14' spindle in old iron lathe and a man of iron

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Forum topic by REO posted 03-09-2013 05:31 PM 1284 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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929 posts in 2251 days

03-09-2013 05:31 PM

This is one of the few pictures i have of my dad at the lathe. His shp was the bottom of the barn. The fan in the window was to suck the dust outside. The piece of “wood” hanging from the ceiling was actually a piece of 3/4” plexiglass, a guard for when we did table legs. We started with square stock glue ups and some of the corner chips could get pretty scary. to do long turnings(over 8’) we would use the auxiliary tails tock, an old Oliver lathe bed, outboard and after completing half the turning would turn it end for end and turn the other end. The main lathe bed is an old metal lathe. The headstock was replaced with the headstock off a 10” Atlas with timken bearings. Yes it is a double end grinder that you can see mounted to the cross feed slide. On one end a wobbley dado was mounted to cut to size and on the other was a flap sanding disk to sand so the whole thing could be done in one pass. The part he is standing by is a large bearing with four centering bolts used for a steady rest. The half wall was removed in response to an order for over length parts and stayed that way for years. the rest was removed when we got an order for some columns 24” in dia and 16 feet long. He retired abruptly at age 86. He came in from the shop after unloading 3/4” plywood for some box order and had some TIA’s. Three days later he had a stroke on the operating table. This month last year at 92 he took the call to make columns for mansions in heaven. I came across this picture this morning going through an album of his. Just taking a minute to introduce you to my dad!

4 replies so far

View olddutchman1's profile


69 posts in 2589 days

#1 posted 03-09-2013 07:50 PM

Something to always treasure! As I read Your post, and looked at the picture,I could invision My own Father in the field. Of coarse, I don’t know how old Your Father was when that was taken, it looks to be in the early 50’s or so. My Father died at 67 years old and that was in 1973. You were blessed to have known Your father for all those years, as I would guess He was Blessed by His Children That is the age I am now. 67 Thankyou for telling Us about Your Father, I am afraid that I took the time to talk about Mine! Your Father is a very inportent person in Your life. It also tells Us that You thouight that He was great man. That is a testament to His life, and a vision of your own life! Thank You!

-- Saved! and so gratefull.Consider Who Created it All

View JoeinGa's profile


7739 posts in 2184 days

#2 posted 03-09-2013 08:08 PM

Wonderful story of your Dad. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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

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5849 posts in 3762 days

#3 posted 03-09-2013 08:16 PM

Yes nice I hope he used a mask for the dust is incredible still in those days people used to work like this I have seen it often.I do hope it never affected him cruelly.I call them heroes the sacrifices men made to feed their children I am sure he was a wonderful man and wish I had known him take care and thanks for sharing. Alistair

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

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929 posts in 2251 days

#4 posted 03-10-2013 02:58 AM

Thanks guys! Scotsman: if you look you can see the strap from the dustmask across the back of the ball cap. He ran a custom woodworking business for 60 years. His niche was turnings but he would often take the projects that others said couldn’t be done. I still have the jointer blades for putting the grooves in the original Rapala wood fillet boards and a couple of the 5,000,000 Mehaffy bobbers. There are still lures used by fishermen out there that required a 3/32” hole drilled from end to end of a 16” plug. If you get to Caesars palace in Ohio the 16’ and 8’ rings around the bar were made by him. Two years ago walking the beach in Florida i came across a spear fishing handle that was one of 100,000 sent to the bahamas over a span of 25 years. Two sets of Cross and Crosure were made for processionals in the US when the Pope visits. One for the east coast and one for the west coast. There is still plenty to remind me. He was grinding brad point bits for drilling wood in the forties. Explaining the use of segmented cutters to profile grinders for rosettes. made the first prototypes for plastic covered bowling pins. Patented the behive bracket for waterbeds. yeah He’ll be around a long time yet. I did pay attention, but I just couldn’t possibly keep up with his innovation. He had a supernatural talent when it came to understanding wood. Everyone knew him as DOC. Whenit came to woodcraft he was THE wood doctor.

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