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Should I buy it? Walker-Turner "Driver Line" mini benchtop lathe

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Forum topic by FeralVermonter posted 577 days ago 2174 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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FeralVermonter

100 posts in 595 days


577 days ago

$50. Needs a tool rest, and a fair amount of TLC.

And a motor, but I have those.

I believe it’s 8” swing, 22” between points. I can’t imagine needing a bigger lathe, since all I really want to do is make tool handles and such. Not terribly drawn to making bowls. Maybe someday. I could imagine getting a metal lathe eventually, but it would make sense to get a good feel for a wood lathe first. And it’s old… but I find I just really prefer to work with older tools.

Never really gone shopping for a lathe before, haven’t done my due diligence, and I don’t think I’ll have time to really research the matter before the offer’s off the table.

Opinions?


11 replies so far

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

470 posts in 1385 days


#1 posted 577 days ago

Would this be the lathe you are looking at? http://vintagemachinery.org/photoindex/detail.aspx?id=8035
Walker-Turner made some superb machines. If the above isn’t the correct one, please find a photo that matches your machine on that website and post a link here. It would help.

Planeman

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

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FeralVermonter

100 posts in 595 days


#2 posted 577 days ago

The one I’m looking at looks a little bit more like this one. http://vintagemachinery.org/photoindex/detail.aspx?id=6220

Well, doesn’t look like THAT one ;)

View Loren's profile

Loren

7386 posts in 2272 days


#3 posted 577 days ago

I say pass, unless you think it’s a charming piece.

You should be able to find a much more robust
lathe for $100 or so on the used market.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View TheCook's profile

TheCook

39 posts in 744 days


#4 posted 577 days ago

I’m not sure it would be worth fixing if it were free…

View SCOTSMAN's profile

SCOTSMAN

5339 posts in 2209 days


#5 posted 577 days ago

Dont buy that old junk! you’ld be better making one out of styrene or cardboard.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

470 posts in 1385 days


#6 posted 577 days ago

I agree with the others. That Walker-Turner lathe is one of the el-cheapo ones for the home craftsman market in the Depression 1930s. Look for something else. And while you are looking, try to find one that has a Morse taper headstock and tailstock (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morse_taper#Morse). With a Morse taper, you can adapt and use off-the-shelf accessories. Also, be SURE to bolt the lathe down to a sturdy table with some weight to it if it doesn’t come with a stand. And if it comes with a stand, make sure it has enough weight to it. If not, weight it down with some sand bags or something else. When beginning a turn of anything with some size to it your work will be out of balance until you can get it perfectly round. You lathe will shake something awful.

Planeman

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

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FeralVermonter

100 posts in 595 days


#7 posted 577 days ago

Done! Thank you, folks, for your frank opinions. I’ll be passing on this one‚Äďand learning more about lathes in the meantime, so that when the next one comes up, I’ll have a better idea of what I’m looking at.

View dustbunny's profile

dustbunny

1149 posts in 1919 days


#8 posted 577 days ago

$50 is a bit pricy for that size lathe with no motor or tool rest, I would pass on this one.
As far as Walker Turner goes, some of their machinery is great.
And yes some of it was for the Craftsman DIY’er.
OWWM.org is always a good resource for old wood working tools.

I may be partial to WT since I have three WT 24” scroll/jig saws, WT 15” drill press, and a series 900 lathe.
All are workhorses, and have more versatility than some machines of today !
Walker-Turner was a division of Rockwell Manufacturing Co.

Just my opinion.

-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~ http://quiltedwood.com

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

470 posts in 1385 days


#9 posted 577 days ago

Seriously, take a look at the wood lathe section, in particular the “past auctions” area. It should give you a pretty good idea what you can get in the way of used woodworking machinery.

Planeman

P.S. I have a 14” Walker-Turner bandsaw. Its a cast iron monster compared to what you can buy today. I bought it around 1960 when I was in college and wouldn’t give it up for the world. It still looks like new.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

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Planeman40

470 posts in 1385 days


#10 posted 576 days ago

Oops. I should have said “Seriously, take a look at the wood lathe section on eBay”. Sorry

Planeman

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View IrreverentJack's profile

IrreverentJack

724 posts in 1467 days


#11 posted 576 days ago

Pretty sure the “Driver Line” was Walker-Turner’s cheap line and sold by Sears before their Companion and Dunlap lines came to be. It’s old enough it might have bushings instead of ball bearings. I’d love to get a Walker Turner tool, but probably not a Driver-Line. -Jack

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