Turning Tool Storage
Issue: Issue 319
Posted Date: 2/5/2013
I mounted PVC pipes into my lathe and grinder workbench.
Pitched downward at a slight angle so the tools wouldn’t vibrate out and with end-cuts like a coffee or candy scoop on the outside ends to let them flex open and grip the average turning tool’s handle, it lets me keep as many turning tools right at hand, literally. No wall space, drawer space or workbench space used up by turning tool cases or boxes.
The photo shows the finished product in my home-made bench. Since tools are of different lengths (and shrink with repeated sharpening,) I insert 1” or so wooden dowels down the tubes as “end stops” for each tool so each handle protrudes about 2”. When the handle begins to disappear into the face of the bench, a replacement dowel just an inch or so longer does the trick. The dowel end also acts as a soft cushion for the tips of the tools.
The workbench was sized to the right height for my body and the lathe to be comfortable together and was built up from 2x4’s for the frame, ¼” ply for the back and sides and two layers of ¾” ply for the top. One sheet of 4x8’ ply of each thickness, ripped lengthwise at the local Lowe’s store and about eight or nine 2x4’s were enough to make two benches, one of which I adapted for my lathe and bench grinders.
The drawers were added later, after the tool holders were in, and I discovered the importance of making the starting box REALLY square… next time.