Fixing up a Craftsman 149-23871 lathe #1: Intro

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Blog entry by Ripthorn posted 12-05-2012 02:10 AM 3239 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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So I was inadvertently very smart as a teenager, claiming all my dad’s tools that he was replacing/upgrading. One of these was a really old craftsman 149-23871 lathe. So I got this a couple years ago, but have not done anything with it until now. The issue is that it needed just a little help (in surprisingly good shape, really), but it was discontinued a loooong time ago and replacement parts are non-existent. So I took to the internet for technical information. All I could find was this one thread . Now, I thought I hit the jack pot, so I ordered an MT1 live center, as that was what I was primarily lacking.

So here is where things get fun, this particular lathe is not the same as most craftsman lathes. It has no morse taper in either the headstock or the tailstock. The tailstock spindle is a 5/8” fine thread rod with a 1/2” fine thread on the end. There is a slight recess where the stock center would go, but no way can I get a morse taper in that thing. Also, the headstock is just a threaded stud. I have not measured diameter or thread pitch, but will do so.

I have got it up and running by doing some slick stuff, but it requires pictures. So until I can get them, this intro will have to suffice. Stay tuned.

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

2 comments so far

View Joseymike's profile


5 posts in 487 days

#1 posted 02-15-2017 01:46 PM

How did the rest of the restoration go? Would love to get an update since starting a restoration of the same project now!

View Ripthorn's profile


1458 posts in 3007 days

#2 posted 02-15-2017 02:05 PM

It turns out that the fixes I tried did not work out. I ended up having to scrap the lathe altogether because I did not have sufficient machining capabilities to fix it appropriately. If either the drive center or tailstock center are missing, these machines are much more trouble than they are worth…

-- Brian T. - Exact science is not an exact science

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