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Expanding the swing capacity of my old Delta lathe

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Forum topic by zinghead posted 04-25-2014 07:32 PM 744 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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zinghead

2 posts in 239 days


04-25-2014 07:32 PM

Topic tags/keywords: lathe

this is my first post so be kind! I inherited an old Delta woodturning lathe. I’m guessing it is at least 70 years old. I want to increase the swing of the lathe by machining riser blocks for the headstock and tail stock. The lathe bed is cast iron which sits on a “factory” supplied wood plank. Has anyone done this before? What problems do you think I’ll incur by doing this? Currently my plan is to use 4” x 4” steel tubing (maybe 4” x 6”) for the risers. I appreciate any and all feedback.


9 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

7822 posts in 2394 days


#1 posted 04-25-2014 07:57 PM

I think solid metal is probably a better choice. If you
poured concrete into the tubing that might help
stabilize.

You might try making a couple of 2” thick wood blocks
to test.

A lot depends on how far you’re really going to push the
lathe. Turning balanced larger forms is not really that
big a deal if you’re going slow enough, but turning unbalanced
forms on a lathe that’s not robust enough could be
a dangerous thing.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

1236 posts in 881 days


#2 posted 04-25-2014 08:03 PM

You have to do something with tool rest base or tool rest, and tailstock too. Adding riser blocks more common years ago than now. Can only guess more people stay with what they have until they upgrade their lathes.

Like Loren believe machining solid metal much better op.

-- Bill

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Shawn Masterson

1262 posts in 695 days


#3 posted 04-25-2014 08:34 PM

View mikema's profile

mikema

175 posts in 1332 days


#4 posted 04-25-2014 09:08 PM

I would think long and hard about this. I had a vintage lathe for about a year or so, then bought a brand new one, both were from Delta. Honestly, I feel the new lathe is actually a better made machine than the old one. The old one had a 9” swing, and with the way it was made, I don’t think I would trust it with bigger (which translate into heavier) material.

-- Mike ---- Visit my woodworking blog: http://sawdustnewbie.com

View Loren's profile

Loren

7822 posts in 2394 days


#5 posted 04-25-2014 09:34 PM

Another approach is to cut the bed in half and go from
there.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View zinghead's profile

zinghead

2 posts in 239 days


#6 posted 04-25-2014 10:12 PM

Loren, Mikema, Wildwood, Shawn,

thanks for your speedy replies. Good ideas and responses from all. I’m not going to cut the bed in half though. I will try the wood blocks first and see how the lathe responds. I trained on an old Oliver – it was so tall you had to stand on a 2 foot platform to operate and I’m almost 6 foot. I don’t think I need to elevate the tool rest as I have plenty of post travel. If needed I’ll weld some round stock to the post. Thanks all.

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

513 posts in 1507 days


#7 posted 04-26-2014 02:20 AM

If you are envisioning turning bowls and the like you can try mounting the face plate on the outside end of the headstock. I have a Delta 12” lathe from the 1940s and I have done that. Back in the early 1970s I turned a 26” dia. wood mold to vacuum-form a miniature flying saucer needed for a television ad shoot. Turn at the lowest speed. Make a floor-mounted tool rest from lumber and iron plumbing pipe fittings. Also be aware that large turnings that are out of balance even a little at the beginning of the process can vibrate a lathe big time. Bolt that lathe down somehow or weight it down.

Planeman

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

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

14540 posts in 1421 days


#8 posted 04-26-2014 03:10 AM

I’m a turning newbie….

I would think the motor HP may also come into play.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

513 posts in 1507 days


#9 posted 04-26-2014 03:32 AM

I think not much. As the turning diameter increases, the speed must decrease thus “gearing down” the spindle speed. I know this would be true on belt-changing drives. Maybe not on some of the new electronic variable speed motors though.

Planeman

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

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