New to woodturning, need help identifying lathe

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodturning forum

Forum topic by Bear2233 posted 08-12-2016 03:18 AM 1355 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Bear2233's profile


2 posts in 854 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


33 posts in 2082 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


1422 posts in 1931 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


47 posts in 3494 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


53 posts in 3067 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 Woodknack's profile


12431 posts in 2581 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.

-- Rick M,

View MrUnix's profile


7046 posts in 2400 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 - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Bear2233's profile


2 posts in 854 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

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics