Moderators: Random Orbital Bob, nev, CHJ, Noel, Charley

By Simon_M
I'm looking at trying outboard turning e.g. putting the headstock in the middle of the lathe bed facing forwards and using a freestanding tool rest to turn (bigger than the normal swing) bowls.

I was going to make one from 2x4 timber (12" wide frame and required height) and a 3/4" plywood foot. Has anyone tried this and what would you suggest?

Or I could move it towards the LHS and add a brace to the extension mount points. There might be advantages for either?

I looked at videos and it's using either a bed extension at right-angles or (surprisingly) a free standing rest as well. I was going to try it on a small e.g. 8" bowl before going bigger.

On an AT1628VS, the bed extension can also be mounted lower on the RH leg, but I don't really have the space to try this. BTW, There are no mounting points to put it in the middle of the bed.
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By Lazurus
Go for a simple steel construction, the material are very cheap and there is bound to be someone local who would weld it up for you - if you do the cutting and prep may even be done for free. You should be able to find a local welder or hobbyist via the below.
By Inspector
With a free standing tool rest you need lots of weight in the base. As you drop the handle of the tool (like a bowl gouge) the forces push the tool rest towards the bowl tipping the rest into the bowl. It gets worse with a deeper bowl. Less of this happens with scraping and light cuts but if you want to do any amount of large turning you'll want a tool post/rest that is tied back solidly into the lathe. Frustrating to say the least.