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Restore old Holtzapffel lathe?

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Forum topic by rmoore posted 03-18-2011 04:23 AM 4798 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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rmoore

325 posts in 2097 days


03-18-2011 04:23 AM

Topic tags/keywords: lathe

I got a lathe, in pieces, from my dad. It was his dad’s and that’s about all that was known about it. I found a name on it ( Holtzapffel ) and did some research. It was made between 1821 – 1901. It has some rust on it and painted splattered on it. I was wondering if stripping the paint and redoing it would devalue it. I need to build the bed and legs for it, also. Any comments and suggestions would be appreciated.

-- The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. Ron, Crossville Tn


18 replies so far

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2312 days


#1 posted 03-18-2011 06:55 AM

OWWM.org. Those guys really know this stuff, and they’ll be able to help you.

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1283 posts in 3199 days


#2 posted 03-18-2011 07:36 AM

Is it an original Holtzapfel ornamental lathe? If so, you really will need to get in touch with some collector and restorers. These ornamental lathes can bring in many thousands of dollars and are a specialty lathe. Could you please post some photos?

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

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rmoore

325 posts in 2097 days


#3 posted 03-19-2011 03:16 AM

John, here are some pictures I took. I don’t really want to sell it but don’t want to ruin it, either.
Here are all the parts I have.

The headstock.

Tailstock.

Name stamp. Sorry it’s blurred, cell phone picture.

-- The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. Ron, Crossville Tn

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rmoore

325 posts in 2097 days


#4 posted 03-19-2011 03:18 AM

Lee, thanks. I went to OWWM but they had nothing about Holtzapffel.

-- The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. Ron, Crossville Tn

View ornamentalturner's profile

ornamentalturner

2 posts in 2082 days


#5 posted 03-25-2011 02:15 AM

Hi. You have parts of a Holtzapffel lathe. I am sorry to tell you that it is not a valuable one, but if you tell me the number, I can tell you the date it was first sold, the name of the buyer and the price. By the look of it I guess it was made around 1830 (the number is on the face of the headstock in your final photograph but not in focus so I can’t read it). The headstock pulley has been replaced with a modern (1930’s) flat pulley and the handwheel on the tailstock is a replacement. It is not an ornamental turning lathe but what was called a 5” Common lathe and was used for hand-turning. If you want to know a bit about ornamental turning and see what a Holtzapffel OT lathe looks like go to my website: http://www.ornamentalturning.co.uk
Best Wishes
John Edwards

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rmoore

325 posts in 2097 days


#6 posted 03-28-2011 03:01 AM

ornamentalturner, I checked on my lathe and found the number. It was on the tailstock and is 1516. The headstock reads “HOLTZAPFFEL & CO CHARING CROSS LONDON”. Thanks for the info and help. I stumbled across your website while researching my lathe. Unbelievably beautiful stuff!!

-- The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. Ron, Crossville Tn

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ornamentalturner

2 posts in 2082 days


#7 posted 04-03-2011 03:12 PM

Hi Ron.
Your lathe No.1516 was originally sold on 18th April 1832 to a Mr Spare for £6 (about $24 in those days). It was described as a 5” Common and for that price it would have been not much more than you have got now except it would have been mounted on a beech frame, which by now would have been destroyed by woodworm and probably burnt. Unfortunately there is no information on later owners. Incidentally, in case you were not aware, the iron plate with holes of various sizes is a ‘boring collar’ (also known as a ‘cone plate’). If you want to bore deeply into the end of a cylinder, you first support it by the tailstock then chamfer the end so it will fit one of the chamfered holes in the boring collar, then you remove the tailstock and support the cylinder with the boring collar. Then you can bore into the cylinder without risk of knocking it out of the chuck.
Thanks for your kind remark about my website.
John

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rmoore

325 posts in 2097 days


#8 posted 04-03-2011 04:12 PM

John, Thanks again for the information. I’m new to turning so I’m trying to learn all I can. Do you need to use screws to hold the wood to the boring collar? I had a friend help me turn a bowl recently on a modern lathe so the wood clamped in to a chuck when we bored out the inside.

-- The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. Ron, Crossville Tn

View richardkell's profile

richardkell

8 posts in 1194 days


#9 posted 08-19-2015 09:48 AM

I’m looking for an early H&D plain lathe, so stumbled upon yr post.

I’d brighten the cones of the pulley, but leave everything pretty much as found, keep all that age; spray it all with WD40, and maybe use only the finest ie 0000 wire wool to rid loose surface rust / dust on what would have been bright. Its old, please let it retain this impression. So much damage is done by over-restoration, to make it all bright and shiney. Try to imagine what it would look like in an oldtime worshop after generations of use and its that atmosphere that i seek in my own place.

-- richard kell:toolmaker

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7480 posts in 1469 days


#10 posted 08-19-2015 01:26 PM

Well Ron, it’s been over 4 years. What’d you end up doing? Did you make a base and set it up? Or are all the pieces still in a box? Inquiring minds wanna know :-)

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

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rmoore

325 posts in 2097 days


#11 posted 08-27-2015 02:16 AM

richardkell, Sorry if I disappoint you but I did repaint it. I thought it would be better to do that than let it rust. My shop is only heated by a wood stove so condensation is a problem sometimes when it warms up quick. JoeinGa, Wow! Hard to believe it’s been 4 years. I have made a stand and makes several projects on it. The candlesticks were first and the stave bowl was a little later. Will try to get some pictures by this weekend.

-- The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. Ron, Crossville Tn

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JoeinGa

7480 posts in 1469 days


#12 posted 08-27-2015 04:46 PM

Good for you. Show us a pic or two of the lathe when you get a minute

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

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rmoore

325 posts in 2097 days


#13 posted 08-30-2015 11:01 PM

Okay, here are a few pictures. Nothing to brag about , but it works. Maybe sometime when I’m not busy ( LOL ) I’ll build one with more bulk to it. It wobbles some when first rounding a piece.


The base for the motor has slots to change speeds.

I made a booth using PVC pipe and two shower curtains. It does a good job of keeping the chips from going all over the shop.

-- The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. Ron, Crossville Tn

View EEngineer's profile

EEngineer

1061 posts in 3075 days


#14 posted 08-31-2015 02:21 AM

Nothing at all wrong with that setup. It will probably work for another 150 years or so!

I love old arn! At 180+ years old, this beats anything I got in my shop!

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View rmoore's profile

rmoore

325 posts in 2097 days


#15 posted 08-31-2015 03:55 AM

It is neat to work with such an old tool. The shaft on the headstock is lubricated by a grease cup that you have to remember to screw in a little once in a while for it to work. In the winter the grease gets thick and the shaft doesn’t turn well. My grandfather made spindles for the staircase in the house my dad grew up in with it and my dad made some things on it, too. Now it’s my turn.

-- The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. Ron, Crossville Tn

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