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Rockwell-Delta 46-525 lathe: Variable speed control lever hard to move

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Forum topic by emiliof posted 07-10-2016 06:14 PM 627 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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emiliof

32 posts in 1456 days


07-10-2016 06:14 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I recently bought a variable speed Rockwell-Delta lathe, model 46-525. I am not an experienced woodturner but, in my opinion, this lathe works like a charm. The only problem seems to be that the speed control lever is hard to operate. If any of you guys have used one of these lathes, could you please tell me if you need to apply some force for rotating the speed control lever?

More information (optional reading):

When I bought the lathe, it was partially disassembled and I took the risk of buying it without seeing it working. It was really a bargain because the deal included a box with about 15 turning gouges and scrapers which, later on, I realized they were probably more valuable than the lathe itself (huge Robert Sorby gouges and scrapers that sell in 50 bucks each, at least).

Anyway, I disassembled the lathe completely, cleaned all parts and assembled it again. I lubricated every moving piece.

The variable speed control lever can only be operated while the lathe is spinning. You operate it by pulling the lever, rotating it and then pushing it back, which locks the mechanism. The speed control lever can be adjusted for smooth pull and push actions.

The rotation of the lever moves the Reeves pulleys. This operation, in my lathe, requieres quite a bit of force. I adapted a longer lever (2 inches longer) to it in order to enable a smoother rotation but I am afraid of applying too much force to the mechanism.

-- Emilio


6 replies so far

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

826 posts in 1193 days


#1 posted 07-11-2016 12:29 AM

The only thing I have say is, even one that is in excellent working order isn’t “real” easy. It actually requires a little effort to reduce or speed it up. If it operates, then you just need to keep a watchful eye on things. I have the 45-450, and there is a sleeve on mine that comes out. I just push it back in.No way am I going to tackle a Reeves Drive. Nope, Never…....I haven’t used it in 4 years because the other lathes I have are evs…... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

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emiliof

32 posts in 1456 days


#2 posted 07-11-2016 12:53 AM



...even one that is in excellent working order isn t “real” easy. It actually requires a little effort to reduce or speed it up.

Thanks Jerry, that’s what I wanted to know!

-- Emilio

View jgt1942's profile

jgt1942

137 posts in 1351 days


#3 posted 07-12-2016 07:31 AM

You might try spraying the moving parts with either White Lithium Grease or a spray with Teflon in it. This has done wonders for me.

-- JohnT

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Madrona

14 posts in 358 days


#4 posted 07-13-2016 01:13 AM

I have the same lathe. What I do is, remove the top off the headstock and using my oiler with a long flexible spout, apply a few drops of lightweight oil on the center shaft of the pulleys. Turn the lathe on and work the handle back and forth a few times. I’ve been using the lathe for about 20 years with only this method of maintenance. Well, I do blow it out once in awhile, but that’s it. Like Jerry said, it can be difficult to move the handle, anyway, but not as difficult as you describe, just “some” effort. When the temperature is low it is more difficult and in any case, after use it’s always easier. Good luck!

-- Living In The Woods Of Beautiful Bonney Lake, Washington

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emiliof

32 posts in 1456 days


#5 posted 07-14-2016 12:42 PM

Thanks Madrona! I did what you suggested and the lever is softer now, especially in the range 1000-3600 RPM. Curiously, in the lower rpm range the improvement was not as noticeable as in the higher one. What is definitely noticeable is that I am happier now :-) Cheers!

-- Emilio

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Madrona

14 posts in 358 days


#6 posted 07-17-2016 09:08 PM

Yeah, I should have pointed that out. Definitely takes more energy to move the lever at lower speeds. I think it’s just the nature of the beast and nothing to be concerned about.

Glad you have worked it out and are happier now! :)

-- Living In The Woods Of Beautiful Bonney Lake, Washington

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