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Anti Fatigue Mat

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Chris Edwards, Nov 12, 2020.

  1. Chris Edwards

    Chris Edwards

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2020
    Messages:
    85
    Location (City & State):
    Lebanon, TN
    I feel my lathe (Laguna 24-46) is a little too high for me.

    I've removed the height adjustable feet and stuck heavy duty 3/8" rubber pad on the bottom of each leg. I think my garage floor is flat enough to not cause any issue with this, otherwise I'll go back to the feet. Removing these feet has lowered the spindle height about an inch.

    I move my lathe, for use, so it doesn't get placed in the same spot each time.

    I though about building a small platform that I could stand on while using the lathe, but I don't like the idea of having to find somewhere to store it, but this would allow me to custom build it to the height I feel good at.

    So I though about getting a 3'x5'x7/8" anti fatigue mat. I think with the feet removed and thickness of the anti fatigue mat, I might be close to where I need to be, plus I'm sure the mat will also help with standing next to the lathe for long periods.

    I should mention I'm, 5'7".

    Thanks
     
  2. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2018
    Messages:
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    Location (City & State):
    La Grange, IL
    I use two layers of those "jigsaw" mats you can get at Harbor Freight. They are probably 1/2" thick each. No problem. I have used 3 layers, but honestly that gets a little soft under foot.
     
  3. Randy Anderson

    Randy Anderson

    Joined:
    May 25, 2019
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    Location (City & State):
    Eads, TN
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    I have a thick plastic with foam inside cushion mat I got at a local dept store. A good one is not cheap but they make a world of difference vs standing on hard cold concrete floor for hours. I know if I had a platform for standing on when turning I guarantee I would trip on it, step off of it and fall back or worse, fall forward into mess of spinning log and sharp tool.
     
    odie likes this.
  4. Roger Holzmacher

    Roger Holzmacher

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2020
    Messages:
    9
    Location (City & State):
    Babylon, NY
    Tractor supply sells 4' x 6' x 1" horse stall mats that are pretty bullet proof.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2020
  5. John Walls

    John Walls

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2020
    Messages:
    147
    Location (City & State):
    Larimore, ND
    I have one of those TSC mats, works good for me. I'm 6'1".
     
  6. Chris Edwards

    Chris Edwards

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2020
    Messages:
    85
    Location (City & State):
    Lebanon, TN
    Thanks, I'll check Tractor Supply out tomorrow, have one about 2 miles away.

    My other thought, that came to me a few moments ago, I use the 2" pink, rigid, insulation foam when I'm breaking down sheets of plywood with my track saw. So my thought is to laminate a 1/4" piece of plywood to the back side. This will let me stand on it, without denting it, plus it's super light to move around for storage.
     
    Mark Jundanian likes this.
  7. Gary Beasley

    Gary Beasley

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2017
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    622
    Location (City & State):
    Marietta, Georgia
    Wear some thick soled shoes, that’ll take a bit more off the height!
     
  8. robo hippy

    robo hippy

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    Messages:
    2,943
    Location (City & State):
    Eugene, OR
    I would not take off the leveling feet. Getting the lathe set dead level on the floor is an essential skill for reducing the vibration/oscillation that happens with unbalanced pieces. I have a local rubber mat place, and when I asked about the horse stall mats, they told me that they are fine if you weigh about 1200 pounds. Having one or more of them underneath, and then a softer pad on top would probably work, though just about anything is softer than concrete. I never tried the interlocking mats. I would expect that you would have to pick them up and get all the chips out frequently because the cracks would fill up just like your pockets or that little slot for your carpenter's pencil....

    robo hippy
     
  9. Chris Edwards

    Chris Edwards

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2020
    Messages:
    85
    Location (City & State):
    Lebanon, TN
    I ran into a bit of my problem with removing the lathes OEM feet. My lathe sits on a homemade cabinet for moving it around. When in use the lathe, I remove the cabinet from underneath. Unfortunately, removing the OEM feet lessened the clearance height for rolling my cabinet out once the lathe feet, now 3/8" rubber pads, contacted the floor.

    So, Amazon to the rescue with overnight shipping, ordered at 6pm last night, arrived before 8am today, bought a set of 3" wheel casters and swapped out the 4" casters which gave me the clearance I needed.

    Now the lathe feels much better and the spindle sits about an inch lower which feels like a huge improvement, so I think a fatigue mat will be icing on the cake....
     
  10. Jason Goodrich

    Jason Goodrich

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2019
    Messages:
    24
    Location (City & State):
    Portland, OR
    I just leave at least a bowl’s worth of shavings on the floor as a fatigue mat. Works for me.
     
  11. odie

    odie

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Messages:
    5,413
    Location (City & State):
    Panning for Montana gold, with Betsy, the mule!
    A high quality antifatigue mat is an essential part of the shop for anyone who spends a lot of time in front of the lathe. Also, there are the interlocking mats in front of the grinder and work bench.....(lower left corner in the pic attached.) They aren't nearly as good as the high quality mats, but better than nothing.
    shop photos november 7 2020  (59).JPG
    -----odie-----
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 14, 2020
    Lamar Wright likes this.
  12. Dennis J Gooding

    Dennis J Gooding

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    Apr 10, 2010
    Messages:
    596
    Location (City & State):
    Grants Pass Oregon
    Everyone has missed the real value of these mats. They save major regrinds on tools that fall off the lathe bed! :)
     
    odie likes this.
  13. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
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    Location (City & State):
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    Here is a recommendation from Rob Wallace on Anti-Fatigue Mats. Funny that I can't remember where I left my glasses, but I remember forum threads from six years ago. :D
     
    Greg Norman and odie like this.
  14. Lars Hansen

    Lars Hansen

    Joined:
    May 8, 2019
    Messages:
    152
    Location (City & State):
    Funen, Denmark
    Far from being an expert on Anti Fatigue Mats, I got the an explanation in layman's terms when I asked my wife who happens to be a physiotherapist.
    My problem was a pain and stiffness in my lower back after standing at the lathe for hours.
    According to her, the softer floor forces feet, legs and hips to make constant micro-changes in joint positions.
    These changes are too small to tire out the muscles but enough to keep them flexible and prevent the joints from "freezing" into locked positions.
    Before ordering, I tried both the horse floor mat and some *very* soft tiles for camping use. Both were useless. With the correct type of mat, the floor feels soft but firm and at least for me, it makes a world of difference.
     
    odie and hockenbery like this.
  15. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Location (City & State):
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    To prevent or minimize back pains - quality mats help a great deal.
    Good posture and proper footwear are also essential to keeping my back happy.
    If I were to turn leaning over wearing flip flops the best mat would not keep my back from aching.

    If I turn wearing sports sandals and standing erect on a mat, my brain gets tired way before the body does. And the back has no issues.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2020
    Greg Norman, Lars Hansen and odie like this.

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