Category Archives: Lathes

Carl’s Tool Rest Design

Here are some pictures and drawings of the tool rests that I prefer. They are NOT commercially available. You have to find someone to make them for you.

I prefer a tool rest that has a nice 1/2″ wide almost flat area on top of the rest. I like to be able to feel when my turning tool is horizontal across the rest. I round over the top of the tool rest a little with a belt sander. I like the top to be slightly crowned. Like a crowned road.

I also like my tool rests to ONLY be 1/2″ high at the tips. This allows my straight tool rests to work on the inside of bowls.

See photos of my tool rests below and plan above.

Click on the photo or here for a printer friendly PDF file.

Note: In my plan the tool post is 1″ in diameter by 6″ long. This should work ok on most full size lathes. If to long then you can hacksaw it off. You should make the tool post 1″ longer (1″ diameter by 7″ long) for Powermatic 3520 lathe with the PM banjo. The top of the PM banjo is lower than most.
Continue reading Carl’s Tool Rest Design

Headstock Shelf for Powermatic 3520C Lathe

Headstock Shelf for Powermatic 3520C Lathe Photo: Headstock Shelf for Powermatic 3520C Lathe

I added a shelf to the Headstock of my new Powermatic 3520C lathe. See photo.

All of my lathes have a shelf on top of the headstock. I have found that it makes a great place to store live centers, chucks, etc. Everything is very "handy". My students and friends quickly fall in love my headstock shelves.

My old PM 3520B lathe had what I am calling a "1st generation" shelf. It was just one level. My Oneway lathes have "2nd generation" shelves. They are 2 levels. My new PM3520C has a new "3rd generation" shelf design that incorporates everything I have learned over time. I really like it! It is 3 levels.

Note: For more info on my new lathe see "My New Powermatic 3520C Lathe Verses My Old Powermatic 3520B Lathe" blog entry.

Photo: 3rd Generation Shelf 3rd Generation Shelf

Here is a close up view of the new headstock shelf on my PM 3520C lathe. It is a 3 level design.

Click on photos for a better view.

Overall the shelf is 18" wide by 15-1/2" deep. See latter photos for more details.

Photo: 1st Generation Shelf 1st Generation Shelf

Here is a close up of the headstock shelf on my OLD PM 3520B lathe. It was a 1 level design. The shelf was 16" wide by 16" deep.

I used this design for a long time. But it was a bit of a pain. Because, I had to store my frequently used live centers at the back. Reaching over things in the front to get the centers in back often sucked.

Live centers, etc had to go on the back because "the headstock" and the VFD (controller box) on the back of the headstock blocked most of the space under the plywood. I could only drill holes for things that stuck down below the plywood at the back of the 1 level shelf. For a better explanation see "Side View from Spindle End" photo below.

Storing any tool rests on this shelf DID NOT work. The long projections on the tool rests blocked or interfered with any thing else on the shelf.

Photo: 2nd Generation Shelf 2nd Generation Shelf

Here is a close up of the headstock shelf on one of my Oneway 2436 lathes. It is a 2 level design.

This shelf has to be a lot narrower. So, it does NOT block turning on the outboard side. The shelf is 10" wide by 14" deep.

I like the 2nd level on this design. It allows EASY access to the tool rests. The 2nd level is tall enough so I DO NOT bang my hangs into any points on live centers, etc on 1st level.

However, this design is still a little bit of a pain. Because, I have to reach over things in front to get to frequently used live centers in the back.

Note: The 2nd level is 10" wide by 2-3/4" wide and the plywood supports are 4" tall. The shelf is elevated 1.5" above the headstock by two 3/4" plywood spacers visible in photo. See "Aluminum Shelf Support on Oneway Shelf" photo at end for more details.

Photo: 3rd Generation Shelf (Again) 3rd Generation Shelf (Again)

Now I am going back to the 3rd generation shelf on my new PM 3520C lathe. Here is a photo from a higher up angle, so you can see everything.

Overall the shelf is 18" wide by 15-1/2" deep.

A place for everything and everything in its place.

Any shelf on the headstock of a lathe needs to built like a tank! It MUST be able to take any "rock rattle and roll" the lathe may be forced to endure when a rough or out of balance piece is mounted on the lathe. The shelf should not move around for any reason! Everything on the self must be secure. Anything that rattles even just a little during normal lathe operation can drive you crazy.

Photo: Plywood and Measurements Plywood and Measurements

I am NOT going supply any plans or step by step photos. So here are some dimensions for anyone who wants to build their own.

Level 1 and Level 2 are 18" wide by 8" deep. Note: They overlap by a 1/2" due to tongue and groove construction. See latter photos.

Level 3 (the top) is 18" wide by 2-1/2" deep. It is supported by plywood spacers that are 2" wide by 3-1/2" tall.

The plywood back is 14" wide by 12-1/4" tall. The cutout on the left for hand wheel clearance is 7" wide by 8" tall. See latter photos.

It is 1-3/4" from the top of the Level 1 plywood to the bottom of the Level 2 plywood. i.e. the location of the dado cut in plywood back is 2" down from the top. 1/4" of the back at top is buried in a 1/4" deep dado on the bottom of Level 2. All dados are 1/4" deep.

I like everything in my studio to look nice. Thus I use reasonably good plywood and finish everything with 2 coats of Watco Golden Oak Danish Oil followed by 2 coats of Miniwax Semi Gloss Wipe On Poly.

I use good quality 3/4" 7 layer plywood from local Home Depot. ACX grade. They don't label it, but I think it is southern yellow pine. Around $38 per sheet. It comes and goes. When it comes, I stock up. There is no way I would use EXPENSIVE Birch, Maple, Oak, etc plywood because the outside veneer layers on expensive plywood is like paper thin and the stuff inside is often crap with voids. I like the outside layer of my plywood to be the same thickness as all the inside layers (roughly 1/16") so I don't end up with crap if I accidentally sand thru it or when I round the corners over. "Sanded Plywood" is ok. However, "Sande" plywood is to soft. It's crap.

I belt sand the exposed edges on all of my plywood to remove all open grain. i.e. to make them look better. I sand the flat surfaces to 220 grit with a random orbit sander and then I round the edges over with a random orbit sander. The sander creates less tear out then a router when rounding over.

If you just drive a screw into the end grain of plywood you will just split the plywood. There is no strength. To avoid this problem I capture all of my joints in dados. I glue the joint with yellow carpenters glue and screw the join with 2-1/2" decking screws. The long screw contacts more surface area. Short screws just pull out of the end grain on plywood.

My favorite band of screws is Scorpion. I ONLY use there ceramic coated decking screws. They are hi thread, square drive. You can NOT get these at Home Depot, or Lowe's. You have to go to a real hardware store. However, any good quality decking screws will do the job.

Note: It appears that the "Golden Oak" colored Watco Danish Oil is no longer available. This is a real shame. Because it is my favorite. It works real good on things with lots of holes. It is thin, you can just pour it on. It gets in all the holes on it's own. You don't have to work at it. I work over an old cafeteria tray. The tray collects the excess when I pour the oil on. When I am done, I just pour the excess back in the can and use it in the future.

Photo: Level 1 (Bottom Level) Level 1 (Bottom Level)

The Level 1 plywood goes over the headstock. I then routed out the plywood to accept the stock PM rubber mat that goes on top of the headstock.

I store my chucks, live center cones, etc on Level 1. This is dictated by a no thru holes in Level 1 requirement.

On the right, the top of Level 1 bolts to the top of the cast iron lathe headstock. Thus on thru holes are possible. On the left there are no thru holes for safety! I don't want my hand to "catch" on anything hanging down when I use the hand wheel.

The left side of Level 1 can take a lot of weight. It is NOT just cantilevered out there! It is firmly supported by plywood at the back that supports Level 2 and extends down the back of the headstock. See "Support Over Hand Wheel" photo below.

Note: If you look in the bottom left corner of photo you can see the motor on the lathe. The 18" wide shelf is narrower than the motor. Latter you will see that the Level 2 part overhangs the VFD (big black control box) on the back of the lathe. Thus the shelf DOES NOT add to the overall footprint of the lathe!

Photo: Level 2 (Middle Level) and Level 3 (Top Level) Level 2 (Middle Level) and Level 3 (Top Level)

I like lots of holes in Level 2. You can never have to many holes. I can never understand why people make things with just a couple of holes.

