Old Craftsman two rail wood lathe, vintage ????.

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Forum topic by navtalk posted 09-03-2011 11:39 PM 10948 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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27 posts in 2684 days

09-03-2011 11:39 PM

Hi All
I have an old Craftsman wood lathe 2 rail, 12 inch Ball Bearing. It has been sitting in my Garage for years. Many years ago I cleaned it up and repainted it, sharpened some poor quality tools, made a metal stand with a POOOOOR motor mount and attempted to make a bowl using probably ironwood, aka, old oak that was hard as steel. You can imagine that I failed. This Lathe sat for a few more years and I just decided I was going to give it another try. I have to redesign my motor mount and get some better tools. The Lathe, as it sits, has an old Dayton 1/3 hp 1725 motor. I placed the tail stock and head stock together until the centers were almost touching and turned the head and watched the points, there is a very slight wobble. I doubt at this time, that will be a factor as I will be learning and making many mistakes. I have one 4” tool rest with a 1” shaft and would like to find other tools with a 1” shaft. Reason for my quiting was that I did not afix something to the bench legs and it tended to skid all over the concrete floor and the poooor motor mount let the belt slip. I was young, foolish and in the get it done yesterday mode. Now I am old, foolish and tend to take my time.
All comments appreciated. Before anyone says anything about the switch, it is going to be replaced for two reasons, I am not fond of that type of switch and it is broken. Navtalk

-- My G-Kids call me Grumpy

6 replies so far

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3922 days

#1 posted 09-03-2011 11:53 PM

I don’t know what determines “vintage”, but my Dad had a lathe just like this when I was a teenager, and that was 40 something years ago. Wish I still had it. It was sturdy as a rock. I have an old Craftsman now, but it’s the type with the round rails. Unless you’re going to be turning large bowls or long spindles, this should work for what ever you need it for. Fix up the details on this lathe and it’ll be a good one.

View navtalk's profile


27 posts in 2684 days

#2 posted 09-04-2011 01:18 AM

Thanks. My thoughts also, I thought the was my dads old lathe but I finally recall, his was what I call a pipe rail, single large round rail. I can,t remember where I got this one. What size motor is recommended for this lathe?
I would like to mount wheels on the motor end and something non skid on the other. Comments welcome. Navtalk

-- My G-Kids call me Grumpy

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 2818 days

#3 posted 09-04-2011 02:16 AM

I swear it looks like an alien is praying to your broom ! Tell me it ain’t so…

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View navtalk's profile


27 posts in 2684 days

#4 posted 09-21-2011 05:23 AM

I have been busy and updated the lathe stand and motor mount. The motor I had the 1/3 hp gave up the ghost so I installed a A.O.Smith 1 hp 2 speed 1725 motor only to have the run cap. go south so awaiting a new cap. I found that the old motor just needed the points filed, took me a bit to get it back together again but runs great now. I put an on/off switch and a two speed switch on the lathe so now I have 8 speed settings. I don’t know how many are really viable as I have not done any turning. the speeds are 3680/2430, 2140/1420, 1240/825, 670/445. rounded off. I used a digital RPM counter. I now need advice on where to purchase a friable wheel and dressing tools. also if someone can give me a guesstimate on the age of this thing, I think somewhere in the ‘60’s. Any and all constructive comments welcome.
This picture shows the new link belt and the switches as well as the centers and chuck shelf.

Poor picture but shows the motor arrangement link belt and also the old belt still attached as I haven’t cut it off yet, I am going to run the lathe first. That is a cherry wood block I was trying to turn.

This picture shows my attempt to solve the metal leg to concrete issue and also the original belt I have yet to remove. I can move the lathe much more easily.

This whole setup is cobbled together and if I find I enjoy turning I will purchase a more modern lathe, with your imput, of course. Navtalk

-- My G-Kids call me Grumpy

View tom427cid's profile


294 posts in 2649 days

#5 posted 09-21-2011 06:02 AM

I would estimte that your lathe is probably from the 50’s perhaps as early as the 40’s. It has all the earmarks of a lower priced quality machine. Would not surprise me if you found out that the machine was possibly made by Delta,Walker Turner,or perhaps Boice Crane.
Hope this helps.tom

-- "certified sawdust maker"

View navtalk's profile


27 posts in 2684 days

#6 posted 10-05-2011 11:28 PM

Found a site in the UK WITH PIX. THIS IS A 1933 vintage. Navtalk

-- My G-Kids call me Grumpy

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