts and then did a “dry fit” before welding the parts together:

The arm on the top laps over the top of the leg post and is solidly welded front and back. I also added a big washer here (see in the video below) to reinforce this joint:

The foot at the bottom is welded onto the face of the leg post:

I then bridged the front and back faces of the post by welding a piece inside:

This will add a lot of strength right where it’s needed.

To link the leg frames together, I welded on steel plates that the wooden cross member will bolt to:

I could then bring them into my shop and see how they look in from of the lathe:

Like I said, the lathe will be about 4″ higher, but I think it will still be comfortable to use. It’s not like I’m using it every day – more like one or twice a year, but it’s a tool that I wouldn’t want to do without.

I then painted the frames the “I Build It blue”:

I started with a brush, but switched to a sprayer to finish them. The sprayer is faster and does a more even job.

I left the paint to dry overnight before attaching the 2 x 8 cross member:

And mounted the lathe on top, bolting it securely to the arms:

On its own, it looks pretty elegant and is surprisingly solid. The diagonal braces that I added  between the vertical legs and horizontal arms and feet really help with that. I could also fill the 2 x 3 legs with concrete to add mass and even more stiffness, but that may be overkill, since I rarely use the lathe and never for anything big.

With the jointer parked underneath:

Snug! I made the arms on the lathe stand long enough to use it while the jointer is still in there, just for a quick turning project. Of course, I’d want to pull the jointer out if I had a lot of turning to do, since it would quickly get buried in shavings.
Also thinking about a tool holder and cover for this, to keep it free of general shop dust when not being used, and that will be an upcoming project.

I made this video of the build: