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Delta/Milwaukee 12x36 Lathe Purchase Question

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Forum topic by marcsitkin posted 05-01-2016 09:29 PM 463 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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marcsitkin

18 posts in 216 days


05-01-2016 09:29 PM

Topic tags/keywords: used lathe deltamilwaukee 12x36 wood lathe

Hello- I’m considering purchasing and old Delta/Milwaukee 12×36 Lathe from a local gentle man who is it’s second owner. It’s in good shape, run’s on 110v current, and has the original motor (which has no visible nameplate or hp), but looks like a 3/4 or 1hp unit. It also comes with a lot of accessories, including 2 banjos, multiple tool rests, a steady rest, many chucks, collets, drive centers, etc, etc. I’m sure the value of the accessories is greater than that of the lathe. Asking price is $1200, I’d be comfortable at around half that, $500-$700 range.

My intended use would be for turning spindles to make legs for tables and lamps. Maybe I’ll make pens as well. I’ve previously owned a Jet midi, which I used for pens, and am considering a Rikon 70-220VSR as an alternative to the much older D/M. There is also a WoodTek 12×40 as a possibility as well.

Any advice from those more experienced would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance

-- Thanks, Marc Sitkin, Harwich, MA


12 replies so far

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1056 posts in 1449 days


#1 posted 05-02-2016 12:28 AM

I would recommend the Harbor Freight 34706, 12×33 lathe, if it’s long enough. Can be had for ~$230 with coupons.

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Rick M

7905 posts in 1840 days


#2 posted 05-02-2016 12:45 AM

$600 maybe, hard to tell because as you say the accessories can be worth more than the lathe.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Leo Van Der Loo's profile

Leo Van Der Loo

28 posts in 218 days


#3 posted 05-02-2016 12:56 AM

That is a quality US made lathe, nothing under $5000— has this quality in the new lathes IMO.

All the far east made stuff is junk in comparison with this, I would say at $800—it would be a good buy.

for what I can see the only thing off is the right side pulley on the jack shaft, it should sit right below the motor pulley, so the belt runs properly, you can very likely move the pulley on the jack shaft to right location.

You know these lathes where used in the schools and withstood decades of abuse and still kept on ticking.

-- Have fun and take care

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greatview

110 posts in 2617 days


#4 posted 05-02-2016 01:06 AM

I’ve got the same lathe I bought at an industrial auction 30 or so years ago. I don’t remember exactly how much I paid but I think it was $125. It is a great lathe and never lets me down. If you look at my shop pictures you’ll see it there. Some accessories are still available but it looks as if what you may need is included. About the only thing that can wear out are the head stock bearings and they are available at any bearing supplier. I think a fair price is in $500 – $600 range tops. Good luck.

-- Tom, New London, NH

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MrUnix

4203 posts in 1659 days


#5 posted 05-02-2016 01:23 AM

for what I can see the only thing off is the right side pulley on the jack shaft, it should sit right below the motor pulley, so the belt runs properly, you can very likely move the pulley on the jack shaft to right location.

You know these lathes where used in the schools and withstood decades of abuse and still kept on ticking.
- Leovanderloo

The belt is not the correct size and as Leo said, the pulley needs to move over a bit. Easy fix. Nice lathe built in 1951, but no where near worth $1200. Realistically, you can find them in the $200-$500 range fairly often. These were not the industrial ones used in schools, but were used quite a bit in production and workshop environments.

Cheers,
Brad

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

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MrUnix

4203 posts in 1659 days


#6 posted 05-02-2016 02:52 AM

Here is the catalog picture showing that lathe – the jackshaft setup gives it 16 speeds:

Cheers,
Brad

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

View Clarkie's profile

Clarkie

380 posts in 1301 days


#7 posted 05-02-2016 03:56 AM

That’s a great lathe and it seems that all you have to do is take it home and plug it in. The pulley is in line though one of the pictures looks like it isn’t. There are many of these that come up on CL and the price is usually around 250.00 thru 500.00. This one seems fully stocked, the 24” tool rest can be had for 125.00 and other parts go from there. The main drawback is it’s not a variable speed, you have to change the speed manually and a lot of guys and gals don’t care for that. Myself I stay within 2 speeds anyway when turning, so I don’t mind the old belt system. Explain to the gentleman what the going price is and make your offer, all he can say is yes or no, good luck.

View marcsitkin's profile

marcsitkin

18 posts in 216 days


#8 posted 05-02-2016 11:58 AM

Many thanks for the very informative replies. If I decided on making an offer, it will be at $600, to leave a little room for negotiation. Although it is well stocked with accessories, I don’t need many of them now, but I understand the sellers problem with splitting them off. To me, it looks like a great lathe if it could be had at the right price. While I’m not crazy about the belt speed changes, I also have worked that way before, and it wasn’t a big problem. I could always put on a variable speed drive later.

Since it’s been sitting for 20 years, should I replace both belts and bearings once it’s in place? I’m concerned about a 50 year old belt flying around with no guards.

One of my concerns has been with buying a lathe with a Reeves drive, as the low speeds seem to be a little high, I’ve heard belt wear can be a problem and they are noisy. Never worked on one. I’m a bit gun shy of the electronics in the newer variable speed lathes. I’ve owned several pieces of expensive industrial machinery that have had speed controllers and motors die early, and replacement was impossible in one case, and led to a very difficult and expensive fix. In all cases, replacement parts were priced high.

Tom-thanks for sharing the photo of your well equipped shop!

-- Thanks, Marc Sitkin, Harwich, MA

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

7905 posts in 1840 days


#9 posted 05-02-2016 04:47 PM

If you get it, sell that Jack shaft gobblygook to some guy who collects machines and replace it with a variable speed DC motor.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

4203 posts in 1659 days


#10 posted 05-02-2016 05:14 PM

If you get it, sell that Jack shaft gobblygook to some guy who collects machines and replace it with a variable speed DC motor.
- Rick M.

If it was just the 4 speed setup, then a variable speed DC motor might be worth the effort… but IMHO, not for one with that 16 speed setup which gives you 4 ranges of 4 speeds each. You will most likely find that you rarely use more than a couple of the available speeds – but it’s nice to have the others available if needed on those rare occasions that you do.

Since it’s been sitting for 20 years, should I replace both belts and bearings once it’s in place? I’m concerned about a 50 year old belt flying around with no guards.
- marcsitkin

As for bearings and belts – I always replace bearings on new used machines regardless. You don’t know what kind of use/abuse they have seen over their lifetime and it’s easy/cheap insurance to just replace them. As for belts, that depends on the condition of the ones on there. If they are not torn/frayed, then they should be good.

Cheers,
Brad

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

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marcsitkin

18 posts in 216 days


#11 posted 05-02-2016 09:57 PM

I’d leave the jackshaft set up for a while, see how it worked for me. I have no love of electronics.

-- Thanks, Marc Sitkin, Harwich, MA

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Rick M

7905 posts in 1840 days


#12 posted 05-02-2016 10:39 PM



If it was just the 4 speed setup, then a variable speed DC motor might be worth the effort…

Cheers,
Brad

- MrUnix

Oh it will be worth the effort.

Jack shafts are collecter bait. If it were all that the guy wouldn’t be selling it.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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