I recently inherited my fathers tools and just moved his lathe to my workshop. My dilemma is that the lathe is about 6 feet long, and I really only want to make small things like pens, goblets, etc, so I don’t need such a long lathe. I would like to keep it though since it was my dad’s. He used it to turn all the spindles and columns on his front porch shown below and I remember watching him do it.
The lathe is a KFF model WL-6N and it runs fine. He painted it blue and I’m not sure what the original color was, but I’ll probably just leave it that color. Here are some pictures.
He also had a set of turning tools and an extra tool rest shown below. I’m sure they are just a basic starter set since my dad was not one to buy high-end stuff. I’ll probably clean these up and sharpen them to get me started. The tools have some black stuff on them below the handles. I’m not sure what that is or why it’s there, so I was wondering if someone might have a clue about that.
I do have some ideas to deal with the excessive length of the lathe. If anyone has any other suggestions, I’d appreciate any input.
Option 1 – Remove the support at the end of the lathe bed and cut the bed (gasp) to a shorter length, then re-attach the end support. I could keep the cut-off piece in case I ever wanted to try to re-attach it to turn something longer, but I doubt I will ever do that. I wonder what would be an optimal shorter length…maybe around 32” in case I want to turn table legs. Also would cutting the bed affect the performance or the alignment of the centers? Maybe not since the tailstock will still be on the bed. hmmm
Option 2 – I will be building a rolling cabinet to mount the lathe on. I also need a cabinet for mounting a bench top drill press and belt/disc sander. If I build a long cabinet to hold the whole 6 foot lathe, I could cover the unused end of the lathe bed with a second level of table top where I could mount a bench top tool or two. I think this is the way I will go so as not to have to cut the lathe bed shorter. I will have to try to optimize the height of the lathe and the bench top tool(s). Here’s a quick sketch of what I’m thinking…
-- Steve in Lawrenceville, GA - http://www.TheCarmichaelWorkshop.com