How to build a chip tray for a lathe stand?

I'm looking to build a lathe stand for my 7" swing lathe. I'd like to do a good job of it, but I've no experience building a stand
for precision machinery. It seems simple enough, but I'm concerned about flatness and warping from welding which will affect the lathe and its alignment. I'm most likely over-thinking this, but I've previously worked with large items where sub .001 precision isn't a factor.
My initial thought is to start with a flat plate, 1/16" or 3/32" seems thick enough to resist bending from items placed on it. Cut it with an elongated octagonal outline so that there are no sharp corners to run body parts into. Then add a 1" vertical or so lip at some angle (45 degrees seems good) of the same material. That edge will be rounded to avoid sharp edges. That seems to look like most chip-trays I've seen in photos. Add a one or two holes with and a threaded bush for a oil/fluid/coolant drain. And some strainer in the chip tray to keep the chips out of same.
It seems that all the welding and heating on such thin material is likely to produce warping, bowing, and other distortion. So, it seems I'll have to isolate the lathe from the chip tray. My current idea is to cut rectangular slots in the flat plate where the lathe feet are. Into these slots would be welded "feet" which protrude both above and below the flat bottom of the tray. The feet both provide the necessary elevation to keep the lathe off the bottom of the tray, and to provide points to mount the chip tray to the lathe stand. That way the lathe stand will control the quality of the lathe mount, not the chip tray.
I can simplify the above my just welding the bar-stock "feet" to the chip tray before welding on the lip ... which is most likely to cause the distortion which would upset the lathe.
From the amount of writing above, this seems complete overkill for something as simple as a chip-tray... which is why I'm asking for some feedback.
Thanks for any advice
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| Josef Burger U of WI-Madison Computer Sciences | "No matter where you go,
| "Bolo" snipped-for-privacy@cs.wisc.edu uwvax!bolo | There you are"
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Typical chip trays are thin material, interposed between the legs (or base) and the actual machine tool. They're so flexible they don't apply any force to speak of to upset the machine alignment. Think 'extra large cookie sheet.'
Jim
================================================= please reply to: JRR(zero) at yktvmv (dot) vnet (dot) ibm (dot) com ================================================
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Thank you and the others for setting me down a more sensible track. aving only seen photos of chip trays I assumed that they were rather thick. The explanation of the thinner material with rolled edge is more sensible.
Thanks to all for the notes on construction of chip trays, ideas, and where to look to find some items that may work well.
Bolo
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| "Bolo" snipped-for-privacy@cs.wisc.edu uwvax!bolo | There you are"
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On 11 May 2004 03:00:08 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@orca.cs.wisc.edu (Josef Burger) wrote:

You can often find galvanized trays of various sizes. They are often used to set a machine tool, or an air conditioner or genset, In, so any leakage doesnt get on the floor. A smaller one would be a handy chip tray all by itself.
http://www.kellysearch.com/us-product-32113.html
Plastic ones http://www.paragonplastics.net/catalog/catpage19.htm
Gunner
That rifle hanging on the wall of the working-class flat or labourer's cottage is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there.         - George Orwell
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snipped-for-privacy@orca.cs.wisc.edu (Josef Burger) wrote in message

Standard procedure that I've seen is to make the stand heavy enough, and the tray light enough that when the machine is bolted down, it's to the stand, and the tray conforms to the stand. I have my 7" X 12" mounted on the stand from an old 12" Craftsman, the top is a 2 X 10 board. Shims where appropriate to avoid warping the bed, and bolts going through the feet, the pan, down through the top. Leveling should be done on the stand first, then make sure that it's not putting strains on the bed of the machine when it's bolted down. The tray should not be carrying the machine, the stand should.
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Josef,     My Southbend 9" swing lathe came with a flat table commonly seen in electronic labs and other places. Six feet long and three feet wide. Square tubular steel frame and legs that support a Melamine covered MDF top that's 1" thick. It was old as was the lathe and a little wobbly. Tightening the bolts and adding some angle iron cross braces on the ends stiffened up the table nicely. I went to Wal*Mart and bought a 4'x2' (approx) galvanised steel pan with a rolled up edge intended for use under a leaky car as a chip/drip tray for a few bucks. I leveled (carpenters level) the table, drilled new holes in the top for bolting down the lathe where I wanted it as well as throught the chip tray. To make leveling the lathe easier I bought two hot rolled steel plates about 9" square and 1/4" thick and drilled those for the lathe mounting pattern and a bolt in each corner for mounting the plates. I shim between the plate and the feet of the lathe to level the lathe using a machinist level across and along the ways. Works very well and is very sturdy. Any sturdy work bench design of wood or steel construction should do for this size lathe. Good luck.
Bill
On 10 May 2004 05:30:57 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@orca.cs.wisc.edu (Josef Burger) wrote:

<snip>
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seems thick enough to resist bending from items placed on it. Cut it with an elongated octagonal outline so that there are no sharp corners to run body parts into. Then add a 1" vertical or so lip at some angle (45 degrees seems good) of the same material. That edge will be rounded to avoid sharp edges. That seems to look like most chip-trays I've seen in photos. <<
That sounds good but it also sounds like a lot of extra work.
I have a JET 9x20 lathe and I wanted a chip tray and backsplash. The first thing I did was look at my neighbor's 9" Southbend and it had a great chip tray with a slanted lip and a really nice rolled edge around the top that I would love to have on mine but I knew I had no way to make it and I'm too cheap to pay for one. :-)
The next thing I did is look at the Harbor Freight version of my lathe in a local store. Instead of the taper on the edges it has a boxed section formed all the way around the edge that looks like 3/4" square tubing. That gave me the idea to actually use 3/4" square tubing for the frame and then I had a sheet of 14 gauge steel that I cut about 1/4" smaller than the outside dimensions all the way around and welded it to the bottom of the frame. This looked exactly like the one on the HF lathe if you didn't look underneath. I did get a fair amount of warping on this and if I had it to do over again I'd probably lay a bead of caulk or silicone around it and screw the bottom on instead of welding it.
I then used more 3/4" square tubing to build a frame for a splashgaurd along the back but it's kind of hard to describe it without a drawing. I covered it with 18 gauge sheet steel.
To raise the lathe above the bottom of the tray I picked up some 1" x 4" flat stock and cut a couple of 6" pieces of it. I just drilled holes through them to match the holes in the bottom of the lathe and bolted through all three pieces to mount it on a heavy workbench.
Cheap and very effective! My only complaint is that I matched the beige color JET uses and all you have to do is look at it wrong and it looks dirty. :-)
Best Regards, Keith Marshall snipped-for-privacy@progressivelogic.com
"Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." - Will Rogers (1879-1935).
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Good luck getting a order from Harbor Freight. I ordered from them a month ago and so far all I've received in return is lie after lie. Now they're telling me it might take another month before they ever even admit they didn't send me my order. They have my money. I have a handful of hot air. They're lying scum at Harbor Freight.
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