When we bought our new house in 2003 one of the main things we were looking for was enough land to build a workshop. I finally got my workshop in 2012. One of the dream tools I wanted was a lathe. Three months after building the workshop we found an Enco 9 x 20 on Craigslist for $400 (they are normally around $1500 new):

It is just a cheap Chinese lathe but a little work and modification and it will really make some nice parts. One of the first modifications it needs is to the compound slide mount:

There are a couple of well documented modifications that people do to the slide mount and the one I decided on was The “Donut” Compound Support By John Pitkin (a Google search will yield documentation on how to do this). I am an extreme novice on the lathe (the only thing I have turned was an old bolt that I cut the threads off of) and my work probably shows it. I started with a odd shaped roundish piece of scrap steel and cut it down on the bandsaw to 4"x4"x3.75":

I drilled a hole in the center for mounting on the lathe and cut the four corners off with the bandsaw to make shaping it easier:

I used a bolt chucked into the lathe to hold my steel:

Ready for my first cut (turn it down to 3.5"):

Nice and round:

I faced the top of the mount:

Now I turned the top of it down to 3.0":

I changed the jaws out so I could grip onto the 3.0" OD for facing the bottom of the mount and cutting the ledge down to 0.25":

This is starting to look nice:

Once the bottom was cut to size I flipped it back over to bore a 1.9" x 0.315 hole:

After the hole was bored out I needed to drill some mounting holes in the part:

I used a center punch so I knew where to drill the holes (I had been warned they were not symetrical):

After punching them I wrapped the part in duct tape and put it on the drill press. I drilled a through hole as well as a counter sink for the head of the screw:

Of course, my holes were off so I turned the part slightly and drilled three more holes:

Here is the new base next to the old base. It is plain to see why the mod works:

I needed a way to hold the new base down so I cut some clamps out of angle iron:

After cutting them I added a slight curve by holding them vertically on the bench grinder. Because the radius of the curve is a little off and the widths / hole locations aren't perfect I need to do a little work on this in the near future:

Project complete: