I have a Chinese "whoflungdung" 12x36 lathe that came with the standard type cabinet stand, and I'm looking to make a replacement stand that's more sturdy and stable so I don't have to worry about brushing up against the lathe and moving it out of alignment.
I basically know what I want, but was just wondering if anyone had any ideas or links to interesting designs or types?
It has a nice oil tray - 1" deep. The holes through it to the legs have gaskets and washers that help prevent leaks. Even if you don't plan on coolant a tray is great for chips. A coolant tray has a rear corner with a drain pipe so a hose can be attached to a tank where the pump draws from to in turn cool the part.
Mine has two leg sections. They are a wide metal that is U shaped. The width of the U is the width of the tray less a little. The channel does down toward the floor and the bottom and top are covered with heavy plate. The bottom plate has two holes (per end) for levelers. Inside this bent U (can be welded sheet with sides) - is an X that crosses within and are as the sides - 3-4" wide. They provide a place to store stuff. The thickness is 3/16.
Provide a place to mount a lamp - on the rear of the tray. Be sure it stays out of the way to options and the carriage.
Sounds great, and much better than the junk stand that came with mine. What you've described is pretty much what I planned to do, but I thought I'd ask first on the off chance that someone else has been in the same situation and made some fancy stand with a lot of great tool storage ideas and could say "Here, look at this".
I read through those links, and DoN's questions pretty much described my machine to a T. I bought it from a local industrial tool importer, but I should add at this point that I'm in Melbourne, Australia, so that might not be in your neck of the woods :)
As far as "import" 12x36 lathes go I think they're all pretty much of a muchness if most of the stuff I've read on the net about them is anything to go by.
Their pro's are that they offer quite a bit of machine for the money, but that's about it. Their cons are many, including appalling attention to detail with things like headstocks full of sand and swarf, spindle oil that looks (and smells) like it used to be cat urine in a former life, V belt pulleys that have more run out than a circus clown's bicycle wheels, handles and knobs fitted incorrectly and the like.
The accuracy out of the box makes a junkyard lathe look great by comparison (which was certainly true of mine and that of a couple of friends who bought similar machines from different manufacturers), and the fit & finish of the things is about as bad as you could possibly make it if you were deliberately trying to.
Unfortunately for us down here, good used quality equipment is very hard to come by, and when it does eventually pop up now and then it's usually worth a small fortune. To give you an example, a local used machinery dealer not far from me has a couple of Colchester Student lathes that look like they've done a world tour as deck cargo on a submarine, but he wants 7500 bucks each for them and he says he'll get it without any problems at all.
For a home hobby guy like me that's way too much for a machine that probably needs as much again spent on it to return it to active duty. The only real alternative if you want something of a useful size that doesn't cost an arm and a leg is the Chinese stuff, but from what I've seen thus far their new stuff is almost as bad as the worn out old junk :)
In short, I'm reasonably happy with mine (which may sound strange), but only because I own it and have spent a couple hundred hours fully rebuilding a brand new lathe turning it into what is now a reasonable, but not brilliant, machine. Out of the box it was terrible, and within 5 minutes of it's first running I thoroughly regretted selling my little Hercus (which is a locally made Southbend copy) and buying this thing.
If I lived in the US and had access to the huge variety of cheap quality machines that you guys seem to have, I wouldn't go near a Chinese machine even if they were giving them away for free.
Hmmm, glut of used machines in the US, glut of shipping containers, dearth of good affordable used machines down-under, seems like the thing to do is to take 'orders', find a containers worth of machines, and ship.