Lathe - Bench/Base/Foot



9" Horizontal Mount Setup Advice (Apr 24, 2002) Lathe Setup Question (Oct 10, 2003)
Wooden bench? (Oct 27, 2002) Workbench plans (Dec 23, 2003)
Level bench (Oct 29, 2002) 8 legs on my table (Dec 25, 2003)
Mounting a lathe (Nov 3, 2002) SB 9" Bench Ideas (Jan 17, 2004)
Lathe in concrete (Nov 3, 2002) Mounting/leveling a 16" sbl (May 25, 2004)
Mounting Dimensions (Nov 13, 2002) Lathe on Casters (May 28, 2004)
Lathe with the smallest footprint? (Nov 20, 2002) Lathe Bench (Jun 22, 2004)
Wandering lathe (Dec 15, 2002) Granite slab for a lathe bench? (Aug 6, 2004)
How deep is the SB 9 inch bench top? (Dec 16, 2002) Anchoring SB9 to concrete floor (Aug 16, 2004)
South Bend Bench (Feb 8, 2003) Securing lathe to floor (Sep 29, 2004)
Wood Lathe Bench Plan (Feb 10, 2003) Installing a lathe (Sep 30, 2004)
Bench width (Feb 14, 2003) Lathe Stand (Oct 28, 2004)
Bench Top (Mar 2, 2003) Workshop 9 legs? (Oct 31, 2004)
Flooring (Apr 19, 2003) Support Stand for 9A (Feb 5, 2005)
9" A Which Height? (Oct 1, 2003) Table size 9 inch (Feb 16, 2005)
9" Horizontal Mount Setup Advice
I have a 9" A HMD for which I am drafting up a bench plan. Can anyone tell me the factory/proper distance to mount the drive unit away from the lathe? I don't have a belt yet and I'd like to establish this measurement before I get one. Dennis (4043)
Please get your belt first and then set it all up before you splice the belt. Or if you get a fixed length belt like the ones from McMaster-Carr you need the belt before you drill the holes. That is why my bench has 4 sets of holes for the countershaft and two for the lathe. JWE (4045)
The distance to the horizontal mount is determined by the belt length and the belt length is determined by the distance between the cone pulleys? Which comes first the chicken or the egg? Could this information be in the South Bend Installation Setup guide? Does anyone have a copy handy? I'd like to stick to factory specs as much as possible. (4065)
I put a page from SBL in the Photos section that shows pretty much what you're asking for, although there's no actual measurement for the mounting holes. That can be inferred. See "SB 9 InchInfo. Paul R. (4070)
It should be 15 3/4" from the center of the bed rear leg bolt down hole to the center line of the pivot axle that hinges the jack shaft, pulleys and motor assembly. Per my SB instructions. I hope this is clear. Note that the belt tensioning function depends on this dimension. (4079)
Wooden bench?
I have a 1972 9" Model A. This thing, it seems, came with a WOOD-top stand/bench from the factory. How can I ever properly level the machine on this? Is this at all possible? The lathe is in a garage with no heating or air conditioning, so I'm assuming the wood, even though it's thoroughly impregnated with solvent, cutting fluid and the like, will still expand and contract with the changing of temperature. Does anyone else have this setup? Bilal (6826)
Lots of folks seem to think wood *can't* be used for a lathe bench without having lots of problems. Just about every older lathe setup in garages and shops was on a wood benchtop. If you think about the movement of wood, there is almost zero change along the length of the grain, a fair bit of movement across the grain, and thickness may or may not vary depending on the grain orientation of the board. If the boards are wide enough to mount the lathe to a single board in the top the remaining question becomes expansion and contraction in the thickness of the wood. I would recommend using large washers - perhaps homemade ones 4 inches in diameter or so made from 1/4 inch plate - under the nuts if you through bolt the lathe to the top. If you do a lot of long work to tight tolerance you may see some variation as the seasons change, then again, you may find you have no problem at all. My SB9 is mounted to an old heavy oak office desk with a masonite/Formica lamination between the original desktop and the lathe. I haven't found that this lathe requires more realignment than the SB13 which has cast iron legs and sits on the concrete floor of the shop. If making a new top, I'd recommend laminating two or three layers of decent 3/4 inch plywood to make a top. Plywood is dimensionally stable, so the only thing is to avoid crushing the wood fibers with the hardware used to mount the lathe. Big washers are the answer to this, combined with a layer of 1/8 inch thick sheet steel under the lathe feet if not over the entire bench surface. As I said, I used masonite and Formica in place of sheet steel under the 9 incher and have had good results. The Formica/masonite sandwich is very hard and hasn't shown any signs of compressing over the last year and a half or so. Tubal Cain (I think...) did an article where he mounted the lathe to the wooden top using shoulder bolts and some other such shop made hardware. From his description, I couldn't figure out how he avoided the hardware crushing the wood fibers when snugged up. Most furniture joints don't fail from the wood expanding, they fail when the wood contracts as it dries out and the glue line or wood at the glue line fails in tension. Stan (6828)
I suppose you could get the machine level on a wood bench. Its not worth the effort, because unless you have a very stable environment it will soon be off again. As you have already noticed. I ended up with a table made from a sheet of 1/2" aluminum (6061) with 1 1/2" schedule 80 pipe legs. I threaded one end of each leg and installed 3000 psi forged caps. The caps are drilled for 1/2 13 bolts that go through the aluminum top. I used 1/4" aluminum gussets on the sides fastened with U bolts to the legs. Another piece of pipe (2") is held between the gussets with 3/4 10 thread rod. This thing is easy to level and basically stays level on the concrete floor. I slide a metal cabinet under it to store lathe stuff, but there is no contact between the sheet metal cabinet and the lathe bench. This eliminates noise problems. Even better is a roll out cabinet that can be used as a tool laydown surface when your using the machine. I sometimes forget to close the drawers and end up with a drawer full of chips, no fun. RC (6829)
If you're going to make a plywood top make certain you get a grade of plywood that doesn't have any concealed voids inside. Frank (6833)
Stan, I haven't tried leveling the bench yet, because I was daunted by advice from fellow machinists at the Physics Machine Shop here at the U. of MD. I'll try leveling it and will see how much it changes over the course of the next year or so. Currently (unleveled) I have 0.001" runout AN INCH from the jaws of the chuck :-). Bilal (6836)
BH Wood isn't all that sensitive to temperature but it is very sensitive to moisture. If the wood is adequately sealed or soaked top and bottom with oil, it shouldn't be able to absorb moisture and therefore won't move. An interesting alternative is shown in the file section of the 9x20 group. A fellow build his bench entirely out of reinforced concrete. He describes how he did it and what he shouldn't have done. It would certainly be rock solid but on the other hand couldn't be moved either. John (6844)
I have a 10K that is mounted on a wood bench top and leveled it with a precision machinist's level. The 10K has two adjustment screws in the bed mount at the tailstock end of the bed. I don't know if your lathe has these. They can be used to take any twist out of the bed. I leveled my lathe about 4 months ago and it has lived in temperatures from 101 degrees to 45 degrees and seems to have held the adjustment OK. tomd (6848)
Tom, No, unfortunately my lathe doesn't have these adjustment screws. I have to use the good old spirit level held crosswise and lengthwise to level it out. Is there any advantage to using a machinist level? I use a metal home-depot quality 8" long level and it seems to be fine, or should I go with the machinist level for absolute flatness of the base (which appears to be it's advantage, to answer my own question). Bilal (6853)
For machines that do not have adjustment feet on the tail end you can use the arrangement that Chris Heapy uses on his Myford 7. When you reach his page click on "techniques" on the left and go to "initial setup". You will certainly want to look at the rest of his site. There are excellent tutorials in the pages along with some outstanding work that he has done. Fred (6854)
Level the bench with the home depot level, you will go nuts if you try to put a machinists level on a wood table. Then put the machinists level on the ways of the lathe, and shim the machine to level. The longitudinal leveling isn't that important just the cross leveling effects the operation. Witch for dings and dirt on the ways they will throw the precision level off scale. The bedways need to be coplanar, or in the same plane. That plane can run down hill by a few thou/ft without hurting anything. RC (6855)
I'm not sure my saddle rocking on 3 corners isn't somehow related to my workbench not being straight. More research is indicated. (6856)
As far as the wood crushing, you could use a technique used to accurize rifle stocks. It called pillar bedding. Basically you create a pillar or sleeve of epoxy compound to replace a certain diameter of wood. The stuff we use to use was called basinite. I would look into using JB weld if it is soupy enough. I would do two holes at a time, so the other two holes would keep the former ones aligned. Use some type of release agent on the metal parts. PAM cooking spray might do the trick or a release agent for fiberglass molding. You can also coat the bolts with some type of grease. Lubriplate should work well. Tom (6857)
Level bench
I made a stand for my 9"x 48" SBL. For the top I used a 8" x 52" piece of heavy channel iron. I made the legs from 2"x2" 1/4" wall square tube steel then bent to suit. I had the channel iron surface ground ( $60 )I then drilled and mounted the lathe to the channel. In a couple of places I had to add a couple of spacers( about .005 ) to true it up. On the bottom of the legs I have adjusters to level the whole works. If needed I can lift up the bench and slip on wheels that I made to fit for easy moving. I did it this way years ago as I had planned on having this set up in the back of a big tool van I had. This way, no matter what incline the van was on the work still would have been level to the lathe itself. Also where I live if a loaded gravel truck goes past and I have my Starrett level on the lathe, the bubble goes back and forth so it worked out for the best anyway. (6865)
Those levels have many uses but that's the first time I heard of using it as a seismograph. lol RC (6872)
I guess I am a slow learner on this leveling . I carefully leveled my 9" SB and got it all just right and then I remembered that the Navy had hundreds of tenders with lathes, surface grinders and milling machines floating on the ocean. Were these decks gimbaled? How did these lathes perform in these Navy Tenders? Dick (6906)
It's twist in the bed that's the issue. It doesn't have to be level, just free of twist. Paul R. (6907)
Level doesn't matter, the actual aim is to eliminate any twist to the bed. I dial in the fine alignment using a bar and indicator on my old SB13, the bed isn't perfect so this approach allows me to get the best possible bed twist adjustment. I rough it in with a level, then tweak the adjustable mounts I made to get the spindle centerline coaxial with the bed centerline. It turns out this is very similar (the same?) as a method commonly referred to as "Rollies Dads Method." Don't know who Rollie is or was, but his Dad was using a method know to millwrights for a long time. Machine mounts for use on flexible surfaces are often 3 point so the support structure flexing induces less error - basically the old three legged stools always sit steady approach :-) One or more of the legs or mounts will be mounted hard and fast, the others may be on resilient mounts to decouple a bit more as well. Stan (6908)
Thanks to you and Stan for alerting me to the twisting tension that can occur in improperly setup lathes. (6916)
Mounting a lathe
On this 9" I just got, I'd originally planned to mount the bed to a wooden bench I have, with the motor unit mounted to the wall and the drive coming from above. In the regular horizontal setup, it just takes up too much depth... Is that just complete lunacy or would it work ok? Seems like the flat belt tension is set by an overcenter setup, so as long as the weight of the motor unit and vibration wouldn't pop it out, it seems like it'd be ok... Along those same lines, how much do I need to worry about ensuring that the bed is mounted to something that can't move? My wooden bench is just 3/4" plywood over 2x4, so obviously its not super stiff or anything. Do I need to make up a base to mount the lathe bed to? It wouldn't be that hard to weld up a steel table structure out of 2" square tube that should be reasonably stiff, but there's no sense doing that if its not required. Or is there a better way? Mark (6946)
Originally these lathes were meant to be powered from an overhead lineshaft. I'm playing games with my lathe being on a wooden bench, I have had it suggested a piece of channel iron or I-beam to mount the lathe on...which can then be supported at each end right under the lathe feet. (6949)
I would make sure that you have a good solid base for the feet to sit on, you will not want any flexing. As far as the motor mount, I do not see a problem mounting a motor on the wall if that is what you want, as long as you can throw it out as to not run the headstock. Also will you have a belt long enough? Another thought for you if room is a concern, see if you can find an old treadmill with a DC motor and controller. These work well on the lathe, also give you reversing and speed control. also saves a lot of room. I have found the tread mills in good running condition for a little of nothing at garage sales and flea markets. Clint (6950)
