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Old 11-16-2016, 01:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default How tall is too tall?

I have been shopping for months now, trying to decide on a Metal Lathe. I have decided to get the Grizzly Variable speed 8x16. In my shop, everything is on wheels. I was wondering if this toolbox is ok...keep in mind I am only 5-9

Milwaukee 46 in. 8-Drawer Rolling Steel Storage Cabinet, Red and Black-48-22-8520 - The Home Depot

would be suitable to put it on/work from? I thought I might kill two birds with one stone, a cabinet and tool box all in one. It is 37.5 inches high though....in everyone's opinion is that too tall?

I was going to order the lathe, but it is out of stock
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Old 11-16-2016, 02:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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My work bench is 38" tall and I am 5'-8". I'm operating a 7"x10" mini metal lathe. The height seems about right. I'd be a little concerned with how solid the top is and the weight of the lathe. A couple layers of 3/4" plywood under the lathe would help just check the weight limits.

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Old 11-16-2016, 03:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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I would say only you can answer that because it comes down to one word "comfort" How comfortable does it feel. Changing height of a cabinet is the easy part. Getting the lathe in the shop and set up is the hard part. Good luck.
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Old 11-16-2016, 05:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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I'd say you would be ok with that. . I am 5-10 and have a lathe similar to what you are planning to get. . It weights about 115 lb. . I have it sitting about 37" off the floor ... up on two 25 lb anvils on a 31" high table.

But I would put a piece of 3/4" plywood on top of that cabinet - the metal is not heavy gauge and would probably sag or deform slightly under the weight of the lathe without the plywood.
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Old 11-16-2016, 07:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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I've seen two ways to decide how tall a workbench/area should be. For a work bench, put your arms down at your side and bend your wrists up at 90 degrees. That is the height for a work bench.

For a lathe, bend your arms at the elbows so they are horizontal (like you are holding a lathe tool). That is the height where the centerline of the lathe should be.

Hope that helps.
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Old 11-17-2016, 01:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Thank you for the answers all....

Jimmyz...I had always heard that for wood lathes but I wasn't sure that applied here since I won't be hand holding any tools....if I intend to use hand tools this is indeed too tall.

Clockman...I am not sure what you mean the height is the easy part....are modifications possible to roller bottoms like this, or do you mean, just buy a different cabinet?
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Old 11-17-2016, 05:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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I'm 5'9", my stand is 35 " high with the C/L of the lathe at 47" and I find it is on the high side. I would prefer it 4" shorter.
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Old 11-17-2016, 10:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moke View Post
Thank you for the answers all....

Jimmyz...I had always heard that for wood lathes but I wasn't sure that applied here since I won't be hand holding any tools....if I intend to use hand tools this is indeed too tall.

Clockman...I am not sure what you mean the height is the easy part....are modifications possible to roller bottoms like this, or do you mean, just buy a different cabinet?

My thought is you can always adjust the height. Raise it lower it whatever you have to do to get it to that perfect height for you. If you are planning of buying a cabinet, mock something up using 2X4's and some plywood. Adjust accordingly. As you say you will be mostly cranking wheels but some people can not raise their arms above their waste. Some may want a better view and look past the cranking height thing. They feel seeing what they are doing is more important. That was my point. Good luck with your new toy.
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Old 11-17-2016, 11:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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my pm1236 is 47 inches to the center of the spindle and my 6 x 18 Atlas is at 46 inches to the center of the spindle. Im 5-11. THe 1236 is on a factory stand with adj feet and the Atlas is on a kitchen cabinet repurposed to be the lathe stand. I put wheels under the cabinet to get it to that height.
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Old 11-18-2016, 01:25 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Easy to answer simply do a series of defined lines on a length of timber you have precise measures of the proposed base and the proposed lathe. If in the event the unit is too high you can lower it immediately by relocating the wheels.

Personally I never recommend anyone to make a platform to stand on (can be very dangerous.

If you stick weld make your own steel frame and shelving or drawers.

I choose to sit high to turn on my main wood lathe, but what could I say to you at 6 feet two inches that would help.

Now the absolute advantage I have had long term membership of a Wood Guild where every main question such as this answered right away, the real benifit IMHO.

Good luck with your problem Moke.

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