In my 3rd Generation design I created the 2nd level and elevated it by 2-1/2" so I can have holes over the VFD. Something like a #2 MT live center sticking down thru a hole in the Level 2 plywood does NOT hit the top of the VFD on back of headstock. In my 1st Generation design, no holes were possible over the VFD.

The holes vary in size. So small things do NOT fall thru the holes. All of the big holes in Level 2 and Level 3 are 1-1/8" diameter. This works good for tool rests, and most #2 MT things. Because most #2 MT things have a head on them that is bigger than 1-1/8". I drill a few 11/16" holes for #2 MT things with a small head. I drill lots of holes that will accept the "Red Bar" Oneway ships with it's face plates, etc. I find that size holes works good for lots of things. Then some smaller 3/16" holes for Oneway Live Center knock out bar, etc.

The line of small holes at the front of Level 2 go down into the plywood back. Most of them are not very deep.

I drill the big holes with Forstner bits to minimize tear out and then round over the edges using a 3/16" round over router bit. I drill the smaller holes with brad point bits and then round over the edges using a SINGLE flute counter sink.

The big holes in Level 3 line up with the Level 2 holes. So long tool posts, etc just go thru both levels. I clamp Level 3 to Level 2 and then drill the hole all the way thru.

Photo: Level 1 - Left Side Level 1 – Left Side

The 3 wooden knobs sticking up help me secure things on the left side of Level 1. They are slighly smaller than the 1-1/4" spindle threads on the lathe. There are 3 more knobs on the left under UHMW codes and Colet Chunk. Then another one under the big chuck. The knobs keep things from shifting around when the lathe "rocks rattles and rolls".

In my old 1st Generation design, I drilled show big shallow holes for the chuck. See "1st Generation Shelf" photo above. That did not work out well. The knobs are a better solution.

I turned the knobs with 3/4" tenons on the bottoms that fit into 3/4" non thru holes in plywood.

Just to right of the Oneway chuck is the wrench for the chuck. Pointed to by blue arrow in photo. I REALLY like having the wrench sticking up like this rather than going thru a hole. If it goes thru a hole then the bar on the end of the wrench takes up to much space and fouls things up. When the wrench sticks up like this, it is easy to find and use.

The thing the chuck wrench fits into is 1-1/2" in diameter hard maple with a 3/4" tenon on the bottom to fit into plywood. The tenon has a 5/16" thru hole so any saw dust drops thru rather than clogging things up. The top is drilled and hollowed with a spindle gouge until the wrench fits in there like a glove.

Photo: Level 1 - Right Side Level 1 – Right Side

I drilled holes for special things behind the mat on the right side of Level 1. Things, I don't want to lose because they cost to much to replace. I size the holes to be just right. Pointed to by green arrow in photo.

From left to right. The Slide Off pin from Tailstock end of PM lathe in a nut. The Oneway Chuck screw. Center point from Oneway Live Center, Knock out bar for Oneway Live Center. The red thing is a neat little Allen wrench from Trent Bosch.

Photo: Level 1 - Powermatic Mat Removed Level 1 – Powermatic Mat Removed

This photo shows what is under the PM Mat that comes with the lathe. I routed out the plywood to allow the mat to sit there nicely. It needs to be deep around the outside and shallow in the middle to support the mat. In the front it needs to drop down a bit to match the mat.

The 2 silver flat head screws pointed to by blue arrow in photo, are really the top of 5/16" flat head bolts that I use to attach the shelf to top of headstock. I drill thru the plywood to line things up. Then remove the plywood and tap 5/16" x 18 holes.

Note: The headstock shelf is also supported by a piece of plywood bolted to the back of the headstock. See "Support Over Hand Wheel" photo below.

Photo: Level 2 & Level 3 Level 2 & Level 3

Here is a different view of Level 2 & Level 3.

Photo: Level 3 Support & Thru Holes Level 3 Support & Thru Holes

The plywood spacers between Level 2 and Level 3 are 2" wide by 3-1/2" tall. Each spacer has two 3/8" diameter holes that go all the way thru from top to bottom. I drilled them on my drill press.

I temp screwed Level 2 to Level 3 (with out the spacers). First I drilled counter sink holes in the top of Level 3 for 5/16" diameter FLAT head bolts with a SINGLE flute countersink. Then I drilled 5/16" diameter holes all the way thru both levels.

After stain and poly, I used 5 min epoxy and 6" long 5/16" flat head bolts to attach Level 3 to Level 2. I then cut off the excess bolt length. The 3/8" thru holes in spacers gave me enough wiggle room to line things up. The epoxy eliminated the wiggle after it was dry. I epoxied the nuts on because they came lose on my Oneway lathes. See "The Back" photo below for nuts on bottom of bolts.

This photo also gives you a better view of the thru holes from Level 2 to Level 3. The long tool post on the Steve Sinner tool rest goes thru both levels. The bluish grey tool rest. Steve makes his tool posts long so they work with stock PM banjo.

Photo: Side View from Spindle End Side View from Spindle End

I elevated Level 2 to make it easier to see and access things that were behind things on Level 1

This photo also shows another reason why I elevated Level 2 on my 3rd Generation design. Because, I wanted Live Centers, etc stored in the Level 2 holes to clear the VFD on back of lathe. Note: The VFD is inside of the big black box on the back of the lathe.

Photo: Zoom In Side View from Spindle End Zoom In Side View from Spindle End

The green arrow in photo points to a 1/4" deep dado in the back plywood that captures the Level 1 plywood. This allows me to screw the back plywood to Level 1 with out splitting it.

Photo: Side View from Hand Wheel End Side View from Hand Wheel End

For people who want to make something similar.

Photo: Zoom In Side View from Hand Wheel End Zoom In Side View from Hand Wheel End

Another photo for people who want to make something similar.

Note: The photo was taken from a perspective that makes it appear things are not square and/or level. Everything is square and level in the real world.

Photo: Support Over Hand Wheel Support Over Hand Wheel

The blue arrow in photo points to the plywood on the back that really supports everything. Level 1 and Level 2 are NOT just cantilevered out there.

There is NO WAY I want to bang or catch my hand on anything when I use the hand wheel. Thus nothing hangs down from above into this space. The plywood on the back is cut out to create a nice big clearance space and all the corners are rounded over. The cutout in back plywood for hand wheel clearance is 7" wide by 8" tall.

The green arrow in photo points to a 1/4" deep dado in the back plywood that captures the Level 1 plywood.

See photos below for more plywood on the back shots.

Photo: Plywood Down The Back Plywood Down The Back

The red arrow in photo points to the plywood that goes down the back of headstock. It really supports everything.

I removed the VFD (the black box on the back of the headstock) and installed the plywood using the VFD threaded mounting holes on the back of the headstock. To do this, you have to removed the back cover from VFD. Then reach in there with an Allen wrench to remove the cap head screws (aka bolts) that attach the black cover to headstock. I replaced the cap head screws with longer ones. Long enough to go thru 3/4" plywood. I drilled holes in the plywood that matched holes in black VFD cover. Then bolted everything back together thru the VFD cover. Not easy. I also had to remove and reinstall the ground wire connection to headstock. This was a pain. I had to drill a 1" hole in plywood to clear the ground wire and screw. I did NOT remove any of the wires from the VFD. I just worked around them. Not easy, but doable.

The back of the headstock is slanted inward. Thus, there is a space between the plywood and headstock. See green arrow in photo. This space is there because the VFD mounting holes go into cast iron stand offs on the back of the cast iron headstock.

Note: I known some people are not going to like dorking around with the VFD. It was my last resort. On my old PM 3520B lathe the back of the headstock was wider. Thus I got away with mounting the plywood on the back by just running it next to VFD. This was not possible on new PM 3520C lathe because the VFD with the new cover takes up almost all the space on back of headstock. See next photo.

Photo: The Back The Back

Here is what the back looks like. I took this photo when I had the headstock removed from the lathe while moving the lathe.

The magenta arrow in photo points to a 1/4" deep by 3/4" wide dado slot in the bottom of the 2nd level plywood. It is not easy to see in photo! The back plywood extends up 1/4" into this slot. Thus the back plywood did NOT split, when I glued and screwed the 2nd level plywood down to the back plywood with 2-1/2" decking screws.