The larger SB lathes often were driven from above, either from lineshafts or from an overhead drive unit that mounted to the bed and hung the driving cone pulley above the spindle cone pulley. Some of these setups end up looking kind of Rube Goldberg-esque but you aren't over into the lunacy camp on this idea :-) A single layer of 3/4 ply is a tad flimsy for a lathe bench. You might consider adding at least one, and preferably two layers of additional 3/4 ply to the top. Glue and screw each piece to the one below. Tightbond 2 or any similar water resistant aliphatic resin (aka yellow carpenters glue that is OK for outdoor apps) is fine, no need for specialty adhesives. A final top layer of 1/4 inch masonite makes a nice hard surface. Make it easy to replace the masonite, it will get grungy over time. You can install T nuts or threaded inserts for the lathe mounting hardware, or through bolt using large washers under the the nuts so the wood fibers don't crush. Naturally, a welded frame with lots of drawers and a 1/2 inch plate top with raised areas for the lathe bed mounting area and the central area lower to allow easy clean up and chip pan usage is a very nice setup. I welded up a nice base for my mill drill, but haven't felt is was needed for my SB9. Mine is on an OLD heavy oak office desk, the Taig is mounted on the raise-up typing tray in one of the cubby holes :-) The Atlas 12 I'm rebuilding will go on a wooden bench where my old Chinese POS 9x20 used to live. It has a top of 3 layers of glued and screwed 3/4 inch ply. The carcass of the bench is 2X6s glued and screwed with the ends skinned with 1/4 inch ply. The rear stringer is bolted to the wall studs. Heavy shelves behind sliding doors fill 2/3 of the base, the other 1/3 is a set of shop made drawers ranging in depth from 1 inch to 3 inches. Lots of room for small tools and gauges in the shallow drawers and room for faceplates and toolholders in the deeper drawers. Stan (6953)
Oh, give me time... :-) Looks like we're going to try and get a piece of 1/2" or 3/4" plate and just set that on top of the existing bench. That should be plenty stiff, right? Weight shouldn't be _too_ bad. We're figuring two guys can move it (it'll be a piece 24" x 60"). Perhaps I'll add some additional 2x4 legs to help support it as well. Sound ok? Mark (6967)
I was just going to use the existing belt. That will put the pulley down reasonably low, but I can just whip up a guard for that so I don't catch my nose in it or something... :-) Are there any blow by blow directions out there for doing this conversion? I don't know very much about DC (or AC! :-) motors. Do they not require the large drive pulley? It helps a ton. Mark (6968)
You will have to fasten the bench to the floor, otherwise it will walk toward the drive unit every time you start the motor, or You could fasten the bench to the wall with a rigid bar in the area of the drive. You may end up doing both depending on how smooth you like your lathe to run. The length of that flat belt effects the smoothness of the machine as well so don't snug things up too much. A long belt acts as a vibration decoupler. RC (6970)
Lathe in concrete
Has anyone made a lathe bench out of concrete, thinking of building a better bench. Matt (6954)
Hey, stacks of concrete block are pretty solid when properly mortared. (6960)
Concrete by its nature shrinks. All concrete shrinks. All concrete cracks. All items made of cement do this. whether or not you notice is another thing. Flatwork (sidewalks, driveways, etc) have tooled joints to initiate the crack in an exact location to keep random cracks from occurring somewhere out in the field of concrete, that way you don't notice it. Basement walls crack, and homeowners get wacky about it. buyers esp. cmu/concrete blocks also shrink. when you are building a structure, as long as things are uniform (think cmu walls of the same height) this movement is tolerable. When you clad the cmu with something, say brick which expands over time, then you get interactions that are potentially dramatic. I would advise against using either for a bench. Since the movement is real, and that it continues forever, your lathe will always be out of level. The forming aspect of concrete too is a bit of an art, you will probably spend more time and $ on the formwork than building a steel bench. If you are looking for mass to stabilize and dampen it, then use sand fill. At least with sand you can drain it out later to move. The cheapo mill-drill types seem to swear by filling their bases with concrete to 'quiet and stabilize' their machines. Well that's all and good because all they are doing is adding weight to improve the 'performance' of their mill. then they end up with a machine that weighs almost as much a s a real Bridgeport. dp (6969)
Sand (dry) works fantastically well to absorb vibration. Years ago I used to fill the drawers of an old steel desk with sand so my light microscopes would become stable and not tremble every time a car passed. Another gambit was to use stacks of magazines, but that wouldn't work for a lathe. Frank (6987)
Being a Civil Engineer, I just couldn't resist chiming in on this one. While it's true that concrete shrinks, it can be managed relatively easily, so I don't see why a concrete bench wouldn't work. Most of the volumetric changes in concrete occur very early in its life, within a month or two after casting. After all, very tall high-rise buildings can be constructed of reinforced concrete, and concrete pedestals are often used for mounting heavy (and precision) industrial equipment. With the use of leveling nuts, I should think a concrete bench would work wonderfully. Just be sure of the location, there'll be no rearranging the shop after placement! Tom (6991)
You might look around on the net for write-ups from people who have thought about making a lathe itself from concrete. One of the issues not mentioned is moisture - concrete is like a sponge in this regard, and that may give you problems with rusting of the lathe. Perhaps if you put something on top of the concrete to act as a barrier. Concrete machine tools actually often use a polymer resin - an epoxy basically - as a binder instead of Portland cement, but that gets expensive. As for moving it, I'd build a sturdy plywood box to serve as a form while casting it - and perhaps never remove that. If you build it bridge style with a gap in the center you could make a wheeled wooden support that won't quite fit underneath, and provide spots in the pedestals for jacks to raise it enough that you can slide the wheel unit in when you want to move it. When I thought of casting a concrete spinning lathe in the basement of my apartment, I was going to put holes in the bed just slightly larger than a bottle jack at shortest extension - concrete is very strong in compression, but pretty weak in tension. So when it came time to move, I figured I could use a jack in the holes to break the bed up into chunks I could carry out and dispose of. Never built it though. (this doesn't preclude using rebar - just run the bars through the gaps so that you can hacksaw them before breaking the concrete). Chris (6992)
One thing I was thinking of doing was to get some steel (galvanized?) tubing about 18 or 20 inches across, run an I beam up the middle with a mounting plate welded on top of it, then fill the void in the tubing with dampening material, concrete was my first thought, but sand would be a little more portable . Anything would be an improvement over the bench (if it deserves to be called that) that it sits on now. Matt (6993)
Realistically, how about a piece of I-beam for a stringer, supported at each end by an I-beam crosspiece atop a stack of block? Myself, I'm just looking for 2 of the cast-iron tailstock-end legs from a Heavy 10 to mount my 9 on. (6994)
Matt The 9" lathe will not require that much of a structure. I can almost carry one myself with out the motor and drive. I have one set up on a 3 X 4 Table on casters. The frame is 3 x 3" angle iron with 3/4" ply board on top. Then has a piece of 3x3 angle iron in the middle. It is holding up very well. Clint (6995)
Mounting Dimensions
I have a 9A HMD model 644Z. Does anyone have a diagram with the mounting hole dimensions? Fred (7210)
Fred What mounting holes? Clint (7212)
The whole enchilada. Fred (7213)
Fred No, I would not know that. Have you tried the UK site? I do not have the address but it is in the links on the forum. Clint(7215)
I have been all over his site a number of times. Have never seen that kind of information. Still I will peruse it again. Fred (7216)
Fred, Are you looking for the dimensions of the horizontal drive from the bed? I thought I saw this somewhere. I'll look tonight in my SB Literature, but I don't remember it there. I am taking it you have a 9. A 10K might be a bit different, depending on what type of horizontal drive unit it has. Tom (7217)
Tom, no need anymore. Randy Reynolds at SB faxed me a drawing of the mounting instructions, including the location of the holes. Fred (7232)
Fred, Good to hear you have some dimensions. I did find some for a 10K. Should be similar for a 9. I found them in the army manual for the South Bend lathes. Tom (7243)
Tom, I had downloaded that manual but did not print the 60 some pages out at the time. You know I had forgotten about it so did not look. I will have to print it out and put it in my binder. Fred (7255)
John, Actually it is a US Army training manual for the SB lathes. Someone help me out here since I seem to have lost the link to that site. Fred (7269)
http://metalworking.com/DropBox/_2001_retired_files/sbarmylathe.pdf  Scott Logan (7270)
John, In case you did not see Scott Logan's reply to my help, here is the manual http://metalworking.com/DropBox/_2001_retired_files/sbarmylathe.pdf  Fred (7272)
Lathe with the smallest footprint?
I have decided to start my quest to acquire a South Bend lathe, "one of the best ever made". I have a space issue until I can begin building my shop, so my question to the group is what model has the smallest footprint that still has power cross feed. Is it the 9" model A with a short bed (I'm not sure how short the beds came). Is the 10K or heavy 10K just as small? Also, is the weight difference between the 9" and 10" all that much? Thanks for listening and am eagerly awaiting responses to help me decide what model to pursue. Pat (7436)
I'm happy with my 9 workshop with a 3 ft bed, the smallest they made I think. If you want to disassemble the lathe, it breaks down into very manageable components. You probably want a rear drive model unless you have room for the underdrive cabinet model. Even though I believe the rear drive has a deeper footprint everything is accessible and you can fiddle around some in how you mount the countershaft and bracket. Bill (7437)
The size difference between the 9 and 10K is nil. The heavy 10 shouldn't be any real difference if comparing apples to apples. But the heavy 10 should cost more. If space is a premium, then you'd be looking for an Underneath Drive lathe. I think all the Heavy 10's are UNDs. The 9 and 10K's were made in the UND configuration. I would think one in nice shape would be about $1200 - $1600. Measure what space you have length wise and use the bed length plus about a foot to determine the maximum length of bed you can fit. Usually you want a foot or more between walls etc. Mainly for maintenance work. The SB's have relatively everything accessible. There are some gear head SB's that might fit the bill, too. I don't see them much for sale though. I would say the Horizontal drive units add at least a two feet to the back of the lathe. Tom (7440)
Wandering lathe
I have a very dry basement with a reasonably level concrete floor. My 10 inch SB cabinet rests directly on the floor and I level the bed by shimming under the cabinet. However, the lathe tends to wander, especially if I turn eccentric stuff. Now, I don't want to drill holes in the floor - my basement is VERY dry even tho we have a high water table and I'm afraid of hitting a gusher. Anybody got ideas how to immobilize the lathe without lagging it to the floor? I've heard of using tarpaper, but will that keep it level? Won't tarpaper compress? Frank (7994)
I have in the past used moly bolts, and while that worked it was a pain to get level, there were four points on each end, I
recently moved the machine and had a couple ideas I got off the HSM site. I made some feet out of some 3" round stock threaded to make leveling fairly easy. One gentleman on HSM said just to use a nice gob of epoxy under each foot. I bored out the bottom of each foot to a depth of 1/2" and made an insert out of 1" conveyor belting used at a rock crusher, tough stuff! So far I have not had any problems. It settled a little in the first week but has not moved since then. Dee (7995)
I will give you the trick we use on our screw machines at work. Take an old tire carcass not steel belted and chop the tread area into four inch square patches. Put one under each corner and it wont go sleep walking any more, quieter also. JWE(7996)
James. That is the same thing I did on my old 109 table and on my mill table and my SB table, except I used a piece of 3/4" thick conveyer belt. Works great. The conveyer belt also works good for fatigue mats. Since there are no perforations in the material, swarf doesn't get stuck like it does in perforated fatigue mats, easier clean up too. Bill C. (7997)
I assume the floor is a concrete slab on grade. They are usually nominally 4 inches thick but often just 3-1/2 inches. If you use an anchor that embeds only 2 inches you should be safe. I recommend the "lead" shield type like "Slug-In" or "Tamp-in". The wedge type anchors place a high side load on the hole and may spall out if only 2 inches deep. Use a minimum of 5/8 inch anchor in an appropriately sized hole (probably 1 inch - check the specs.) Don't cheat with a 1/2 inch bolt. Try to get an assembly that places the threaded part up and make it long enough to shim your lathe level. If you want to preclude any possibility of leaks through the bottom of the hole, buy an epoxy embedded type anchor system. The bolt or stud sets in solid epoxy which should seal the hole. Let the epoxy cure properly. A good building supply house carries these things. I just don't know if you can buy just four. Make sure you do not over drill in diameter or depth. Protect your eyes and carefully blow out all concrete dust with air, whichever anchoring system you use. Later removal is not simple. I have had to resort to cutting it off at floor level with an oxy-acetylene torch and later, when they became commonly available, an angle grinder with metal cutting wheel. Dave (7998)
How deep is the SB 9 inch bench top?
