Husky toolbox as lathe stand

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rsuarez

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Hi,

I don't post much but come very often to read about the great projects here.

I just moved home and I could not bring my old lathe stand with me. Just machines followed me.

Now I need to buy a new stand for both my, 8.5x20 LMS lathe and my 3990 mill. Because of the room configuration, they will need to be independent.

Now, I want something that has as many drawers a posible. There is never enough space in my shop for all the stuff and I don't like tools to be visible. I prefer them in drawers.

I found these nice Husky benches

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-46-in-9-Drawer-Mobile-Workbench-in-Black-HOTC4609B13M/304959851?MERCH=REC-_-PIPHorizontal2_rr-_-206839475-_-304959851-_-N

They seem perfect in dimension (well I would prefer the 18" depth one but its not available) and drawers but my big concern is around rigidity... especially the one for the lathe. I have though about sitting them on wood instead of casters to add rigidity.

Has anyone tried them? Any suggestions?

Thanks to all!

Ramon
 

canadianhorsepower

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Hi,

I don't post much but come very often to read about the great projects here.

Has anyone tried them? Any suggestions?

Thanks to all!

Ramon
Hi Ramon ,
That IS the way to go. all my lathes are mounted on tool box,one of them is 12x36 and no problem. That one is mounted on wood
for vibration and levelling. Two of them side by side.one picture shows my cnc mill and my NEXT to be cnc lathe mounted on the same tool box. enjoy pics
garage cover2.jpg
garage cover2.jpg
garage cover2.jpg
garage.jpg
 

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DJP

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You can always bolt on diagonal supports on the ends and back of a tool box for additional rigidity. I would remove the caster wheels and make plates that can be fastened to the floor. The only issue might be oil drips running off the steel top.

Great idea if my lathe and mill didn't already have OEM stands.
 

Wizard69

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There is nothing wrong from the rigidity standpoint, these tool boxes should be fine inthat regard. What may be a problem are human factors considerations.

There are two issues here.

The first is will the lathe be at the right hieght for you. This is different if you sit or stand at the machine. It is fairly sassy to raise a tool box like this but lowering it beyond taking the wheels off isn’t really possible. The proper hieght depends upon you the user.

If you have an acceptable hieght solution the next problem is more about comfort than anything. All of those drawers means there is no place to put you legs especially if you need to lean over the machine a bit. Plus you are extremely limited in your ability to change your stance. Frankly it can be very fatiguing. It is sort of like standing Facing a wall and trying to accomplish anything. If you look at the bases of many tool room lathes you will see that the primary operator work area is relieved with respect to the cabinets on either side. Find a picture of a Harding’s HLV for just one example. If you have big feet like me (size 16) it is no fun to be banging them into machine frame works so that is an issues also.

So in a nut shell having a storage tool box is a good thing. What isn’t good from my perspective is a dead front wall of sorts in front of your lathe. The same goes for the mill. Any bit of automation can help, a power feed on the mill for example or even a CNC upgrade. Even so I still would not be happy with the dead front the tool boxes cause.
 

rsuarez

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Thanks to all.

Luc, that's a very nice shop and certainly very nice machines.

Wizard, I understand your points. I already had a similar setup in my previous home and it was never a problem to work standing up right by the tool boxes. Height is more of a concerting as I am not very tall (or tall at all). I think taking the wheels off can help with that. those Husky toolboxes could go as low as 33" without casters.

My previous setup had a steel structure around the 28" toolboxes. It worked really well. This is the only picture I have but you can see at the right my setup.

Ps. (I know, I know, Sandblasting and grinder next to the machines... don't worry it was down to space limitation, SB cabinet was always carried out for use and the grinder was used with much care and covering the machines)

Thanks to all and happy New Years eve!!

Ramon
 

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canadianhorsepower

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There is nothing wrong from the rigidity standpoint, these tool boxes should be fine in that regard. What may be a problem are human factors considerations.

my perspective is a dead front wall of sorts in front of your lathe.
All lathe with brake equip with a brake will have that so called wall in front of you. even if it would open area, the limitation are not the foot
but the handles and control lever of the lathe. This can easily be overcome by mounting the lathe and mill closer to the edge of the tool box
this is a picture of my 12x36 with factory stand. Look at the brake pedal,it's in the way.
12x36 lathe.JPG
 
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Naiveambition

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image.jpeg
Here is a pic of my small setup. This is obviously not the size you are talking about as this is a 7x10. And is perfect size for my toolbox. I to run into issues with my feet but I would rather deal with that then bending over constantly trying to see my work. Granted I would not use a larger lathe in this setup, but so far is practical. The biggest issue I have is my shoulder hurting from always raising to working height sometimes.
I also have a Southbend 9 mounted to a metal shop table. It also is mounted very close to the edge but is open underneath minus the bottom brace, and no issues with the feet but all my tools end up with swarf at the end of the job since I don't have anywhere else to put them.
image.jpg
 

Wizard69

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All lathe with brake equip with a brake will have that so called wall in front of you. even if it would open area, the limitation are not the foot
but the handles and control lever of the lathe. This can easily be overcome by mounting the lathe and mill closer to the edge of the tool box
this is a picture of my 12x36 with factory stand. Look at the brake pedal,it's in the way.View attachment 106510
Actually your picture kinda explains exactly what I’m saying, the middle of that machine has arecessed panel. That is due to human factors, especially for back in the day when machinist spent all day in front of the machine. That panel arraingement May only give you six inches of clearance over a flush panel but the difference is huge.
 

