1945 Mini metal lathe restoration #1

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Blog entry by saddletramp posted 06-26-2011 03:45 PM 7794 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I just pick upm this Sears and Roebuck (made by Dunlap) mini metal lathe model 109.20630. Bought it from an ad on Craigs List and it is my intent to restore it to it’s former glory. As I know nothing about metal lathes, I expect that there will be a steep learning curve before I can actually begin so this will probably be my winter project. As an example (of the steep curve), it is missing a motor. when I bought it I thought that I could just replace it with any old motor, silly me. I has to be a 1725 rpm motor. Don’t know how hard those are to find but I’ll be finding out. LOL

For Martin and Debbie, I consider this to be a fit project for a blog on a WWing forum because it is my inent to use this little hunk of case iron in the making and the repair and restoration of WWing tools and machinery.

When we were on our way home after picking up the lathe my sweet wife said: “You really like fixing up all these old tools, don’t you?”. Yes, I replied. “That’s good.” said my lady, “You’re retired now, your shouldn’t have to do anything that you don’t want to do.”. Got to love a woman with that kind of attitude.


Extra gears??

More to follow as I learn more about this little gem.

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

12 comments so far

View RogerBean's profile


1605 posts in 3005 days

#1 posted 06-26-2011 04:14 PM

Looks like you found a gem. I used to own one of these and look forward to seeing how it turns out. A remarkable amount of work can be done on a lathe this size. There are a wide number of woodworking projects that can be done on a little metal lathe like this as well, including pens, bamboo flyrod ferrules, small turnings, tool accessories, and small box drawer mechanisms etc. While I sold my lathe like this one, I ended up replacing it later with another small metal lathe that I use frequently. A very nice find. You’ve provided me with a pleasant bit of nostalgia as well.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3137 days

#2 posted 06-26-2011 05:38 PM

Were you lucky enough to get the manual with the lathe? If not, I notice that
has it on line and you can print it off their site. After reading about your love of old iron, you might belong
to them, they have a great site. I have some old iron myself, and one day hope to find a small metal lathe
like that one. The 1725 rpm motor is a common one, the manual will help with the right hp rating and the
size of the pulley. You could even use this jewel to cut wooden threads. Congratulations on your new
tool, please let us know about your progress with it.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 2908 days

#3 posted 06-26-2011 06:53 PM

Nice very nice

I could play, I mean work on that for hours.

Every wood shop should have one (hint to wife)


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 3050 days

#4 posted 06-26-2011 07:11 PM

You are not limited to turning metal. They are also wonderful to turn wood.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3243 days

#5 posted 06-26-2011 08:17 PM

Looks like good strong coffee there….When ever I see a box of extra parts like that

I know your learning curve will never exceed your frustration curve….LOL

Good Luck!!!

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View Farrout's profile


185 posts in 3206 days

#6 posted 06-27-2011 01:23 AM

I nearly bought a full mini machine shop setup before deciding to go with wood.
I just couldn’t think of anything I would want to make out of metal.
Glad I did.

-- If we learn from our mistakes, I should be a genius!

View rance's profile


4259 posts in 3212 days

#7 posted 06-27-2011 01:50 AM

It just so happens that Slow Speed Grinders(for sharpening woodturning tools) are 1750 RPM. I think you’ll have no problem finding a more appropriate motor on ebay or CL though. Keep us updated with a Blog series maybe.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Napoleon's profile


788 posts in 2861 days

#8 posted 06-27-2011 09:22 PM

Thats a Nice little lathe you found there. looking forward too se it when you are all done with it.

Your wife got a perfekt attitude so ill send my regards to her :)

-- Boatbuilder&blacksmith

View mafe's profile


11734 posts in 3141 days

#9 posted 06-28-2011 12:39 AM

What a wonderful little lathe.
Nothing better than to make some turnings for restoring old tools.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View MedicKen's profile


1615 posts in 3514 days

#10 posted 06-28-2011 12:52 AM

Nice little lathe. I dont know if you go the dirty paper with it or not, just in case it can be found here

As for thre 1725 motor it should be fairly easy to locate. However it also depends on where you are located. Another option, which it awesome for a lathe, is a 3450 rpm 3phase motor and a VFD. The VFD with give you variable speed and full torque at decreased speed.

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their

View saddletramp's profile


1180 posts in 2690 days

#11 posted 06-28-2011 01:14 AM

Thanks everyone for your comments and information. I’m kind of planning on doing a blog when I acually get around to restoring it but as I said earlier, that probably won’t be until this winter. My extreme lack of knowledge regarding metal lathes is likely to catch a tender part of my anatomy in the wringer if I don’t do a bit of study first and I have some other projects going on this summer. Mostly just trying to get the shop back in shape after not being able to use it much for nearly four years now (had a progression of medical problems). Also have been trying to aquire some implements of mass destruction, AKA blacksmithing equipment, so I can try my hand at a little metal deformification. I know that I sort of got the horse before the cart by buying the lathe at this time with everything else going on but I just couldn’t pass it up.

Napoleon, I’ll pass on your regards. smile

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

View hillbilly1955's profile


1 post in 2241 days

#12 posted 05-28-2012 11:00 PM

hey saddletramp, let me know when you get around to playing with this lathe. I just got ahold of my grandfathers and it is almost exactly the same. Like you I haven’t a clue about it but interested in learning.

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