Appendage Implementation

Posted: May 2, 2011 in Bending brake, Garage projects, Lathe, Welding projects

So I continue along with my previously projected timeline. The gazebo table and the lathe stand builds stalled out while waiting for the bending brake. Now that the bending brake is useable the table got some attention paid to it last week so it is only fair to give the lathe stand a moment in the sun. I am starting to get the overwhelming feeling that comes from overloaded projects that need doing. With the sun shining and the snow gone I now have to start sacrificing some of “budgeted building hours” I set aside each week and give them up to yard work and summer fun. It’s times like this where it becomes evident that working for a living really gets in the way of my progress. How is a person supposed to change the world at this pace?

 Where the lathe stand build got left off was at the point where the chip tray needed to be fabricated. I wanted angled edges on the tray in order to contain the chips plus if I ever decide to add a coolant system I wanted to ensure the tray could withstand a flood. On the milling machine stand I ended up welding on the chip tray lip. It was a pain. This time the tray and lip get bent from a single sheet of 10 gauge steel. The design is nothing complicated. The tray dimensions were determined and then an inch was added onto 3 of the sides to allow for the angled lip. The sheet was plasma cut out, clamped down in the bending brake, scribed, then slid over and the bends were made. A couple of welds at each corner sealed the tray up.

 Next up were the supports that would do the actual supporting of the lathe. After hunting around the scrap pile I came up with a couple lengths of 2” x 4” rectangular tubing with a wall thickness of .300”! A little on the overkill side but what else would I ever use that stuff for? When in doubt build it stout! Measurements were measured, cuts were cut, and the supports got welded into the main frame assembly at the points where the lathe casting had the “bolt down” holes located. The .300” wall thickness gave the TIG tungsten a fairly good work out. In the end the welds flowed like butter in a hot pan, joined for life, divorce is not an option.

 Okay so the crucial stuff was done. Now it was time to play a bit. I like it when I can build off the top of my head. So many projects need to be designed first, materials collected and then executed. I like it when the build need is not crucial and I can make things happen that feel right. I wanted some shelves to hold the bins that hold the sandpaper that hold the secret to making shiny metal parts. Who doesn’t like polished machined work? I figured I would continue the bending brakes initiations into the shop family by bending up a shelf for some basic plastic bins I am already using. Again I used chunk of 10 gauge sheet metal. I wanted to give the shelf supports a bit of flare. I took a scrap piece of sheet metal and plasma’d out a template using some circle templates I had laying around. Once I had a template trimmed up I was able to use it as a plasma guide to cut the shelf supports so they were identical on each side. I should mention that the shelf was getting constructed out of a single piece of steel. The only other allowance I needed to make was a 1” overhang for the front of the shelf to help give it a more refined look. With the shelf cut out in 2 dimensional form I then let the metal brake do its thing and I was eventually left with a straight and square shelf. Sweet! Beats having to weld all the individual pieces together. To keep the plastic bins from sliding, or vibrating, off the shelf I took a chunk of .375” 304 SS rod I had left over from the BBQ project, tossed it in the Hossfeld clone bender, and gave the ends a 90 degree tweak. I then drilled a couple of holes in the shelf, slid the SS rod in and tack welded it from the underside. The shelf then got tacked onto the backsplash.

 So I have a place to keep the plastic bins but I would love to have a spot for the cutting oil. No problem! A couple lengths of 5/16” 304 SS and a short length of 2” flat bar could be morphed into a smaller shelf. No sense in boring you with the details, just look at the pictures. The complete mod was done using, again, the clone Hossfeld bender. On a side note, whenever I use a rod that would normally require a butt weld I like to drill holes in the main frame and slide the rod in then just tack it. I find it is not only stronger like this but the look is way cleaner.

 So as I stand back and watch the stand taking shape I run over in my head the other needs I have for the stand to fulfill. I already have built 2 lower shelves to allow me to store turning stock up to lengths of about 38 inches. I figured I needed to incorporate a rack that would allow me to store longer metal. Again I dug through my metal and came up with enough steel to allow me to build a side storage rack to allow me to stand the long lengths of steel up vertically. With the grunt work provided by the Hossfeld clone and the plasma I was able to transform some 10 gauge sheet metal, 2” flat bar, and some SS 304 rod into a vertical rod holder with 3 separate sections on the right side of the lathe stand. Pretty good for a quick evening fling in the shop.



So I think I am getting to the tail end. What’s left? I need to fill the sides of the stand in with something. I used wood on the milling machine stand simply because I wanted it match the work benches. In the case of the lathe stand I am just not feeling the love for our flammable friend Mother Nature provides. I’ll think it over and see what I can come up with. Other then that a couple coats of paint will get this unit one step closer to going into service.


  1. Alutig says:

    Been folloving your blog for a while.
    Have to say i think you do excellent work!
    I do much of what you do, for a living and i have to say i admire your work!
    Really really like the workbench you made now. Beautiful design!

    Respect from Norway

    • gordsgarage says:

      Hi from Canada Alutig, thanks for stopping in to take a look. I’m thrilled you sent me a link to your thread on I must say you do some fairly impressive work, all your projects are awesome to look at. It looks like you have logged your fair share of hours aluminum TIG welding, you have my respect!
      I often think I would not want to fabricate for a living. So many times when you do something you love for a living you end up spending more time dealing with the business end and the pessures that come from having to produce. Eventually you come to the realization that you barely get to do what you love anymore. It looks as though you have been able to avoid that downfall or at least you hide it well.
      I’m almost done the lathe stand so I will post finished pictures soon.
      For everyone else out there that loves checking out welding projects as much as I do then visit Alutig’s thread at Amazing stuff!


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