StephenZ

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Hi Ramon ,
That IS the way to go. all my lathes are mounted on tool box,one of them is 12x36 and no problem. That one is mounted on wood
for vibration and levelling. Two of them side by side.one picture shows my cnc mill and my NEXT to be cnc lathe mounted on the same tool box. enjoy picsView attachment 106463 View attachment 106463 View attachment 106463 View attachment 106464
I love that idea! So, you have a 12x36 on a toolbox? One of mine is the old HF 12x37 and it's about 850lbs or so...I guess those boxes are rated for well over 1000lbs..very cool. Even better is that the Harbor Freight tool chests are actually really nice...and affordable. Now I'm excited. :)
oh, and Wizard69...you have a size 16 shoe?! How tall are you?
 

Wizard69

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I love that idea! So, you have a 12x36 on a toolbox? One of mine is the old HF 12x37 and it's about 850lbs or so...I guess those boxes are rated for well over 1000lbs..very cool. Even better is that the Harbor Freight tool chests are actually really nice...and affordable. Now I'm excited. :)
oh, and Wizard69...you have a size 16 shoe?! How tall are you?
Sadly I'm just a hair over six feet tall, rather short for my family. I blame that on too many broken bones growing up.

Actually my problem isn't length but rather width, most 15 4E shoes are just too narrow for my feet these days. Often it is easier to buy a size 16 shoe as they will be a bit wider, than it is to try and order extra wide shoes. There is also a big problem with getting shoes that are consistently built to the correct dimensions. Sometimes I can get my feet into a 15-4E shoe and other times I have no possibility. I actually need to order a new set of sneakers, but it is such a pain in the ass I tend to put it off way to long. 16's, depending upon the manufacture, are often considerably longer causing all sorts of grief.

Another interesting aside I think I was about 13 when I started to be fitted for size 13 mens shoes. it was then that I realized that being larger than normal had all sorts of disadvantages. One of those was being stuck with what the shoe store had on hand if they had anything at all on hand.

One thing kinda related to this thread involves my feet and steel toed shoes. One day I was working on a bit of machinery at work that had a very low horizontal bar supporting the legs. Some how in the process of working on the machine my to managed to work its way under the beam with the steel cap beyond the interior edge of the beam. I went to pull my foot out from under and I couldn't, the steel cap was preventing me from slipping back out from under. I was frankly too embarrassed to call on the radio so I spent probably a good twenty minutes working the foot out from under. The machine was in fact part of a vibratory bowl system built upon 4" think steel plate, it wasn't going anywhere under my power so I had to do a lot of wiggling. It is a quick way to understand what leverage is or in this case the lack of leverage.

In any event this is only one instance of having issues with big body parts that cause me to speak up when I see things that would lead to discomfort for me. At work sometimes they listen and sometimes not, but even simple things can make a huge difference. I really see mounting a manual machine on a tool box like these as one of those things. It may work for some people but for me it would be terrible. I would be banging my knees on the drawers, likewise the feet would have nowhere to go, especially if the tool boxes had their wheels removed. One might want to consider why kitchen counters have toe kicks on the under mounted cabinets.

Now given all of that I completely understand why one would want to have tool boxes like these; in the shop near the machines to be mounted on them. In my mind it would be better to span two tool boxes with a long table top to allow operator access and comfort. It would also permit sitting at the machine for comfort or addressing precision work. Old age has me spending more time sitting than standing these days. In any event I hope everyone understands that I have nothing against tool boxes, I'm just trying to address human factors here.
 

rsuarez

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Hi, just wanted to update you on what I did. Finally I decided to get the Husky tool boxes and replaced the casters with some leveling ones. since its a car garage it was important to have the possibility to level the tool box to eliminate the floor angle. I mounted them in 2x4 wood blocks and it turned out very well... maybe a little bit high. They are very solid and don't rock at all. I am very happy overall.

Thanks to all.
 

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DJP

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Congrats on using tool boxes for stands. I considered them after your last update but will stick to my current setup. Instead of a tool chest base I have a steel student's desk that works for my mini-mill. The Myford S7 has the OEM stand and the Bridgeport is the stand. Not enough storage space is my problem.

If we are voting, I vote that your shop is too neat, white and bright. Some oil splashed on the walls and scarf behind the tool boxes would suit me better.
 

bazmak

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I have just finished restoring my 5 th Myford lathe and bought a roller tool box to mount it on
purely for resale purposes.It works well and looks good and suits my purpose for easy moveability
I would not like to use much as is so now I am looking to make some quickfit feet to stabilise the unit
01.JPG
 

Mickatroid

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Bazmak, it looks like the heavy end is right out off the edge? The lathe looks good.

I have just cast a 60mm thick concrete top weighing 70kg (150lb) for a 36" cabinet using 12mm rebar. It's outside curing now :) I am planning to put a 22" lathe on it.
 

bazmak

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The heavier headstock end is directly over the LH side of the trolley but it does look a little off balance
Its easy to shuffle over a little but its not ideal to use the the lathe as is on it,i did it for manouverability
etc while I was rebuilding it.I have made some replaceable legs when I remove the castors to use the lathe
 

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