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Score! Oh crap, this thing is older than me. Help!

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Forum topic by Chris9t posted 01-15-2018 04:11 AM 1976 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Chris9t

3 posts in 253 days


01-15-2018 04:11 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question lathe

I just got my father’s old Craftsman 12” x 37” Lathe (113.23881). I think it’s from 1960’ish. It turns! ...at least when I jiggle the power cord. :) I found the operator instructions online, so I’ve learned some of the names of the parts. I’ve also watched several videos on turning, and I can’t wait to get started. But… I need help, and by that I mean SERIOUS HELP. Mind you, I am not handy with tools or lingo. I have zero experience, and I’m certainly no Mr. Fix It.

So, I have some questions:
(1) The Headstock Spindle and Spur Center are rusted up. They turn just fine with the motor going, but do they need to be replaced? If so, how do I do that?
(2) I understand that I might benefit from a Chuck for certain-sized woods, or for making bowls. Do I take out the Headstock Spindle and Spur Center, and replace it with the Chuck?
(3) I took out the Tailstock Center. It didn’t turn, which meant I couldn’t get wood to spin (I had to really bang that sucker out). Will a general Live Center fit in there?
(4) The Tailstock Ram will not move. Is it supposed to? I imagine that the Handwheel (which seems to spin normally) is supposed to move the Ram forward and backward… is that right? If so, something’s not working in there. What’s the fix? If I’m supposed to take out the Ram, I have no idea how.
(5) There’s a fair bit of rust all over, preventing pieces from moving around easily. What’s the best way to clean this all up?

I certainly appreciate the help!
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11 replies so far

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

6893 posts in 2320 days


#1 posted 01-15-2018 04:31 AM

1) a rusted drive center won’t hurt anything, but it sure wouldn’t hurt to clean them up a bit.
2) You will be hard pressed to find a chuck for that lathe as it doesn’t have a threaded spindle. Maybe a shopsmith adapter will work, but I don’t know. IMO, I wouldn’t bother throwing money at it trying to fit it with a chuck.
3) The tailstock should have a cup center, which doesn’t turn. Put wax on it.
4) Tailstock should move in and out via the handwheel. Make sure you have it unlocked. May be frozen in place from years of neglect and rust, so some penetrating oil will help.
5) There are a zillion ways to remove rust. I’d break it all down and either evaporust it or throw it in an electrolysis tank. You probably also want to check the bearings as they are probably ready to be replaced.

Those tube bed lathes are ok for spindles, but they have plenty of issues due to design. I wouldn’t throw a lot of money at it. But it is a good starter lathe for spindles and small stuff, and will let you know what to look for with your next one should you find you really enjoy turning.

Cheers,
Brad

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

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Chris9t

3 posts in 253 days


#2 posted 01-15-2018 04:57 AM



3) The tailstock should have a cup center, which doesn t turn. Put wax on it.
4) Tailstock should move in and out via the handwheel. Make sure you have it unlocked. May be frozen in place from years of neglect and rust, so some penetrating oil will help.
5) There are a zillion ways to remove rust. I d break it all down and either evaporust it or throw it in an electrolysis tank. You probably also want to check the bearings as they are probably ready to be replaced.

Thanks!

(3) I have the Cup Center. When i pushed the whole tail far enough, it was too much pressure for the wood to turn. I backed off a milimeter and it was too loose. Wax is the magic bullet? I thought the tail center was supposed to spin, like I’ve seen on videos. Just not a Cup Center?
(4) The handwheel moves back and forth, but not the Jam. What is Penetrating Oil?
(5) Bearings? I don’t know where to even think to look…

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MrUnix

6893 posts in 2320 days


#3 posted 01-15-2018 05:12 AM

Dead centers don’t spin… what you have is a dead center, which came stock on all lathes of that vintage and work just fine. If you are applying so much pressure that the stock won’t spin, then I’d look at your belt to make sure it’s not slipping. And yes, wax is what you should use as a ‘lube’ on those centers.

Penetrating oil? PB Blaster, Kroil, WD-40 if that is all you got, etc… squirt it down good and repeat as needed. If the handwheel is turning but the tailstock spindle is not moving, then you may have some stripped threads. Try pulling/pushing on it while turning and see if you can get it to catch (and make sure it is not locked).

Bearings may be a bit more than you want to deal with at this point. Just try to get the thing working first.

