Thursday, June 22, 2017

Maybe I was a bit too quick to Guesstimate...

In my last post, I said that unknown maker's lathe was probably a Delta/Rockwell/Beaver lathe, from their Homecraft hobbyist tool's line.

Well.... I'm not so sure anymore, here's why

That tool, because of its sheet metal bed, versus the traditional cast iron bed, and sizes, is no doubt a Hobbyist, albeit well built, woodworking machine.

When I did a first quick search, I quickly zoomed in on Delta Homecraft products line, because they did HAD a sheet metal lathe in their line.
But trying to narrow it down better, I discovered an essential feature that the Delta had that mine does not: They welded spacer plate at regular interval, much like today, cast iron beds have such reinforcements casted instead.
In 1941 they replaced the steel bed with a cast iron one.

Delta No 930
Notice the closer gap on top of the steel folded bed.

They also had a peculiar cast foot brackets to support and raise the steel bed up
Turns out, there was accessories cast foot to raise mostly metal working lathes to enable proper metal chips clearances. In woodworking, it is not so critical

So back to basic research to try to narrows it down.
Who else manufactured such Hobbyist power tools line?
One only has to look at giant retailers like Sears, Montgomery -Ward, etc to see a rather complete lines of woodworking power tools of different quality, at various price points.
North American readers are no doubts familiar with Sears's Craftsman tools lines, but they also used various Trade names for their "Entry level" tool lines

From a Craftsman tool catalog dated 1940

This is a smaller 8X27 (center to center) which good old Sears uses their infamous ad copy writers euphemism calling it a 38 in lathe (that is the length of the bed!!)
It sport very similar foots and although not mentioned, the bed look like it could be steel, which makes sense when reading down further: Shipping weight, 22 pounds! Trust me that is NOT a cast iron bed...
It also has bronze bearings (Bushing) with oil cupŝ, just like ours.

Numerous manufacturers made power tools for them, easily identified by the first 3 digits of the Sears code on the name plate.... when present :-)

Looking at them closer we find a very similar looking woodworking lathe, with the added pizzaz of streamlines on it, a nod to Art Deco from the 30's, marketed under the Dunlap name, and manufactured by a few makers

That very similar one, under the name Dunlap. 
Most likely the same one, but could be a different manufacturers

Mine does not, but these "lines" were introduced in 1941 and were removed in 1949 (?)
Could it be my elusive lathe??

The tailstocks used a different adjuster handle, but mine is probably 50's ish, and it would be easier to cast a round handle, than the earlier spinning lever handle

Looking closer at it, I did found some cast marks on it, but still no name, nor model No, nor Serial Nos

In a circle it reads, with PAT in the middle:
On the oil bushing covers
Well, look at that, turned out they are still in business 
They were founded in 1910.
Lets have a look at what patents they got for these oil cup covers

Hum only patent returned when searching for oil cup...
Gits, Gits bros etc does not return anything under manufacturer.
Dead end for now... Could be a cumbersome search...

I did came across this patent assigned to Gits Brothers, but it is from the 70s so I doubt this is the one, besides it is not for an oil cup...

on the Banjo for the tool holder



Here is a nicely restored one, similar to ours

Given that the steel beds appears to be constructed more similarly  than the Delta and al, and it does have the lub ports (indicating it used bronze sleeves versus balls bearings), I am now leaning more toward being a  Companion/Dunlap machine and not a Homecraft.

Fold and welded construction.
Bottom is wide open, no reinforcement plates, no folded steel with holes, etc

This 4 part part video of a Dunlap restoration, part 1 here, shows a bottom with holes... Back to square one??
Here is a short list of Companion/Dunlap made
The ones I have seen pics of often had the 3 digits manufacturers code followed by a dash and the rest of the model Nos on them

Frankly, I am temporarily stumped... Unless anyone else out there has a better guess?? Or more info??
Now trying to find more about these never seen before cast marks 9JL-X
That could be a rabbit hole I am going down into... But it also looks like my best bet to figured this out...

Bob, standing corrected.....until....


  1. I come up with South Bend Atlas Logan Lathe - one of them is on eBay but I can't view it at work.
    (Punched in 9JL-X headstock in google)

  2. South Bend, Atlas, and Logan are all metal cutting lathes as far as I know. However Atlas was made for Sears so maybe they also had a wood lathe as well.

  3. Thanks Ralph
    I tried that but did not get much anywhere with it :-(
    But it sure has some of the same lines as the Atlas made Companion/Dunlap... so that's the one that seems the most far


  4. Hi Nathan
    Thanks for your comment. Yes Atlas is better known for their metal cutting lathe, but they did manufactured wood lathes for Sears. You can find more about that by checking them out on the Vintage machinery dot org site (link at the beginning of this post).
    South Bend made better quality metal cutting lathe than Atlas, and Logan never heard of, but ill take your word for it :-)

    Thanks again Nathan


  5. Bob,

    I can't help much on lathes, about the best I can do is recognize it's a wood working lathe vs. a metal working one. ;-).