New to woodturning, need help identifying lathe

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Forum topic by Bear2233 posted 08-12-2016 03:18 AM 482 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2 posts in 71 days

08-12-2016 03:18 AM

Topic tags/keywords: lathe question

Bought this lathe at an auction several years ago and finally decided it was time to use it or get rid of it. It looked to be substantial and I thought it would do for learning woodturning. I have not found any identification for the machine. I have found, on the head stock, what appears to be “VU” stamped in the metal (barely readable) and an unreadable decal that all I can make out is “Selfl (Self lubricating?) and “New-(possibly B, R, H)——rf”. It has a lathe center, what I think is a faceplate, and one other item that does not seem to fit anywhere. (all pictured). There is a multi-pulley in the head stock with the side of one broken. I don’t see any way to replace the pulley or add a belt without taking the head stock apart? Any info in order to get an owner’s manual and proper parts would be appreciated. Also, how are the Harbor Freight turning tools for a newbe?

-- Bear 2233, Idaho

7 replies so far

View Kenbu's profile


28 posts in 1299 days

#1 posted 08-12-2016 01:23 PM

You might ask about identifying the lathe on You can check for inexpensive chisels (and lots of other turning supplies) as an alternative to Harbor Freight. In any case, make sure you have a good way to sharpen whatever tools you buy.


View Nubsnstubs's profile


809 posts in 1148 days

#2 posted 08-12-2016 01:53 PM

I can’t help with ID, but I have a pulley for it. Removing the old one is a piece of cake. Once you find a manual, it’ll be clear how to do it. I would post a “how to”, but I’m sure I would confuse myself, so get the manual…....... ... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View tblrxdave's profile


45 posts in 2712 days

#3 posted 08-12-2016 02:41 PM

I have a lathe that looks very similar to yours. Power Kraft sold by the late Montgomery Ward. Vintage late 40’s to mid 50’s. Mine was already converted with a variable speed DC electric motor when it was given to me by a fellow woodturner maybe five years ago. Probably put 300,000 miles on it since then. Purchased a Nova chuck to turn maximum 10 inch bowls. I’m happy with it.

View joek30296's profile


47 posts in 2285 days

#4 posted 08-12-2016 03:36 PM

I think Dave is correct. Check out this link at vintage machinery:

-- "There are two theories to arguing with a woman....neither of them work"

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

7690 posts in 1798 days

#5 posted 08-12-2016 04:38 PM

MW Catalog says the 11×37 has a 3/4×16 inboard spindle, unthreaded outboard. The 14×38 lathe had 1-1/8×7 spindle inboard and outboard. Spindle in the pictures is definitely not 3/4-16. I checked the ‘43 and ‘52 catalogs, same specs.


View MrUnix's profile (online now)


4025 posts in 1617 days

#6 posted 08-12-2016 05:20 PM

It looks amazing similar to the Duro lathe produced in the late 40’s, early 50’s. MW just re-badged other manufacturers products, and Duro was just one of many manufacturers who sold under that label. Besides the same general appearance, the bed construction and the three screw headstock bearing retainer also seem to match. Here is a snippet from the 1949 Duro products catalog showing the lathe and specs:

The mangled sticker most likely had “New Departure Ball Bearings” or something close to that. Here is one such decal on another Duro lathe:

Here is one such Duro lathe over at the VM site for comparison:


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

View Bear2233's profile


2 posts in 71 days

#7 posted 08-14-2016 12:07 AM

Thanks everyone, I think you are right. It looks almost identical to that pictured by MrUnix except some one replaced the hand tighteners for the tail stock & tools rest with bolts. Sorry for the delay in responding. Computer glitch & some “have to do’s”.

-- Bear 2233, Idaho

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