If I had to do again, I would replace the plywood level 2 shelf support triangles with a custom bent aluminum bar. See red arrow in NEXT photo.

The aluminum bar would come down from one of the nuts under 3rd level support (green arrow in photo) to the bottom of plywood triangle (blue arrow in photo).

Photo: Aluminum Shelf Support on Oneway Shelf Aluminum Shelf Support on Oneway Shelf

This photo shows the shelf on the back of my Oneway 2436 lathe. Note: See "2nd Generation Shelf" photo above for the front view.

The red arrow in photo points to an aluminum shelf support that I created out of a 1/8" thick by 3/4" wide piece of aluminum bar stock from local hardware store. This chunk of aluminum takes the place of the plywood triangles in the above design. If, I had to do again, I would use aluminum bar in the above design. Easier and better looking.

Note: The plywood is attached to the back of the Oneway headstock with 4 black 5/16" socket head cap screws. You can see 2 of them in photo. I used some 1/2" hex nuts between the plywood and metal headstock to "stand off" the plywood so it would clear the round part of headstock. All of the steel used by Oneway is hard stuff. I think it may end up getting work hardened when it is bent and welded by Oneway. Thus, drilling and tapping the holes for the bolts is no easy task!

Bottom Shelf for Powermatic 3520C Lathe

Bottom Shelf for Powermatic 3520C Lathe Photo: Bottom Shelf for Powermatic 3520C Lathe

I added a Bottom Shelf to my new Powermatic 3520C lathe with roughly 240 lbs of stone weight. It is really a two level shelf. With stone on the bottom and a storage shelf above.

The new shelf is similar to one on my old Powermatic 3520B lathe. But, better. Wider and I painted it to match the lathe. See very last photo for old PM 3520B self.

I believe that all lathes, no matter how good they are, can benefit from 200+ lbs of weight added to the bottom. It reduces the "rock rattle and roll" of the lathe when you mount a big and/or out of balance piece on the lathe.

Note: For more info on my new lathe see "My New Powermatic 3520C Lathe Verses My Old Powermatic 3520B Lathe" blog entry.

Photo: Lets Skip Ahead for a Minute Lets Skip Ahead for a Minute

The above photo has all of the stone I added for weight covered up so you can NOT see it.

Here is what the stone looked like before I covered it up.

Now lets go back and see how I made the shelf.

Photo: Bottom of Leg on PM 3520C Lathe Bottom of Leg on PM 3520C Lathe

Here is what the bottom of the legs on the new PM 3520C lathe look like. I have the 4" riser blocks installed.

The photo also shows upper and lower shelf supports that are cast into the PM 3520C legs.

Photo: My Shelf Support My Shelf Support

The bottom of the shelf on my old PM 3520B lathe was roughly 9" off the floor. I liked that shelf height. It left room for my human feet under the shelf. It was relatively easy to clean under. It also left room for a second shelf on top of the stone where I could store things like my jam and vacuum chucks.

I have also added shelves to my Oneway 2436 lathes. I have decided that 8" under the shelf for your feet and clean up is a good height.

On my old PM 3520B lathe I used the upper shelf support cast into the legs. It was good. I decided it was NO good on my new PM 3520C lathe with the riser blocks installed. Both the upper and lower cast in shelf supports are to high up for my purposes. Your mileage may vary.

Thus I decided to make my own shelf support. I cut a 2×4 to fit on top of the feet. See photo. I reduced the height of the 2×4 to make the bottom of shelf 8" above the floor.

For something like this you are better off going with a nice Douglass Fir 2×4 from your local lumber yard. Avoid the cheaper pine 2x4s. DF only costs a buck or two more.

Photo: Close Up of My Shelf Support Close Up of My Shelf Support

Here is a close up shot of how I cut the end of my shelf supports on the band saw to fit. With 200+ lbs of weight on the shelf I figure it will be secure enough. Thus no bolts or glue. Latter, I will screw the shelf down to the shelf supports so they can not shift around and come out.

Photo: Plywood Top to Block Shavings Plywood Top to Block Shavings

I do not want any wood shavings getting behind my shelf supports. If the shavings are wet, or get wet then they would rust out the legs.

Thus I cut and installed a 1/8" thick piece of birch plywood to fit nice and snug.

Note: I already had some 1/8" thick birch plywood. Thus, that is what I used. A piece of 1/4" plywood or 1/8" real wood paneling would work just as well.

Photo: Stone for Weight Stone for Weight

I like to use stone for weight. If you use sand it runs out all over the floor thru any small hole.

I get my stone in the landscaping dept of local big box store. I like mini marble chips because they are heavy and small enough to fit close together in a bag.

Here I am measuring the bag. It is roughly 15" wide and 40 lbs. I am going to use 6 of these bags. 6 * 40 = 240 lbs.

Photo: Test Fit of Shelf and Stone Test Fit of Shelf and Stone

See next photo for more info.

Photo: Two Piece Shelf Two Piece Shelf

My bottom shelf is 15-1/2" wide by roughly 51 inches long. I cut the length to fit tightly in the space.

I made my shelf out of a 10' foot long Douglas Fir 2×12. The lumber was #2 grade. But, I looked thru the pile to find a piece with minimal knots.

The front half of the shelf is the standard 11-1/4" 2×12 width. I cut the back part of the shelf to make it overall 15-1/2" wide.

I have found that Douglas Fir is strong enough to span the 4+ feet with out any braces or cross ties underneath.

Photo: End Of Shelf End Of Shelf

Getting the shelf in there is not an easy task. The U shape of the legs means you can not just slide it in there from the front or back.

This photo shows how I made the 2×12 shelf roughly 1" short. Then filled in the 1" latter. This allowed me to get the shelf in there. I added the filler to add strength. The 2×12 can not shift left/right with the filler in there. Cutting off 1" was no big deal, from a strength point of view because the last 1" extends beyond the 2×4 in the bottom. The filler also prevents wet shavings from collecting and rusting out the leg.

I was able to get the narrower back half of the shelf in there, with out cutting it.

After I paint things, I will secured the shelf to the supporting 2×4 with 3" deck screws. Any good deck screw will do. I prefer Scorpion band course thread ceramic coated screws.

After I screwed things down there was no way the shelf was going to move left/right or front/back. Even if the lathe rocked, rattled and rolled.

Photo: Time to Paint Time to Paint

In this photo I am painting the self supports. I decide to paint everything in advance. Up on my work bench. I am getting to old to bend over.

I can't understand how people can spend time working in a dark crappy looking studio. I like my studio to be a bright and airy place to work. Thus, I painted the shelf to match the lathe.

I took the door off of the tailstock and took it down to my local Sherwood Williams store. I asked them to match the color. They scanned it with there computer gadget and the color came out real close.

I asked them to give me a quart of there toughest paint. They gave me some Sherwood Williams "All Surface Enamle – Acrylic Latex Interious / Exterior". They used 6509-00640 Ultradeep Base. In a gloss finish. I am not really sure about the gloss part. So far, I am real happy. The paint seems to be really though. I can slide the chucks around on the shelf with no noticable scratches yet.

I primed the bare wood with Sherwood Williams "Multi Purpose – Latex Primer" before I put on the above paint. I have found that this primer is real tough. It bounds to anything. It even bonds to the skin on your hands. Don't ask how I known!

I decided to head off a lot of questions here by telling people every last detail about the paint I used. I like Sherwood Williams, but it is not the only fish in the sea. Home Depot and Lowe's also have computers that can match paint colors. They also have good paints. The Sherwood Williams store is close to my studio.

Note: John Deer also makes a "Construction Yellow Paint" TY25627 that I have found is close to Powermatic Yellow. NOT an exact match. It is a little to yellow and bright. But, it is close. It comes in a rattle spray can. The very strong smell and the directions are almost identical to the Rust-Oleum Professional line of paints.

Photo: Flatten The Bags Flatten The Bags

I used a scrap 2×4 and a small sledge hammer to flatten out the bags of stone as I installed them.

Photo: 6 Bags of Stone 6 Bags of Stone

Here is what the 6 bags of stone looked like after I installed them. They fit in there real nice. Each bag is roughly 40 lbs. 6 * 40 = 240 lbs.

Photo: Close Up of Stone Close Up of Stone

The stone filled up the entire space real nice after I flattened it out with a 2×4 and sledge hammer.

