So back in July of this past year I was collecting some Walnut Logs a friend had offered for the wonderful price of FREE. While there he turns to my Dad and I and says “Hey do you guys have use of another Lathe?” Dad and I looked it other back to him and said “What do ya have?” SO out to a shed behind his house we go. He swings the doors open and against the side wall near the back is a very old lathe(almost as old as my Dad LOL). He had no idea what brand it was it had been his fathers he had never used it and was pretty sure he never would.
I asked him how much he wanted for it, “Hell you get it outta my way you can just have it.” I had to ask him if he was serious sure enough he was. With no room in the truck for the lathe (because of the logs) we said we would come back the next day to retrieve it. So we did and here is what we ended up with.
I could not see taking it and giving nothing and my friends wife had gone nuts for one of the turnings I had shown them so I gave it to them.
Not a bad trade in my estimation.
So we dusted the old machine of sanded off the rust on the ways and promptly found out it had a 1-1/8 inch arbor with 7 tpi. NOTHING I have will fit such a size. So I wrote down the serial number and got on Google. It turned out to be a 1941 Powr-kraft Lathe that was sold by Montgomery Ward. And sure enough others who had found these machines ran into the same problem that I did. So it sat for many months against the wall of the shop untill one day, we pulled the Arbor out and Dad took it to a friend of his and he turned it down to 1 inch and threaded it to 8 tpi.
Then I had to do something with that stand. Way to Bulky and the plywood top made it difficult to move the tool rest and tail stock. So out came the welder and this happened.
Next I needed to get a motor on it. It had come to us with a little 1/2 horse motor on it but that just wasn’t going to cut it for our intended purposes for this machine. Recently I had removed the 2hp motor from my Grizzly lathe and put on a 2hp DC motor for the variable speed. So I had the old motor from it just laying around perfect. I had the original Reeves drive pulley on it and I decided that could be put to use as well.
I built a pivoting mount and added an arm to it that would allow it to be moved up and down from the front, then Dad made a great suggestion. Add a screw to move it up and down with giving us a wheel activated speed control. (kind of like some of the older Vega lathe models. So that is what I did.
The motor pulley is centered on the rib between the 1st and 2nd steps of the arbor pulley so I can run it on either one this ends up giving me a range (from the math) of 390 rpm to 2500 rpm. (better than I thought I would get.
I still need to get the lower braces welded in and anchor tabs on the legs. After that I am thinking I will repaint it with a Green that matches the original Powr-kraft color,at least as close as I can find anyway.
All in all its Fun to take a good old American Made item like this and get it back to usable and in our shop it will see plenty of use.
I got free from work a little early today so decided to work on the Powr-Kraft actually managed to get it sanded and painted. Still have to add the shelf at the bottom and get a real power switch for it but hey it turned out pretty good as far as I am concerned.
-- 25 years, 3 working lathes and I'm still figuring it out.