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Tip: Lathe Wheels
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Lathe Wheels

Our club is fortunate to have a permanent meeting space with a classroom. We do, however, need to move the lathes around. I discovered this solution at the AAW 2009 symposium trade show. I made a few small revisions, but credit for the concept goes to Gene Colley at Canyon Studios.

The wheels are trailer jacks, originally designed to mount to the tongue of a boat or utility trailer, and swing up when the trailer is in use. I discarded the pivot mechanism and bolted the jacks to a hardwood board, which in turn bolts to the cast iron legs of the lathe. For mobility, the wheels are cranked down just enough to raise the foot pads  of the lathe clear of the floor. A few turns of the crank raises the wheels, and the lathe sits solidly on the floor.

The two wheels on the head- stock end have been modified so they don’t swivel, with a slot ground in the outer tube and a small bolt tapped into the inner tube. The wheel on the tailstock end is free to move. Jacks are available from many sources, including Northern Tool and Harbor Freight. The jacks shown are 1500 lb (680kg) capacity, which is overkill. For our other lathes, we used 750 lb (340kg) jacks, at approximately $20 each. The only disadvantage is the crank protruding from the top of the jack, which can be a shin biter. The Chicago Woodturners engineering team is working on a solution for this. For $80 each, we have complete mobility and full stability for our classroom lathes.

~ Paul Shotola, Chicago Woodturners

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