Question on Reeves drive for Delta Lathe

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Forum topic by Bieser posted 04-05-2014 02:32 PM 3337 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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176 posts in 2063 days

04-05-2014 02:32 PM

Ok. I picked up a Delta 46-715 lathe really cheap. I have read there have been some issues with these lathes but figured it was cheap enough with a little TLC it could get me maybe turning. I don’t imagine myself being a big wood turner and if I could get this cleaned up to work for little project here or there that would be great. I do have a question;

The reeves drive on the machine has two discs and upon inspection it seems that as you tighten them against each other they should slip into the opposing grooves of the other disc is this correct? One of the disc seems to be loose as in you can turn it by hand when its not tightened against the other is this how the system is suppose to be or are these discs suppose to be fixed? All three of the other discs seem to be fixed so that you cant turn them around the driveshaft except that one. But this is the one that has to move for the variable speed so it could be designed this way. I have found that the belt seems to be really loose causing me some issues at speed. What kind of belts do you all recommend? The lathe is pretty gummed up in there I will probably tear it all apart and clean everything up? What are you thoughts and inspection points I should look at?

Thanks Brandon

5 replies so far

View Wildwood's profile


2322 posts in 2164 days

#1 posted 04-05-2014 09:26 PM

Seems like most of the parts for that lathe are obsolete, will parts from one of these lathes work? Might see same parts on your lathe, guy over at wood net posted similar question about his 46-715. Cannot remember which lathe worked for him. Perhaps can tell looking at parts list.

-- Bill

View TheDane's profile


5448 posts in 3692 days

#2 posted 04-05-2014 09:56 PM

Here is a link that explains how Reeves drives work …

They can be temperamental, but if properly maintained and used, can be quite serviceable. Don’t move the speed control without the motor running … that can cause some serious problems.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Wildwood's profile


2322 posts in 2164 days

#3 posted 04-05-2014 10:47 PM

North American & European reeves drive pretty straight forward but still need slight tweaking & cleaning routinely. Asian reeve drives lot harder to keep in running because parts wear lot faster and reeve drive pulleys too close together.

I had two Delta certified factory warranty service techs that could not repair the reeves drive on my Delta 46-700. One of those techs was a machinist in the military before he retired.

Since did not have any luck or skill fooling with reeves drive on that lathe got rid of the reeves drive. Took the motor pulley and put on the spindle, added a new pulley to the motor, bolted a bracket that allowed the motor to swing in and out on the bed. You change speeds by moving belt along pulley to change speeds. That whole modification cost me $170 for new parts & labor many years ago, took it to local machine/welding shop.
Not sure if can do same with a 46-715, because had to toss the plastic headstock cover, and looks like part of the reeves drive mounted to the motor. I am looking at a drawing and not what you are seeing.

Might contact this guy for help.,,,,,,,,,,,f12,,,,,,,,,,,&Words=grizzly%20wood%20lathe&Searchpage=11&Limit=25&Main=6681926&Search=true&where=bodysub&Name=&daterange=1&newerval=1&newertype=y&olderval=&oldertype=&bodyprev=#Post6683994

-- Bill

View William's profile


9949 posts in 2871 days

#4 posted 04-06-2014 03:07 PM

Two disks should be fixed, one on each shaft.
The other two disks move back and forth on each shaft. As one moves in, the other moves out. This is how the speeds are changed.
However, none of them should move around the shaft.
It sounds like the keyway is boogered up on one of the pulleys.

First I would see if a replacement part is available.
Next I would look at fixing the pulley.
Is it steel, pot metal or aluminum?
If it’s pot metal or aluminum then I don’t think the pulley is fixable.
I’d move on with finding step pulleys if you want the lathe running.
If it is steel (doubtful), then a good machine shop can fix it if you take them the pulley and the key.


View Bieser's profile


176 posts in 2063 days

#5 posted 04-06-2014 03:42 PM

William, That’s what I wanted to know. It seems like they are all a little sticky and I figured that one should not be able to move. I am guessing there is some kind of key there. I have read that Grizzly makes them for one of their lathes that fits.

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