Cheers,
Brad

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

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LeeMills

588 posts in 1422 days


#4 posted 01-15-2018 03:00 PM

1. Something MAY need replacement but probably not from rust. I would go to a hardware or auto parts store and get Rust Converter. It may go by RustMort, Ospho, or many names. It chemically converts the rust from iron oxide to iron phosphate. The rust will go black when converted. For the spindle I would use a small brass brush while running. For other parts 0000 steel wood or 600 grit wet/dry sanpaper.
2. I wouldn’t buy a chuck yet. It appears the spindle is probably 3/4 X16 which is a common sixe.
3. The tail stock not spinning has nothing to do with the wood not spinning. It probably had a “dead center” as many did. It may also accept a “live center” if it has a 1MT or 2MT. The part the center goes into and moves is called the quill.
4. The tailstock (ram) quill should move via the handwheel. I had a very similar Jet and the handwheel was plastic.
It sounds like the hand wheel may be broken (there is a nut epoxied in the center). The handwheel really should not be able to be turned unless the quill is moving. If it is broken I would try turning the quill by hand or with light pressure gripping with pliers (make sure it is not locked at all). It may or may not screw out depending if the nut inside is rusted to it. I did remove mine a few times but that was about 30 years ago and I don’t remember exactly how they went together.
It will probably be difficult to find a replacement part if the wheel is broken.
The tailstock and quill would have my first attention.

-- We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

View guitaradelic's profile

guitaradelic

5 posts in 253 days


#5 posted 01-15-2018 03:56 PM

I just got one of these, it is a #1 Morse Taper (MT). You can get a live center at Rockler or Woodcraft. I got a chuck from Pennstate. It is for a 1’ 8 tpi, but came with the adapter to fit the 3/4 16 tpi. They came with a bolt that fit on the drive spindle with helps with the spur drive removal. I find that to be a neat way to get that thing off. Not a bad lathe, good way to get started, just don’t put a lot of money into it, you will probably be wanting to upgrade in no time.

-- Too many projects, not enough time...

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

1371 posts in 1851 days


#6 posted 01-15-2018 04:14 PM

Don’t know for sure, but the picture of the quill looks like that nut at the end of the bolt is a jam nut. It should be tightened to the locking handle, then it should allow you to unlock the locking bolt from the quill.

guitaradelic, how does your locking handle compare to his picture? ............... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson) www.woodturnerstools.com

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Porchfish

842 posts in 2653 days


#7 posted 01-15-2018 04:37 PM

I am sorry that I am just now replying to your post. I just now caught sight of it. I hope you have had all of your questions answered by now. if not please drop me a line at donschneider44@gmail.com I would be happy to talk to you about your lathe. It is too cold in my shop for me to get a lot accomplished these days , so I have plenty of time to communicate ideas. I am a 73 year old turner and have a little experience that I can share, that is if you are still in need . Sorry to have taken so long… PS if you are taking advice from folks here, make sure you go to their individual sites to see what kind of work they do before putting ALL of their suggestions into your storehouse of pertinent information. If any of us even BEGIN to talk down about your equipment or questions, just ignore us and move on to someone else. There are a lot of us here and all of us have opinions. (all of us have opinions and a.holes, just suggesting you watch where you step) goodon’ya, Don S. Havana Fl

-- The pig caught under the fence is always the one doing all the squealing !

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

12341 posts in 2501 days


#8 posted 01-15-2018 08:26 PM

This thread may have some info that helps.

Is this lathe worth grabbing just for fun?

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

View guitaradelic's profile

guitaradelic

5 posts in 253 days


#9 posted 01-16-2018 03:10 PM

@nubsnstubs – Everything looks the same as mine, except mine has a larger headstock cover that includes the belts. All the locking devices are the same and work well, after a liberal application of WD40. Looking at the tailstock locking bolt, it does appear to be mounted a little different, not sure what that is about. Maybe I can get some pics of mine, tonight. I am in the middle of tuning a carver’s mallet. Had to stop in the middle, sub-zero temps in the workshop limit working time.

-- Too many projects, not enough time...

View Chris9t's profile

Chris9t

3 posts in 253 days


#10 posted 01-16-2018 05:37 PM

I put the Dead Center back in and rubbed some wax on it. It actually turns the wood most of the time!

One question, though… The wood does not end up anywhere near smooth. There’s always plenty of missed cuts and scrapes. Even if I’m moving very slowly, it still ends up with rough cuts. I’ve generally been messing around with narrow pieces of wood (long dowels from a craft store, maybe 1 inch thick). Making magic wands for the kids.

Should the lathe be rotating really fast? I have a grinder, what should I use to sharpen them?

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

5207 posts in 1842 days


#11 posted 01-17-2018 02:30 PM

For smaller spindle work, it should Ber going pretty fast, lathe tools always need to be sharp. Frangible grinding wheels running at slow speed work best for sharpening lathe tools, and take it easy, don’t overheat the steel when sharpening.
I have pretty much the same lathe, maybe a little newer or older but I found a cheap cupped live center, face plate and three jaw chuck from Grizzly. You get what you pay for and while the three jaw chuck seems to perform pretty well, the live center and especially the face plate leave more than a little to be desired.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

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