Sears and Roebuck Companion Lathe

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Forum topic by Jeff2016 posted 02-27-2016 02:58 PM 445 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Jeff2016's profile


70 posts in 288 days

02-27-2016 02:58 PM

Topic tags/keywords: wood turning question turning

So this little guy found his way to my place this morning via a friend who thought it would be what I have been searching for. Other than the operators manual over at there is very little info I could find on the web about these.
 photo lathe_zpsp55pxwcj.jpg

My biggest use for a lathe at the moment is to turn my own fishing lures, bobbers and custom parts for whatever I am building so heavy duty is not necessarily a requirement. Before I begin to clean it up, beef up the flimsy conduit bed and build a stand for it, I thought I would ask- Anyone ever use an old companion lathe? I understand that there might be an issue with the headstock threads not matching up to common lathe chucks and accessories.

After tinkering with it for a few I found the bearings to be tight and smooth and everything seems to function as it should. For such a light duty lathe I was surprised to see it will handle 12” stock and has a 48” long bed. Is it possible this little guy could be a good all around shop lathe, or better off dedicated to becoming a duplicator for my fishing lures? If I go the duplicator route, I’ll drop the bed length down to about 20” so it will fit neatly in the corner on a small stand and keep looking for a better lathe.

If it is worth keeping full size, where is the best place to purchase accessories such as chucks and face plates? I’ve been without a lathe for years and excited to be able to turn a bit of wood again.

-- Proud owner of an electronics free workshop. Please check your cell phone at the door!

3 replies so far

View LeeMills's profile


268 posts in 725 days

#1 posted 02-27-2016 05:10 PM

I had an old Jet tube lathe that I cut down to mini lathe (18”) size and it worked well.
I tried to blow up the pic, it appears the spindle is probably 3/4 X16 and if so you can get an insert for most any of the better chucks (Nova, Oneway, Vicmarc, etc).
You probably don’t have a MT in the headstock which may limit you some but not a lot.
Just guessing that your lowest speed may approach 1000 rpm which is way to fast for large diameter items; for items 4” and under you should be just fine.
Good thing is you can turn hundreds of different items an know better what you want when/if you do upgrade to a bigger lathe.

-- We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

View MrUnix's profile


4049 posts in 1623 days

#2 posted 02-27-2016 06:51 PM

I’m pretty sure that lathe was made by AMT and is identical to their model 273 lathe, so you might want to expand your searches to include it as well. The headstock doesn’t have a taper, so you are limited to what you can screw onto the spindle. If you measure the spindle size and thread pitch, you should be able to get a suitable sized tap so you can make your own faceplates, jam chucks, etc…

It should be perfectly fine for what you want to use it for, just between centers. And those little lathes do clean up nice:


-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View Jeff2016's profile


70 posts in 288 days

#3 posted 02-27-2016 10:37 PM

LeeMills- You may be right on the spindle, there is about 1/2- 9/16’ of shaft that the center is threaded onto, and I counted 7 threads. Didn’t have much time today to play with it, but I need to remove the nut (assuming it moves) and get a full tpi count.
For the moment, 4” is more than enough for my needs, but you never know when that might change.

Mr Unix- thanks for the info. It looks like I have more research to do! I just can’t wrap my mind around the lathe bed being nothing more than conduit. it flexes enough to make me wonder about vibration for starters. My thought was to upgrade to black pipe filled with sand to act as a dampener, then make a good sturdy stand for it.
Compared to the vintage leather belt driven monster I had years ago, this thing feels like a child’s toy!

Thanks guys, I really appreciate the input!

-- Proud owner of an electronics free workshop. Please check your cell phone at the door!

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