Just watched a video of Stan over at BarZ building a nice stand for his new really nice surface plate and I went “hmmm, I need one of those”. Stand that is. His surface plate is really sweet but I don’t have room or a crane. But I do need to get my little plate out of the wood area and add some dedicated storage for the stuff I use it with.
So here it is, a real basic welded stand in 1″ steel tubing, some shop made levelers and a stainless steel tray.
Next up will be some wooden drawers and paint (yeah, right).
It is interesting that the stand will “ring” if you wack it, even with the plate in. Steel is a spring, unlike wood. We’ll see what happens when I add ballast to the tray.
I amazed myself by welding things pretty square, it really helped to miter the tubes in the mill.
For the bottom tray, I used ½” square tubes. First, tacked on two tubes on opposite sides and verified square to the legs and each other, then the other two sides were referenced to the first two. I used a plate to do that. Then welded most of the way around.
I had a sheet of stainless steel in the junk pile so I cut that to fit and welding it in (these welds completed the welding of the rails).
To level the surface plate, I made three swivel levelers with a hex on one end. The swivel is like that on C clamps, the post has a step and the foot has a hole that is beaten to close over the step to trap the foot on the post. I was pretty pleased with myself until I noticed that the lip on the surface plate is convex so the wide foot doesn’t do squat, the plate only bears on a small part of it, a pointy foot would would have worked just fine. I used a 3/8″x24 (UF) thread to make the bolt move slower than a coarse thread would. These threads were made on the lathe as a die doesn’t fit over the hex and the other end is a full 3/8″.
The stand levelers are even simpler; a round slug with ledge that is tack welded to the bottom of the legs. 3/8″x16 carriage bolts do the adjusting.