A person comes to a four-way intersection. Contrary to what you may initially believe, there are four directions one may travel. The fourth is the way you arrived, with an enhanced perspective of the trip. So it happens with fleshing out the new lathe design – there are four options that I am exploring.
First, why I’m designing a lathe stand: the old one is broken. This is a Harbor Freight lathe, pretty well received for a HF item. A gem, if you will. Even the stand that came with it was better than expected based on prior experiences. The metal was of a decent thickness, the paint quality was good, and all the square holes lined up perfectly. Unfortunately, I moved it around the shop too many times, and the front left leg (under the motor) buckled. I was able to push it back into place mostly, but it was my sign that changes needed to be made. Aside from my error, the simple metal stand does nothing for storage. I added a shelf by using the perimeter supports, but that is it. It’s minimalism at it’s cheapest.
Sturdier, storagier. With that in mind, I’ll run through candidates.
Back the way we came. Build a simple A-frame stand with a shelf and a couple of drawers for lathe tools. Not too much of an improvement over stock, but I do address the two needs, if most minimally.
The Interstate. A plywood-based cabinet with room to store an 18-wheeler. Drawers, shelves, the lot. I worry about vibration and strength, though. And moving it with the lathe mounted is probably impossible.
The two lane. Light, sleek, racy. A trestle design with a couple of drawers near the top, mounted underneath the top. A shelf with weight.
The bypass. A four-post design similar to the workbench. As many drawers as I want, and a shelf at the bottom that supports weight.
I already know which one I’m leaning toward, but I’ll be doing a mockup for at least two. When I’ve made my decision, I’ll be posting the result with my reasoning.