I’d been eyeing off mini-lathes on eBay for years, and finally caved in and purchased one mid-late 2010. While waiting for the lathe to be delivered I started looking into buying or building a bench for it to live on. I decided to build one so I could make it to fit exactly where I planed to setup the lathe. A quick sketch on some paper and some more time finalising the dimensions on SketchUp and I’d figured out what I needed.
I stopped in at a steel shop on the way home from work on a Friday and picked up the steel. I got them to cut it to the right lengths for me as I don’t have a drop saw that can cut steel. My only method of cutting steel is with a hacksaw, why do that when you can get it cut much more accurately with the right tools? I welded the frame together and painted it over one weekend, and finished the tops and draws the weekend after. Here is the finished product and a few pictures while building it.
The bench is very simple in it’s construction, a steel frame made with 25mm box section for the bulk of it and some 20mm strap for bracing. The top and draws are made from 16mm MDF, coated with some 50/50 thinned polyurethane to give the MDF some protection from swelling. The frame was painted with etch primer and then some black gloss spray enamel paint. All up the bench cost me about $150 including glue/screws and surface finishing.
The draw handles and a few other things I had kicking around the garage but they wouldn’t add a great deal to the total cost.