Antique lathe I got for FREE last week!

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Forum topic by Rex B posted 515 days ago 1187 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Rex B

310 posts in 877 days

515 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: lathe antique general electric

A friend of mine who knows I’m into woodworking recently told me that his dad had an old lathe he was looking to get rid of. It belonged to his great-grandfather, and hadn’t been used in years, so they let me have it for free!

It is completely unmarked except for the motor’s nameplate. The motor is an old General Electric, Model 20004, 1/4 HP. Based on my research this motor was most likely made in the 1920’s! I cleaned everything up and replaced the electrical wiring, and everything runs perfectly!

The lathe has a 10” swing, and approximately 20” max between centers. It has an integral geared transmission with 3 speeds, selectable by moving a shaft in and out to mesh with different gears. Just really awesome.

I started a forum topic over on OWWM, but so far everyone is stumped. Has anyone here seen a lathe like this before?

I’m excited to buy a few modern accessories and get to turning!

-- Rex

8 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile


10654 posts in 1633 days

#1 posted 515 days ago

I have no idea as to its vintage but thats a pretty awesome day in my book. Congrats!

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View MrRon's profile


2790 posts in 1870 days

#2 posted 515 days ago

General Electric has been making all sorts of things, from locomotives to toasters. They probably made that lathe also. Great find. Just proves the saying “they don’t make them like that anymore”. That will easily last another 80+ years. Take care of that treasure. It looks to me like it was made for school shop use, but definitely industrial use.

View runswithscissors's profile


906 posts in 652 days

#3 posted 515 days ago

Wow! That’s a beautiful lathe!

View RonInOhio's profile


720 posts in 1491 days

#4 posted 515 days ago

You could look around on the web for a few vintage woodworking tool sites and post your picture. Maybe someone
can identify it.

Thats a rare find.

View JoeinGa's profile


3157 posts in 634 days

#5 posted 515 days ago

Nice score!

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

View Ben's profile


273 posts in 2340 days

#6 posted 515 days ago

I’m jealous i love old machinery.

-- Do something nice for somebody

View bondogaposis's profile


2480 posts in 978 days

#7 posted 515 days ago

That is one nice lathe! Great score.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View woodworker59's profile


560 posts in 828 days

#8 posted 515 days ago

wow, I need a few friends like that.. great lathe.. make sure you turn something nice for him when you get good at it… very sweet.. papa


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