Photo: Test Fit of Top Shelf Test Fit of Top Shelf

Here is the top shelf. I made it out of good quality 3/4" plywood. It is 16" wide so it overhangs the 15-1/2" wide shelf on the bottom. The overhang will cover up the top of the plywood that goes on the front.

I added a 3/4" square nailer strip to the bottom of the plywood to allow me to install a sheet of plywood on the front.

The ends of the plywood was scribed and cut to fit very tightly. I don't want any wet wood shavings falling down around the ends and rusting out the legs.

The plywood is roughly 50" long. I had to cut it into two pieces to get it to fit in there. See next photo.

Note: This photo is the same as the #2 photo above.

Photo: Top Shelf is Two Pieces Top Shelf is Two Pieces

This photo shows how I cut the plywood in two pieces to get it between the legs. I used my Biscuit Joiner to install some biscuits to line up the plywood ends.

You can also see in this photo that I belt sanded the front edges of the plywood were it will be exposed. I removed all open grain. After I paint it, you will hardly even known it is plywood.

Photo: Cut and Test Fit Front Plywood Cut and Test Fit Front Plywood

I cut a piece of 1/8" Birch plywood to go on the front. I don't want those bags of stone collecting wood shavings and driving me crazy for the rest of my life.

After I screw the front and back plywood in place it will actually support the top shelf and make it rock solid.

Photo: Time To Paint Again Time To Paint Again

Here is the primer coat. See "Time To Paint" photo above for paint info.

Photo: Top Coat Top Coat

Here is the top coat. See "Time To Paint" photo above for paint info.

Just one primer coat. Followed by one top coat. I put the paint on with a small 3" wide roller.

Photo: Shelf and Chip Guard Shelf and Chip Guard

This photos shows the bottom self all installed and ready to go. I installed the plywood on the front with some gold button head screws. The kind Kreg sells with its pocket hole jig.

You can also see my chip guard hanging down from some black wire ties under the ways of the lathe. This chip guard deflects all the wood chips that would drop between the ways of the lathe down a slope and out the back of the lathe. At this point the wire ties are loose. While I dork around with things. Latter I will sinch up the front of the chip guard to be tight to the bottom of ways in the front ONLY.

The chip guard is made out of 1/8" Birch plywood. You can see in photo that it is cut out to go around legs on the end. You could also use 1/8" plywood paneling rather than birch plywood.

I drilled holes thru the bed of the lathe for the wire ties. I then painted the holes with some black acrylic paint using a small round artist paint brush.

Photo: Chip Guard Chip Guard

Here is another photo of the chip guard. See previous photo for info.

Photo: The Back The Back

This photos shows the back. It is made out of one piece of 1/8" Birch plywood. Flexing it to fit in there in one piece was anything but easy!

The plywood comes all the way up in back to form the back of the top shelf from the front. See photos below. It also supports the back of the chip guard.

You can see the chip guard slopes down in the back. The chip guard is NOT fastened in the back. Very important! This allows me to reach thru the ways and tap it up and down to clear any stubborn wood shavings.

I left the middle top of the chip guard primer white. I did not paint it yellow. To make it easier to find things when I drop them in there.

Note: On my old PM 3520B I did NOT enclose the back of the stone. This turned out to be a mistake. Wood shavings collected in there and were a pain to clean out. I also did not slope the chip guard down as much. I corrected that mistake this time around.

Photo: Shelf All Done Shelf All Done

Here is a photo of the finished shelf.

Photo: Chip Guard All Done Chip Guard All Done

This photo shows how the chip guard sloped down when I was all finished. I left the bottom of the chip guard primer white to reflect light down onto the shelf.

Photo: Shelf In Use Shelf In Use

This photo shows the shelf all done and loaded up with my jam and vacuum chucks.

Photo: Pry Bar Used To Move Lathe Pry Bar Used To Move Lathe

I needed to move the lathe out to work on back and take photos. This photo shows how I used a pry bar to move the lathe out.

I can still move it, even with the 200+ lbs of stone weight on the shelf. It is not easy, but it is doable. Lift it with one hand and shove it around with the other.

Photo: Old PM 3520B Bottom Shelf Old PM 3520B Shelf

This photo shows the bottom shelf under my old PM 3520B lathe. It was not as nice.