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Raising my lathe

Joined
Jan 3, 2023
Messages
44
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Location
Arnold, CA
I'd like to raise my lathe about 3 1/2 - 4" up. This would put my spindle right at elbow height ( I'm 6' 5"). I have tested this by cutting up a scrap piece of 4x12 header and placing it under the lathe legs. While this gets the height where I want it the lathe is less stable. My floors aren't very flat and I think having such a large "foot" now, foot meaning the surface area of the blocks I used, is the cause of the loss in stability. I think the blocks contact the high spots on the floor and can rock enough to allow some oscillation to occur.
Pouring a concrete block at each end seems like a possible answer but I am reluctant to do so as I will likely move this lathe at some point in the near future. I have seen leg extensions on other lathes but have not seen them for this lathe-maybe there's something I have yet to find...

Any ideas on how to get this lathe up higher? Or if you've done it in and can share what you did? My lathe is a jet 1642.

Thanks!
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2023
Messages
72
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Location
Los Angeles, CA
I'd like to raise my lathe about 3 1/2 - 4" up. This would put my spindle right at elbow height ( I'm 6' 5"). I have tested this by cutting up a scrap piece of 4x12 header and placing it under the lathe legs. While this gets the height where I want it the lathe is less stable. My floors aren't very flat and I think having such a large "foot" now, foot meaning the surface area of the blocks I used, is the cause of the loss in stability. I think the blocks contact the high spots on the floor and can rock enough to allow some oscillation to occur.
Pouring a concrete block at each end seems like a possible answer but I am reluctant to do so as I will likely move this lathe at some point in the near future. I have seen leg extensions on other lathes but have not seen them for this lathe-maybe there's something I have yet to find...

Any ideas on how to get this lathe up higher? Or if you've done it in and can share what you did? My lathe is a jet 1642.

Thanks!
Depends what your current floor is...

if its concrete, you could scribe/carve the 4x12 so it lays relatively flat and lag the 4x12 to foundation with at least 3 bolts and then bolt the legs of the lathe to the 4x12...

remember, no matter what, raising the center of gravity of a lathe by 4" is going to create a lot more potential movement... I'm 6'3"... I feel your pain....
 
Joined
Oct 25, 2020
Messages
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Location
Minneapolis, MN
Pour the concrete, just put a buffer between the pour and the floor to keep it from being permanent. If the lathe needs to be moved, the blocks can be decommisioned. Something thin- raid a local construction site dumpster for scrap Tyvek, rosin paper, rubber roof membrane, or asphalt paper. This way the concrete will form itself to your floor irregularities and you can create a level surface between the legs. Make one pad for each foot, about 10" square by the thickness you need. Use 5000psi bagged readimix from the lumberyard, buy 2 bags, mix one at a time. You could even precast a bolt into the concrete for the lathe feet, if the base allows for it, creating instant ballast.
 
Last edited:

Dave Landers

Beta Tester
Joined
Dec 1, 2014
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Estes Park, CO
Website
dlwoodturning.com
I used to have a riser for my 1642. Don't have it anymore, but from memory: Two legs from a few bits of plywood laminated together. Cut so the feet of my riser were about the same footprint as the lathe feet. I added a 1x2 or 2x2 stringer between the two legs, mainly so they'd stay put and not tip over. Tops of the legs had holes (recess) to accept the lathe feet, and bottoms had T-nuts and feet (or maybe it was just bolts/washers for adjustment).
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2007
Messages
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Location
Eugene, OR
My first 'real' lathe was a 3520A. It was too short as it was, so I put it up on two 4 by 4s. I did brace the back side of them onto the wall with vertical 2 by 4s. I also drilled some small recesses for the leveling feet. It sat pretty flat on the floor, and I had easy access to the leveling feet.

As for the concrete on your floor, that would be fairly simple. I wouldn't worry about it sticking to the floor since you could probably give a few taps with a sledge and it will break free, kind of like the paper and glue trick for waste blocks. However, it seemed like during my days of doing concrete, if you wanted it to stick, it wouldn't, and if you didn't want it to stick, it would.... I would make them over sized. I don't think you would need any reinforcing in it.

robo hippy
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
353
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Location
Delray Beach, FL
Don't know if this will fit but?
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2019
Messages
151
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114
Location
Warrenton, Virginia
On my 3520b I used a 4x4 underneath the legs on each side. I lag bolted the wood to the base through the holes used for the adjustable feet. Then put some 3/8” steel plate on the bottom of the wood. The steel allowed me to drill and tap the steel plate to accept a heavier set of screw type adjustable feet. This allows me to move the lathe as needed and still adjust it to be level in the new location. I can also still adjust the height in the future…
IMG_0121.jpeg
I added the rubber pad below the feet to help control walking across the floor if a piece vibrates too much. Bolting the lathe down would be nice but then you lose flexibility.
 
Joined
Apr 1, 2024
Messages
5
Likes
0
Location
Elysian, MN
I'd like to raise my lathe about 3 1/2 - 4" up. This would put my spindle right at elbow height ( I'm 6' 5"). I have tested this by cutting up a scrap piece of 4x12 header and placing it under the lathe legs. While this gets the height where I want it the lathe is less stable. My floors aren't very flat and I think having such a large "foot" now, foot meaning the surface area of the blocks I used, is the cause of the loss in stability. I think the blocks contact the high spots on the floor and can rock enough to allow some oscillation to occur.
Pouring a concrete block at each end seems like a possible answer but I am reluctant to do so as I will likely move this lathe at some point in the near future. I have seen leg extensions on other lathes but have not seen them for this lathe-maybe there's something I have yet to find...

Any ideas on how to get this lathe up higher? Or if you've done it in and can share what you did? My lathe is a jet 1642.

Thanks!
Best and most sustainable way to jack up your lathe may be to form a couple of pads, one for each end. Drill a couple anchor bolts into the old floor or short rebar (just to keep the new pads in place, not to anchor the lathe) and pour polymeric premix sack type grout (very durable stuff, not Sackrete by any means) (Home Depot) into the forms. Use your level. This is pretty simple and quick. You will be back to turning in a couple of days.
 
Joined
Apr 1, 2024
Messages
5
Likes
0
Location
Elysian, MN
Pour the concrete, just put a buffer between the pour and the floor to keep it from being permanent. If the lathe needs to be moved, the blocks can be decommisioned. Something thin- raid a local construction site dumpster for scrap Tyvek, rosin paper, rubber roof membrane, or asphalt paper. This way the concrete will form itself to your floor irregularities and you can create a level surface between the legs. Make one pad for each foot, about 10" square by the thickness you need. Use 5000psi bagged readimix from the lumberyard, buy 2 bags, mix one at a time. You could even precast a bolt into the concrete for the lathe feet, if the base allows for it, creating instant ballast.
Be careful about construction dumpsters. Site supervisors will kick your rear to the street due to liability issues! Sorry, but most are savvy to dumpster divers by now, even those with good intentions.
 
Joined
Jan 3, 2023
Messages
44
Likes
38
Location
Arnold, CA
A couple more good ideas! Thank you everyone! I think I am going to try Dave and Kent's idea (these seem pretty similar in concept) due to me wanting to move the lathe at some point. I will report back.
 
Joined
Apr 11, 2014
Messages
426
Likes
424
Location
Dallas, TX
Pardon the excess.
Before I built out the OUTBOARD SIDE, I already had the lathe on the platform you see here - I do big hollow-forms which are grossly out of balance.
Some comments:
  • The end of the 2x8 (tailstock) and 2x10 (headstock) beams are on pieces of Trex, the plastic plank material favored for high-end decks
  • The lathe is lag-bolted to the beam with loose bolts - I'm a believer it's better to slow down -
  • I extended the first two boards since this pic was taken
Goal was to do outside work at normal spindle height of 43" and do the hollowing standing flat-footed with a straight back which requires a spindle height of about 52"
Probably not a good idea for a two-car garage, especially with a car.

Guessing this is excessive, a yellow pine or white oak 2x6 under each end and extending maybe 4" to 6" out with 1-in Trex on the ends would both be stable (maybe using levelers) and give a considerable footprint extension.


Y16-0825_16 Oneway 2424 - 4650_ mod.jpg
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2013
Messages
128
Likes
443
Location
Delaware
IMG_0522.jpeg

IMG_0523.jpeg
The lathe I purchased from Harvey Fein had 4” steel, square section tubing under it in his shop (he is tall!).

Once I located where I wanted the lathe in my shop I marked and drilled the concrete floor for anchors while the tubing was bolted in place to the base of the Stubby S1000.

That extra 4” put it right at a perfect height for me.
I then cut and placed rubber flooring around the tubing and covered the area around the lathe to cushion my old bones rather than working on the unforgiving concrete floor!

“IncStores 5/8 Inch Thick Evolution Rubber Interlocking Floor Tiles”​

Flexible Rubber Floor Tiles for a Stronger and Safer Basement, workshop, etc.​

 
Joined
Jan 3, 2023
Messages
44
Likes
38
Location
Arnold, CA
John- WOW, what a setup! More then I'm looking to do but I love seeing your setup-amazing!

Pat, that's another good option! Thank you both!!!
 
Joined
Feb 18, 2023
Messages
600
Likes
1,063
Location
Orange, CA
Pardon the excess.
Before I built out the OUTBOARD SIDE, I already had the lathe on the platform you see here - I do big hollow-forms which are grossly out of balance.
Some comments:
  • The end of the 2x8 (tailstock) and 2x10 (headstock) beams are on pieces of Trex, the plastic plank material favored for high-end decks
  • The lathe is lag-bolted to the beam with loose bolts - I'm a believer it's better to slow down -
  • I extended the first two boards since this pic was taken
Goal was to do outside work at normal spindle height of 43" and do the hollowing standing flat-footed with a straight back which requires a spindle height of about 52"
Probably not a good idea for a two-car garage, especially with a car.

Guessing this is excessive, a yellow pine or white oak 2x6 under each end and extending maybe 4" to 6" out with 1-in Trex on the ends would both be stable (maybe using levelers) and give a considerable footprint extension.


View attachment 62222
This should be a centerfold in a magazine.
 
Joined
Apr 11, 2014
Messages
426
Likes
424
Location
Dallas, TX
Works for me - I'll start looking for a "woodturner???" to be at the lathe.
I don't think me in a speedo would sell magazines. Then again, might attract a few geezerettes
 
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