Re: Southbend 9" lathe table in CONCRETE?

Bill in OKC too

Dave, wood is a lousy choice if you want the best accuracy your lathe is capable of. Hardwood is generally better than softwood, and Maple is supposed to be the best wood, but I don't know anyone who can afford enough maple to build a workbench for a lathe. Steel would be better, but it ain't cheap, either. ;) Gotta admit I've participated in a number of these discussions, on several of the yahoo (and now boards, and I've never seen a report back on how well it worked. I'd really like to see a comparison of how well a particular lathe worked on a wood bench such as you describe, on a steel bench such as came with my 10L, and/or the heavy cast iron benches, and on a concrete bench. Seems to me the discussion on PM where, (I think it was Carla) OP said she'd seen the WPB brochure on the concrete bench is the closest I've seen to an evaluation. Seems to me she said it did help, but I'd have to go look again. I know that about 9 or 10 years ago, I saw photos of a bench someone had built that was supposed to be like the WPB bench. I'm a lousy artist or I'd try to draw what I remember, and it probably would have stabilized the heck out of just about any spaghetti lathe. It was cast in one piece. Thickish steel plate top, fat headstock support pillar, lighter tailstock pillar, a bit of a toekick depression in the front, and rounded corners on the sides. Couldn't see the back of it, and I've not been able to find that picture again. Guy by the name of Lucien Yeomans was building large lathes, shapers, and planers out of concrete during WWI, and it worked great. They were just NOT portable, so there are photos, but apparently no surviving examples. Check out for some of the articles about those machines. Concrete works, but like everything else, it has advantages and disadvantages.

Bill in OKC

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On Tuesday, December 31, 2019, 9:32:21 AM CST, Dave P. <thespamcatcher@...> wrote:

This has got to be at least the second time if not the third over the years - more than I would like to admit to, that there has been a long winded discussion about building a concrete bench for a tool like a lathe. I don't know if it was this group or one of the other Southbend groups or maybe another type of lathe group. I suggest anyone that is more interested than I am might want to search some of the old posts here or in the other groups to see if there was any definitive conclusion as to the worth of such a laborious endeavor when there are simpler and just as workable solutions. A 2x4 workbench top on 4x4 legs would be my choice if I were in the need of something more sturdy than a heavy solid core door on good solid legs.

Just my $0.02 worth -

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