I may be purchasing a 9 inch model B and I wondered how wide the bench top needs to be to hold the lathe, motor, etc. Would someone please post that info here? Can that lathe be easily converted to run the motor from below if I built a custom bench? JH (8012)
If the lathe is a rear mount motor, then you will need aprox 3' deep and a little extra (Your option ) according to the bed length. I do not think you could do an under table motor mount being the way the headstock is designed. I guess you could add and extra set of a pulley drive train but again that would also take room for the extra pulley setup. Clint (8013)
My former colleague from work needed something to keep busy after he was laid off so he made me some new wooden benches for my lathes. He laminated two layers of 3/4 inch plywood to form the tops. We were able to get 2 benches out of 1 4 x 8 sheet. The benches are 2 feet by 4 feet. The big pulley hangs over the back a little bit but all the pieces bolt nicely to the tops. One of my lathes had the tensioner rod extended to move the motor unit back farther. I had to shorten it back to the standard configuration and shorten the belt. Glen (8016)
I have my 9" on a 26 1/2" deep bench top up against a wall. But, I had to alter (shorten) the turnbuckle belt tensioning arrangement and tuck the motor right up close to the rear of headstock. Works fine. Neil (8018)
The erection drawing that south bend has for the B models calls for a 25" deep bench. That's with a 53" belt. That gives you a lot of overhang in the front and no place to lay the wrenches down, so I made mine 30".The setup follows the drawing working from the back, and has an extra 5" on the front. These flat belt machines seem to run smoother with long belts. I guess the long belt damps out some of the vibration. Try to get in touch with Randy at SBL and get that drawing. It has a plan view and side elevation of the machine and table top. RC (8019)
I think the mounting pattern is on page 14 of the US Army SBL manual. Glen (8021)
South Bend Bench
I'm just about to acquire a model C 9", 17" BC, rear countershaft, shipped out Dec 4th 1940, to England. I will be bringing it home in about 3 weeks. In the meantime, I'm arranging space and want to build a bench to take the lathe. I've seen mention of sets of plans that SB gave away free with every lathe at one time, to build a bench. I've also spotted, in photographs etc. on enthusiasts websites, a bench design that is obviously from some sort of consistent plan, which tends to reinforce the idea that there was a plan, or perhaps even a factory built unit. Does anyone have a set of these plans, or a bench that they could at least measure the external dimensions for me? I can pick up detailed construction from the photos I've seen. It would be so nice to see the little beauty mounted on a matching bench. The lathe is presently some way away, and the countershaft , obviously, is separate right now, so I am unsure as to how wide I need to make the bench, to allow for sitting of the countershaft pedestal behind the machine. Does anyone have any thoughts on how to arrange a chip tray? Len (9143)
The bench that my friend the welder and I are making, looks like a giant sawhorse 50"L 40"H [that's too high for ordinary--but I'm 6'5"] and 30"D at the base with the countershaft assembly mounted right at the top of the the rear left leg. We may not do the small extension for the countershaft foot--we may simply bolt it right to the back of the leg as high as possible, haven't yet determined belt clearance...if we were to divorce the motor from the countershaft and put it down below on the leg with a longer motor-to-countershaft belt then the countershaft could almost snug right up to the headstock. The top is 8"x1.5" channel stock and the legs 2"x3" I-beam in a triangle as viewed from the end [with a bit of plate on top to bolt-through the channel stock]; a bit of the same I-beam with bolt-through end plates from the center of the bed to each of the lower end pieces to hold it square; the chip tray will simply be a piece of sheet stock with the edges bent up. Here's some bad ASCII art; the solid lines are channel stock and the broken lines are I-beam: front view: _______________ | / | | / | | / | | / | | / | |/ | end view from headstock end showing small extension for countershaft support: ______ /| / | / | / | / | ------------ And from tailstock end: ______ /| / / | / / | / | / | ------------ For now, my lathe sits on a very oil-soaked bench made of odds-and-ends lumber that is likely as old as the lathe itself [1937]--the 2x6's actually measure 2x6! (9144)
I have the original blueprints for a 1943 Southy 9 inch model A, B, and C floor cabinet. It is a behemoth with a two shelf cabinet with doors on the headstock end and 4 drawers on the tailstock end. If any body is interested let me know. max
Brian, your bench sounds very good and strong. I'm rather after the "original" wooden bench that South Bend either made or supplied plans for. I'll end up doing something similar to yours if I can't locate any. Len (9146)
This is definitely the one I'm seeing in various photographs, and it's the one I'd like to copy. I've replied to Max offlist to try to arrange copies. what a FAST result. I'm looking forward to some interesting talk about these good looking lathes. Len (9147)
Afternoon Max I'd love to see those blueprints. If you could post them on the group page that would be great. Or contact me offline that would work for me to. Bill (9148)
I will try and scan them and then email them to you. I don t know if it will work. max (9149)
Max I am interested in a copy. Maybe you post it to the group! Butch (9157)
Wood Lathe Bench Plan
I made a new album folder (Wooden Lathe Bench) in: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SouthBendLathePix/ our sister group for pictures. Click on the "photos" link on the menu of the home page to enter. This is a picture of an original SBL blueprint from 1937 of a wood and metal lathe bench including drawers. Max provided these and I uploaded them for him. RichD (9231)
Bench width
Does anybody knows what the minimum width for a table or bench is to mount a standard 9" model A, horizontal drive lathe? Bill (9292)
The army lathe manual at: http://metalworking.com/DropBox/_2001_retired_files/sbarmylathe.pdf  gives the dimensions and the hole layout for the 9", including the countershaft. I can't recall whether it gives table dimensions but there is enough information given that you can figure it out. If you use the hole layout double or triple check it as it didn't seem to work for me. My bench now has big slots for the countershaft holes. John (9294)
I am also working on this problem. The drawings I have from SB as well as that military manual do not directly correspond with measurements I have made on my components. The 9" blueprints I was faxed by SB are identical to the 10" blueprints in the mil manual. My counter shaft unit is not that tall no matter how I hold it. I may do this the hard way (trial and error) to find minimum width based on my space available and then run a serpentine belt from NAPA. Tom (9300)
A friend of mine built me two new benches for my 9" SB's. We were able to get both benches from a single 4' x 8' sheet of 3/4" plywood. The tops are 2' x 4' minus a little for the saw kerfs. I found 2' by 4' galvanized steel sheet metal to protect the tops at Menards. I had to replace the belt on my V belt drive lathe and cut down the tension rod because someone had put a longer belt on it and extended the rod to account for it. The 9" pulley hangs over the back a little but it doesn't cause a problem. I used a center punch to locate all the holes through the mounting holes on the lathe after squaring everything up with a framing square. Glen (9301)
What is the distance from the center of the hinge of your countershaft pulley pedestal to the closest bed mounting hole? How is the vibration? Your running v-belts can't they be shorter than flats but have to be tighter? Tom (9302)
I am at work and my lathes are in the basement at home. If you need the measurement, I'll get for you tomorrow. One of my lathes is V- belt and the other one is flat belt. I didn't have to modify the length of the flat belt unit to fit it on the bench. You just need to make sure that you can adjust the tension rod so it will work. The adjustment range is pretty wide. I am still trying to resolve some vibration issues on the flat belt version, but I don't think it's got anything to do with the distance from the hinge to the lathe or the belt length. Glen (9304)
I'd appreciate those measurements if it's not too much trouble. Did you use the fact. flatbelt? If not how long is yours? What type? Tom (9305)
Tom, I have been going through a binder I have on SB stuff. South Bend lists two benches as accessories. One is a cabinet bench CE1731 and the other an angle steel bench CE1780. Both have tops that are 26"x60"x1 3/4" and are listed for 9" and 10K machines. Fred (9307)
South Bend's drawing shows the bench width as 28". The very nice blueprint that Max was kind enough to send around shows a length of 66", but I would guess this length would be modified for various bed lengths. 66" would be rather long for the 42" or so of the Model C 9 x 42. Height is shown as 30.5"..Attached is a simplified line drawing taken mostly from the blueprint but without any dimensions. I drew this to work out a cutting list for the timber. It might help. Len (9315)
Incidentally, I asked Rose Marvin if they still carried the blueprint. They don't. Len (9316)
Bill, Having just finished a bench for my 9" 3' bed lathe, I can say that I made it 24" wide (+1/4" wood strip to hide the plywood edge) by 48" long. I used a piece of 3/4" thick 13-ply-plywood from Home Depot glued (using liquid hide glue) on top of (4) 2x6 dimensional lumber pieces cut also to 48 long. The 2x6's were through-bolted to Grizzly brand heavy welded metal legs (2). I did have to cut down both the height of the adjustable legs to get the lathe at the overall height I wanted. I also had to cut off the "ears" on the metal legs to get the legs width less than 24" so they didn't stick out beyond the table top. I think I cut them to ~22" wide. I then used contact cement to glue a piece of off-white Formica to the plywood top. I know, I know, I should have used a metal top. I did look for a 24"x48" peace of aluminum, but came up empty handed. Since I will be using the lathe primarily for turning wood, I felt the Formica top was sufficient. As Glen pointed out, you will have to both shorten the belt and shorten the belt adjustment mechanism to fit the 24" wide top. I guess if I truly tried, I could have gotten the table width to 22" with effort, however, since my motor had a very large capacitor that faces forward, I can move the countershaft/motor mount just so close to the lathe itself. However you proceed, make sure there is no interference between the motor in the belt tight/belt loose positions and the lathe body. John (9320)
Tom, The distance from the hinge on the drive unit to the back mounting bolt on the lathe is about 11 1/2 inches. That is very approximate as the measurement is not easy to make. The back of the drive unit plate is even with the back of the bench, basically as far back as you can get it. That leaves enough room to mount the lathe on the 2 foot wide bench with 3 inches from the front edge of the bench to the edge of the foot on the bed. I didn't change the belt length or the tension rod. The belt is the standard length. The back legs of the bench are set at an angle to give it a little better stability. The legs are 30 inches apart at the floor. (9335)
Bill The big drive pulley is a problem when mounting on a narrow bench. If you are prepared to build your own countershaft unit you can fit things onto an 18" wide bench with negligible cross slide handle overhang. Room for a motor of up to about 1 hp. Needs a two stage primary drive reduction tho'. Back belt style is most compact but needs a lathe to modify the pulleys. Two separate runs is easy enough, especially if the useful bits box is well stocked, and is convenient if you want to use a two speed primary and /or fit a sprung tensioner roller type belt clutch. I have just discovered that bolting sheet metal filing cabinets together makes good, strong, benches for small machine tools . I don't know what standard US sizes are but I cut three UK 4 drawer units down to 3 drawer height and removed the tops. Bolting the cabinets together and putting a 1" blockboard top on (cut down from an old ex civil service desk) made a really solid support for a Taig mill. Be amply strong for a 9" SouthBend. Filing cabinet drawers have nice ball bearing slides so they move easily even with lots of weight in them. Dividers, side extensions and lift out trays to suit your needs are easy sheet metal work. Cost me nothing 'cos the firm was throwing the stuff out and was quite happy to save the cost of skip hire or a removal contractor! Clive (9355)
Bench Top
Has anyone ever cut down a solid core door for a bench top? I am wondering what the core is made of. Since they are pretty thick it would seem to be a good basis for a lathe bench top. Would not want to use the whole thing due to space constraints. Fred (9574)
Some "solid" care doors have a core of MDF or chipboard. If I was going to use wood, I would probably use 3/4" plywood, ripped and doubled (or tripled) up to 1 1/2" or 2 1/4". That would be pretty stable. I think I would glue the plies, to prevent any movement, and make the whole thing more rigid. What would you use for legs? Bob (9575)
If you can find a solid core door with a metal skin you might have something. Something as mentioned by another solid core gets you chip or particle board ! Both of these are still strong until they get wet. If you can find a industial type door or a high end residential door you may find one with a solid wood core. If you can reseal the edges so it core stays dry you can probably use either type if you use a center brace. Frank (9576)
Bob, I just picked up a table with an undercarriage the was produced by Lier Sigler. The legs are made of 2 1/4" deep by channel and individually adjustable in height. The horizontal cross runners (front and back) are the same channel an of necessity will be cut down. The top currently is 30x72x1 1/4 inches particle board. The table will be for a 9A HMD 3.5' bed. I am planning on a top that is 30x48 inches. I may just cut the existing top down and put a layer of 5/8" MDF on top. Haven't decided yet. I picked the table up at my local surplus dealer for $40.00. Couldn't turn it down, even if I don't use it for the lathe. Fred (9577)
Frank, check my reply to Bob's response. Fred (9578)
Yeah I understand I would have had to bought it too. (9579)
