Lathe Centers #1: Sears Lathes

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Blog entry by hvroberts posted 06-03-2010 05:16 AM 1738 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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This past winter I was trying to build up my tool supply for my shop. (This is Maine and my shop has no heat) I found an add for a lathe on Craigslist. It was in my old stomping grounds about 50 miles north where I spent the first 19 years of life. To make the story short, I bought the lathe. (When they ask $40. for a lathe, you don’t try to dicker the price). Upon setting this up I noticed that the head stock center looked as if it had been beaten with a hammer. I took out the Dremmel tool and ground off the teeth where they were round over. I went to Sears with the Model # and looked it up in their system only to be told that they do not make parts for this lathe any more. Now, a lathe isn’t much good without the centers. About 2 weeks latter I woke up in the middle of the night. I turned on the light and woke up the wife and said, “The centers on a lathe are made with a Morse Taper. All I need to do is find out what size I need.” The wife was not as excited as I was! I looked up on the internet about Morse Taper and fount out how to measure for a MT1 & MT2. I had no idea how long it had been since these were taken out. It did take a while and a lot of work, Out they come. Now I knew for sure they were a Morse Taper #1. I went to Penn State Industries web site and ordered a 4-Piece center set for $39.95 plus shipping. They came and they work excellent. Now I can order a foceplate and a chuck when the time comes. I now have less than $100. bucks invested in this lathe and it is as good as new for penneys what a new one would be. I should have known when I bought it that most all lathes use a Morse Taper. Sears said I would need a new lathe where this one was no good anymore. So, If your lathe centers are bad, check to see if its a morse taper.

-- Hvroberts, Up North In Maine

7 comments so far

View lanwater's profile


3111 posts in 2957 days

#1 posted 06-03-2010 06:59 AM

I certainly admire the tenacity. You certainly seems to have a lot of knowledge.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3214 days

#2 posted 06-03-2010 07:08 AM

Woodcraft has your chuck on sale 86.00 3/4×16 tpi.

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View jerryz's profile


164 posts in 3301 days

#3 posted 06-03-2010 08:03 AM

So, you had an ephifany.

Your guardian Angel was looking out for you, don’t worry, it’s also happened to me, hehe, congratulations on your terrific find, enjoy it.

Have fun with it and above else be safe.

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 3087 days

#4 posted 06-03-2010 10:50 AM

Good going glad you saved it. It seems if we sleep enough, we figure out what we need to do. Even when we wake up the wife.(she will get over it I hope. Mine just rolls over and goes back to sleep as fast as she woke up)

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View dbhost's profile


5723 posts in 3255 days

#5 posted 06-03-2010 09:38 PM

Make sure you get your thread size / pitch right on the arbor for the chuck, and faceplate… And check with Penn State again. The Utility chuck is the same chuck as the Woodcraft 4 jaw model at Woodcraft, but PSI every now and again puts it on sale for the same price as WC, but throws in jumbo jaws, saving you about $25.00…

FWIW, I have a lathe I bought new for a bunch more than your old Craftsman (go figure huh?) and I have the PSI MT#2 spur drive, live center and jacobs chuck all on my wish list… You are actually ahead of the game…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3608 days

#6 posted 06-03-2010 10:01 PM

Have mucho funno boyo. From guess who??? Alistairo.

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 2946 days

#7 posted 06-05-2010 01:24 PM

Seems to be a common problem(i.e. you need to replace it, WE don’t supply parts for that item, here this is the latest model and it’s only $$$) I find a lot of parts at flea markets and aftermarket suppliers. I had a drill press that had a 60mm quill that only “one” supplier had…for 99 bucks. I did my homework and found one for 29 bucks from a major supplier we are all familiar with.
Moral,it pays to look around.

-- Life is good.

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