The Base

The base for Prototype 3 will be made of 2" welded square steel tube as in Prototype 2. The design has been simplified and requires fewer welds. The new modular design makes the base easier to ship and also facilitates the proper mounting for a variety of lathe heads.

Base: Click the image at the left for plans for the Prototype 3 base.

This is as simple as I can make it and I have no doubt that it will work as pictured here. For best rigidity, the line between the two modules can be welded. I haven't tested this yet, but I believe that you could bolt the two sections to a heavy duty work bench and get acceptable rigidity.

Optional Sheet Metal Skin: A sheetmetal skin would have two advantages:

  • I use a dial indicator with a magnetic base to measure movements of the cross slide. It would be great for locating it wherever I need it.
  • If you need to level the cross slides, it would provide a surface to place shims.

 A cutting list for lathe base: The base requires about 16 linear feet of 2" square steel tube. You need:

  • 4 at 23" (45 degree cuts at the end)
  • 2 at 18" (45 degree cuts at the end)
  • 2 at 15" (45 degree cuts at the end)
  • 1 at  19" (square ends)
  • 1 at 11" (square ends)

Heavy Duty Workbench: This is one possible configuration of the base. It is bolted to a heavy duty workbench. The workbench pictured on the inset is from Enco and is affordable. but the same model is available for Sears and other vendors. With the modular base, it is possible to use different lathe head configurations. The one pictured will be covered in another article.

The workbench takes up more space than the Prototype 2 cabinet, but it is convenient to have a little extra benchtop space to put tools withing easy reach.