Antique lathe I got for FREE last week!

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Rex B posted 03-25-2013 07:26 PM 2971 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Rex B's profile

Rex B

320 posts in 2216 days

03-25-2013 07:26 PM

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


17308 posts in 2972 days

#1 posted 03-25-2013 07:34 PM

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

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View MrRon's profile


4718 posts in 3209 days

#2 posted 03-25-2013 07:43 PM

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


2724 posts in 1991 days

#3 posted 03-25-2013 07:48 PM

Wow! That’s a beautiful lathe!

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View RonInOhio's profile


721 posts in 2830 days

#4 posted 03-25-2013 08:12 PM

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


7735 posts in 1972 days

#5 posted 03-25-2013 08:15 PM

Nice score!

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

View Ben's profile


273 posts in 3679 days

#6 posted 03-25-2013 08:18 PM

I’m jealous i love old machinery.

-- Do something nice for somebody

View bondogaposis's profile (online now)


4683 posts in 2317 days

#7 posted 03-25-2013 10:34 PM

That is one nice lathe! Great score.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View woodworker59's profile


560 posts in 2167 days

#8 posted 03-25-2013 10:58 PM

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

-- Papa...

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics