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Thread: Storing wood turning tools above lathe (chisels, calipers, face plates, etc.)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Topeka, KS

    Storing wood turning tools above lathe (chisels, calipers, face plates, etc.)

    I'm just starting to get into turning as my kids are interested in it as well. I've got the tools but am looking for ideas of what you guys use. If you could post pics or links that would be great.

    My preference is that the tools are organized but readily accessible. My initial thought was to mount a piece of plywood at a ≈15 angle and then hang everything on it above the lathe. I'm struggling with how to store the chisels as I want the tip to be visible so I can make sure I'm grabbing the correct one.


  2. #2
    I try to keep the sharp ends covered or away from me. I think I only donated blood that way once. I try to recognize them by handles. You can use magic markers or different colored tapes, and the kids can color them for you. I am in a narrow room, and mine sit flat on the bench. Lower bench is gouges, upper bench is scrapers, spindle tools on the wall.

    robo hippy

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    I don't like the idea of having to reach across the lathe to get a tool unless you turn it off each time you want a new tool. My tool rack is to my left, have to take a step away from the lathe for a tool.

  4. #4
    I'm with Dwight on behind the lathe,mine are there but my rack rotates cause a have a lathe on each side.For me it has to be this way so I can get tools from both sides at both lathes. But I don't like reaching over the lathe and I'm trying think of a different way to do mine.
    Comments and Constructive Criticism Welcome

    Haste in every craft or business brings failures. Herodotus,450 B.C.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Orleans, Cape Cod, Ma.
    I've never stored anything above/behind the lathe that would require reaching across the lathe or a spinning item. The many possible outcomes seem obvious... and painful. :-) :-)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Fort Pierce, Florida
    My tools are in racks at each end of a workbench which is behind me while turning. They sit tip up in racks that resemble those made for pool cues. There is a shelf below the lathe and I pull out the three or four tools I plan on using and place them on the shelf butt toward me. Hollowing tool are in a rotating rack about 3-4 ft from the tail end of the lathe where I can get to them when hollowing.
    Retired - when every day is Saturday (unless it's Sunday).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Baton Rouge, La.
    Here is a possible alternative. The tools can be taken out by the handle (pardon the clamp.). If you use an old mike stand, you can adjust the height. You can buy clear tubing from a box store or auto parts store and glue in place to protect aghainst grabbing sharpened points. I glued a turned cup on top to hold my glue and other misc "stuff". Also put cup hooks to hold center finder etc. Can't seem to upload pictures, but will put them in my photo album under my profile.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Alexandria, LA
    I have all mine on a peg board directly behind me. Here's a partial pic. Works for me.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    I made a small rack for mine, last week, nothing too elaborate, mainly used scraps around the shop. I am confined for space in my 2 car garage, my 2 car garage that houses; "momma's car", my motorcycle, grizzly cabinet saw, miter saw bench with built in cabinets mounted to wall, table with drill press and now lathe, 1 deep freeze, 1 refrigerator, 1 Craftsman 50" stainless steel tool box top and bottom, band saw, numerous hand tools.............and a roll around cart, get the idea. So i really do not have the capacity to make a easily accessible or behind my lathe tooling storage for when I am using my lathe. I have to reach over mine to some degree. I would also agree that reaching over is not a good idea, and I may eventually pay for it. But also factoring in that I do not have any hair (I shave my head) never wear loose clothing and so far all of my items have been relatively small. I just don't see it as an extreme hazard. Here is what I made.
    Mine can also be set to one side, for easier access, if needed.

    Last edited by Jak Kelly; 05-19-2014 at 11:24 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    I made a tool caddy for holding my basic set of tools for a specific project. The base is from an old desk chair with rollers, and the tools are held in place with a magnetic knife holder.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Richland Wa.
    I like that magnet. Good idea.

  12. #12
    I have a flip open storage box mounted between the legs of my lathe where I keep chucks, faceplates and the like. Gouges sit in a rack affixed to the front of the box. The rack is just a 2 inch deep piece of 3/4 ply into which I drilled a dozen or so holes. Thus, the gouges are immediately accessible without reaching over the lathe. The longest bowl gouge bottoms out about an inch above the concrete floor.

    Retirement is not what it's cracked up to be. It's better.

  13. #13
    Generally, it wouldn't seem a good idea to store overhead anything sharp, heavy or capable of causing injury upon impact. A few years ago, there was a flurry of threads about tool racks and the topic re-emerges often. One design that caught on, and was the inspiration for my tool racks was posted at the link below.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Colorado Springs

    I went with the Folgers/PVC/electrical tape system. Also a magnetic knife rack. Out of the line of fire, within easy reach, heavy tools down low. I do worry about tripping and falling into those gouges, but it hasn't happened yet, despite the mess.
    "Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig." Robert Heinlein

    "[H]e had at home a lathe, and amused himself by turning napkin rings, with which he filled up his house, with the jealousy of an artist and the egotism of a bourgeois."
    Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Harrisburg, NC
    This is what I came up with. About 4.5' long and 14" deep with the doors closed. Using both the inside and outside of the doors I have 16 linear feet of pegboard with 5.5" deep shelves behind them. I can reach any tool in one step.
    As far as reaching over the lathe (mine is the Nova 1624) only items such as chucks are behind the headstock. The right hand side shelves holds sanding supplies but I do not have to reach over a spinning item to get to them.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity." - Edgar Allan Poe

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