Wednesday, June 21, 2017

An unknown maker's lathe (?)

A good friend of mine has been searching for a suitable wood lathe, something akin to my Rockwell-Beaver 3400 lathe. A solid, suitable way to get into wood turning without breaking the bank..

Such lathes comes up somewhat regularly on Kijiji but tend to go fast...go figured :-)

In the past few months we have been corresponding for a while trying to find that "good deal" to get him into woodturning. A few suitable candidates pops up once in a while but quickly disappeared. This week, I saw this ad for what look like an older Rockwell Beaver lathe but without the tell tale gap bed, such as mine. Comes without a motor, the tool holder (Banjo) has a broken half , but it looks otherwise complete and is said to run smooth. Given that it was priced very cheaply, Cdn $40, and located minutes from my place, I took a chance and snag it for him.
I figured even if he does not want it, I could set it up for small turning job (such as pen turning, tool handles etc), and keep my other one for bigger jobs.

I told him I got it, but it stayed in my car trunk overnite, waiting for the rain to stop before I smuggled it into the kitchen to take pics and go over its overall conditions before reporting to him, what I found :-)

Why the kitchen? Don't ask :-)

The lathe on my kitchen floor,
 Rudy's teddy bear uses for scale
or was it him dropping it near by, during his own inspection? :-)

It was a bit smaller and lighter than I thought, my first surprise came when I picked it up to move it to my car trunk. You would be amazed at what you can fit inside a Lincoln's trunk :-) My previous one was a Town car, essentially a land yacht,  into which you could probably fit 4 people complete with cement feet in the trunk (no wonder it was a favorite car for some of society criminals people :-)

Anyway, I digress, my first surprise was that the lathe bed is not cast iron, but rather made of a thick steel formed channel, hence the unexpected lightness

It rest on two cast feet platforms

So is the bed not being made of cast iron a deal breaker? No, the steel bed is straight, should not be an issue, but the lathe would benefit being bolted down to add mass and rigidity.

The bed overall length is 45 inches, removing the minimum distance lost at each ends by the headstock and tailstock, we get about 33 in of turning capacity

From headstock casting to end of driving center: Approx 8 inches
Turning capacity over bed: 4-1/2 inches, or 9 in diameter

Tailstock to dead center tip, retracted: Approx 4-1/2 inches

45 minus 12-1/2 in (8 plus 4-1/2) = 32-1/2 in so this lathe can be classified as a 9 X 32 in lathe, its maximum capacities. (32 or 33 depending how measured, but close enough)

Small when thinking furniture legs and etc, but plenty big for small jobs, like I said for pen turning, tool handles, chair legs and spindles and etc
Bowl turning? well there is an outboard turning face  plate which would allow turning bowl bigger than the 9 in capacity over the bed, but I would not attempt large bowls on it, that would tax it slightly... :-)

The Banjo's tool rest is half broken, but still usable. 
Finding a replacement is easy (LV) sure enough they have that size...

Very similar to mine, but the shafts are different.
Mine uses a steel insert shaft, 5/8 dia, his uses a rough cast 3/4 in shaft

Slightly smaller too,

Someone tried to brazed it back earlier but it fail.
Surprise trying to weld or braze cast iron is...
Would not like to had been around when it broke while turning..Brrr.

The head stock has a four steps pulley (speeds)

Since there is no motor attached that came with it, a suitable motor would have to mount a similar 4 steps pulley in a reverse image. He has a suitable motor, and fortunately, such cast aluminum pulleys are easy to find. Another friend of mine bought one at our local Canadian tire store (Hardware/Auto parts store)
for yet another Rockwell / Beaver lathe like mine that we found on Kijiji.

The head stock, with the center spur drive removed (locking nut slackened)
has two covered oiling ports. It does not sport a hollow shaft enabling Morse taper accessories, but rather a simple threaded shaft...just like mine, but easily work around it by mounting a scroll chuck with the proper adapter. 

His drive spur center is a bit smaller than mine 
Top, mine used a 1-1/8 in wrench
Bottom, his uses a 1 in wrench
And of course the thread is different, roughly 3/4 X 10 TPI

Looking up adapters and common lathe spindle sizing, I found out that there is such a thread size, 3/4 X 10 used on Rockwell Homecraft series tools.
Judging by its construction and size, even if I could not found any markings whatsoever on it, it would appears to be indeed a Rockwell Homecraft (hobbyist) tool.

DELTA (Rockwell) Homecraft tools were designed and built expressly for the
home workshop uses. Introduced in 1949, they were still durable and well made but at a lower cost, not being designed as production tools. I am pretty sure this is what we have here, produced either under Delta, Rockwell or the Beaver brand name in Canada. The guy I bought it from had a full compliment of Rockwell Beaver tools in his shop, including a lathe like mine.
The tailstock has a Morse taper No 1 (?) dead center, could easily be upgraded to a live center.

I think this is a Morse taper No 1 but I could be wrong...(?)

OK, that's it I taking my bear with me, I'm done inspecting over here

Yes, I know where your socks are 
and I believe you know where the treats are don't you? Fair trade :-)

So, did I found him his last lathe? Probably not, but he gets to enter wood turning for a very small price point.

If I was keeping it, I would probably paint it, upgrade to a live center and hopefully find a suitable adapter for a proper scroll chuck.
Maybe treat it to an upgrade Link belt...  So much easier to change the belt than removing the drive shaft etc..

Hope you get to enjoy it Paul

Bob, looking for his socks...Rudy...

No comments:

Post a Comment