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Is this lathe worth grabbing just for fun?

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Forum topic by Andybb posted 01-12-2018 10:14 PM 3539 views 0 times favorited 37 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Andybb

1524 posts in 808 days


01-12-2018 10:14 PM

Haven’t used a lathe for 40 years since high school but don’t have one in my shop. Is this something worth grabbing and cleaning up just for fun and slapping a motor on? Don’t know nuthin’ about turning or what a chuck would cost. Just thought it’d be a fun toy.

-- Andy - Seattle USA


37 replies so far

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MrUnix

7053 posts in 2404 days


#1 posted 01-12-2018 10:39 PM

For $25, why not? Slap a teadmill motor on it and you have a nice little variable speed lathe for cheap. Don’t need a chuck, just some turning tools.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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Andybb

1524 posts in 808 days


#2 posted 01-12-2018 11:08 PM

Done. Thanks Brad.

As I said, I don’t know nuttin’ bout turnin’. Why don’t I need a chuck? And do I need a treadmill motor or will a regular motor with a VSC work? HP? Guess it’s time for Turning 101 for me.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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socrbent

695 posts in 2474 days


#3 posted 01-12-2018 11:24 PM

Congrats on your purchase. Lots of turning can be done with out a chuck by turning between centers. A regular motor can be used even without a VSC. That is why there are different sized pulleys on the headstock. A VSC would simply made it simpler. Motor size depends on what you choose to turn. Look for a face plate as an inexpense way to expand what you can turn. There are tons of videos available to help you learn.

Your lathe looks just like one my dad taught me on about 60 years ago. Made a walnut lamp as a 4H project.

-- socrbent Ohio

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Loren

10477 posts in 3853 days


#4 posted 01-12-2018 11:27 PM

Those step pulleys were usually pared with
a motor with another step pulley on it. Any
washing machine type fractional horsepower
motor will do. They are all over the place, used
and cheap.

That’s a bargain. I’m looking for a secondhand
basic lathe right now and most of them are
asking way more money.

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Lazyman

2644 posts in 1592 days


#5 posted 01-12-2018 11:28 PM

Here is a good recent forum topic with some info and links that will help you get started.

Any motor of about 1/2 HP and up will probably do. Treadmill motors are variable speed (which is nice) and you can get them free or cheap if you keep your eyes open for them, though you may have to haul away and disassemble someone’s old treadmill to get one.

Chucks are a nice to have for convenience but you can do 99% of what they do using face plates and other tried and true techniques that you’ll learn as you read about the various turning techniques.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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Andybb

1524 posts in 808 days


#6 posted 01-12-2018 11:35 PM

Cool. Motors I have. HF here I come. I’ll destroy these first.

Thanks Loren.
Lazyman—-thanks. You’re right. Great thread.

Looks like it’s a Montgomery Ward Powr-kraft made by Duro Metal Products. Damn! Another learning curve and hours of youtube to watch! (I love it) Looks like I’m all in for less than $75 even after making it purdy. Can’t be much to it other than some bearings if needed. Plenty of references on the vintage tool sites.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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Andybb

1524 posts in 808 days


#7 posted 01-12-2018 11:46 PM

.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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MrUnix

7053 posts in 2404 days


#8 posted 01-13-2018 12:27 AM

I believe that lathe will only have one bearing (thrust bearing in headstock), and the spindle will be riding in bushings – notice the oil holes in the top of the spindle housing. Just use some good 20W non-detergent oil or similar (I use AW32 hydraulic oil). It would probably be a good idea to tear it apart so you can clean and inspect things first, but at the very least, make sure those bushings are well lubricated before running.

You don’t have to get a treadmill motor, it was just a suggestion and you can get them for free. A regular induction motor (1750 rpm) will work, but you will need to find a matching stepped pulley for it.

There are plenty of ways to do stuff without throwing money at it (See here: Woodturning on the cheap). Figure out what size/thread the spindle is and get yourself a thread tap for it (if you don’t already have one). Then you can make all the faceplates, threaded glueblocks, mandrels, jam chucks and other stuff you want for the price of scrap wood found in a construction site dumpster :)

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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Andybb

1524 posts in 808 days


#9 posted 01-13-2018 12:50 AM

Thanks. Yeah I figured I’d tear it down and refurb it first. That’s half the fun for me.
Looks like this one from 1940.

Your thread looks to be just up my alley Brad. Thanks again.

Don’t know if I’ll become a “turner” but it’s nice to have the option of turning a leg or something if the need arises or looking at something and saying, “I can do that”.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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Woodknack

12431 posts in 2585 days


#10 posted 01-13-2018 08:07 AM

Looks like you lucked out, the spindle looks to be 3/4-16, same as old Craftsman lathes which means accessories and centers will be common and inexpensive. The bigger Duro used an uncommon spindle size which would have been annoying. I’m assuming it’s this one:

http://vintagemachinery.org/pubs/detail.aspx?id=846

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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Andybb

1524 posts in 808 days


#11 posted 01-13-2018 05:07 PM

Excellent, and thanks for the link. Very nostalgic.

The listing said it is missing its arbor. Not quite sure what that means yet as the lingo is all new to me. I’ll be picking it up in a few days and can inspect it then. Stand by for more pics and questions.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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Andybb

1524 posts in 808 days


#12 posted 01-13-2018 09:27 PM

Again, thanks to all.

Actually found a youtube series No Chuck, No Problem so I’ve got plenty to do without spending another dime.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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MrUnix

7053 posts in 2404 days


#13 posted 01-13-2018 09:46 PM

Actually found a youtube series No Chuck, No Problem so I ve got plenty to do without spending another dime.
- Andybb

You got to remember that the lathe is an ancient tool that has been around for thousands of years… and the vast majority of that time, they didn’t have chucks (or live centers, or pre-made turning tools, or fancy sharpening systems, etc….). Yet, they were able to do some pretty amazing stuff anyway.

The video you linked to is one way to go about it using a faceplate. I’m not real fond of faceplates though. If you mount it directly to your workpiece, then you are left with holes in it when done (although not always), and if you are turning it thin, you have to worry about hitting the screws. Mounting a faceplate on a glueblock and then gluing it onto the workpiece never made sense to me either, when all you need to do is thread the glueblock and forget about the faceplate and screws entirely. I guess some people just like doing extra work :)

Here is one such example making a lidded box (actually two) using a threaded glueblock: No-chuck lidded box – as a follow on to my woodturning on the cheap thread :-O

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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Woodknack

12431 posts in 2585 days


#14 posted 01-13-2018 10:01 PM



Excellent, and thanks for the link. Very nostalgic.

The listing said it is missing its arbor. Not quite sure what that means yet as the lingo is all new to me. I ll be picking it up in a few days and can inspect it then. Stand by for more pics and questions.

- Andybb

Probably a work arbor, not a big loss.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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Andybb

1524 posts in 808 days


#15 posted 01-13-2018 11:50 PM


Cheers,
Brad

Ah. It’s all becoming clearer. Seems like turning doesn’t require a lot of torque so threaded pieces of hardwood on the headstock are just as good as a face plate. Even easier than embedding a nut in the block as I’ve seen others do.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

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