I just finished the structural work on my bench today in fact - co-incidence!. I used 4x3 for legs and braces and two layers of 3/4" ply for the top. I intended purchasing 1", but the price almost doubled between 3/4" and 1". As this is only a temporary bench until I make an exact copy of the SB bench that Max posted the blueprint for, I went for the thinner one, which I'll probably add to in the final version. I was careful to make sure the ply for the top was absolutely flat before I glued on the second layer, it would have been dumb to build in a twist! One cannot rely on the fact that this is stiff board, it will sag or bend ever so slightly if not properly supported while gluing. Sometimes, cutting pieces of ply from larger boards (8'x4' is standard here in the UK, though 10x5 can also be got) will release tensions that were captured in the manufacture, and allow the cut pieces to bend. Also, due to the way that the grain on the veneers lies, the board is stiffer in its long direction than across its width. Best way to check for flatness is with two longish battens placed across the board (I used two four foot pieces of 2x2) near to the ends. Sight across one to the other, and any twist or bend will show up easily. These are called "winding boards", or winding pieces in the woodworking trades (in UK at least). I've seen the "all up" weights for 9"SB lathes posted somewhere, maybe on the SB website, and if I recall correctly, my model C runs to about 600 lbs, which is a lot. I've found a good substitute for a chip/suds tray - a thick plastic water tray used by gardeners for seed trays, it 1.5" deep, 15" wide and 3'.10" long and cheap. Len (9580)
Solid Core Doors vs. real wood bench tops I have used Solid Core Doors for drafting table tops 40 years ago but have found various unacceptable fillers are now used varying from "scrap" lumber to chip board. I wouldn't trust any of them for a lathe support. I have used 2x4s flat, glued together and cross-tied with steel rods and most recently 2x4s on edge, glued together and cross-tied with steel rods. I did that because the cheap 2x4s I bought are now a scant 1-3/8 x 3-1/4 and the wood was so soft, I could indent it with my fingernail. Times have changed. After you drill and glue, the top has to be sanded, that removes another 1/8" if you were careful. If you spend the money for structural grade wood, you can edge glue it. It is cheaper to get what you can, on sale; at Home Depot and face glue it. If you use plywood, be careful about the quality of the glue in the plywood and the quality of the face and interior plies. Make sure all the layers of plywood you use are fastened together with nails, screws and or glue. You are fighting a structural phenomenon in bending called horizontal shear. That means if you just lay the sheets on top of each other and load the bench, the sheets will slip horizontally instead of giving you the depth you think you have to resist the bending forces. Use a minimum of 2 sheets. I prefer 3 sheets for a 2-1/4" deep top. AND remember, ?" plywood isn't ?" thick anymore. Dave (9581)
Len, Your mention of the winding boards is interesting. Would never have thought of that. Here in the US 4x8 sheets are the norm. 3/4 is common in the building supply and handy man stores. I have never seen 1" though. As for the weight of your model C I do not believe it weighs that much. Somewhere buried in the SB web site I found the shipping weight for a 9A. It was just over 500 lbs. Allowing 50 to 60 lbs for crating leave the machine in the 450 lb. range. Although I would not try and pick it up to test that. Fred (9582)
Dave, I think if I use plywood I will get a sheet of marine grade. That should take care of the glue problems and also make it waterproof. For building up the thickness I would use resource anon (spelling) glue which is also waterproof. I manages an EMC compliance lab some years ago and that is what we used to build up our turntables. They were usually 12 to 16 feet in diameter and built up of three thicknesses of 3/4 ply. These tables were outside in the Texas weather for many years and are still going strong. Not only were they glued but were also screwed together while drying. This same method should work wonderfully for a lathe bench top. Fred (9583)
Dave mean business!! What did you use for legs on the 2X4 face glued table? I and thinking about doing that exact thing for my mill/drill 600-800-lbs range. Do you think it will hold it ? We made one for our construction shop where I used to work it sat on a 6x6 frame work that thing was strong we topped it in sheet metal to prevent damaging it with heavy parts. Frank (9584)
Frank, Now you're upping the ante! Legs! OK here are leg parameters: 1. They have to carry the vertical load, so good quality 2x4s or 3x3s or even 4x4s or steel angles. 2. They have to be placed to limit the vertical deflection of the bench top. That is a function of the stiffness (moment capacity) of the top you decide on, the load, and where that load is applied to the top. For instance, if the lathe lags rest near the ends of the top, intermediate legs probably are not needed. The load has to get from the top into the legs. A transverse crossbeam will probably be required. Wood or steel angle. 3. Solidly attach the legs to the top/cross beam. Steel angles, gussets, bracing and so forth. 4. Solidly attach the legs to the floor. Steel angles probably. 5. Lateral bracing. It must not wobble! If possible, attach the bench to the wall for lateral stability. Make sure the wall can take the load. I have a friend who braced his overhead bridge crane to the masonry wall of his shop only to have the longitudinal loads from stopping the bridge, crack the wall. You do not necessarily need a structural engineer for this; just common sense will frequently suffice. There is an old joke, I received an engineering degree from a prestigious university but common sense is a gift from God. My 750# mill/drill sits on a table consisting of 1/8" steel top plate, 4 steel angle legs attached to four cross angles under the top plate, solid metal side panels on 3 sides and gussets on the 4th. The mill load is near the legs. All of the parameters above were met except that it is not attached to a wall. No movement at all. No calculations. It just "felt" right. Dave (9585)
Fred, At my age I still largely think in what we call "Imperial", that is, feet and inches, which was our standard, but some years ago we were forced by Europe to change to metric for everything. Nowadays, one can even be dragged into court and fined for selling anything by the pound instead of by the kilo! Anyway, I quoted my ply as 3/4 out of ingrained habit, but in reality it is sold as 18mm, which is about 7/10ths of an inch. The "inch" that is sold is actually 22mm, or about 9/10ths. Curiously though, the board is STILL 8'x4'! I use a reputable timber seller that I have used for many years, so I know the material is OK, but Dave is absolutely right, the ply MUST be good quality and without voids etc. There is a lot of ply around now which has decent enough face veneers, but total rubbish on the inside. I found the listing for my lathe (Model C, 17" BTC) weight - 507lbs, including countershaft assembly, which is the bare weight, not with packaging. Len (9586)
What Dave is telling you is solid enough for anything. In the absence of having a table and and having to start from scratch look at the lathe cabinet stand built by Ralph T. Walker. It was in the July/August 1989 issue of The Home Shop Machinist. It is the finest lathe table I have ever seen. Mr Walker liked it so much that he also built one for his mill/drill. This is the bench I will ultimately build. Fred (9587)
Len, We wouldn't want you to go to court over this now. Actually I understood what you meant. If I had my way I would use Finn Ply or Apple Ply HVHC (hardwood veneer hardwood core) plywood. 3/4" on top of the existing 1 1/4" particle board top that is already on the legs. Only problem is that hardwood ply is extremely expensive. Oh well, I will work something out in the interim until I build my ultimate bench. Fred (9588)
I was just shopping for some wood at home depot intending to face glue it. Virtually all of the dimensional lumber they had was green (not kiln dried). I have to believe that this would be a stability nightmare. One thing they did have that might be interesting for some applications is 4x8 sheet of 1 1/8", 7 ply, tongue and groove floor underlayment. Ed (9592)
Find a Salvage business that tears down old houses and get some of the old yellow pine lumber. It is so hard you almost can't drive a nail in it and will have about 50 years of drying time by now. Randy (9593)
Dave, I am a very simple man, How is this I have some 4" by 4" metal angle I think it is about a 1/4" thick. if I build a box rather a cube out of this so that the top pieces line up with the bolt hole in the base of the mill/drill and then I anchor it to the floor. this should be strong enough don't you think? Leaving the top off completely! Frank (9594)
So does anyone have a copy of the plans to this table? (9595)
What I neglected to add in my original posting, and probably more important, is that great care must be taken not to induce a twist or bend of any sort when actually fixing the top to the lower support structure. I KNOW this, cos I just had a signal reminder!!..I started fixing my top a few minutes ago, only to find a slight (less than 1/16th) inaccuracy in the framework. I carefully sawed a thin wedge (1/8th at thickest end, and two feet long) on the bandsaw, which I've glued to the offending place. When that's dry I'll take it down with the sander to its final size. Len (9596)
I agree, old yellow pine is excellent. Before you buy, talk to an exterminator and find out what termites look like. Dave (9597)
Frank, You are correct, you do not need a top as long as you fully brace the legs in both directions to prevent movement. Lathe bases are nothing but braced leg systems with a chip pan between them. But look closely, the bracing systems are hefty. Dave (9598)
Used office furniture: get an old desk - very cheap - I have a couple of WWII-vintage wooden desks that I use for optical work. The tops are laminated oak with an oak veneer (that is usually peeling off, but so what? these suckers are HEAVY and very stable. You could get a metal one, if you prefer. They might be a bit low - they are about 31-32 inched high. Make sure the drawers fit. The wooden ones will be sticky, but silicone spray fixes them nicely. I have two in my office that I refinished (they are beautiful!) One is 34 x 59, the other is 36 x 66. In my shop I have a smaller one. All of mine were free - they were throwing them out! Frank (9599)
I have that particular issue but unfortunately it would have to go by snail mail. If interested, send me your address off list. Fred (9600)
Frank, That will work very well, but when you come down, you can see how I went to AutoZone and got an oil drip pan that goes under a car to catch drips. Works GREAT as a chip pan and catch for coolant! My stand is similar to what you envision, except mine has pipe legs (scrap from work) with angle iron for a top rim. (9602)
Last night I thought I had sent an e-mail on this subject, but now it looks like I deleted it instead of sent it! Anyway, my suggestion was to go to a used office furniture place and get a big old circa WWII wooden desk. They have thick oak laminated tops, usually veneered (with the veneer lifting, but so what) I have 2 of these in my office that I refinished. Got them free - they were being tossed out and I refinished them ad they are gorgeous. About 32 inches high, one has 36 x 66 inch top; the other has 33 x 61 top. In my shop I have two others, (not refinished, but also free) that I use for optical work. One is a good deal smaller, one is about the size of my big office desk and is real ugly, but so heavy I can barely push it. These desks are RIGID - they have full length ply enclosures on three sides and the knee-well is lined also. They don't flex. They also have drawers already built in, which is good, except some have a funky typewriter device that is meant to make the typewriter disappear when pushed in. That can be ripped out. Only problem is they have six legs, but I suspect the inner 2 can be ignored. I think this is about the cheapest and strongest way to get a good wooden lathe bench. There are also some metal desks with a laminated top. These were usually ex-military purchase and are pit ugly, but maybe metal is better. I don't know. Just make sure the drawers fit - a lot of times these desks are mated with another's drawers - this is a case of drawers getting into something, rather than vice versa! ;-). They can stick (and will) but you can solve that with a belt sander and silicone spray lube. Anyway, this is worth looking into, I think, rather than trying to laminate your own tops or using particle board (which will flex - I think the stuff actually flows under load). Frank (9605)
With the discussion on building benches here is a drawing of the fifth bench I have built recently to this design and probably the 20th over the years. It is built from Strong Tie components as listed with the included factory booklet using 2x4s for all framing and 1/2" ply for top and shelving covered with 20g aluminum flashing and edged with DIY store aluminum angle. The bench as shown in the attached picture has one of my RF30s on the right end and a large 5 speed drill press on the left. It was intended to put my 9" SB "A" on the center section but it was decided to put it on a similar bench of its own so the center could be used as a work area for deburring with a rubber wheel on the small bench grinder. This has been in use now for about 5 years and has shown no problems even with heavy cuts in 304 stainless on the 750lb mill/drill. Most of our benches that we have built in the shop are to this construction method because of its strength. The bench was dragged to its current location from about 20 feet away when we did some relocation a couple of years ago with the mill and drill press on it by about four people and everything stayed in place and solid. For strength, ability to customize to need and durability as well as cost this is the best I know of. JWE (9606)
Wood is stronger than you think. That 2x4 table you are disparaging could support the lathe and mill on one leg. Seriously, a single 3' long 2x4 leg is good for about 6000 lbs. A single 5' long 2x4 beam is good for about 2000 lbs. obviously I am over simplifying it, but I think you are getting the idea. As far as the Simpson connectors go, they are very good. Depending on your local, if they are not available there are equivalent alternates by kant-sag and usp. Here is a link to the catalogue page from Simpson showing back view and other varieties of rigid tie connectors. you get the idea I think. http://www.strongtie.com The only other addition I would make to Jim's plans is to consider using the SD8x1.25 screws instead of nails. they are about $5/100 or so. Nice truss head self drilling screws. the home desperation type stores should have them as well. The connectors are about $2/per. (I just used a bunch of them on a job). dennis (9609)
Don't get me wrong ! I just never thought wood would be a good way to go! I guess coming from a heavy steel minded family I never gave it much thought. I would rather use wood due to the limited funds in my bank. Can you all help me with a good size to build? (9611)
Dennis Those are the screws I used to build all the benches mentioned. Screws are faster and more reliable than nails. Nails will pull out under load or vibration while good screws never will, makes for a very strong and solid bench. JWE (9612)
The attached picture shows an older bench to the same design that replaces one that had heavy metal legs. The bench when it had metal legs would move all over the place when cutting metal in the vise with a hacksaw. Using the same laminated wood top but with a 2x4 base the bench is now solid and does not move around under load. Build a good wood bench and level it or make provisions for leveling it and you will never be sorry. JWE (9613)
If I was building a bench for my lathe knowing what I do now, I would make it big enough for the footprint of the lathe with some extra on each end to set things on. I would also put a small lip all the way around so things don't vibrate or roll off. I would also consider putting a vertical board on the back side to hang things on that you want to keep handy. If you put on small shelves, see above about the lip. I don't know about putting up pegboard due to vibration- I think things might have a tendency to jingle annoyingly or shake loose. I would also look for a way to put at least one drawer under the top unless you have another work table with drawers in it that is close by. Drawers are great because they keep things organized and when you remember to keep them closed, you don't get flying crap all over your tools. Bob (9614)
Frank: sorry if my post was worded a little strong. Yes, I will be happy to help out. I am a structural engineer. Pound for pound, wood is stronger than steel.. however, its is not as stiff. Think springs here. Wood is perfectly acceptable material, with a couple of cautions. In the size that Jim showed in his drawing, everything looks good. If you were to make the length smaller, that would make things 'better'. Better in this case means stiffer. too small and your connectors would interfere. Cautions to use of wood as tool bases: oils, water and the like, shrinkage and vibration. Some oils can have a negative effect on wood over long periods of time. Solution, paint or varnish! water: wet wood is not as strong as dry wood. Again, paint, especially the ends. shrinkage: use dry wood if you can. pressure treated wood is wet. look at the stamp on the wood, it should have a stamp on it that says something like "doug-fir...kiln dried" or "SPF...19% moisture max" this means that it was dried at one point. between you and the kiln is another story. Notice the ends are painted, its for id and to reduce shrinkage cracks. Wood shrinks and swells naturally, not enough to normally consider, but if its going to be in an unheated garage for example, pain the frame. vibration: generally speaking, longer, skinnier members vibrate more than short stocky ones. For the mill, vibration might not be an issue. For the lathe, it might be. gluing the plywood top to the 2x's with something like liquid nails, and using screws would make the plywood and the 2x's work together COMPOSITELY. This means that the two work together. much stiffer. I think one tube of glue would do you quite well. The mill drill guys are always raving about weighing down their mills with sand or concrete for vibration. I don't know if its because the sheet metal if the stand that vibrates or if the whole thing needs it. However, the wood stand would be the lightest. I also think that its the stiffest. I don't think that you need to add any weight. dennis (9615)
This summer, we will build a garage for our machines and I wondered if there were any opinions as to floor and foundation. We have some SBL 16s, a Heavy 10, a BP Series II (a monster!!) and a True Trace - J head. I thought about the foundation and flooring. I lean to a 2" sand underlay and 6" of concrete. That would allow two layers of wire mesh and rebar - staggered apart. Then put in stainless steel bolts-screws for attachment to the machines. To complicate things, it is Texas Black Clay dirt. Truly annoying stuff that shifts and moves about and will crack any normal foundation (i.e., get out of level real quickly. Kind of leads me to think of more concrete (with accelerated drying) or a deeper sand sub-surface. I don't want my machines to vibrate and I don't want my floors to crack. Could even stress them like bridges are done. Just thought to ask opinions first. Jerry R. (10272)
Over here on similar (by description anyway) earth, we might use a "raft". This is basically an upside down box with no lid. What appear to be normal foundations are dug at the perimeter, for (say) 3 ft deep or could be more, and whatever depth is needed for floor thickness, the whole spaces being then reinforced in together, before casting the concrete, with everything tied up as a unit, even when two layers of mesh steel are laid. This structure seems to be much more stable than a simple flat slab. I've seen lots of these done under houses (almost ALL our houses are brick and concrete block built, so possibly heavier than your US general house), but cannot claim to be expert, as that side of building was not where I had much experience. However, it might be worth putting the idea of a raft to someone more expert than I. Len (10273)
I know what you mean about clay - oddly enough in my local area in Vermont we are on a very thick layer of the stuff. When I lived in England it was a huge building problem there, too. BE CAREFUL - I've been trying to stabilize a slope that is on a deep clay base for the past 8 years and am finally getting it. (good thing too, my house is on it!) However, there are known ways of getting around it. First, it helps if the hydration of the clay stays approximately the same year-round. Once the building is up, don't put in a drainage ditch or plant a willow nearby (or remove one!). This sometimes contradicts the notion that we should install a lot of drainage around footings. If you start to drain a clay base it might take years to stabilize again. Guy I knew years ago poured a slab that was slightly concave on the underside (thicker at the edges that at the middle) with good footings all around. Hasn't shifted in 40 years. But, if I were you, I would talk to some commercial builders in the area who have personal experience with the properties of the stuff you are thinking of building on. Also, try your nearest state college with an engineering school. Find out by a telephone call who teaches this stuff and send him a polite e-mail asking for help. I've done this several times and have gotten wonderful support and info from great guys who like what they teach and are very pleased that someone from the outside has found out that they are good! But I think you are correct to worry - clay is tricky stuff. It oozes slowly (plastic deformation) and small changes in hydration produce huge dimensional changes. Good luck with your project. Sounds like you'll have a great shop! Frank (10274)
Jerry, The pound per square inch rating of the concrete is a function of the actual "mix" and amount of water and air in the mix (slump and aeration) the faster drying time the more it will crack. I assume that you are poring slab on grade. 6 inches 3500 psi should hold anything you can throw at it. Also all concrete will crack, that is why after the pour and finish it is customary to saw cut the slab to control cracking (it will crack along the saw cuts). There is a good reference book available called " building the multi-use barn" by John D. Wagner ISBN 0-913589-76-4 the best reference I have seen on building a shop. I am also assuming that you are using a wood frame walls "stick built" If you are going to lay block then things are a little different. You must pour a foundation first and then pour a "floating slab". archie (10275)
Jerry, Where are you located in Texas? I am in the same problem as you but have had not problem to date in my garage shop. Some of the members of our club have out buildings with huge machines also and do not seem to have a problem either. I could see what they did for thickness of concrete when built. Fred (10279)
Jerry What part of Texas are you at, I am familiar with the pad prep for slabs in the black clay of North Texas. You can email me off list if you wish I can give you some suggestions on the pad prep and type of slab to install with out going to far over board I do Earthwork all over North Texas. Clint (10284)
Do What road builders have done for years in clayey soil areas. Remove as much clay as you can afford to dig out, backfill with graded rock and sand base, vibration compact, then overlay with your 6" concrete slab. 2" of sand over clay is useless. There are other techniques used to reinforce clay with additives and proper "mixing" that increase their load bearing capacity. None of this is available at your local rent-a-tool store. Since I do not know the consistency of the clay I can only guess that it is not too good and a minimum of a 12" base would be required. Uniform grading of the base material is essential and proper wetting and compaction is required. This requires specialized equipment and is not for amateurs. An alternative is called a "mat" foundation. This "floats" on the clay but must be properly reinforced to accommodate the positive and negative moments developed due to uneven support of the clay from below and uneven loading by the machinery from above. Based on an educated guess, 8" with a layer of re-bar in each direction, top and bottom and sized for the moments will be needed. I've seen many of these slabs 12" to 18" thick depending on support capacity and load. You need a soils engineer and a structural engineer. Some structural engineers can do the soil data evaluation but you will need a testing company to take samples and establish soil analysis parameters for the engineer to work with. Dave (10286)
Jerry, years ago after getting out of college, I was a construction superintendent in Houston. The water table there is about 2 feet under the ground and the freeze line was literally about a foot, which astounds folks here in Ohio. The soil there was clay as well. We found that the only foundation which worked (there are likely to be advances since the mid 70s) was a post tension slab. In addition to the regular sitework, 1/2 inch cables were run to the outside of the forms and secured with special nuts and washers, so the form looked like a tennis racket with no tension. After the pour the cables were pulled tight as the concrete cured, using special tooling. As I remember, we had no problems with foundation cracking in a part of the country notorious for it. Bill (10290)
Structural building design is what I do. what it sounds like you have is a sensitive clay which is over much of Texas. its water sensitive. you REALLY need to do is talk to a local ENGINEER to get advice on your project. either structural or geotechnical. the main problem with sensitive clays and shales is they react with water by swelling. conversely, they shrink when dried out. you could consult a good concrete contractor or excavator about it, but they will give you rules of thumb. no real reasons, just the way they have done it a thousand times before. they would be very conservative and might spend more of your money than you want them to. its a crap shoot. yes they can build it, but it may or may not be what you need or want. mats are typically used where low bearing capacity is encountered and settlement is a issue. it does not sound like you have that problem, at least you did not state it as so. if you build it as a mat and heavily reinforce it, if the soil starts to move, you will end up with either a dome or a pit. movement of 2-3 inches is not uncommon before the slab cracks. as far a piers and grade beams: these can be VERY expensive to build properly. once you have them installed you need to build a slab over them. often collapsible cardboard forms are used to support the slab until the slab cures and before the soil starts moving. as far as postensioning cables go, its not something a homeowner can do. there is GREAT force in those cables, on the order of 250,000 psi. if you loose one, it can be life threatening and dangerous. the effect of post tensioning is to induce large compressive forces in the plane of the slab which gives it great strength out of plane. the slab will still move, but it won't crack as much. it will crack, but the cracks might not open. a soils report would be good, but you could probably get by with a verbal from an experienced soils guy. around here they run on the order of a few thousand dollars. it doesn't really pay for a 4-5K garage project. bottom line is, talk to an experienced professional. the fee you pay them is your assurance that it will be done right. dennis (10292)
There are some things I had not even thought about mentioned. I am in Richardson, which is just next to (North) of Dallas. The soil, there, for those unfamiliar with it... is "Black Texas Clay" - which will expand and contract radically... It makes it very difficult, if not impossible, to build a basement. In the summer, I can find backyard cracks two inches wide that go to bedrock, or so I assume. Other places, you can can find two pieces of ground that will slide against each other by 1 or even 2 inches. Flat ground some parts of the year will be "rolly" other parts of the year. Like a yard full of little San Andreas Faults. Bumps in the dirt rise and fall. That is the Clay we have. Houses here are usually built on floating slabs - and all masonry brick walls eventually crack. So where this started was in the necessity to align my lathe "flat" - because I want it to be accurate. The lathes are 8 feet long (SBL 16s) and I want to bolt them to the floor. The idea is to eliminate as much vibration as possible. Vibration is the enemy of precision as the weight of the part increases or length of the work increases. I can, if worse case, use cast iron (minimum vibration transmittal) spacers machined to fit - if I had to. Can also build a cast iron weight attached to the lathe/mill to assist in keeping it steady. The Mill weighs 6-7000 pounds and will vibrate. As it slings a big load, I want to keep it fixed and stable. Only way I can really get it accurate is to lock it down... Seems that I started with truing the ways with a precision level and have worked my way down to (1) adding Iron weights as a stabilizer to the base if needed and (2) getting it bolted to a stable, flat foundation. Ergo my question... I think you are right about contacting a real professional, with experience in the area. But I need to take a proposal to them to get them to Bless or Modify it. I would think some people in the group have similar questions about leveling. Can't fool yourself into thinking you are building reasonably precise stuff when the lathe is not level and ways are not trued. Especially true on a vertical mill, where there is additional height and the heavy table is moving about all the time. The garage won't be stick frame - code prohibit that and so it's likely block up to a certain height with steel frame U channel with siding beyond. Insulated, heated and cooled, within reason. Won't be using wood frame at all - except for wood ceiling/flooring for an attic work space. Whatever code will allow. There is a real potential in cracking - but the comment about pre-stressed floor installation is right - it is a dangerous thing to install and a professional outfit needs to do it. Jerry (10297)
DV, these responses seem to cover a range of techniques, and many may be just the thing, but some may not and it is difficult to tell them apart. up here in the east they use separate cast-in-place foundations for every (bigger) machine, which just goes to show that different techniques and methods apply to the circumstances. If I were in the position of being your next door neighbor and longtime friend, I would tell you to find a structural engineer in the area who could give you some friendly but accurate advice at minimal cost. many retired engineers still like to exercise the brain cells on items like this. An important part of engineering is figuring out how to skin the cat at optimal-minimal cost so they generally can approach the situation in that way. (10331)
9" A Which Height?
Can anyone help? what is the criteria for setting the height of your lathe (center line to floor) . or bench height. any one have suggestion . Setting up new work (lathe) bench. Also are bigger dials available for the cross feed ? Tony
This really depends on your size. Since I am relatively tall at 6'1", I am getting tired of stooping over when using my 10L, and am about ready to raise the standard bench by about 6". I have already done this to my Bridgeport mill and am very happy with the results. John
I like most lathes to have the spindle nose close to elbow height. Big lathes a few inches lower to make humping a heavy chuck/workpiece into place a bit easier. Stan
The world seems to be divided between "low-lathe" and "high-lathe" people who agree only that the standard compromise height is not quite right. As a "high-lathe" type I would set the bench for a 9" at a height that puts the carriage traverse hand-wheel at about, or slightly above, elbow level. Naturally with a high set lathe you have to be more careful about eye protection from flying swarf. Probably a good thing as I find that when using a low lathe it is awfully tempting not to bother as swarf is rarely thrown far enough up to be an eye hazard. Don't forget the effect of duck-boards if you use these to stand on so helping reduce the tendency to tread swarf everywhere. If you are making your own set-up I would strongly advise adding 2" raising blocks under the feet. The extra daylight makes swarf collection and removal far easier, especially if you prefer to use a separate, removable, tray rather than build one into the bench. Frankly the standard feet don't provide enough daylight for a useful swarf tray. With 2" raising blocks on my old 9' I found that the acrylic cover off a discarded record deck made an excellent swarf tray (after about 10 years in the goodie box). Clive
Setting the Early lathebuilders had a standard of about 42 inches above the floor for the center of a lathe. I don't know the reasoning behind it, but they would put a large lathe in a pit to accomplish it. One thing that someone said about 5'8" operators hits a cord though. I am about that height and the ancient standard fits me to a T. I even have my Pratt Whitney #3 mounted at that height. Another thought that someone had about this issue is that long shafts may have been turned by using two lathes to extend the bed length. The headstock of one lathe was removed and the tailstock of the other was removed the beds were aligned to take at least double the between centers capacity. RC
Your forearm should be horizontal when operating the cross slide. That is considered the most comfortable. Ed
Lathe Setup Question
Well now that I have my SB 13" x 6' Lathe, I have to decide where to put it. Once I do that, in looking at the SB booklet "Keeping Your Lathe in Trim", there are numerous references to having your lathe bolted to the floor and level. However, in my shop I really don't want to "bolt to the floor" I'd rather use appropriate machine levelers. What opinions do you all in the group have? Leveled and bolted or just leveled and checked periodically? Mike (14364)
I prefer using leveling feet, such as the large flat pads available from Enco that have about 3/8 inch adjustment. Real easy to level, or re-level if needed. They also cut down on noise transmission since they have rubber pads. The feet are weight rated. Frank (14366)
Pads are really easy to make, and I use them on my 13 x40 and I have not had any problems. I recess the bottom of the foot and put hard rubber conveyor belting in there, and that seems to work great. Dee (14367)
Go to the SB Lathe Pix site http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SouthBendLathePix/ and check Fred's Stuff. I have a picture of the leveling feet (Royal) that I used and one of the finished bench I made for my 9A. I use these same feet on my mill which weighs approximately 1100 lbs. They not only keep machines from walking but they are anti vibration also. Fred (14368)
Workbench plans
I've been thinking about making a new workbench out of angle iron for my SB lathe. I tried to search messages, not too successful. Now I recall seeing SouthBends own design for a workbench, but I cannot remember where I seen it. I have a small Mig welder on hand, so I was thinking of making it out of angle iron, like Steve bedair did for his Chinese 9x20. All the woodworking tools are away at parents lake house, so I'd prefer a workbench that is mostly metal. What are your thoughts? I cant have a concrete workbench, need one that is moveable. I guess I will design one in cad, then post it here again later for input. Bill (15909)
Bill, Go to the Southbendlathepix group. Look under the files link and there is a Southbend Blueprint for a wooden lathe bench.  BK (15911)
My lathe bench is made out of angle Iron and channel Iron. It weighs more than the 9" lathe that is on it. It is very rugged. The base is tow U channels, about 10" welded to form a box. There are two appendages, normal to the box, also made of U channel formed into a box. One supports the belt Jack Shaft, the other just balances the bench. There are four angle iron legs in each corner. These are crossed braced. I am sure a Mack truck would lose a battle with this bench. It is very stable and must be leveled and untwisted. The lathe will follow it. There is no "give". Jim B. (15912)
Bill I have been using benches made with the Simpson Strong Tie reinforcements for 30 or more years now and nothing works better, JWE (15914)
I built (or rather adapted) a nice custom lathe bench out of very old "Steelcase" office desk. The thing was built like a battleship, but needed to be cut down. I cut a 12" section out of the middle and brought the two ends together. About five pieces of 2x6 lumber span the top which I bolted the hell out of and set in existing channels under the top. The original top is laminated between the bracing and some very high density MDF, which I also used to brace across the old leg hole for a shelf and stiffness. The storage drawers are great with plywood bottoms, the pullout writing shelves come in hand and I even made a small replacement tool drawer to replace the big one that pulled out where you sat. VERY VERY SOLID. Square legs made bolting to the floor easy. Best part was the desk was free. Nobody wants these monsters. It took four of us to load on the jeep. Andy (15921)
I have found that a Doctor's examining table makes an excellent bench for a lathe. They are very heavy, have drawers and doors, and are very cheap. I gave a dollar for it at a public auction. I kept the stirrups, but haven't figured out a use for them yet. Richard (15922)
8 legs on my table
JP Nope. Not a tin octopus, just a stable fabricated lathe bench. Although it is true that three legs are stable on any surface our lathe beds are not properly shaped or proportioned for a three legged support. For example, I have, in my laboratory at work, an Ealing-Beck Research Optical Bench which is vaguely lathe bed like and IS proportioned for three legged support. It is a massive, complexly cored, piece of cast iron about 9 ft long and 10" wide with a working section at the top about 9" wide by 9" high carrying three sets of guide ways for optical carriers, one on top and one on each side. These guide-ways are straight and mutually parallel to better than 1 micron over the whole length. In side view the working section can be seen to be supported on a huge triangle nearly 3 ft deep, but still 10" wide supported at the 1/3 rd length points by a single foot at one end and a pair of massive, triangulated, cast iron box outriggers of about 3" section and 2 ft extension. These things took about 5 years to make, as all the stresses had to be worked out of the casting between machining stages, and even then they can be twisted a couple of microns by careless setting up. Getting back to lathe benches a three legged support is quite practical using the construction outlined below by JP but the support structure must be rigid beyond reproach. In practice 4 supporting points are almost invariably used. Really if this sort of support will do you might just as well have separate A frame legs at each end bolted to the bed feet and fixed to a nice solid concrete floor by rawl-bolts and shims. Although a very old fashioned method of setting up it is very effective but can be a bear to shim for straight turning. If you want a cabinet type bench three legs cannot be made to work any sense. The options are:- 1) Use a stable top and support it carefully e.g. my preferred kitchen work-top solution or the heavy duty desks and examining tables which have also been suggested. Main advantage is that the underlying cabinet does not have to be exceptionally true and rigid. 2) Build a deep, rigid box section cabinet and support it by 4 legs at the corners. This is the professional approach, the South Bend factory cabinet on my Heavy 10 is made along these lines. Hard work if you don't have the facilities and easy to end up out of square. 3) Make a square box tower support for each end with a light joining structure. Needs 8 legs but the two ends are separately supported and it is easy to shim the lathe true from the connecting bench top. Obviously each leg needs to be shimmed separately which is a pain, I use screw up adjusters and set for equal nip on a metal shim between floor and leg, easier to do than describe. Structurally its the same as the "head stock pedestal tail stock legs" configuration used by South Bend on larger lathes for many years. Objectively speaking out lightweight lathes are desperately short of torsional stiffness and can be ruined beyond redemption by bad mounting. Getting the right combination of stiffness and strength in the supports is not completely intuitive. Professional involvement in optical interferometry and holography has given me the chance to see what can go wrong but I wont pretend that I understand the stresses involved. Clive (15940)
The lathe is meant to bolt down at the ends so if the cabinet legs are close to the ends of the lathe and are rigid then you have the stability you need. The bench doesn't necessarily need to be leveled accurately as long you shim the lathe level on top of the bench. More than 3 or 4 legs won't add stability where it is needed. . Every design is a trade off somewhere. I like to build things out of steel but there are some excellent wood designs. I suppose the owner has to decide what all of his/her requirements are before selecting the method and material for construction. The mention of 8 legs really stood out. Then again you could build a servo controlled hexapod and have it self leveling as well as adjusting the lathe height and position. JP (15943)
With lathe benches and lightweight lathes the problem is always to avoid stressing the lathe bed. When the lathe is made the bed is true to within tolerances, we just have to keep it that way. Really the supports, however arranged need to be sitting stable on the floor and the lathe bed to be floating above it. The leveling shims are there to stop the fixing bolts distorting the lathe bed. The bolts themselves are there to stop the lathe falling off! The biggest problem with a constructed cabinet, especially one sitting on an uneven floor, is to ensure that it really does sit solidly down and that bolting the (straight) lathe bed onto it does not attempt to pull out the little bit of twist required to accommodate the floor. Of course if you build a lathe cabinet you are going to put things in it. Probably heavy things. So if all is not just so you can easily twist the cabinet a bit, distorting your solidly bolted down lathe, as the cabinet settles to accommodate the weight. Been there, done it, was very surprised until I figured out the weight of all the lathe accessory stuff I'd shoved in! The only point about 8 legs is that you are building two strong, properly seated columns, one for each end of the lathe so it is much easier to ensure that the lathe bed really is sitting freely in space. (Two brick pillars with 1" steel plate tops worked fine for my mate Eric.) 4 legs in a cabinet are fine IF you can ensure a solid stable box girder structure, think biplane wing. When using wood do remember that carpenters joints are pretty poor in tension (which is why shipwrights build boats, not carpenters). Wooden furniture is supposed to distort slightly so that it sits properly on the floor. As JP says a good 4 legged structure will give ample stability but for a simple cabinet the legs do need to be pretty much under the lathe bed supports. No one builds a lathe cabinet that way. Usual practice is to make it a bit longer than the complete lathe so the planes of the legs are (for ours) usually something over a foot beyond the supports and you do have to start thinking structurally. It is easy to forget just how much weight you are dealing with when all is installed. Usually the weight just serves to pin everything down properly but sometimes.... It is obvious that the cabinet has to be made to support the lathe rather than the lathe re-enforce the cabinet but if you have a nearly solid cabinet it is dreadfully easy for the lathe to try to pull things up true on the final bolting down leaving you with a stressed and unevenly seated support. Running one leg of a 4 leg cabinet about 80% light once gave me a host of "why does it only nearly do the job properly" type troubles only sorted in retrospect after I moved the beast and re-shimmed the legs to the floor. Tip:- if its going into a corner of the workshop make the "un-reachable" corner leg a smidgin too long and shim up the the ones you can reach to match. Anyway despite all that its not really that difficult to build a good lathe support. You just have to be aware of what can go wrong and put the strength in the right places for the particular design you are using. Clive PS Hexapods are a complete pain for anything not roughly cubical. (15948)
I'll toss in my table info. it's for my SB 11" with a 60" bed. I built my table with a top of 5/8" steel plate. the top is approx 25"x68". for the legs I used 3 1/4" steel tubing with a wall thickness a bit over 1/8" (it was what was available at the scrap yard that day). I then reinforced under the table and between the legs with 1 3/4" x 1 3/4" angle iron 1/4" thick. the legs are under the feet of the lathe, not the end of the table. i also made up leveling feet from 3/4" bolts with 2" feet welded to their bottoms. it took quite a while to weld the whole thing up, and it was heavier than expected (i was originally thinking 300 lbs, but it is definitely over 400). one thing that surprised me was how easy it is to bend 5/8" plate. When I just had the legs welded on I could easily cause a 1/4" deflection just by pushing on one of the legs. once I had everything welded in place, I can't notice any deflection (of course, I haven't hooked a dial indicator up to anything, so I'm sure there is some movement). I would think even 1" plate could move unless sufficiently reinforced. I do have a question though. When leveling the lathe, I first leveled the table. I then took measurements of the lathe bed to see if there was any twist. it seemed pretty darn straight to me. the tail end of the lathe was slightly lower than the headstock, so I shimmed it up slightly. I'm guessing this was due to the lathe feet being of slightly different heights. When reading what is in the archives and in the files section, people mention shimming the bed to remove twist. Yet in this thread there is mention that the lathe should be shimmed to it's neutral state and the shims are there just to take up space between the lathe feet and the table. also that the bolts really just keep the lathe on the table, they don't tighten the lathe feet down to remove twist in the bed. as i stated, my bed didn't show any twist, but what if it did? would i shim the feet to keep stress off the lathe and leave the twist in the bed, or shim to remove twist and bolt the lathe feet down so the lathe and table would both be stressed? andy b. (15950)
SB 9" Bench Ideas
I'm trying to figure out a design for a bench. I thought about angle iron, and square tubing. Various thicknesses and diameters. I realized there's a lot more involved than meets the eye to building a work bench. Also looking up the price for steel, I realized simpler is better for the wallet, but I don't want to forgo rigidness. In the photo section, I saw one work bench that looks to use 2" square tubing for the legs, and much smaller square tubing for the supports on top. I have a Mig welder, so welding it up is no problem. So would I get buy using tubing with a thickness of .065? or would 1/4" really be what I should use? Angle or Square? (16587)
Unless you have some specific limitations, the best bench economically and otherwise is a "Steelcase" office desk bought at a surplus auction for 5 or 10 bucks. These things work great and have drawers etc etc. (16588)
With square tubing you can get by with thinner material for the same rigidity. MIG welders don't penetrate as far as stick welders so that would probably be the best route here as well. Use around .12" tubing for the legs and support members, you can double it up if you want more rigidity. The diagonal bracing would be easier to fabricate with angle iron but at that point you won't need .25 thickness here. The bench should be able to bolt to the floor and be leveled. The thicker the better within your budget constraints. Using Dr Harms suggestion of the steelcase desk is a good one to consider. JP (16589)
Mounting/leveling a 16" sbl
I purchased a 16" sbl a couple of months ago and am finally getting ready to move it into my shop. Should I use leveling pads/feet or something else. (19250)
When we bought our 16" SBL a few months ago it had (for leveling the lathe) large bolts with flat washers and nuts in the mounting holes of the UMD cabinet and the legs at the tailstock end. Under these bolts were 3"x3" metal pads. The previous owner was using the machine on the concrete floor of his garage. It was not bolted down to the floor as recommended in the South Bend book, How To Run A Lathe. Is it possible that the weight of this size lathe is enough to keep it from moving and changing it's leveling? (19256)
KBC sell some rubber machine feet that I mounted under my SB 16/8' lathe 2.5 years ago. Easy to level over a year ago and stays darned close. I check it about twice a year (unheated garage; once cold after winter has set in, and once warm in late spring) with a Starrett machinist's level. I can't distinguish the very minor adjustments that I make from hot/cold state vs feet settling vs. floor settling. It's never more than one quarter to one half graduation out from level. Machine stays within tolerances I need (~ 0.001"). I've since mounted the feet under all of my machines, including drill press. Isolates a lot of noise from the rest of the house. If you are working to very small tolerances you may want to investigate further, but then there will be additional concerns (beyond my experience) such as consistent climate control, exactly what is the 'floor' to which the lathe would be bolted, etc. etc. etc. Jim (19302)
Lathe on Casters
I'm thinking of mounting the lathe table on casters (Heavy cast centers). What are the problems / pitfalls with this? South Bend 9"A I also have a bench mill that I would like to roll around as space is a premium in my shop and outside in the Hot Texas Sun is better that HOT IN THE SHOP. No I'm not trying to be an ass I just have always wondered about this and never asked. JJ (19337)
The main problem I see with this would be keeping the lathe level and straight. It don't take much twist in the bed to make it cut in a taper. It took me 2 weeks just to get mine dialed in being bolted to the floor so I don't see how it could be done rolling around on different level of ground from one place to the other. Gary (19339)
I don't know about the other folks in this group but I would run from that Idea. I think machinery to run accurate and smooth needs to be real level and real solid and I don't think even heavy crane casters could do this effective. Like I said just my opinion but I have seen lathes walk just being on solid cement floors with good cabinets and not having wheels. Grumpy (19342)
You can do this but there are a few things to keep in mind. When you reposition your lathe it must be straight not twisted. It does not have to be level as long as it is not twisted. If it had to be level the lathes could not be used on board a ship and almost all large ships (navy and commercial) have on board machine shops with lathes. On the other hand Leveling is the only practical way for the home shop machinist to easily get the lathe straight. The other alternative would be to mount your lathe legs or bench to a thick steel plate around 2" thick (ships usually use 6" thick mounting plates but that is a more demanding environment). Basically, if you want to move your lathe around simply block it up off of the casters or remove the casters, level it and give it sometime (over night) to settle and recheck the level. Ted (19355)
I lived in Houston for about a year It do really get hot. You said space is a problem , thus one must be practical . as Cat said castors should not cause a problem unless You need to produce work to close tolerance. Most lathe work I do involves short lengths thus slight taper is not a problem Every thing in my shop , except lathe , service station air compressor , and drill press , is on casters -3 HP delta unisaw , delta wood/metal bandsaw ,2- 12 Disc sanders , gas and electric welders , jig saw . The shop is only 14 x 18 ft . Without castors Working would be very difficult. It s not just the machines , all wall space is lined with shelves and tool boxes , I live in south Fla, as in Texas ,no basement and it get HOT Tempi outside is 88 . So do what is best for you. (19369)
Lathe Bench
I'm rebuilding my shop (New Building) and want to build new benches for my two South Bend Lathes. Both are 9 Inch. One is 36" and the other is 48". Does anyone have a picture or know of a web site with lathe benches to build. I'm looking for something with a couple of drawers, and sturdy enough to last a lifetime. I have a friend that is going to brake a couple of Chip Trays for me to bolt on the bench top when I mount the lathes. Benny (19768)
As has been discussed in the past, you can't beat a Government issue steel desk for a lathe bench. Usually they are cheap to get because they are so ugly nobody wants them. (19769)
Granite slab for a lathe bench?
As a new owner of a SB 9" A I have been thinking of building a better bench. The one I got with the lathe has a couple of cast iron legs and a plywood top (2 layers). I was thinking of using a section of granite countertop for the top of the table - supported on a wood frame. Has anyone done this? Seems like this solution would be more stable than wood and once aligned should be more likely to stay that way. There is a local discount place that frequently sells straight sections of granite countertop cheap. Paul (20371)
Paul, Granite must be supported correctly or it won't support it's own weight. It has natural fissures in the stone. I don't think it would make a good lathe bench. Better to have a fab shop set you up with a piece of 1/4" steel and bend the long edges down at a 90 degree angle. This way you can bolt, weld, or screw the legs to it. Look on Ebay as many lathe benches are sold there. Paul (20373)
Paul Synthetic or re-constituted granite is often used for reference and support surfaces on metrology equipment, optical tables, surface plates and some of the slides on inspection machines. I once purchased a Rank Talysurf surface quality measurement device for the firm whose working surfaces were mostly granite of this type. Granite bases are incredibly stable and very dead so that vibration is not a problem during optical experiments, holography and similar stuff. You do have to be careful supporting it and the material needs to be rather thicker than you might expect from the loads applied. I think the Talysurf base was about 3"-4" thick (and very heavy to boot) with a big warning against overloading in the manual. I watched it being assembled and the support strategy was similar to that used with glass surface plates with several pads carefully distributed to take the load. The pads were adjustable to ensure that all were involved in supporting the granite. I'm pretty sure that the thick stuff will crack under its own weight if you are not careful. I remember being told why it had to be so thick but I can no longer remember what I was told. In my experience the thick, top quality "chipboard Formica" (or whatever the modern materials are) kitchen work-tops make the best lathe bench surfaces. The stuff is incredibly stable, doesn't ring like steel can and never needs painting. Its wipe clean too and apparently unaffected by damp despite the main material being re-constituted wood. I used to mount the lathe feet on spacers carrying suitable tapped holes for the fixing bolts and screwed to the work-top material with about 8 screws per foot. I like a pull out chip tray and always found the standard small SouthBend to be built a bit too close to the bench for a decent tray. Lifting it up by a generous inch makes all the difference. Clive (20380)
I wonder what would happen to your lathe if the granite broke. Could be an ugly wreck. Walt (20398)
The design I've been considering is cast concrete of the type used to make poured-in-place kitchen counter tops. There are outfits advertising in mags like Fine Homebuilding/Fine Woodworking that sell select grade concrete supplies and dyes for this purpose. You would need to fab a steel pan to support the top and make sure the support structure is adequate. Mounting studs could be cast in place or you could drill mounting holes after the top cures then epoxy the studs in place. The main advantage over natural stone is price. Also you would be able to build and position the bench without having to wrangle a large, heavy, delicate slab of quarry stone. Clive (20453)
I still don't know why you need a stone for a bench. My 10K just has 2" pipe legs under each end and a couple braces in the middle. I ran it like that for weeks until I put the chip pan underneath. It cut's better than anything I ran in the shop's for the last 25 years. Right on the money. Bob (20456)
Society is in reverse, 1800 lathes had granite beds with iron tracks. Check them out at any machinery museum. Even in the computer age we are reverting back to hieroglyphics, aka icons. All kidding aside, grey cast iron makes the best foundation for machinery. The damping factor is highest for this material than most any other commonly available material, however, portability suffers a bit. JP (20460)
Anchoring SB9 to concrete floor
I am wondering what methods some of you have employed in anchoring your lathes to a concrete floor. Did you just use lag bolts and shim the lathe level or did you you employ some sort of a leveling screw type of arrangement? I have a very uneven concrete floor. Mark (20546)
Bolt down and use steel shims. My floor was very uneven so I poured a pad on top to level things up to a workable smoothness. (20547)
I've used with success for the past few yrs, a set of hard-rubber-based leveling pads under my 10k. It runs much more quiet now and there's quite a bit of adjustment available in each foot. Even so, I had to set one on a 1/4-inch piece of plate. But they work great and I monitor the levelness of the bed frequently using one of the $100 ENVO precision levels (Scott Logan has them also). I think the lighter SBLs (9" and 10K) are very susceptible to twist but if you maintain their trueness, then they can give awesome precision. I recommend the ENCO feet highly. Frank (20549)
Correct on the seasonal leveling, even without frost. The heavy 10 is holed for 1/2" bolts at the head and 3/8" at the tail. At United Technologies and also at GE we would mount each machine on its own separate foundation. It kept things stable and isolated the vibration as well. JP (20550)
I had the same floor problem. I drilled and tapped the tabs on my underdrive cabinet (1/2X20) and installed 2" bolts with jam nuts. The bolt sits on 2" dia X 1/2" thick concave plates and so far (6 months) it has held adjustment well. (20571)
Securing lathe to floor
I just acquired a new table for my lathe and would like to fasten it to an existing concrete floor in my garage. It's in Florida, so the floor doesn't move much seasonally. What's the best way to bolt it down? If I just epoxy bolts into the floor, won't tightening them tend to pull them out? Gene (21134)
Epoxy is the method of choice. Drill the hole and blow it out with air. Wet the stud with unthickened epoxy. Pour thickened epoxy into the hole. Insert stud and let cure. Using this method it is very easy to get a bond that is stronger than the steel stud.(21136)
Epoxying anchored to concrete is fine- we do it all the time. But for all the trouble, I would recommend that you use a pin set threaded anchor from ramset/redhead. you won't be putting a lot of force on the anchors. I don't like setting epoxy anchors to vibrating loads. For adhesives, have a look at one of the manuf's for guidance. www.hilti.com , www.simpsonstrongtie.com , www.rawl.com  look at the adhesive anchors for capacities per fastener. There is a difference btw acrylic, epoxy and urethane. read the installation instructions they have. you can buy small quantities, prepackaged capsules at places like fastenal. As far as your studs go, you could use all-thread. dennis (21137)
Gene, there are several excellent concrete anchor types available. The ones I use are a threaded steel stud with an expanding sleeve. Just drill a hole, insert and pull up tight. Check at the hardware, Home Depot or electrical distributors that sell strut systems (most do). RichD (21138)
The epoxy may or may not work (how about that for a clear answer g To install you rent a rotary hammer (they run off of 110VAC) and drill the holes. You then hammer the bolts into place. The tighter you bolt the legs down the more the expansion part expands, giving you a better grip the tighter you go. The bolts are available in most hardware stores. When renting the rotary hammer they sometimes make you buy the bit. Gene (21139)
Gene; I've used stud-type expansion anchors very successfully for this. Much easier for you than the epoxy anchors by Rawl and Parabond. If you use the stud-type, you can install them, draw them up tight with the supplied nut over a big washer, and then you can put the hole in the cabinet/machine/whatever over the stud and using another washer and nut, tighten it down. The advantages to this scheme are that: 1) You can arrange things so that the studs can be used to level your cabinet. 2) There's a space under the foot that keeps it up off the floor so that it doesn't get as wet and therefore not corrode as much. and it's easier to clean around. The second advantage has to be balanced against how much weight and lateral stability you need. The biggest diameter anchor you can make fit is usually better. The disadvantage is that when you want to move something you have to grind off the studs flush with the concrete 'cause you usually cannot remove them. That's my 2 cents for what it's worth. Ed (21141)
There called quick bolts and they are the best way to go and they work. Leave them sticking up some and you can put shims in to adj. the machine to the floor. Tom (21145)
I'm more comfortable with the idea of expansion anchors now that I see that I can just tighten up against a leveling nut rather than the floor! My next problem will be sealing my recirculation pan. I have a '54 10K with horizontal drive. I bought a horizontal air handler drip pan that is 48 x 26 x 2. Should I just use silicone to seal the lathe mounting holes? In actual use, I will probably use a smaller plastic pan to reduce the volume of coolant required. Should I be considering any kind of spacers when attaching the lathe and pan to the table to reduce noise vibration? (21149)
If the floor is thick enough drill the hole deep enough to just drive the stud in to the floor. Tom (21157)
Installing a lathe
From our For what it's worth department. I never could understand why owners of small machines need to bolt them down tight to the floor. Back in 1969,I was a second year student at my tech school. Since I'd been running equipment since '64,the shop teacher appointed me as head student. In other words I got the job of setting all the equipment in the new machine shop. The 8' Radial Drill,24"Brown Sharp shaper, and other heavies got their own foundation. Smaller stuff like 13X36 SBL's, Sheldon's, etc were pinned and leveled. Since it was a Voc.Ed. shop, these machines did need tying down, for obvious reasons. When you bolt a lathe or mill to the floor, it gives the machine something to hurl the shot-put...I mean chuck key against! But for home shop use, you only need to secure the machine, not torque it down. IMHO bolting can be troublesome to leveling if you don't use the 2 nut,2 washer, stud arrangement. If you level the lathe and then tighten the top nut, watch how this tightening action changes the level. Especially if the lathe has a narrow stance and cast iron legs. It acts as a tuning fork. It is possible to throw a strain up the leg and onto the top plate, (I've done it). A cabinet style rig may not have the same dynamic because it may have a larger footprint. Most of the lighter machines at that shop came with steel and rubber pads to dampen down vibration. There is even a rubber you can buy that has pockets of tiny ball bearings in it to accept heavy loads and still retain the dampening properties. And while I'm sticking my neck out here, I might add another log to the fire. I would think that correcting vibration should not be the task of a floor bolt. True, you do have a long moment 90 degrees from a resting base (the floor). And a bob on the far end that is not static and does cause some vibration, (the lathe). I would make sure the motor and lathe be adjusted correctly so as to cancel out the vibration at the point of origin. Rather then depend on 4 bolts to do the job. My .02 got to be a dollar's worth. It's inflation don't cha know! Ron (21148)
I agree 100% that's why I'm not going to bolt mine down at all. However the commonly sold neoprene rubber leveling mounts that are sold are a little pricey, I needed about 21 of them. My first 4 came from a washing machine someone threw out that I used for a very light machine I have. Two of them had a plain rod stud that I welded to a bed frame base I made, the other two had 1/2" X 13 studs about 2" long. I cut a coupling nut in half and welded them to the front. This machine didn't have to be level, just very stable, I also glued on the rubber caps that went over these feet. One of my first projects when I get my shop set up will be to make my own rubber mounts. I already have a long piece of retread tire that came off of a truck tire, it's pretty thick and fairly uniformly flat. I'm going to make all the rest of them from 2" black pipe with a plate welded to the top along with a threaded stud. To cut the rubber to fit, a little piece of the same black pipe sharpened or chamfered on the outside should work in a vise or press (no steel in the retread). It should be real easy to level my machines this way and they will also have the advantage of adding a dampening effect to the machines. My total cost should be real cheap too. Jim (21159)
In the latest ENCO flyer, prices effective through, 11/30, Mason Neoprene mounts are on sale for $5.53 in quantities of 4 or more. These are rated at 50 to 250 Lbs per mount. I have 4 or these on my Burke Mill which weighs about 900 lbs. They work fine. I have some cheaper things I got from Grizzly on my SB-9 and I am thinking of changing them. I definitely will get 4 for the drill press. Jim B. (21164)
Lathe Stand
I recently acquired a SB 9" model A lathe. I need some ideas or plans on a suitable way to mount it. Does anyone have any plans on building a suitable lathe stand. Or will any sturdy workbench do? (21584)
This comes up from time to time and the standard response is to get an old Gray Metal desk. The kind that weighs a ton and was built to last a lifetime. They have metal tops with a kind of Linoleum insert. You can use the drawers to store tooling and they are very ridged. Jim B. (21589)
Here's a pic of my stand. Its easy to make and sturdy. My lathe was bolted to a metal desk but it wasn't tall enough. Bob (21591)
Workshop 9 legs?
Does anyone here have the original cast iron legs on their workshop 9 or 10K? Not the bed feet, the legs that take the place of mounting on a bench. If so, could you please measure the span across the feet at the floor, and the height, for me? I'm guessing about 30" and a foot, respectively. Pics would be great too. The town I bought my 40x60 shop in [oh, and they threw in a house] has a working foundry. I'm debating making a pattern and having a few sets poured. Anyone interested? Lurch (21607)
742 mm Outside span: 460mm Inside span: 360mm. Tim (21696)
For a 1927 Model 82, (more or less a JR), the wishbone legs are 30+a tad" tall with 20+a tad" between the legs (outside measure). This to the nearest 1/4". They also have a cast-in cross-tie. ("A" brace). Are you anywhere near me? (15522). This lathe is in pieces at the present, and these castings could be examined in detail. They are probably not identical to the Workshop, but I dunno. That might be a detail worth examining. It sounds like these are 2" wider than Tim reports. Probably heavier than the Workshop. I wonder why SB ever went to the Workshop design. Dave (21732)
Support Stand for 9A
I just finished fabricating a stand for my 9A. Not leveled yet (gotta find a precision level) but the cleaning process of 40 yr gunk comes first! My stand is made from 2x2x1/4" angle iron. 10" x 54" top rectangle with a "table frame" off the back for the motor-drive unit. Four legs angled out to 24" (perpendicular to ways). It is 'red-hed' anchored to a 6" concrete slab. I was talking to my Dad last night (HIS old lathe) about my stand. He fairly thrashed me for the steel stand. Dad maintains that it MUST be mounted on concrete pillars (as it was for 45 years) or it won't turn out good work. He spoke of an angle stand it was on for a short time when he first bought it. Not good words from dear old Dad! Do not hesitate to contradict what Dad said, while I am sure he hung the moon, he is as opinionated as any of us. I cannot imagine that the 9A, made to be a benchtop machine, can't be used successfully on this steel stand. I just searched the first 5500 messages on here. Yeh, I crapped out, copped out, and here I am. So fess up guys! Anyone got their 9A sittin' on milk crates? (24834)
Jerry, I don't want to get on the wrong side of your dad, but a steel stand made of 2x 2 x 1/4, anchored to a concrete slab, should be fine. Just get an old Starrett 98 precision level and shim the lathe to the stand making sure the ways are not twisted before you secure it to the stand. Sounds like real progress, Nick (24836)
Cut the floor and go all the way to bedrock or at least 35 feet deep with a separate foundation for the pillar. Granite is preferred. There are a lot of 9A around bolted to a wooden bench and working fine. Your steel table sounds like it will be more that strong enough. Have diagonals on the legs for extra stiffness. One level will work and parallels are helpful when leveling. Bolt the bench to the floor and shim it so the bolt down doesn't add stress to it, it may be a little twisted and then bolt the lathe to it and shim the lathe separately and level. Check the level after a few weeks of operation and adjust as necessary. Then check the level every 6 months in warm and cold weather, concrete floors do move. JP ( 24838)
Jerry, My steel stand is sitting on steel shims on the cement floor. Sure i could see concrete if it was 96 x 320 but its only a 9 incher. I move mine too much to bolt it down. Bob (24842)
That should be way, way more than enough. I would level up your home made stand with shims, still bolted down tight because welding tends to distort things a bit. Then level up the ways on the machine too, and bolt that tight. You will have enough strength to do anything the machine is capable of, and probably a little more with a solid set up like that. My own 2 lathes are now on rubber mounted feet, and give good results so far, but they are both with the cabinets attached. I have another lathe that's on a wood table with casters that I move on my uneven basement floor whenever I use it. All kinds of twisting stresses I'm sure, but that one works pretty good as far as secondary lathes go too. Jim (24867)
Table size 9 inch
My question here is the width of a table top to put my lathe on. I want to fabricate the stand for the lathe before I rebuild it, to use as a workbench to aid in the process and then as the stand. The length is no problem as that's easy to see, its the width. My lathe is belt driven with the motor hung hung off the back with the bracket etc. The space in my shop is a bit tight so I don't want to build something to wide but on the other hand I don't want something that will be useless as the motor will hit the wall.18 to 20 inch seems about right?? but I'm not sure, could be too tight. Though not wanting to have sex I guess size dose matter in this situation. Also just a quick comment on the Chicom related posts i have seen in the past several days. I tend to agree with all, both positive and negative. My point is that we tend to forget that we are a 6th-7th generation post industrial revolution society. Less than or around 100 years ago we had barefoot children running around our factories working for 10 cents a day making products for us and the world to consume. I guess the thing that makes me want to go out and get a 6 pack (hell make it 12) is that back then the western world as we knew it wasn't 1.3 billion population and baby boomers didn't exist. The next 30 or so years will be interesting. Michael (25265)
May I suggest that you do some "rough" assembly of the drive mechanism to see what size you need. Unless someone has one up and running for a real measurement. Eric (25266)
My question is, "What did you do with the Goldie?" (25270)
Michael: You brought back memories! I too had a BSA 650 basket case back in '71 and now have a basket case SB Hvy 10. Bike was turned into a pretty nice chopper and the lathe is just waiting for its turn. Can't help on the table width. Bruce (25271)
I just made one for mine (9" model A) and ended up having to go 30 inches, which was about as narrow as I could get with the factory setup. If I shortened the tensioner I think I could have picked up another 2 or 3 inches, but that would make the motor very hard to get at. This is with the lathe right up against the front edge (mounting holes about 1" in) and the back pulley about 1/2" from the wall. Of course if you do not mind the drive assembly hanging off the back you can go much narrower. Keith (25273)
I have a similar situation and looked at making a pretty noticeable change in the drive. I thought about bringing the pulley really close to the lathe and put the motor underneath the table. This would replace the large pulley with a smaller one and put a jackshaft in the drive train. This would allow the tightest (shortest) bench and still allow full use of the lathe. Dave(25279)
The original installation print that came with my '37 9" indicates the depth of lathe and motor assy. to be 29 1/4 inches. The tab on the gear cover and approx an inch more not included. The 30" post sounds about right. Harvey (25280)
I have a 1942 9" Model A. Motor is on a separate assembly bolted behind the lathe. Tensioner lever betwixt the two. Leather belt to the cone pulley. Table is 28" wide. Just right! Mike (25284)
As a note on mounting, I raised my 9" with a couple of 2x3x1/4 wall box tubes. it places the lathe up high enough to allow me to place a chip pan (old baking dish) under and also room for my hands to retrieve parts. In reality, the open hole in the tube is what has me thinking about relocating the motor. it offers a place to put a lever for belt tension. Dave (25290)
Dave, I do not have one right here, however I can tell you I had a set of axa holders, not Aloris but clones. And when I moved up to a bigger lathe and went to a bxa size just a few passes with a dovetail cutter and they fit the bxa holder perfect! Now I never have seen any info of anyone else doing this, but it worked for me? Dee (25293)
Dee, The AXA is 1.008 wide between a pair of .25" pins and is .387 deep. The difference in width is what I would like to know, whenever it is convenient to take a measurement. Thanks. JP AXA holders, not Aloris but clones. And when I moved up to a bigger lathe and went to a bxa size just a few passes with a dovetail cutter and they fit the BXA holder perfect! Now I never have seen any info of anyone else doing this, but it worked for me? (25295)
JP Ok for what it is worth rough quick check of a BXA clone actually marked 250-202 measured 1.080 between two 1/4 drill bits depth 0.412 These measurements were made on a offshore Aloris copy. Hope it helps table size 9 inch and more Dee, The AXA is 1.008 wide between a pair of .25" pins and is .387 deep. The difference in width is what I would like to know, whenever it is convenient to take a measurement. JP (25299)
My two 9 inchers are mounted on 2 foot by 4 foot benches. It makes the gear cover a little close to the motor pulley, but it makes a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood work well. Glen (25310)

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