What is a Lathe Stand?

shop fox 1758 wood lathe on lathe stand
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A lathe stand is a dedicated support structure for your lathe machine. Lathe stands are commonly used with midi-sized and larger lathes. Where, by comparison, a mini lathe typically sits on an existing workbench or table. In most cases, lathe stands are sold separately from lathe machines. Sometimes larger lathes come with their own stand (or bench).

Lathe stands are usually a simple frame or leg mount design. Additionally, they require designated floor space. A good lathe stand design prevents rocking, and shifting while the lathe is in operation. Generally, the best lathe stands are large and heavy cast iron. Most of us end up buying something closer to one of these two examples:

1. WEN LA8800 225-Pound Capacity Height Adjustable Steel Lathe Stand

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2. Shop Fox D4657 Heavy Duty Lathe Stand

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Furthermore, some of us woodworkers see these lathe stands as a skeleton for something more. For example, I recently purchased the Wen lathe stand, and have been building it out more. I added a wooden table surface. There is room on this surface to hold my midi lathe and to have slots for my most used turning tools. I also attached a drawer under the surface. This drawer holds my chucks and other turning tools.

diy lathe stand

My dedicated lathe station is now somewhere between a lathe stand and a lathe bench. While a stand is a simple frame or leg mount, a lathe bench is a bigger, bulkier option that often comes with built-in drawers, cabinets, and storage. I personally enjoy the project of building out a stand and customizing it to my needs.

Ready to buy a lathe stand? Check out our links above.

Looking for more options? Check out our reviews of JET, Rikon, Shop Fox and Wen (our current favorite) lathe stands:

Don’t have room to designate floor space to a stand? A mini lathe might be right for you.